Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Farewell Wish for You.

daniel

This has been a significant week. On Wednesday my kids and I had a celebration of life, honoring my husband Michael's birthday. It was an uplifting occasion, really. In the past this was the most difficult of days. Well, also was our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of his death. Oh, and the anniversary of the day we met. Perhaps I should also list the various holidays that meant so much for us. You get the point.

Each day after entering the world of widowhood is difficult. There is no way around it. From the day our spouses die, and those days forward, our lives will no longer be the same. The joyful days that we used to celebrate will now take up space with realities of our loss. I have come to accept this, and find that I am becoming quite comfortable with this more and more. On the other hand, what I also find is that it is becoming easier and easier to deal with this. Experience and time speaks volumes.

I suppose there are those that might feel that the pain of my loss is less now that I am in a new relationship. I don't know if that is my truth. My loss is my loss, and it will never go away. I can say that having someone close who is willing to support me through these challenging times is of significant help. And although my relationship is still somewhat new, I know that I deeply love this person, and I know that I will spend each day striving to strike that right balance between what I had and what I have.

I recognize that where I am at, or what I speak of, may not sit well with many readers. Many of you are still in the early stages of your grief, and the thought of new love is hard to consider. I can say that I truly didn't expect to find myself here, and I didn't expect to find my heart expanding to make room for a new love this soon. Yet here I am, and I recognize that it is time to begin focusing on the person standing here in front of me. I know that this will take a lot of effort on my part. I don't know exactly how Abel feels, yet I imagine that it has been challenging to open his heart to a man who still holds onto another. I can remember a few weeks ago when we were lying in bed and he said softly to me "remember that I am the one who is here."

Hearing Abel's words made me realize that I was perhaps taking for granted how strong he was, and how willing he was to hold me when I was missing Michael. Those quiet words also told me that he is a vulnerable person, who fears having his heart broken. This reminds me of another past conversation when Abel acknowledged that we would not be together if Michael had not died, and that clearly Michael was the love of my life. I didn't hesitate one moment to be honest and clear with Abel, that Michael was not the love of my life, as I don't believe that there is just one love of my life. I believe that people come into our lives, by chance, or by purpose, and if our hearts are open, love can enter.

I have too much love to give, and I know that I want to live the rest of my life with love. I feel so fortunate right now, and yet it is not necessarily because I have romantic love. I have the love of my children. I have the love of my extended family and friends, and I will soon have the opportunity to love a grandchild. So yes, I am quite fortunate.

So here is my wish for you. Love, and be loved. I know that your heart has been broken, mine was too. Yet keep in mind that a benefit of a broken heart is that there are many cracks on the surface which can make the flow of love happen easily. Love others openly, and let them love you. Know that I love all of you, and will miss this opportunity to share my words and journey with you. You have each touched my heart in so many ways. Many of you are friends that I have met along the way. Many of you I know through your loving comments. Know that I will be reading, and will remain a part of this community, just in a quieter way.

With my departure it is now my pleasure to share with you the voice that will take up residence here on Sundays, Matthew Croke. Many of you may recognize Matthew, as he has been a guest contributor here on Widow's Voice. What you may not know is a bit of his story. Matthew lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago, and is raising three girls all under the age of 11. Matthew lost his wife Lisa three years ago in the same year they lost his wife's mother who they were also living with. In his own words Matthew speaks of his journey as "trying to find my new place in this world while helping the girls find theirs." What a lovely perspective. I'm already looking forward to reading his words each week.

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your life, loss and love. I am not a widow nor am I gay,
    Yet I love this blog and have learned so much. Sometimes I wonder why I am drawn to this site.. Am I wierd, a creeper, or just someone that feels empathy and prays for each of you? Maybe in a sick way it makes me be thankful I'm not in this club, or maybe I enjoy reading of your journey so I can cheer you on annonomously.. Anyway, just know that I pray daily for you..

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  2. Thank you, Dan, for reminding us to love and be loved, as hard as it is to let go of the one we loved in the past, it is truly the only way to go forward. They will forever be with us, but we need to move forward with the living, and keep the ones we've lost in our hearts. Though they have died, their memory will not, and we can take that joy with us into our future. Your words have touched many of us, those who have lost a spouse or mate know instantly what you are feeling. You have become a friend to many, and even though we have never met, your words have brought us together.

