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Happiness is an Inside Job

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Most of us are entering our second or third week of staying at home. For some its been longer and for others its just started. We are also well into Spring yet we are nesting as if its winter. There isn’t any place to run to because this virus is the world-over. Its leveled the playing field in many ways. I keep thinking (and mostly feeling), that when this is all said and done that we will emerge from our homes kinder, with bigger hearts. Time will tell. So, what to do in the meantime? Where can we find meaning and hope? For many who are bereaved, being alone has been a familiar friend so this time may not be as daunting because we already know aloneness. Yet, it can…
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Home Alone

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I’ve spent more time alone since my husband’s sudden passing 7 years ago than ever before so when the world started staying home over a week ago due to COVID-19, my life didn’t change that much. My dear mother-in-law has been isolated in a nursing home for almost 8 years now. When I called her yesterday on the 7th anniversary of my late husband’s passing (her son!), she too commented about this. We sat silent on the phone for a few minutes after that. We both understood. I later called my 86-year-old mother to check on her. Like my mother-in-law and me, she too is widowed and lives alone. My father has been gone for over 30 years, longer than they were married (26 years). I asked her if she…
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Beware of the Ides of March

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I hate March. My late husband died suddenly in March. I’d be just fine if we skipped the month altogether and went from February to April each year. Today is March 15th, The Ides of March. Many say it’s the unluckiest day of the year. The idea that March 15 (or "the ides of March") is unlucky goes back to ancient traditions and superstitions. Most people have probably heard the phrase "the ides of March" quoted from a famous line in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar: "Beware the ides of March." The phrase, spoken twice by a soothsayer, warns Caesar of his impending assassination. Even though March holds sad memories for me, I realize this day and month may hold happy memories for others. March could have your birthday, wedding anniversary,…
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When a Celebrity Dies

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Kobe Bryant, the basketball player died suddenly a week ago in a terrible helicopter crash and the world has been publicly grieving, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the passing of Princess Diana. I live in Los Angeles so it’s right in your face, you can’t avoid it. Memorials are popping up everywhere and especially at the Staples Center where he spent his career. They call it “the house that Kobe built.” Memorials grow every hour and people have flocked there from all over to pay their respects and just mourn together. One can easily be cynical over this. How can anyone grieve someone they’ve never met? How superficial many say. If you do a google search on the subject, you’ll find article after article on the topic.…
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Ifawouldacouldashoulda

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Do you ever get nostalgic and think about what your life would be like today if you made different decisions yesterday? I think this sentiment is common, especially for the bereaved. I was boy crazy since I took a breath of life. I searched for love all my life, found it at age 38 and lost it 13 years later when my late husband died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage, leaving me widowed at 51. 3 out of 4 of my siblings have been happily married for decades now. Most of my friends are as well. I’m the odd man out, the widow. Time and hard work have helped me not get down on myself over this and I find myself happy for others who have love. Yet, sometimes I…
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I Didn’t Believe it was Possible to Communicate with our Loved Ones on the Other Side Until it Happened to Me!

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Do you think its possible to have an actual conversation with our loved ones on the other side? If you ask a medium they will tell you yes, its absolutely possible to do this. I hear this often but I must admit I had doubts. The pattern usually goes like this, I have some sort of experience where it feels as if my late husband is near. Then times goes by and doubt creeps back in and I question what happened or justify and dismiss, until it happens again. I’ve heard many times over from others that non-verbal communication is how it goes on the other side. “Its an instant knowing,” the “purest form of communication,” because the answers just come, immediately as if they are stamped in your heart…
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Goodbye 2019, Welcome 2020

Holidays, Hope, Love, Memories, Widow
Wednesday we will not only be in a new year but also a new decade! I entered the last two decades with my late husband by my side and this time I will welcome the new year and decade without him. I’ll never forget our first New Years together. It was 1999 and everyone was into the Y2K scare. My late husband and I giggled at everyone lined up for bottled water that year even after the new decade had come and gone in other parts of the world without any feared glitches. We thought we had so much time together. We didn’t know what the future held for us but we had a strong bond of budding love at the time and both knew we were in it for…
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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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