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...

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...

Falling Backwards

Over the last week, I have been hit by several large waves of grief. Quite frankly, it sucks. It has been a long time since I have felt like this. First, I want to talk about triggers and what I think kicked it off for me, so starting with a bit of a rant here. Maybe the trigger was the fact that many places are starting to reopen after sheltering in place for CoVID-19, and I fear we are about to revert to the type of “normal” we were experiencing prior to the pandemic. If so, then to me, this...

Breaking Down — Making Amends

This morning, I had a “break down.” What does that actually, really mean? Did I truly break down? Did I break and now need fixing? Or, did I really just lay on the carpeted floor of my office and ugly cry for around 10-minutes vacillating between feeling sorry for myself, scolding myself for it and then trying to make myself feel better (by saying it was “okay to not be okay”)? I was feeling sorry for myself again. “Why did Suzanne leave me?” “Why did she have to die?” “Why is this so unfair?” The light of my life… before...

Friends

When I became a widower, I was hopelessly lost. My senses went into overdrive and my feelings were so intense and alien to me, I was in a complete state pf panic and a total fog. It felt like I was in a freefall. It was as if the rug that I had been walking on all of my life had suddenly and dramatically been pulled out from beneath my feet and there was no floor underneath me. The sensation of falling into an abyss had never been more acute. The saving grace were the friends and family that showed...

I’m Not Ashamed

I had prepared a different post to publish today (not this one), but I changed my mind. Instead, I felt compelled to write about how it feels to arrive at the 18-month mark since Suzanne died. On my personal Facebook page, the memory of what I wrote 1-year ago came up and I posted it—it was from when I was “6-months out.” In that post at 6-months, I said this: Six months. Six months since I last kissed you and you knew I was there. Six months since I had my hand on your heart as it beat for the...

Serenity

In the wake of Suzanne dying, I struggled to find true peace. How did others do it, I wondered? Some turn to “god”, religion, etc. Others turn to self-medicating (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Some find it in more unconventional ways. I finally fell into the last category. When Suzanne died, my whole world shattered. The girls suffered. Her parents suffered. I suffered. How would I ever find any peace, tranquility or serenity in my life again? Life is strange when someone you truly love dies. I can only talk about my own experience, but it definitely seemed difficult to find anything...

“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,...

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...