About Me

My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dear New Love

It is amazing to have love again in my life, to have somebody who cares about me, thinks about me, and holds me. Ever since my husband died, and for the years that I feared he would, I have wondered how I would ever manage without him. It hasn't been easy. Working to accept this loss has consumed and transformed me. Diminished me. Expanded me. I think that this loss will continue to shape me forever.

I want you to know that sometimes it is hard for me to acknowledge how much you mean to me. I have lost the delusion of permanence and I am trying to live every moment, in balance, with peace, no matter if I am alone or with you. It feels critical that I not be too attached to any one definition of happiness, particularly the happiness derived from love. Self-containment feels like a vital act of personal preservation.

My happiness with you is measured because I sometimes feel as though the wonderful, loving feelings I have for you detract from the love I had and continue to hold for Ken. The terrible truth is this: if Ken had lived there would be no you in my life. I wish Ken were still alive, and I would bring him back to life if I could because I don't want him to be dead. Because he died, I found you. I am glad you're here with me now. I like loving our uncertain future together.


Try this:

One of the hardest aspects of loving again after loss are the inevitable comparisons between the one who died and the one who lives. Can you play with idea of comparing? You know you do it. You know it makes you feel uncomfortable. Embrace it.

I refuse to compare the living and the dead.
The living just sent me a text message.
The dead lives on in my children.

I hate to compare the living and the dead.
The dead doesn't have a chance vs. the living.
The living doesn't have a chance vs. the dead.

I compare the living and the dead.
My foundation lies on the earth where you left me;
I tap dance on the newly sprouted grass.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Stopping in Peace

Going through a major traumatic event is exhausting. Losing someone you love is devastating. I find that almost five years after my husband's death, I avoid stress wherever I can. Contentment matters more to me than ever before. It feels essential to my well-being. I might as well be a hippie carrying a multi-colored sign that reads: PEACE + LOVE cause that's all I want anymore.

I am not ready to stop
Being content, to change.
I will not give up my peace.
After years of spinning,
Reaching for light,
Returning to darkness,
With every revolution,
Lightheaded yet grounded,
Tied to the wheel
As it turned us over and over.
We became thinner, more fragile.
I trusted the inner ear
To maintain balance, to know up from down.
This spinning can't go on endlessly.
Eventually slowed to an absolute
Halt. Where I find myself now:
A still, calm, silent rock on the ground.
Flung from the heavy wheel
Sprouting shoots, tendrils, soft moss
Fingers, arms, muscles, fists, hands
Held to the sun
Which has never, ever felt as warm
On this cold surface
Heating up. Transforming. Growing subversively.
No longer empty, barren.
I am not ready to change,
Ideally suited to my current environment.
No more spinning, please not yet.