9 months… trying to live

So I have not been writing as much. I got myself out of whack. Sometimes when I write I have to tell the story I am ready to share or the circumstance I am prepared to explain. I have been doing far better than I would have thought I could be at 9 months. I miss him but I do not really want to talk about it or think on it at this moment.

The fact is I have been alone, lonely, untouched, and feeling unloved for longer than 9 months. I know that he loved me intellectually but he just could not show it. It has to be years of this.

I am tired of this loneliness this constant feeling of empty. I feel like I want to claw my way out but I have nothing to cling to. I am trying to meet people, to do new things, to attempt to find someone who can look at me the way I should be looked at. It is so hard. It feels bad to be out there searching. I thought I had done the leg work many years ago.

The even harder part is how far out of practice I am. 12 years ago it was a different ballgame. Things like online dating, emoticons, acronyms, are Greek to me. Signs of flirting must have changed. Apparently flirting just does not mean anything now? I thought blushing when you see someone signified interest in them but that may not be the 2017 version of dating. I thought that when someone asks if they should call you it means they want to actually get your digits and call you. I will not even speak the emotionally unbalanced 34 yr old I found on OK Cupid who basically implied I should change and be more needy (amongst other crazy things he said over 5 days).

I hoped that me being 36 would still allow me to date people in my 30’s but the fact is the guys who are interested are 40+. The guys that flirt and seem interested do not really want me, it appears! It seems to me that the ones I do not like are all about trying to get to know me.

My late husband says I will find someone who can open up to me and I will be happier (through the medium) but the fact is I do not know how I will even pickup and continue looking.

At 9 months I am lost and unsure but I am trying. I wish I had a rock to grab onto. I would not let myself anyways though would I?

I have to come to terms with the fact that my independence is needed to stay alive as a grief wave rider. And guys cannot handle the lack of NEED. 

I am not even sure if I am articulating this correctly. This quote says it all. I hope the weirdo calls…

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Support Systems: Mediums

When my husband passed away I did not have a note. I did not have a warning. I did not have any preparation that he was going to do this. I had shock. After all the planning that I did for the services and my time off from work. I still had nothing but questions remaining .

WHY? WHY? WHY? and What did I miss that killed him? How could I have stopped this?

A few of my long time friends suggested that I go see a medium. I had never done it. I did not want to made a fool of or taken advantage of. I just was not sure. Looming over me were the questions.

On April 19th after months of waiting (this person books 4-5 months out easily). I went to see this highly recommended medium (who does Reiki and psychic work too).

I just want to cut the suspense for you so that you can freely join the ride and hear the importance…. this was the BEST DECISION I MADE. This was a TURNING POINT in my grief journey. I am beyond thankful I went.

That said do your research on who you go to there are people who are not so honest in this industry as with any.

April 19th a Tuesday:

I went into her office and laid down on the massage table. She looked into my chakras and energy and found everything to be closed off. Normal for what I had gone through. She immediately noted I had been around significant amounts of loss. I said nothing.

The medium mentioned that two spirits had interest in coming through. She said one is male and one is female. The male is younger. I said nothing. *Secretly hoping she picked the younger male. She did. Immediately her head began to hurt badly and she right away asked did this person shoot himself and then as I shook my head no her throat constricted to the point where she could barely breathe. She knew. I knew. He died by hanging. Nothing needed saying. He showed her where he did it and quickly asked her to leave the house with him as he preferred to be in nature and outside. She described the view he showed her and it was our land creek and all.

When it came down to it there were many important things mentioned. I had questions but held them to the end or did not ask at all because I wanted this to be pure. I was worried to tip the answers. I was hot as can be while he was there and I felt a heavy presence around me like the air had changed.

He showed her a kaleidoscope of dark images. The inside of his mind and the dark thoughts that had been plaguing him. She mentioned this had gone on so long.

He expressed his love for me and apologized several times. He immediately wanted me to understand that it was not my fault at all. That this was his own view of things, it was in his head. He wanted her to tell me “it was his shit it was all my shit” and “his head was fucked up”. I remember her struggling to swear as she does not like to and his persistence to get me to understand with those words. He said I could not have done anything to save him. He did not have the words to tell me what was wrong. I could not have asked one extra question. Even if he had the words he was ashamed and would not have asked for help.

He thanked me for showing him love (which was similar to our wedding vows he wrote so that really stuck out).

When I did ask later why did you get so angry with me he showed her that he wanted me to turn my back on him for a long time so that when he left this would not hurt so much. He showed that I never did turn my back on him.

