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...

Acceptance

The original title of this post was going to be awakening. But the real thing I felt compelled to write about was acceptance. It was an awakening of sorts that led me to the point of acceptance, so in some respects, this post is still about that concept. When I write about awakening, I am not talking about either the literal sense or the religious/spiritual sense. Well, not exactly, anyway. My awakening was the rationalization that Suzanne was truly gone. It didn’t actually take very long after she died. In fact, I woke up, bolt upright, in the middle of...

Anxiety

That word. “Anxiety.” It used to drive me nuts when Suzanne, or my daughters, would mention they had it. The reason was: I didn’t get it—literally and figuratively. Anxiety always seemed to provide a convenient excuse to not get involved or do something. It was never a problem when we had fun things to do… But something serious? That was another story. One or all of them was always getting anxious when something serious was taking place… In all my life (I’m inching closer to 52 years old now), I had never experienced anxiety. In fact, I never really felt...

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...

“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”...

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...