Too much chaos

Over the last two years, I have found that on numerous occasions, I have “bitten off a lot more than I can chew.” It has been extremely difficult to chew on some of the things I have chosen to do—mostly to distract myself from my grief—which makes it even harder to swallow. No more. Things are starting to give, and I have started to learn the power of saying “no” to things (especially those that are distracting me from my grief and my feelings)… Unfortunately, I’m still a novice. It seems I’ve always given everything I have to others. And...

From “A Gentleman in Moscow”

At the behest of my new partner, I have started to read fiction again. The second of her recommendations is a book called “A Gentleman in Moscow.” I am currently reading and enjoying it. Set in post revolutionary Russia, with lots of flashbacks to an earlier, more gilded age, the book is the story of a singular man—a count—who is placed under house arrest. He is imprisoned in a luxury hotel in Moscow and tells both tales of his youth and young adulthood as well as the customs, rules and etiquette of a man of his standing. While intrigued by...

Dogs and love

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself…Anonymous In the year after our twin daughters were born, we got a golden retriever puppy we named Charlie. Everyone always says they have, “the best dog ever,” but Charlie truly was. When the girls were young, they could pull on his ears, his tail, his fur, just about any part of him and he would never so much as complain, growl or groan.  Charlie became a fixture of our lives. He was part time babysitter, part time guard dog, part time walking buddy, part time...

Purpose

What is my purpose? Why am I here? How do I help others? What can I do to make this world a better place? These questions have been rattling around in my head more than ever over the last two years. I started to ask them when I was a child; but they became louder and resonated more inside my head in the weeks and months before Suzanne died in 2018. Somehow, I found an answer to most of these questions. It took a lot of hard work, a deep dive from my head into my heart, and plenty of...

Leading From the Heart

A while ago, I was totally living in my head. Like all the time. My ego was out of control. I was overthinking and overwhelmed. Then something shifted. It wasn’t immediate, but it wasn’t subtle either. In a matter of days, maybe even a few hours, I took a deep dive from my head to my heart. Once I got there, and saw what an amazingly beautiful place it was, I decided to stay there. In so many ways, this was simply living the way that Suzanne had always lived her life, but I never realized how it worked. Unlike...

Tears

This is version two of this week’s blog post. Normally, I would have published it by now, but wasn’t happy with the way my earlier one came out. Then I saw a vignette on a friend’s Facebook page and it made me think about some things I had not thought about for a while.  The post I read was written from a woman’s perspective. It was about her thankfulness for the man in her life who she believed God had put there to wipe away all her earthly tears.  It made me think of the time before Suzanne died, as...

A Rite of Passage

One of the first big milestones of life without Suzanne has come to pass. Our youngest daughter has finished college and has basically graduated (she has fulfilled all of her requirements, but because of CoVID-19 the ceremony will now not take place until December). She arrives back at my home from England today after finishing last month. Last night, I sat in the kitchen with my new partner, Kristi, and we created a couple of posters for Emily. We created one that simply said congrats and another with inspirational messages and quotes on. When searching for what to write for...

Peaceful life

Over many months, and for much more than a year, I have struggled to find true “inner peace”. What does that truly mean to me? It means finding a respite from thought, from fear, from the dull nagging ache of grief which—although it started all consuming—still holds a firm place in my heart, alongside my love for Suzanne.  Why would I seek this world of inner peace? So for a moment I can forget about the grief. For a moment I can be still and silent. And I can breathe and feel free of hurt and of pain. In the...

Potential & Change

August 18, 2018 (24-hours before Suzanne dies) Dear future Jeff, I want you to know a few things. After Suzanne dies, you will feel like there is little potential of anything ever making your life any better. Did you know that you will be scared, hurting, very much alone (even surrounded by friends and family), completely lost, and heartbroken? Please know that although you could potentially just curl up in a ball and die from that heartbreak, you won’t. Potential is an interesting word. It means, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.”...

Dreams, Love & Gratitude

I wrote about unconditional love and also about gratitude some weeks ago, so you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about these things again. Well, I’m not writing specifically about those same topics (as I shared then). Instead, I wanted to share about these three things together: dreams, love and gratitude. What do I mean? To me, these things have become inseparable. In the early days of my life, my life’s dreams included various forms of love and gratitude. Those dreams were about the true love I sought for my life and what that meant to me. My dreams also encompassed...