Thanksgiving Grief

When ‘they’ said the second year would be harder, I didn’t think it would happen to me. After all, I’ve been doing very well with Greta lately.

But then the anxiety came with a vengeance on Thanksgiving day and if this is just a taste of it, God help me!

The entire day (Thanksgiving), I was on this little weird grief cloud, some of you may know what that odd-feeling is like.

Like almost walking in a dream, knowing that I’ll wake up at some point to deal with the anxiety building up.

I’ve learned that this is a defense mechanism. Something my body does to protect itself from an anxiety attack.

Then I “woke up” just minutes before having to go to my parents.

I had to calm down before I ended up bringing Greta to my parents. I wasn’t going to be the party pooper.

I waited and calmed down. I went to dinner but I didn’t stay long, then I came back home to have a couple of drinks, plop myself on the couch, and do some online shopping.

Yep, sure enough, the second-year holiday was worse than the first.

And it sucks!

Up next…

Christmas

His Birthday

His Home-going.

I would like to be asleep for the next four months, please.

Miss you, Bubb!

Desperately.

“Go for a run”

The advice one of my dearest friends that I’ve made this last year has given me.
He knows what he’s talking about after all. He too lost the love of his life.

I take his advice as expert advice. He’s been doing this way longer than me!

So I listened.

I went for a run.
The runs suddenly turned into workout sessions and about a year later here I stand, in the best shape of my life.
Fueled by grief, because I refuse to let grief overtake me.

So, if suddenly you find yourself in the depths of grief. Let me pass on this piece of advice…

Go for a run!

Year One

And just like that…

One whole year that the world has turned without his existence.

Some days it seems like 5 days ago and others it seems like 50 yrs.

Life has slowly started to make some sort of sense again. Though some days I’m still dumbfounded and wonder if this actually happened.

I miss him dearly.

Every single day, every single second of the rest of my existence, but I chose to move forward. I refuse to be held captive by the deception of Greta (what I call my grief).

I celebrated the memory of his life yesterday. I took the day off in observance of his passing. I dedicated the entire day to his memory.

And today I go back to this new normal. My new life. Back to work, back to life, back to reality.

The Secret Santa Tie


I am my boss’s Secret Santa, talk about pressure! ⁣

I got him candy, some silly socks as requested and I handcrafted decor for his office.⁣

But as I was reading his profile, this tie came to mind! ⁣

And so I gifted him my husband’s tie. This is what I wrote on the note: ⁣

I believe gifts have to have a story. That they have to be practical, that they are better when they are handmade, and that second hand is always best.⁣

Like this tie.⁣

Though not handmade, it is practical, it is second-hand, and it has a story.⁣

Boy does it have a story.⁣

This tie was owned by the greatest man I’ve ever known.⁣

Had you complimented his tie while he was wearing it, he would have taken it off and given it to you without question. Even as a total stranger, but in return, he would have asked for you to listen to one of his infamous dad-jokes which would have likely been made up on the spot.⁣

He was the type of guy who would never leave a room without making at least one friend.⁣

He was a NAVY vet who was funny, kind, wise, easy-going, and always stood up for what was right even if it went against the status quo. ⁣

He would have loved knowing that this tie is going to be worn by an elementary school principal, his best audience after all happened to be 5-12yr olds. They always laughed at his jokes!⁣

Don’t be surprised if magically you start thinking up of random knock-knock jokes, puns, etc. It’s likely some of the Wesley Magic woven inside of it. ⁣

Merry Christmas, I hope you like the story of this tie.⁣

In a complicated relationship…

⁣⁣
In a complicated relationship with…⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Grief.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
About two months ago I decided it was time.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Time to wear my wedding rings differently.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Wearing them on my left hand just felt fake. Like I was in denial. But not wearing them at all wasn’t an option. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
So I’ve been wearing them on my right hand. On the days when the grief is heavy, I wear them on my left (so please be kind to me if you see me wearing them on my left).⁣⁣
⁣⁣
This grief thing is so complicated. It’s a continuous internal struggle with self-doubt and questioning the things that may seem so simple to others.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Friends, it isn’t that simple.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
The struggle is real! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Real hard, real confusing, real crazy, real sad, real comforting, real beautiful, real weird, real UGH!⁣⁣
⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

You Are Worthy Of New Beginnings

Welcome to my bedroom.

