Facing Greif Helps, Even Though it Hurts!

Holidays, Memories, Widow
I was recently asked to be a contributing writer for an article about celebrating/commemorating our loved one’s birthdays who have passed. This of course immediately made me think of my own bereavement journey. I’ll never forget my late husband’s first birthday after he passed. It was at about the 6-month mark. The shock had worn off and I was in the midst of staring grief right in the face! It was torture, really.  No one prepares you for this. I honestly had silly fantasies about grief that were not reality based. I used to think that something good would happen to balance out all the bad and quickly learned that life doesn’t work this way. Instead, life just keeps moving forward without our loved ones in it. I did however…
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I Packed up Memories & Took them with Me

Love
18 years ago today my late husband, Glenn and I said “I do.” I never met anyone like Glenn before. He loved me from the start and never got tired of the chase. He actually went to the same coffee shop every day for three years trying to meet me. My then teenage son worked there so I would visit often. I remember Glenn and used to watch him from afar. I knew he wanted to meet me but for whatever dumb reason I had at the time I resisted. It wasn’t until my BFF and I were in Europe on a whirlwind vacation three years later, where she told me she thought it was time for me to settle down and get married. I had been a single mom…
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Forgiveness

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I’ve been surprised by grief. There are so many things about grief and loss that I had no idea about until it happened to me. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since being widowed is how my heart has grown and forgiveness, over time, has come naturally. Many act out after loss. Grief has a funny way to making people act wonky. Families can turn on each other over the slightest thing and life-long friendships can end over silly misunderstandings. Grief has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people. After my husband died suddenly I did what I thought was the right thing to do and planned what I thought was a very thoughtful funeral and then a memorial service a few months…
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Anniversary Time

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Tomorrow would have been my late husband’s 64th birthday. He only made it to 57. Then, just two weeks later will be our wedding anniversary. The first four years after Glenn’s passing I would walk to the beach early in the morning on his birthday, where we used to often walk as a couple and leave a bouquet of happy birthday balloons and flowers. Then I moved house to a local beach community and stopped this tradition. Not for any reason, really other than feeling a shift in my grief as if its now planted in my heart forever, as loving memories. Many report having major grief waves hit during anniversary times. I’ve found this to be true as well. However if I sit back and notice, it tends to…
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Full Moons

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I used to love full moons. When I was a child we lived in far and away places where you saw the Milky Way each night and full moons shined like the sun. My father always told me that the moon was my friend and if I looked carefully I would notice that it followed me. He said that the full moon was a guardian angel of sorts and was always there and always will be. My husband died suddenly during a full moon. I’ll never forget the image of that big round full moon shining through the window just above my husband’s hospital bed on that fateful night before he took his last breath. Just after 2am on that horrible night I left the ICU for the last time…
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I Packed Up My Memories & Took Them With Me!

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At the end of the third year after my loss I moved from the house that my late husband I shared for over ten years to a local beach community about 10 miles down the coast. I had to downsize and got rid of 80% of our belongings to fit into my place. This was tough to do! I was afraid the memories of our time together would disappear forever. I feared before that move that time would take away my memories of us. I didn’t have many pictures of Glenn and only one 30 second video. Glenn was always on the other side of the camera and taking pictures of everyone else so the few I have of Glenn are very precious! Evidently, this is common for the bereaved.…
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So, you walk on through the dark

Hope, Love
The first fall/winter when I was widowed was rough for me. The shock had worn off and I was miserable. I hadn’t really learned about grief yet and what that was all about. This was before I knew that grieving was a journey, not a destination, nor a time. Those first few months I would spend hours in my home starring at the walls like a zombie. Then one day I stumbled upon a saying by the Canadian Singer/Poet, Leonard Cohen. “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I was speechless, I could feel the meaning to my core and remember breaking down in tears. I must have cried for at least an hour. My sweet dog, Hannah came running to my side to comfort…
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Balance

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Tomorrow is the first official day of fall, the Autumn Equinox. Equinox is a Latin word also called, autumnal point. The position of the sun at the time of the autumnal equinox crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth, In essence balance. As we leave summer behind and head into fall, many think of harvest time where celebrations take place, families and friends get together more often to spend quality time together as we prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Yet for the bereaved this time of year can start a season of grief with triggers, anniversaries, memories and just wanting our loves ones with us during this special time of year. My late husband’s birthday is in…
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The Gift of Shock

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On March 23, 2013 when I was out doing errands, my husband Glenn suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. When I arrived back home I found him in bed in duress. Just staring at me with his big blue/grey eyes. His eyes were big as a house and seemed to look right through me. It was soon evident that Glenn was in trouble. He tried to tell me something, but it came out all gobbledygook. I remember calling 911, doing life support measures and calmly stepping aside for the paramedics so they could take over. This calmness continued for the five days while I sat vigil by his side in the ICU, took him off life support, planned his funeral and memorial service. At first, I thought something was wrong with…
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Dreams

Dreams, Love, Memories, Widow
About four months after my husband’s sudden and unexpected passing he came to me in a dream to let me know why he had died before his time. The dream began as if it was any other day. Glenn and I were in his truck driving on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. Mulholland is a famous road atop the city with amazing views as it curves around large corners. It stretches from Malibu to downtown Los Angeles. You’d probably recognize it from car commercials on TV. We were riding along as if Glenn was alive and well. I had no idea he was dead at this point. It felt and seemed so real. I was happy at that moment to be with Glenn again. Suddenly I noticed that he was…
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