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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Peace at Last (for now)

Suddenly something has shifted. It's subtle, but I can feel it. I just feel so darn settled, at peace, calm, accepting, and OK. I'm living less and less in fear.

I'm happy with such small things lately: the sound of the furnace kicking in when it's cold and bitter outside; my ridiculous fleece pajamas with little moose on them; a phone call with a girlfriend who really gets me, who I really get; making a needlepoint pillow for my daughter. Watching my son's excitement as he views the sport of curling on the Olympics for the first time, making improvements on my house, planning a neighborhood party, beginning to imagine a future for myself where before there was only the past. Remembering the me I used to be before illness and death too soon made me someone else.

Grief is taking a new shape in a different sky, everything rearranging in blasts and gusts and silences. The absence of Ken is a permanent part of me now, just as those 15 years of being with him will never be erased. Now that his presence and absence have etched themselves through my skin and bones and heart, now that I know this, now that I trust that even in disappearing he remains, I can begin to loosen the grip of grief to cross safely into a place that remains unknown to me even as I enter it. With my eyes open, I still can't see where I'm going. I'm moving slower because I don't know this landscape. This is where I am and I can't be located. Certainty has been stripped from me: the promise of the husband, the marriage, the partner, the way it was supposed to be isn't. There is nothing to do but get up and see what's next.

My head's been down a long time. It's time to look up and imagine the future I never planned to have.


Take a few minutes and write about absence. Then write about peace. And then let yourself imagine the future on paper in words, if you can.

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