    Peace and love to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your journey of grief and love.

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  3. Dan thank you for all your posts. I understand how opening your soul to share with others isn't easy. I appreciate your helping us see through your eyes.

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  4. Anon above - I don't think you are wierd. I have a great friend who reads this blog to help her understand me and another one of her friends who is a widow too. She has been one of my greatest non-widowed friends. She gets us unlike any of the others do and I truly believe it's because she takes the time to read the posts that I "like" on Facebook or offer advice on how to treat us. You are drawn because it is interesting and loving and human to be here. Welcome. Keep reading. I have been since 2 weeks after C passed which was 14 months ago.

    Dan - in the past we have had to say goodbye to some amazing writers. I dream that there is a hall of fame for the writers of the past on this blog. You are there on that wall. Thanks for your posts. I will be looking forward to your guest appearances. Enjoy, live and have fun exercising your heart muscle in the happier way, with love.

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  5. O Dan, how I will miss hearing your voice. You are so wise and so brave! As a member of the LGBTQ community and a widow from a straight relationship - your voice held so much for me.
    May you receive all the love and peace you have given a thousand fold. You have shown me that to love again is honouring the love we had. To not close our hearts, to love, to life and to happiness again.

    May every day ahead give you moments of joy.
    Be well.

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  6. Thank You Dan for sharing your journey. You wrote what was in your heart. The fact that life doesn't go as planned is what this blog is all about and you stayed true to it. Thanks for being honest all this time.

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  7. I am really going to miss your humor. I still think about last Valentines day post you wrote and it still makes me laugh out loud! All the best to you and yours.....

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  8. I love this blog, and look forward to reading it everyday. Dan you have been one of my favorites- your humor and honesty. My heart is healing now but is beginning to open, I too do not want to live out the rest of my life alone. I loved being love and I want to love again. I feel its an honor to my husband. Thank you again for sharing your journey with us, hoping got see you at camp widow in august. Take care and blessing to you and Abel.

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  9. Dan-thank you for sharing your heart, your pain, your journey with us. Best wishes of course, please know how much healing your story has brought me. *
    Chris

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  10. love you. Love love love you.

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  11. Dan, Please know that I am giving you a standing ovation.

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  12. Dan, I will miss your posts. You have such a lovely heart and I'm so thrilled to hear that you are letting love in. It's so easy, when you've suffered such a tremendous loss, to close off and harden your heart for protection. It's inspiring to see your courage.
    Sending more love and luck your way.

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  13. Dan, I will miss your beautiful writing. You have such a wonderful way of expressing so much of what so many of us on this journey are feeling. All the best to you and your family and your new love.

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  14. Dear Dan, you will be missed. Your posts have always been honest and heart felt. So, many days you have written about "my world" and exactly what I was feeling. Blessings to you, your family and your new relationship!

    THANK YOU for the wonderful gift you have given to the widow/widowers world....YOU!

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  15. You and I are on about the same timeline and I've been following you from your beginning here on this blog. I feel some grief in saying good-bye to you as the writers here have helped me in too many ways to count. I wish you the best. Love you so much.

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  16. You will be missed here, my friend. Love you, and looking forward to keeping in touch over the next steps you take (Gramps!)

    ~C~

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  17. Dear Dan, I will miss you so much. I too am having grief about you leaving. I have loved your postings. You have shared your deep grief about your loss of your dear Michael, and now the joy of your new love. You have been so comforting to me. Like a touchstone that is comforting. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us readers, and God bless you as you continue. I admire your openness and courage. I wish you all the best in the future!

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  18. I'm just like the first Anonymous and I have really appreciated your posts especially. I've looked forward to reading them each week and I will miss your contributions here. I join with everyone else in sending you good wishes for the next chapter in your life. Namaste

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  19. Take care Dan, and Many thanks! Reading your blog has been very emotional and also a learning process for me. Thank you and congrats!

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  20. Good luck Dan. I was so excited to meet you at Camp Widow, and see you standing behind that counter :) we had a good chuckle over that, I remember. I'm also in a new relationship, and I am an only parent raising 4 kids under 11 (it was 8 when my husband died). Take care!!

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  21. Dan - I will you miss your writings so much - but I am so happy that a new chapter has begun in your life. Thank you for being you and sharing all you have with us. Your words and the way you have lived through your journey has been one of the bright lights at the end of the dark tunnel.

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