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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Gratitude

Why am I not happy? Why do I feel so stuck sometimes? Is it grief? Yes. That’s part of it. But there are times when I procrastinate. There are times when I don’t feel like doing anything. There are times when I simply want to stay in bed and not get up to face another day. Oh yeah. That’s what grief does. But sometimes, I know it’s more than just the grief. And somehow, I think we may all feel the same way sometimes. Perhaps a new perspective could prove valuable?   In recent weeks, as I have continued to...

Weeds

Sometimes, I can’t think of anything to write. This week has been one of those weeks. Today’s post is going to be short. And I am trying to find the words to write. The rules that govern my content on one of the blogs I write for (I am writing a post for three different blogs each week) say that I can’t mention politics, because it’s too divisive. Nor can I give advice or talk about my personal coaching business. So, what do I want to write about this week? Weeds. Yep. Weeds. This week, I spent a couple of...