March 13, 2017

10 Months Since My Husband Died

I had a string of things happen last week that jabbed at my heart and my brain (and exhausted me) to the point that I'm certain the Universe was trying to validate something I was mulling over.

You know how women have been particularly pissed off since last November, to the point that there was the biggest protest EVER the day after the inauguration? Then, last Wednesday was International Women's Day, when women were encouraged to participate in "A Day Without a Woman".

This isn't really about that. Per se.

I felt pretty sure there wasn't anyone in my life who was particularly keen on seeing the movie "The Shack", so I decided to go see it alone that day. I read the book years ago. I admit I couldn't really remember the details of the story, just that I liked its message.

Well shit. There is a big grief component to the story that I forgot all about until it started. I'm not one to shy away from things that could trigger The Feels, but I'm also not a glutton for punishment. I have been trying to avoid crying movies since Mark died because, obviously.

So I cried in my popcorn. And it was kind of hard to stop, sitting in that theater surrounded by a bunch of senior citizens.

But this isn't really about that, either. Per se.

Later that night I figured I should watch something lighter. I had started the (now canceled) series "Good Girls Revolt" (speaking of angry women) in recent days, so I continued with that. Nora Ephron is portrayed in a couple of the episodes.

Of course, I know who Nora Ephron was; "When Harry Met Sally" is one of my favorite movies of all time. But watching "her" in this show made me intrigued to know more, so the next day, I Googled her. While reading her Wikipedia page I learned that her son made a documentary about her titled "Everything is Copy".

After watching this documentary about a prolific female writer who put her personal life out there for the world....until she was sick and dying...which turned out to be where she drew the line....I was struck by an aha! moment.

I have been struggling with something, you see, turning it over and over in my mind for months now, and especially over the last several weeks as I continue to think, maybe I'll write a blog post today....well, maybe not.

For Nora, her illness was too private to share, even with her closest friends. They were stunned when finally told she was at death's door or had just passed. It was her line in the sand, the one thing that she kept to herself.

And I realize it is the same for me since Mark's death. I have become so much more private, only able or willing to share a few nuggets of what I'm going through or doing here and there.

I have found some other widows who write to be completely open, lay it all out there. I thought that would be me too, Ms-Wears-Her-Heart-on-Her-Sleeve. Instead, it's like my grief and widowhood journeys are mine alone. They're not for public consumption. I've discovered that it's deeply personal and private for me, much to my dismay as a blogger.

I have posted here only eight times in the ten months since my husband died.

The first was just his obituary, and another was a cookie recipe.

So really only six posts of any real substance. In ten months.

This is notable because, in my blogging heyday, I posted, like, every other day. I was an open book, writing about anything and everything as the mood struck me.

While I did slow down in the last two years of Mark's life, that was only because I had less time to write for taking care of him. I don't have that excuse now.

But this doesn't only pertain to blogging, I don't share much about how I'm doing anywhere, with very many people at all.

It's just....mine. I'm holding it in my chest. Like, literally, when I think or talk about my loss or grief, my hand goes to my chest.

It's mine to go through and figure out, and I can't handle the idea of being judged for how I go about any of it.

My husband died 10 months ago yesterday. I made his recipe for biscuits and gravy, the best I've ever had in my life. When I was grocery shopping, Walmart was completely out of the tubes of regular Jimmy Dean sausage, so I had to buy the off-brand. I thought to myself as I was cooking it up, I hope Mark isn't appalled.

January 12, 2017

8 Months Since My Husband Died & One Word for 2017

The song "Take it All" by the amazing Adele is one that speaks to me as I journey through the grief process.

Actually, it spoke to me even before Mark passed away. Probably because I knew he was going to (have to) leave me. I've really been grieving for, like two and a half years.

The lyrics are most obviously about a break-up. My husband and I didn't break up, but I've always thought that many love/break-up songs can easily be applied to other circumstances; felt in other ways, for other reasons.

December 16, 2016

Uncle John's Flippin' Fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is the Holiday season and regardless of anything else going on in the world, the Holidays call for cookies!

Although I fell in love with these chocolate chip cookies a few years ago, I only got my hands on the recipe about a year ago.

You see, I am a connoisseur of chocolate chip cookies. They are my favoritest kind of cookie. In my opinion, the best chocolate chip cookie is slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Also, not little. A small cookie is just annoying.

This recipe delivers.

November 11, 2016

6 Months Since My Husband Died

My husband died six months ago.

And it seems that all I can manage to write since he died are these periodic check-ins.

(By the way, if you would like to follow more of what's going on with me, I do share updates more often than writing a whole blog post, on Instagram and Facebook.)

It seems that grief over the loss of one's spouse is pretty much all-consuming. While all loss of loved ones is hard and sad and sucky, I've come to believe that the death of the person you married is probably the worst (except for maybe the loss of a child). The hardest to get through or over or how ever you want to say it.

October 11, 2016

15 Quotes on Grieving

Two years ago this month I shared nine quotes I liked that had to do with grief.

I had felt grief, but it was naive grief, I believe. On the periphery, if you will. Before I had lost one of the most important people I will ever have in my life.

The quotes I shared before are fine. Good, actually. I mean, anything Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has said is excellent.

But there are several more that have touched my heart since my husband died, that truly resonate. That I have found and shared randomly but wanted to compile  and elaborate on.

For me specifically, my children have "mom's sad" radar and get very concerned and want to make it better. It's sweet, but also a little stifling in that it makes me feel like I can't fully openly grieve around them.

August 12, 2016

Three Months Since My Husband Died

I have wanted to write about things other than my husband's death and my and my kids' grief in the last month and a half....

I really have.

My daughter's Sweet 16 birthday, for example. With a lot of help from my besties, I threw her a luau themed party (on a cloudy Puget Sound day). Throwing parties is not something I do often (or well), but she loved it and had a great time, which was all that mattered to me.

I remember telling Mark when I first started thinking about having a big to-do for her, that it would happen no matter what, like if he was in the hospital or something. He asked why he'd be in the hospital and I replied, "because you just are sometimes, duh!" He asserted that he wouldn't be in the hospital.

I suppose he was right.