I did it!

All but one photo came down.
No more wedding, His & Her’s bedroom wall.

It’s now just HERS.

I changed the bedding to bright, happy florals. My mom made me pillowcases out of two of his shirts, and I kept his pillow case that still smells like him to snuggle up to like a blankie when I go to sleep.

Widowhood is weird, confusing, lonely, and of course, sad.

But if you don’t let the sadness overtake you, happiness lies in the love that once was and with that comes freedom.

“You are worthy of new beginnings”

Yes you are!

6 Months of Healing

Shortly after his passing, the world began to fall apart.

Not surprising.
His presence made THAT much of an impact on this world.

Six months ago I couldn’t even picture surviving the 5 minutes ahead of me.

Somehow, I’ve managed to do it for six whole months!

In the last six months, I’ve had a lot of therapy.

I’ve cried quite possibly more than I’ve cried in my entire life!

I’ve read about 1,000 books.

I’ve lost 13 lbs

I’ve learned to cook for one.

I’ve managed to pay all the bills on time.

I landed an amazing job.

I’ve met about 100 new friends.

I’ve taken up running.

I’ve managed to open my eyes every day.

Somehow managed to get out of bed.

And somehow remembered to breathe.

I miss him still.

I love him even more now!

I remember him in everything I do.

And I talk about him any chance that I get.

Crazy how six months can fly by, yet at the same time, it seems like an eternity ago.

I’ve done a lot of healing in the last six months and I look forward to all the healing that’s to come.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

The Year of Firsts – Our Wedding Anniversary

How to honor him on this 7th wedding anniversary?

When honestly all I want to do is stay in bed and cry.

But how would that honor him?

I can’t think of anything except for honoring him by remembering the way he loved me.

Man did this man L-O-V-E me!

On our 4th anniversary, he took to the keyboard and blessed me with these words that I will forever cherish.

And this is just a small example of how daily he would show and tell me how much he loved me (even when we fought).

The last paragraph hit me hard. (his full post below)

“When I remember my dad telling. me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will. I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend.”

Oh, Bubba. How my life has been blessed to have had you for the last fourteen years.

Thank you for finishing up your life on this earth with me as your bride. (I love how he always called me his bride and not his wife.)

You never gave up on me, though we had it rough for the first couple of years of our marriage. And you put up with so much of my stubbornness. My life has forever been blessed to have had you share your life with me for those short years.

Happy Anniversary!

Wes post on July 6, 2017:

The older I get, the more amazed I become by the longetivity of some things – especially now that I’ve gained the perspective of time as a man in his mid forties. As a teenager, I, as with just about everyone else alive, had only my teenage conception time.  Understandably so, all of our older friends and acquaintances have much more experience than us and thusly, their experience of time is much more different than ours. 

    Both you and I have friends who have retired from the military; lived in their homes for decades; been married for forty plus years.  

     I can remember back in the early 2000’s a relationship I had with someone for five years came to an end.  I told my parents, who both  liked her very much.  My dad, rest his soul, was visibly upset.  

    “Why can’t you just finish something?!  Just do something.”

    I thought I was already on that train.  However, from the outside looking in, I obviously wasn’t.  

     Fast forward to St. Patrick’s Day 2006, and I met you; who would know that you would become my bride and partner for life. I didn’t know it then, but now I do and I’m so very excited and eager to build a life with you; much like the lives of some of our friends and acquaintances at church, only our own story.

    When we looked into each others’ eyes on this day in 2013, I’m pretty sure neither of us had any idea of the path God would take us on, just like we currently don’t know the path on which God currently has us and will take us in the future.  I’m just so extremely happy and excited that I get to travel down God’s path with you, my love.  

    One of the final scenes in an all-time favorite movie of mine, For The Love of The Game, depicts Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) after arguably one of the greatest days of his life; he threw a perfect game – no small feat in baseball (140 years, only 23 perfect games). 

