Saturday, April 2, 2011


“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self-respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”

- Scott Fitzgerald

I'm introspective.

You can still find me wandering the "Self-Help" aisles at a bookstore to find things to challenge my being and better my soul. Like art, all I took and take from those paperbacks is interpreted differently to me than others...and hell, I'm as flawed as a clearance item at a "Ross" store, so in seeing that each life...or in Ross standards..each individual and unique..had been the springboard to me following the path that I am on.

I know the day I stop learning and growing will be the day I die.

Lately though, I've felt challenged for being the person I am. The way I do things and the life I lead.

It brought me down to a place I couldn't stand. It made me reflect, but in that reflection I just had to hold tight to me and who I am.

It's hard sometimes not having Michael (the most honest, loving, and caring individual I've ever known) here. He called me out when I was wrong, reassured me when I was right, and ever so delicately let me know that I am perfect as I am.

It was with that love and care, that I strive/strived to be even better at living, laughing, apologizing, and forgiving.

So the quote above is one I will repeat in those moments of feeling totally mis-understood in this big world....The moments where I can't physically hear his voice, but where I will pluck the cord in my being that he embedded in me. The cord that sang to me that I am enough......


  1. One of the books I read about grieving says when we lost our partner is was like lossing our compass! I have spent the last year trying to figure out which direction to go in! My husband was the same would call me on things and help me to know myself better.

  2. Ah, Sylvia Plath and F. Scott Fitzgerald, two of my favorites. You have hit the nail on the head in describing one of the biggest challenges of navigating the world alone...validation and self esteem. Our partners are like a mirror reflecting back to us, with love and support. My husband of 28 years was a rare breed of man, he held his wife in high regard and among his other considerable charms he knew how to make me feel like a woman. The way he treated me brought me in touch with my femininity like I had never been before. He held doors open for me, pulled out my chair at the restaurant. Very sweet and charming. He also told me every day that I was capable and intelligent. Now, after such a long marriage I believed all of this. Until he was gone. Then I realized that what I thought was my healthy self esteem was really his validation. What a crummy feeling! I lost my biggest fan. I felt so vulnerable, like I was walking around without my skin, and became very sensitive to what people said to me and how they treated me. I hear what you are saying. The world can be a cold place, and it's colder when you don't have that loving, supportive, protective husband waiting for you when you come home at night, who will tell you it will all be OK. Such a big challenge! Thanks for this well written post.

  3. beautiful words :sometimes others say what we are thinking ,my hubbie was my rock & we rolled together ever where together, some day are so black i'am just waiting for this fog to lift so i can see the beautiful world as ,it was before he passed.Many thanks to all for putting this page up so there is hope for healing from a loss. peace be with you all& angel's wings embrace & guide you .peace sally J <3<3<3.

  4. You put into words what I have been trying to figure out these past six months....what was it that was so hard about being alone, and now I understand. It is not having that one person sharing this life with me that truly thought "I was enough." Thank you!

  5. When you have a long relationship or marriage with someone, and that person is gone forever, it shakes up your whole world. Maybe your abandonment issues are triggered. Depends on your unique background. What happens is so complex and unique to each person. And it is very different at 6 mo out compared to 3 years out. I've cried more and felt more sadness at 2 yrs out than earlier, due I think to protective denial and shock. And it is shocking to me that I'm still crying at 2 1/2 years. The goal is to learn to live without our loved one, but this is such a challenge for us when we are still grieving. Of course we live each day, as we get up, get dressed, etc. But how do we live without them? How do we vacation now? How do we socialize? What do we do on Friday nights? Holidays? What if our spouse was our whole social circle? It is very, very difficult to sort all this out and it takes a lot of time and tears. And for most of us it doesn't happen easily. For me, its one day at a time and being very patient with myself. I give myself permission not to have this all figured out and solved even after 2 1/2 years. I just try to listen to my heart and not my head, and find the joy in each day, in the smallest things, and try to live in thankfulness for all that I do have. But I am still so sad and miss my husband of 40 years so much each day, and I just keep trying to move forward, no matter how slow my pace seems. But I know that I have to pay attention to my sadness if I am to move forward. We who grieve are in a very difficult process. All we can do is do our best each day, and be satisfied with ourselves that that is enough. Blessings!

  6. Thank you all for your openness and for sharing how to cope. Today, Saturday was always an exciting day - the weekend and I go out on errands and look at all of the couples together enjoying their weekend. I have no idea what to do with myself, I find that I just wander or drive with no particular destination - just to be moving. I am shocked how one minute I can feel okay - the sun is shining and music is playing and I am somehow suspended and then something/anything can bring it back - a phrase my husband use to say, the way he laughed, how every morning he used to roll over and say "you're so pretty" , the validation and the touchstone and the dreamer.
    It is not just being alone for me, it is all that he was - gone.

    It is trying to move forward and crashing back on the shore, stunned and sobbing. Somedays it makes me feel crazy.
    Somedays I feel like it will never get better. When I read at two years, five years . . .it is still so bad. I don't know if I can do it.

  7. I am responding to anon above. Seventeen months for me. I don't know how long it's been for you, but crashing back to the shore is a normal response, at first constantly, and then less and less. I know it's scary when you are reading at two years, five, etc. it is still so bad, but understand that every person is unique. I find that I am having days at this point that are becoming less difficult overall. The important part is to not compare yourself with others. I've been following this blog for a few months, some people are young, some elderly; some have young children and others have an empty nest. I hear you, because as much as this site has been a support for me, I have days where I tell myself I should stop checking in because it may be keeping me stuck in grief. Grief makes us all feel crazy, especially for the first year or two. I liken it to being shot in the brain with a machine gun, surviving, and then having to try to come back. It is a long, hard road. Please don't be discouraged by other people you read about here. Everyone is different, some get therapy, some don't. Some are fighters, some are not. Take the steps you need to build a support team for yourself, i.e. a counselor, physician, pastor, friends or family, support group, etc. Use whatever resources you have to, because grief is a big, big, burden. Best to you.

  8. Thank you for your kindness in responding. Well - my husband was dying from the moment he was diagnosed ( a year and a half of a terminal cancer) It has been six months. I know not a very long time, but in truth I have been grieving for two years. . . just slowly and piece by piece as things were lost along the way. Part of me knows that it will be forever, that I will never face a day and not be aware of the loss. In many ways I know losing him has taught me more about living than I ever knew before. But sometimes I feel survivor guilt - why him, why not me? He was so generous in his comments about "after" - his death. He wanted me to live, to be happy, to travel, to love. But, in truth it all seems meaningless to me now.

    Like you - I check this blog everyday. Sometimes I feel it is the only place I can read and write the truth. I know - i am deeply blessed. I have great adult children, grandchildren, friends. .. and over 35 years of a wonderful marriage and I try to tell myself that every day.

    But - he's gone and that is the thing that is as you said "the long hard road" . . . there is no detour that will take me past his death.

    I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my post and thank you for the wisdom.