Besides some of the things that were poignant surrounding the suicide he provided clarifying small things that showed us married (symbol of two rings entwined) an image of someone with his same name that happened to be the medium’s son so that she could qualify to me who he was. He even made sure he mentioned things that I said out loud to other people (like when I was in the car with a friend telling me about where his parents have homes he showed those states to the medium).

Then he went into different areas of my life.

  • He asked me to watch out for one of our friends and I have since severed ties with him.
  • He mentioned he was glad that family had his things (especially the one with the watch he showed the image of the band). That was someone he was very close to. He showed my large family as warmth and that we kept him alive longer than he would have been.
  • He mentioned work would continue to open doors for me.
  • He was happy to have the chance to get some of this out. He was happy I came.
  • He expressed that he could not show me love and affection properly because he did not know how to and had not seen it growing up.
  • He expressed that I would find love again and he would make sure they were not a “scumbag” (which is what I used to call all the people I dated before him except for one guy).
  • He said I may have a daughter someday maybe.
  • He mentioned dates that would be important or turning points (september in NY)
  • He told me to live, dance , and be happy
  • He would see me in the birds and nature and he will be watching out for me. (He told me he comes a lot but I do not pay attention).

The way I understand it is that they “speak” in symbols, images, and show the story to the medium. She is there to interpret them for us. It is an amazing experience. Go in skeptical but open.

I went back to this same medium in June on the 22nd because she had an opening and I happened to be home. My husband came through but also said he wanted this time to be for me so that I can work on the other things like Energy, Chakras, and my future.

Year to Date I have seen 2 mediums 4 times. There is a lot of the same things and consistency in the messages. The first reading is the one I have highlight because it was the most comprehensive and the one that helped me move forward the most. I also saw the other medium I believe in May and then again on the 21st of July along with a lot of work on my energy.

  • Both mentioned it was his issues only not anything with me
  • Both mentioned finding love again
  • Both mentioned the possibility of a daughter
  • Both expressed that my husband was in severe and intense pain on this Earth
  • Both let me know he is in heaven and doing well and living in nature

I am withholding some information on here because it speaks to my future and affects others so I will not share that.

The day after the first reading I flew home and looked outside and the Cardinal was there for the first time watching out for me. He came again at the 6 month anniversary of his passing. Another time the day of the tattoo. He comes now and again to see and check on me but I know sometimes I am not paying attention.

 

Special Announcement- Now active on Facebook- Grief Waves Young Widow Warriors Suicide Survivors Support Group

Grief Waves has decided to start an online support group called Grief Waves Young Widow Warriors Suicide Support. If this is you please join us!

This group was created as a safe place for Young Widow Warriors who have lost their spouse/significant other to suicide. Loss of a spouse at any age is hard, but adding the layers of unexpectedness and suicide is nearly unbearable. There are many grief support groups out there for Widows but not many deal with the younger adult and suicide as well. This is targeted so that we can get the help and support we need from each other. The group was created to discuss grief, loss, suicide, love, Widow Life, how to cope, therapy, EMDR, life Re-entry, resiliency, acceptance, and how to live and flourish after this loss. Welcome to this safe, kind, and accepting place we can ride the waves of grief together and hold each other up like pieces of driftwood.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GriefWavesYoungWidowWarriorsSuicideSupport/

 

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REBLOG—-A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement

I have never re-blogged before but this topic had to be spoken about. Thank you to Erica Roman for this thoughtful blog entry!!

I cannot believe anyone would judge this man for finding love again. This man lost his wife unexpectedly a little over a year ago. He has managed to find love again and is engaged to be married. Until you walk a day in the shoes of an unexpected Widow or Widower and know what it feels like you should not judge. Even then you should not judge. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone grieves differently. It is none of your business when a Widow(er) moves on. We are in living hell, sad, lonely, and in my case young and unexpectedly the rug was pulled out from under me and my husband died. I did not ask to be here in this space. I did not ask for him to leave we did not divorce. We were in love and then he was gone. The fact that Widow(ers) are resilient and can get up and attempt to trust someone and perhaps love someone again is remarkable. Life is short so we should all not be afraid to live and love again. My personal journey is no one’s business but I can totally see how someone could find love this fast. Widow(ers) know that life is fleeting, that we are all dying. We learn to live in the moment. When we feel something we usually decide to take the risk and tell the other person. If you would think less of me for moving on from a life I did not choose. Please do me a favor and de-friend me now because judgement of anyone has no place in my world. Great blog post from a Widow on the topic. I can only hope that some day someone will love me again and I can share the remaining years I have with a wonderful man. Living this great life alone is not what any of us signed up for.

