Saturday, September 24, 2011


I know the phrase is a little off-putting but I think I'd be in naive in not noting those that have come in and out of my life since Michael's death....though burning of bridges is probably a exaggeration of a statement.

In the beginning of Michael's death, many left or were hurt by the lack of understanding of the pain and loss I was feeling. As time passed others may have been shocked or freaked out by my utter honesty of the situation and title as a military widow. And still, four years later, some will come and go with my opinions on how I want to lead my life.

Each encounter and farewell hurt in a way, as that is never the outcome I would want, but with each, I felt my heart become lighter, my smile brighter, my love more alive...I was being me and following my heart. I was saying what my heart was echoing through my soul and outwardly living it and allowing each opposition to become an opportunity for me to find and become an even more whole self.


  1. This is a very thought-provoking post. The bridges I burn are not providing me with light; just more darkness and loss. I've never thought that I'm the one who is burning them, but I guess I am. Our old friends are moving on with their lives, and I'm the one who is required to keep up with *them*, or be left behind. They will not live with me in this place. Which I understand at some level. But I just can't go with them.

  2. Diane J... "But I just can't go with them."

    maybe just ‘not yet’.

  3. Yes, me too. I have moved away from old friends and have looked forward to becoming "unknown" among new groups. Two of my children have started in new schools and for the most part, I feel safer for some reason. I have willingly and unwillingly burned some bridges too. I go back and forth with my thinking that this is a healthy thing. A part of me wants to be more involved and open up again to the people who know me and my children, but I also feel misplaced among them. And honestly, I am more comfortable with the part about being "unknown" for now anyway.

  4. Well, gang, I guess that I tried to do it both ways. One such former close friendship went away right after Michael died and I was hurt and resentful. Then I tried to patch it up with my daughter's encouragement but it was not the same. Now, I just want out of the whole relationship. We will never be able to repair this and I feel foolish even continuing to try. We're no longer are the same people. It's sad but it's way too uncomfortable for me to try to act and be what I'm not, what I no longer am. So, I'm going to try to use this to "light my way". But it still hurts. Take care all.

  5. I have burned many bridges. Often times while tossing a match over my shoulder, laughing. They have lit my way and they have burned me too. One of the many gifts of Art's death was to learn how to shrug it off. I miss them, and sometimes I want them back, but in the end, I am truly better off having burnt the damn bridges down!

  6. funny reading this a day later. I didn't think this happened to often (hows that for needing a wake up call)
    I have a friend, who was there for the diagnosis the year and a half of illness, wanted to drop by all the time, called constantly etc. . . but now he is dead. i hardly hear from her.
    When I do, it is me calling her.
    I realized what i took for support was actually and very sadly - the fact she liked the drama. How sick is that?
    I looked at our mutual group of friends and thought back to our ten years of conversations and had this great aha! moment.
    She isn't a fair weather friend. She is someone who loves to roll in the pain and suffering of others in order to make herself feel better and have something to talk about to others. She has no children. She has no one who really needs her and she is so controlling she is unable to stay in any long term relationship. She feeds off the pain of others and inserts herself in their lives in a pseudo intimate dance.

    I was feeling so bad, that she stopped calling. Wondering what I was doing. then I realized NOTHING. I wasn't caring for my dying husband, I wasnt talking about being devastated (even though i often feel that way). I realized I and my alone life was not newsworthy anymore. Not requiring fixing anymore, not a drama to be played.

    The relief I felt when I realized this was /is immense.
    I can burn that bridge. I don't want to be anyones entertainment or sad story they tell to their friends.

    The friends I have held onto are willing to be where I am / we are at the time. Laughing, crying, angry, lonely. They celebrate every independent act, they encourage, they hug, they say "i believe in you" and "be happy".

    In burning that bridge I can see more clearly the road ahead.
    Thanks Taryn.

  7. I read somewhere that in 5 years a widow will have all new friends. At first that really scared me as I don't want to loose what I have. But I now understand that just as we change with age, we change drastically with widowhood and sometimes old friends are not able to accept or adapt to the new us. If they are hung up on what we used to be then they might not be able to move on with the new us and that is too bad but the new people we meet only see and learn about the new us and that might be just what we all need? Acceptance of what we have and are becoming.

  8. I'm not sure if it's that old friends don't know how to deal with us, I think a lot of it is they just don't know what to say or do, so they don't do anything. And as time goes on, it gets even harder for them, they assume since they haven't heard from you, that all is ok, that you don't need help, or just someone to talk to. They have moved on in their lives, and they assume you have too.

    Diane, I can't go with them either, I don't know where they're going, but it doesn't feel right for me. I'd rather be left alone than trying to fit in. Just this past weekend, I was with a group of women and as they talked about the trivial things in their lives, I just listened, and wished for that carefree, pre-widowhood life. That is a thing of the past for me. There is nothing trivial to talk about in my world anymore. I don't even have any bridges to burn!