Thursday, November 2, 2023

lessons learned

I am working on a workbook and a workshop for widows with writing/journaling activities. These are things that I wrote about when Steve died and some of them even more than once since then. Part of the last one is looking at the future. 

In the last almost 6 years I learned so much about myself and grief. I learned to accept that there would always be moments that were hard and connected to his death. 

I found someone who allows me to have those moments and to talk about them, to share how hard it is, and to know that it is forever. 

I know that time heals but it doesn’t make the love go away. It doesn't make the memories go away. It doesn't mean I won’t ever be triggered again. 

But time lessens the strength of the grief. It means I can be in joy more than sadness. 

It means I can move forward and live in the present. 

I can let grieving go without letting him go. 

I can move on because time moves on. 

I can move forward because I can’t go back and change it.

I can be in the present. I can remember the past. And I can have hope for the future. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Letting Go

Recently the idea of letting go has been coming up a lot. And I think there needs to be some defining of what it means to let go. I think a lot of this connects with moving forward and not moving on which I've talked about before. 

Letting go means leaving the past in the past. Letting go of the hopes and the dreams and the plans that we had for the future. 

We built onto our house so that we could fit our current family better but also with the idea that we would live there forever. We made our doorways handicap accessible and our bathrooms able to be used maybe with a support person like a nurse and a guest room that overnight care could stay in. And now that's not going to happen if we are not going to be there in our 90s. 

Letting go of the idea of that we would celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary or our 50th. Steve's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year and it was hard to know that I'm not going to get there with anyone. 

Letting go of my kids. My youngest is 17. They are growing up and moving forward and becoming people that they were meant to be and the best version of themselves and that might not include me as much as it has in the past. 

Letting go of my teaching as a career and as something I did all the time.

I think the letting go is shifting. Shifting to retirement. Shifting to being a widow. Shifting to being a single parent. Shifting to being in a new relationship. Shifting to having my own business. Shifting to different expectations around meals and time together. Shifting on who's living in the house.

Lots of things involved with letting go and as most things with grief, there are no rules. Some days are going to be harder than others. Some things are going to be a trigger. 

I need to let go of the past and move forward. I need to look to the future and see where I'm headed. I need to have hopes and dreams and goals and know that not all of them are going to come true or be met and that that's part of life. And it's okay.

And none of letting go means that I've forgotten. Letting go means not grieving, but allowing moments of grief here and there. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

wherever you will go

Cried in the shower this morning listening to a song. I could feel that Steve was talking to me and sharing a message that he is always with me and always supporting me because I keep him in my mind and heart. 

I am so blessed that he's okay with me being with Chris. 

"So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone, you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face" 

"know now, just quite howMy life and love might still go onIn your heart, in your mindI'll stay with you for all of time"

"Wherever You Will Go"
By The Calling 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

movie vows

I watched a movie tonight where one of the spouses died of cancer. After they knew the prognosis was not good, they spur of the moment decided to get married and went to a courthouse. The judge asked if he would love "as long as you both shall live". Of course he answered 'I do'.

It made me think about how we do love for the length of their life and then also for the rest of our life even if that person is no longer alive. My marriage vow to Steve was until "death do us part" and no matter what path I choose to take, I will always love him. I will love him as my first love, as my husband, as the father of my children and my best friend.

I am always amazed at how love works. How you can be in love with two totally different humans and want to be with them for the rest of your life, as long as you both shall live, and even after they're gone. 

knitted blanket

Last night I was working with Steve's mom on the potential of her knitting a temperature blanket. You sew a row everyday based on the temperature, whether you pick the high, the low or the average of the day. We were watching different videos and I was reading people's plans that they followed when they made their blanket.  In one of them the person explained that she went back and looked at the average temperatures for the year they got married. She was making it for her husband as a present to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. 

Funny how that was the same year that Steve and I got married. I had really thought we would go to Hawaii for our 25th. It also reminded me of how hot our wedding day was even though our average temperatures do not usually reach above 100. It's great to be able to look back on the memories and remember all the love that we shared. 

Monday, January 30, 2023


13 years ago one of my very good friends passed away. We were a month apart in age and had been friends since middle school. Her second child and my oldest child were only a month apart. Her husband and my husband were great friends too. We often got together for dinner and for birthdays. 

I know exactly where I was when I got the call from her dad saying that she did not wake up from a nap. It made death such a reality and led to so many conversations between me and Steve about what we would do if it was one of us that died suddenly. I think her death really prepared me to grieve and accept and move forward with Steve's death.  It also let us to have some conversations about expectations revolving around grief.

Her husband was able to move forward and has now been married for many years. I think he was criticized by many people for moving forward in a time frame that they thought was too quick. But as I've learned and experienced, there are absolutely no rules or timelines in both grieving and moving forward. 

You can still love someone and be in love with someone else. You can grieve the loss of their part of your life and also make new memories with someone new.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thank You

I went to the bank today with Brian and were talking about finances and really thinking about how I'm only where I am because of how much Steve did with planning in our budgeting and because of his death. I've been thinking a lot about him as we approach the 5-year mark on Monday.

Thank you Steve. Thank you for making sure we were all set. Thank you for teaching me to budget to spend what we've got and to save for future expenses and the unexpected. Thank you for always loving and being supportive of me. Thanks for being my amazing partner. I miss you. I love you. Thanks for being okay with me moving forward. I know you've always wanted me to be happy and Chris makes me happy. He's so loving allows me to grieve and share about my life with you. I know you believe so strongly in marriage and I thought I did too but I want to be with Chris until death do us part but because he's unsure about marriage, it's not on the table right now and I'm okay with that. Thank you for teaching me to love and accept myself. Thank you for protecting me and always being there for a hug. Thank you for always being around now and watching over all of us. I feel your presence and love. Please don't ever stop loving me.

Chris, I love you so much and I'm so happy you said yes to learning to pick agates. Thank you for letting me take my time to move forward in our relationship and for being so supportive. Thank you for letting me talk about Steve and our marriage. Thanks for letting me be a mom when that's who I need to be. Thank you for wanting a future with me. Thank you for finding me attractive and for accepting me for who I am. You've always said we each have a past and I'm so happy that my past has allowed me to be with you. I love you and want to be your partner for the rest of your life or mine. I accept that I might become a widow again. I accepted our lives will be what is meant to be. I believe God has a plan and it was for me to be Steve's wife first and then to be with you. I love you and I always will.