Best of luck Patton Oswalt may she bring you happiness, joy, and life!

Erica Roman Blog

Yesterday I was very excited to see that the comedian Patton Oswalt had announced his engagement to Meredith Salenger. Now, anyone who know’s me knows that I don’t follow the lives of celebrities at all. I’ve made an exception for him. Our spouses both unexpectedly died within 3 days of each other and both of us have processed our grief journey fairly openly. (Of course, his platform is a mite bigger than mine lol)

On the 102nd day of his journey (105 for me) he wrote in a Facebook post,

“I was face-down and frozen for weeks. It’s 102 days later and I can confidently say I have reached a point where I’m crawling. Which, objectively, is an improvement. Maybe 102 days later I’ll be walking.”

I shared that post on my own page because I could connect to that place he was in. No longer frozen, but the…

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I interrupt this Grief Wave for a random thought on Wanting and Living

So I know I am supposed to continue on about support systems as I am exploring all of them. It should be Support systems and mediums today. But, this is my blog and my outlet. I do not know who reads it and who does not and that is ok. It is anonymous for a reason. It is here to share my thoughts and continue my honest truth and living presently. I have bottled up some of the stuff beyond the grief.

So, instead of support and mediums. I bring you this….

I am being me. I am living. I am 8.5 months into this and I am ok. I am happy sometimes. I am sad sometimes. I am angry sometimes. I am emotional sometimes. I am quiet and a loner sometimes. I am ready for action sometimes. I do not need anyone or anything really in order to get by (well maybe some help w my 5 pets when I travel!) I am independent, self-reliant, smart, educated, and successful. I own a place, pay my bills, work hard and play hard. My heart is huge and empty but that is just how it is right now. I am learning to go on hikes and swim alone, reading a ton, writing even more, booking yoga retreats and maybe even camping too. I am learning to live like I never have; taking back what his depression took from us. I admit I have been convinced to try the crazy online dating thing. Guys ask me out at bars, random places, or online. I am finding peace and happiness in myself and in this moment.

It is not about getting a date; that is easy; it’s finding a person who I could even consider talking beyond one moment to. The guy that challenges your mind, that shares your beliefs, that makes your heart beat faster, that infuriates you in a good way, that makes you want again. That pulls you closer with one look. That you knew the moment you saw them that they would impact your life forever.

So, I have convinced you this is not need. That I am riding grief waves with the best of them and not drowning.

I cannot control however that I sometimes Want. I want to share things with him, laugh with him, hold him close to me, I want to develop something again, I want my friend to be there more. Who would not want to share time with someone they get along well with. I think I blew it long ago (well that’s pretty much what he said). I expressed where I am at and was shot down. But I was honest, raw, open, and vulnerable for the first time in a long time.

I am doing fine, I am not crying and pining away. I am not depressed. I did not stop living and woe is me. It’s more of a disappointment. I am strong and resilient. I am doing me. I am opening myself up to new things, new people, experiences. I have been through hell and this is NOT going to break me if THAT did not.

The Want I have to let go of is there in the background.

I cannot control how I started to feel, how he feels, or how either of us choose to respond to those feelings or lack thereof. I know that he either feels nothing, feels something & won’t admit it, or sees no reason to explore for a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s scary to try for him I know for sure it is for me. Maybe for some people risk outweighs potential benefits. Maybe the past is harder to forget than people think. Maybe there is someone else. Maybe he doesn’t want to look like the one who is talking to the Widow Girl. And the worst one maybe a person can be attracted to and friendly with someone, but not want more than that because they simply are uninterested and feel nothing around them. Ouch that one hurts.

It is not about the future it is about the present moment. And now at this moment we are not on the same page and that is ok. It is not my place to change his mind, convince him I won’t hurt him again, or give him my list of qualities. Nor would I want to. It has to be organic. It is not something you chase after. It is not something I would want to rush into. I know that I bring a set of issues and complications that most people would not want to take on. I know that I will be his friend and there for him regardless of this.

All I wanted was a chance to see. My experience is that the best relationships I had started as friendship (I had two amazing ones my late husband and well this person). You cannot get someone to let you in. You cannot change how someone feels and you cannot change how they respond. You can only go by what they say even if you are uncertain you believe it or understand it fully. You can be their friend, drop the flirtations, let your feelings out, then you can push those feelings aside because they do not feel the same.

For myself and my own sorting – I had given it a lot of thought.

