Hummingbirds

In most other languages, the onomatopoeia that we use to describe these birds does not exist. We call them hummingbirds because, like flip flops and ping pong, it describes the noise made rather than the name of the thing itself. The word most other languages use instead is “Colibri”. This is significant for two reasons. One, I find the word more elegant than hummingbird. And two, I have used this word as the name of my own business (spelled Kohlibri Coaching). Why? When Suzanne died, we sat as a family in mourning. We talked about her spirit. Her resilience. Her...

Dad

That’s me. It’s a label. Anyone who truly knows me, knows I don’t like labels. But this is probably the only one I proudly wear these days. I used to wear the label husband, too. But because my wife died, I am reticent to use the label “widower”, even if that’s what I am to many. I am still a husband. Always will be. I was Suzanne’s husband and she died my wife, so I will always and forever be her husband. But dad. That’s a label I am still wearing. Proudly. This post isn’t about the label, though. It’s...

Unconditional Love

In the last few posts, I have written about things I think I “know”, like my love for Suzanne and how the life we (especially as widowers) live after the death of our spouse is hard. In my healing process, and especially the learnings I have gained since the failure of my first post loss relationship, I have discovered everything is about love and being kind—whatever happens in our lives, whatever choices we make, it usually comes down to love and kindness for self and/or for others. But looking back, and for the longest time, I’m not sure I truly...

Peace and Solitude

As our grief and the way we live our lives change over time after the death of a spouse, it’s hard to grasp the fact that we, too, are changing. Sometimes dramatically. Trauma, PTSD, fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, remorse, survivor’s syndrome, all are common side effects of loving and losing someone who was meant to be your partner for life.  When Suzanne died, I think I experienced them all. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what I went through in the days, weeks, months and year after she died. It was pretty foggy and widow brain (it’s a...

“Chapter 2”, “Moving On” and “New Normal”

You probably know a widow or maybe even a widower (we are about 10% of the widowed population, so a little rarer to know one of us). You probably know me if you’re reading this. You probably read a few things on the internet about what it’s like to be widowed. You probably have even seen some terms that you think might be appropriate to use when asking about our lives since losing our spouses. You might even sometimes ask me how I am doing. My “normal” reply will invariably be, “I’m doing Okay.” The reason this is my “normal”...

A Ring On A Chain

January 24 will mark my dad’s 7-year deathaversary. It’s significant for a couple of reasons. First, I never really understood why my mom was so different after my dad died. She mellowed. She changed. She was comfortable being alone even though she and my dad had been married for nearly 50-years. Second, my mom also started to wear a gold chain with my dad’s wedding ring on it. I noticed she had put it on there immediately after he died, but never really thought about its significance. When Suzanne died, it was a t 1:13 AM Sunday morning August 19,...

Letting go

This is going to be long. I agonized for the last 24-hours (plus) about whether to make this more than one post. I also could not decided on a title… so the others I was thinking about will become different posts in future (now that I wrote them all down and finally settled on “letting go” for this one). So, here goes (and you may want to grab a coffee, tea, your favorite tipple… and a tissue if you’re that way inclined—I personally used several while I was writing it). Many of my friends will note that I often “preach”...

When You are Widowed…

January 1, 2020 was a milestone. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I never said a word. 500 days. Over the last 500 (now 508) days, I have written a lot of words about my grief, the unending sense of loss, the brutal physical and emotional pain, the heartache and the heartbreak, the deep-rooted trauma and post-traumatic stress, as well as many other things related to how I have been since becoming a widower. And my experience is not as unique as some may think. Those who knew me before all this, know how much I adored Suzanne. She was...

Fear and loneliness

What is fear? Why do we sense it and why do we succumb to it? What are we truly afraid of? What’s the worst that could happen if we take the risk, make the call, change the story? Death. That’s ultimately what we all fear and are most afraid of. The second biggest fear I think we have is living. Not just living a life, but living a life of loneliness. Another is fear of failure, but I’m not going to address that here. It’s irrelevant to me… Fear of death holds us all back. It stops us in our...

A Widower’s Way

My Immortal This amazing song is on my “Suzi Playlist”, and it’s hitting me hard right now… After long conversations with some of my fellow widows today, I’m really hurting for them. It breaks my heart to hear their stories. It hurts me so much to know they can’t/don’t want to share their story with others because of the pain it might cause others. That’s not right. And it’s certainly not fair. Still I hold space and offer unconditional love to them. And I get it people. We don’t like to talk about death and dying. Death is inevitable. It will...