Saturday, August 17, 2013


My life is much different from many of my loved ones.

I find myself traveling 1/3 of the year.

I happily sleep with two (furry) men each night I'm home.

No one gets on my back for the dishes sitting in the sink a bit too long or the dirty clothes on the floor.

I thoroughly enjoy my solitude (i.e. meditation, reading, playing fetch, watching clouds pass,etc.).

That's just to name a few of my realities ( I guess not noting the obvious...I'm a 27-year-old widow...ooops...add that!).

In the first few years after Michael's death, many (ok...nearly all) were worried about me....

Worried about me being alone.

Worried if I'd drink too much.

Worried that I'd never come out of the deep hole that my grief and self had been thrown into.

Worried that I'd kill myself.

The "remedies" and "prescriptions" came flowing in from all those around.

Not out of ill will...more out of not knowing what else to do.

I remember looking into their eyes and seeing a pain for the life I was living. I saw their fear of ever having to imagine it ever being their fate one day.

I felt their pity.

I felt their gratitude (that it wasn't them).

I felt their lack of control of changing what they could not.

But then, and now 6 years later, I have held onto something that my soul and heart know.

A knowledge that is as pure as my eternal love for Michael.

The knowledge (and now the power) of knowing that what others have seen as an empty life (after his death).

I have known to be an opening for me to find, persevere, rise, fall, and create my life after tragic death.

Empty is just another word for OPEN.

Open to life.

Open to fear.

Open to happiness.

Open to failure.

Open to all that has occurred.

Open to all that will occur.

Remember that. Find power in that. Feel peace in that.

So as I enter our home, 6 years later. Uncork a 91 point wine. Watch an amazing film. Feel gratitude for the day that has passed and the roof over my head. I live and feel the knowledge of knowing that one man's empty, is another man's sanctuary.

And my heart feels grateful. Content. Overflowing. Blessed. Strong.


  1. Thank you Tayrn for this post. I sometimes question myself when I read about all the adventures and moving to new houses and think maybe I am stuck. Reading this made me realize that it's ok to stay put and let the path open up, even if it is a slow process. My sweet man was a Bhuddist and your writing reminds me of him, to be content in the moment. Just the message I needed today!

    1. Thank you for posting this entry.

      It's been 15 months now since my husband passed away suddenly and my therapist told me recently that I am "stuck". I am still dealing with financial and legal issues with his family so it's hard to move forward when I feel like I'm in some sort of limbo, even though it seems like I'm been making phone calls, payment arrangements, and faxing copies of tax forms and his death certificate for over a year!

      I'm so glad I found this website and daily blog because by reading these posts and comments, I know I am not alone.

  2. This is really wonderful. I agree with every word.

    "One man's empty, is another man's sanctuary" - beautiful, just beautiful.

    Well done to you. I am somewhere similar, perhaps not quite as far along, but definitely in a similar frame of mind. The soul-destroying trauma of last year has passed, that fresh raw wound of bereavement is starting to heal and I can feel a great deal of hope.

  3. You are so unique. Such powerful words you posted today. I struggle with believing that I have been given an opportunity and not a curse.

  4. Lisa - Gainesville GirlAugust 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Hang in there Taryn. I met you and several others with the AWP August 2012 @ Camp Widow. I was only 4 1/2 months out from losing my husband Jim to several cancers from Agent Orange. He was honored to have given 17 years to the army. I was surprised by your young age and what you had and have created in memory of your husband and all the other husbands who serviced our country. I am sure their are many soldiers who are your guarding angels and are so thankful for what you & AWP is and has done for their wife's. None of us asked to be in this group, but with your groups help and Michele's group we have the support to help us through each day. Thank you!

  5. Empty is another word for open. I will remember that.

  6. beautiful. tonight I listened to my granddaughter sing "halo" and I thought of her Papa - how he adored her, I watched her beautiful 13 year old face and felt such peace it was overwhelming. The gift of overflowing.
    Almost 3 years after his death and I can find such gratitude everyday for his life, for the life left, for the remembrances of love.
    Gratitude has been the thing that has moved me to this place.

    Thanks Taryn

  7. This post is so powerful...something to aspire to. Thank you for sharing your words and perspective.

  8. Thank you all for reading, relating and sharing! It's my honor to take the journey with you and hope my my words being shared help at some capacity <3