  • What it isn’t for me: need, loneliness, settling, convenient, easy, rushed, a band-aid/rebound

 

  • What it is for me: complicated, confusing, insane, potential, scary, living, joy, fun

 

  • What it was for me: special, memorable, passionate, outstanding, emotional, amazing, comfort, joy, love, regretful in the end

 

  • What it could have been: everything we never thought we would ever have a chance at again because of how life went…plus the good stuff we had before…. (and I did not even share the half of it).

 

  • What it is instead: A friendship that I hope continues to grow strong. I hope it becomes a two-way street where he comes to me too on bad days. I hope he values and enjoys our time as friends as I do.

 

  • What he did for me: Made me smile and laugh when I did not think I could. Gave me something to look forward to when the messages came through. Was a voice in a very quiet time when only a couple of people checked on me. Gave me ideas and encouragement (paint, write, get out of your head). During this same period of time I started to heal, live, sleep, feel, respond. I give credit in many places for this… mainly to me and the work I did, the medium, family & friends, the therapy, yoga, support groups, suicide survivors, and to him.  This friendship awakened me and brought back something inside my dead carcass. It pulled me out of a dumpster of sadness.

 

  • My hope for Him: Happiness, love, success, passion. A continued ability to be supportive to those in need, this is a true gift. Forgiveness of the past. Everything to be great and fun all of the time 🙂 ! He is a good man, genuine, and whoever finally wins his heart is a lucky girl.

 

Here are a few additional and random reflections:

  • I hate the one-sidedness of grief. I want to reciprocate our friendships and be there too for people.
  • I want people in my life because they want to be not because of obligation or perceived needs I have.
  • I am doing me, I am ok, I am alive, I am living, I do not need another person to make me happy.
  • Think before you act because what you put out you cannot always take back.

 

The 4th of July

I am still writing about support systems but I wanted to hold off on that next post a moment to reflect on today the 4th of July. Every 4th that I can recall was filled with friends and food. Smoker meat and grilling out. Pool time, sprinkler fun, fireworks, togetherness. I mentioned the other day that I had gone through all the firsts without my husband but this one snuck up on me.

I am of a couple of minds these days. One side of my brain is “faking it until I make it” while the other side is “keep being independent you got this down you are doing fine”. Maybe I am not sure which is true sometimes but I also do not think it matters. The goal of both sides of the brain is to keep living and keep moving forward.

I think the way you get through the firsts is to honor what came before but live for now in your new normal. Reflect on what you had and lost but do not spend your day wallowing there. I find that a lot of my time is alone and needs to be that way. I think some people surround themselves with loads of people during their worst grief days and I am probably the opposite. I push myself to be alone because in the end all we have is ourselves. Next year no one will even be around on those big days so rip off the Band-Aid now I say!

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So I am getting my coffee on this morning. I am grabbing my dog C and we are going to go on a hike just her and I. In the past I would get worried doing things like this alone. I am afraid to get lost or that someone creepy will approach us or something. I am without fear anymore. I jump in more now. I saw the most horrifying thing and it gave me perspective. Even if someone approaches me negatively I won’t be as afraid and it won’t be as scary as what I already have lived. If I get lost I have a phone and there is a park ranger. So today I will embrace my new normal, my aloneness, enjoying the day and celebrating the 4th of July with fewer people than the past and that is ok.

I hope that someday I won’t have to go it all alone because the right person will see me as a fiercely independent, strong, self reliant, healthy woman (without being intimidated that I actually do not NEED anyone). The fact is though, I cannot make someone see what I am. I cannot control someone’s feelings towards me. I cannot continue to live for what may come in the future. I can control now and the present moment. This girl is up for hiking. She is ready to jump in the lake.

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you live and are free today. Thank you to all those who keep our country safe and allow us to enjoy this lovely day.

 

My Support System: Yoga & Presence

yoga pose maui edit blogAbove is a picture of me when I was practicing yoga somewhat inconsistently. I do not have any current ones of myself (although I wish I did). This is from our honeymoon and I like that the waves are in the background as they go well with the blog theme.

There are many definitions and forms of yoga. Yoga combines mental, physical and spiritual aspects in order to connect with yourself, your purpose, your present moment, & your well-being. According to the Website Yoga Alliance:

Yoga was developed up to 5,000 years ago in India as a comprehensive system for wellbeing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. While Yoga is often equated with Hatha Yoga, the well-known system of postures and breathing techniques, Hatha Yoga is only a part of the overall discipline of Yoga. Today, many millions of people use various aspects of Yoga to help raise their quality of life in such diverse areas as fitness, stress relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth.

