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...

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...

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...

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...

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”...