     What should have been one of the happiest days of his life quickly became meaningless as he was hit by the reality that he no longer had the love of his life, Jane Aubry (Kelly Preston), with him to share.  He felt empty without her and he couldn’t feel a single iota of the jubilation his fans felt after the perfect game.   I can honestly say that when I have a triumphant moment, I feel empty until I get to share it with you.

    To quote Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) in Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.”  You do.  I love to cook for you; I love to surprise you; I love seeing the joy in your eyes, especially when I know that it was me who brought it to you.

    My love, mi amor, there are so many things I long to share with you; so many memories I yearn to create.  When I remember my dad telling me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will.  I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend.  I love you and it only grows stronger the longer we are together.

Happy 4th Anniversary, honey Mimi, my love.

anniversary dinner through the years.
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Dreading July 6th

I’ve been avoiding Greta.

This chick has been trying to get in for the last week or so.

Ugh!

So, last night I let her in.

I realized she’ll likely be here for a week or so since our 7th wedding anniversary is coming up on July 6th.

Fine, Greta!
You can stay for a week, but you better leave the second the clock strikes midnight on July 7th!

p.s.

If I ever decide to remarry, please remind me not to do it on a holiday weekend.

International Widows Day

What do these 3 brides have in common?

The 3 of us belong to a club that none of us EVER signed up for… 

The Young Widows Club.


I met these two amazingly strong women through this (unofficial) club (their stories below) .


The three of us lost our husbands 3 days apart of each other.

Kelsey lost her Brad on 2/15/20, I lost my Wesley on 2/18/20, and Sarah lost Scott on 2/21/20.


Today we celebrate (odd word to use) International Widows Day.

We get a day?

So, do we win anything?

How do we celebrate?

How can you help us (or a widow) today?

Here’s how:

Call us!

Text us!

Tell us that you are thinking about us!

Share a funny memory of our husbands with us.

And say their names!

WESLEY!

BRAD!

SCOTT!

Being a widow sucks!

We hope that you never join our club.

Now drop everything that you are doing and go hug your husband!

Tell him you love him.
And forget that minimal thing he did last night to piss you off!

Sarah

In her words…

Scott and I were married on 9/1/18. We were friends in college but didn’t date. We reconnected in 2017 and knew instantly that we wanted to get married and spend our lives together. We bought a farm property in Oklahoma and loved spending time with our animals and friends/family. We struggled with infertility since the beginning of our marriage and did 2 rounds of IVF. On my way back home from our 2nd round in Barbados, I got a phone call that Scott had suffered a seizure and heart attach while reaching a college class. Scott was in the ICU unconscious and passed 3 days later. He was an organ donor and saved several lives with his gift. We have 2 frozen embryos in Barbados and I hope to transfer one as soon as Covid allows for travel to resume.

Kelsey

In her words…

Brad and I met in December of 2017. Although both being shy, we quickly knew we deeply loved each other and wanted to spend our lives following Jesus together. We got married in September of 2018. My husband continually displayed the Lord’s love and kindness in all he did and said, including using his degree in mechanics to fix cars and really anything that needed repaired.
My husband was born with a lung defect, which nearly took his life in 2014. After coming out of his coma and beginning the healing process, he gave his life to Christ. The doctors were unsure if complications of his lung defect would resurface, but there wasn’t anything that could be done to prevent it… without high, high, high risks.

Brad then lived a healthy and active life, while being closely monitored by his doctors. He had no signs of sickness until January, 2020. The doctors then tried many procedures, however, he passed away of severe complications at the age of 25 years old. February 15, 2020 is the day he went to Heaven. Three of his vital organs were donated to save lives, which so beautifully displays what he wanted to do with his life, and in his passing: to continue to give of himself to serve others and point them to Jesus.
It’s been four months and I miss my husband more than words can express. I am taking it one day at a time, because looking ahead is too overwhelming. I do know I will see and spend eternity with Brad in heaven. I look forward to that. But in the mean time, God has me here for a purpose.