Yoga is a system, not of beliefs, but of techniques and guidance for enriched living. Among Yoga’s many source texts, the two best known are the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Both explain the nature of—and obstacles to—higher awareness and fulfillment, as well as a variety of methods for attaining those goals.

I used to practice yoga to help relieve stress at work. I got decently good at my practice but I still felt that my mind was wandering during classes. Athletically speaking it took me a while to improve my poses to the more advanced ones for some reason. When I would get my butt to class I simply loved it. It was the best moments of my day. But the problem was the motivation to step outside, drive the car, and get there.

Before my husband took his life he had made a comment to me about how I should get back into yoga and go back and see my teacher. I thought it was a strange thing to say out of context but stuff that he said then was random. I just sort of brushed it off and said I wish I had the time. I had filled my time with other things building a custom home and planning to all, rescuing dogs, and being home with him. Also work and work travel nights took me away from a consistent practice. I specifically like my yoga teacher and my yoga studio. Taking it on the road is something I never got very good at.

When he died I shifted. The old me died with him.

My first class back was a gentle one. Partly because I wanted to start off kind to my weak, malnourished self and hope to begin to rebuild my strength and practice both mentally and physically. Partly because I know that class offers meditation, breathing, longer pose holds, slowness, calm, and Shavasana. It was amazing as always being back on the mat with my favorite teacher. The Shavasana ended and I was brought to tears. Uncontrollable yet quiet tears that I had not been shedding poured out. I knew this was the space where I would grow stronger.

Presence is something I have always had to work at. I think for a long time I was busy planning and living for the future. I had this expectation that there would be time for fun, laughter, and closeness once the list was done.  There was always something: find a good guy, plan a wedding,  career advancement, build a home, volunteer for a good cause, save for the future, or whatever else needed attention and focus at that time. I think this is an easy thing to fall into when you feel that so much rides on your shoulders.

It has been my goal to change this behavior of thinking into the future. We are not guaranteed one moment more than the one we are in. I find the place I succeed most in living in the moment is on my yoga mat. Some other areas that I find Presence are when I spend the time to put my ideas into this blog, when I work on my painting/pencil drawings, or when I let myself get into music fully. When I have seen a medium and energy healer one lesson that came up was that I stop living into the future and live in the present. Things are not going well for me in some areas I do hope that one area in particular will improve over time but it is not for me to live into that future. I can only control how I act in this moment. You can dream and want but you truly have no control.

The moments I most look forward to now are on my mat. It is my peace, my reset button, my space. It is me. I am physically in the best shape I have been in probably ever and still improving. I am mentally as sound as I have been since he passed (granted the truth is I have no care in the world what happens to me and no one can convince me out of this… another post for another time).

I came back different to my practice. Ready, eager, determined, invested, fully present. My practice and abilities and even advanced postures came back quicker this time because of those things.  I still have work to do as our practice and focus improve and develop over time. There is always another level, a subtle improvement, a more conscious place you can get to. Yoga is my time to live my best self in the moment. I am thankful for my practice, my teacher, myself, my strength, my mind, my presence.

NAMASTE

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My Support System: My Dogs

My dogs love their dad more than words. Especially the older male. He was his buddy and his partner in crime. He respected my husband immensely. He does not lick and kiss anyone, ONLY my husband.

My little lady she grew to love her daddy so much she would roll on her back and let him pet her belly for hours! She would give kisses on his face and beg for his pats.

When he wanted a nap in the bedroom both doggies would saunter.

Before he passed away he let them outside to enjoy the evening and not be stuck in our home without bathroom. That evening when I came home I noticed they were outside late at night which was a red flag. He wanted them to be cared for. I took the old man to say goodbye to his daddy that night. I think he understood daddy was gone.

Our dogs meant so much to us. And they are my family now. They allow me to cry buckets into their fur, they listen when I SCREAM loudly about the unfairness of my life.

My dogs took months to adjust to living without their dad. They had to learn several homes, routines, and states. Their bellies were confused. They would patrol the yard at all hours learning the area. They would guard the door from any male who came close to me.

Thank you to my support to my babies to my hearts. Thank you B and C for letting me yell and cry buckets into your fur. You are my reason for getting up every day when I thought  I could not do this. You are my family and I will never let you down. I will wake up at 1 am when your bellies hurt and 7am when your bladder needs it and 11pm when you need a moment to check the perimeter of our home. I will be your mom, your friend, your companion. I will not leave you behind while I grieve. We grieve together. You may not be labeled as emotional support dogs but you truly are my Emotional Support. I love you both.

You are my world and I wake every day to enjoy my day with you both.