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...

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...

Unalome

What is an unalome? It’s a symbol. There are many styles of unalome, but this is a post about the meaning. But one particular unalome has an even more profound meaning for me than the “definition” of the unalome. The unalome symbol represents the path to enlightenment in the Buddhist culture. The dots at the start of the symbol represent when we are conceived and then born. Essentially, this is the moment we become something from nothing. The spirals are meant to symbolize the twists and turns in life, and the straight line the moment one reaches enlightenment, or “peace and...

Distraction

Among the many things I have been told since Suzanne died was that I should not try to distract myself from the grief. No matter what the form, a distraction (from what I can gather) is anything I do that stops me from thinking about Suzanne’s death and my love for her while I am in the process of thinking about it (and feeling sad, upset, angry, etc.). What I find is that it’s nearly impossible not to get distracted by something. Children, work, TV, walking, doing anything… Pretty much whatever one may do after our person dies will be...