The world in Gray

I see things simply in black or white. I am a Water element you know. I am in or out. It is on or off. Together or not. Play hard or not at all. So why is the world casting gray on me?

Gray is the uncertain. It is potential energy, it is possible or it is impossible. Gray is rocky and not secure. Gray could ruin you if you let it. Gray could hold everything if you are a patient person.

I have started to learn patience and restraint. I am still trying to balance it with need, desire, and want. Where I fall off is how to be assertive and fulfill my needs while being patient with the gray areas in my life.

What do you do when inside that gray unknown there is something that you want? How much time and effort do you give to the unknown? How long do you sit in gray space afraid to speak out and ask for things?. How do you learn to be more assertive when you are trying to be patient?

I try to work on things to make myself better. My current list is

  1. Patience
  2. Assertiveness
  3. Asking for Help
  4. Knowing I am worth it
  5. Stop overthinking

 

When Matt died the entire world was gray. Where will I live? What will I do? How will I survive? I have been forced to change so much so fast. It has been a lot of work, effort, and grabbing at driftwood when the ocean swells occur. I survived and now I want to be happy again. How will I be happy again? What is happening next? So much unknown.

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To Matt On His 40th Birthday in Heaven

I had not said his name on the blog before but lately I have been more public on the entire story and therefore I feel it is time to name him here. Matthew is my late husbands name. 11-6-2017, would have been his 40th birthday. Always the jokester, he used to say his birthday was the 7th! It took me forever to recall his actual birthday and not second guess myself.

I had an energy/medium session the day before his 40th. Matt came through and wanted to be sure I started to use the smoker and that I had people over for his milestone birthday. I went to the grocery store for tenderloin, wings, and beer. Our old neighbors, buddies, and even some new friends came over to spend time with me to remember Matt. We told stories, checked out some pictures, ate, and drank. At the end of the evening we sent a lantern up to the sky to honor Matt. I know he saw it. I know he was watching over us.

Matt was  surely happy to see all the people enjoying smoker food on his favorite gift ever, the Traeger. Drinking Crown, doing shots of fireball, and chugging beers together.

Matt, thank you for the many years we had together, the love we shared, the amount you cared for me. Thank you for sharing our home, my craziness, and enduring my persistence and passions. I know that you would have given anything to have enjoyed things more, gone more places, and be more present but the pain you were in was too deep. I know now that you wish things had ended differently. I know you are sorry that I am sad and hurting.  Thank you for checking in on me, for the signs, for being okay with me moving forward. Thank you for the advice to be patient. I am grateful for you guidance and positivity about my strengths after your passing.

I enjoy your signs, and knowing you are around me. I know I look ok but many days I am not. I am trying to make you proud. I am doing Yoga just like you suggested for me.

Happy Birthday Matt and thank you. I miss you.

Wifey.

 

Are you Strong Enough to Be My Man?

Who am I? What does it mean to date a widow?

I am built on a foundation of strength that I learned from my family, guarded by a fortress of walls due to a lifetime of being taken for granted, and a difficult life, combined with some very bad luck. There is a moat around me that is deep and open and that hole was made by the loss of my late husband. It represent grief, loss, uncertainty, blame, and insecurity. If you are so fortunate to climb over the walls or penetrate through them you will see that deep inside there is something softer like the batting that goes inside your softest quilt.

If you like me stay around. Put in the effort ask me how I am. Be open, honest, considerate. Talk to me about my late husband. Ask me what I have been through. If you respect me, care for me, consider me your friend, stay.  If not please make room for someone who could. If you are only here to use me or suck my energy please just go.

I truly believe Widows need more consistency, security, honesty, and understanding. We have been through a lot. It is really hard to be thrust into the dating pool (many yrs later and a little unsure) unless you find someone extremely special. We may come off a bit broken, a bit unsure/lacking confidence, but we do not mean to show that side. We truly try to go with the flow and date correctly. We want the same things that everyone wants fun dates, getting to know you slowly, and a great friendship. We will make mistakes

Widows are also distrusting because we are targets and sometimes used (see previous postings about the narcissist) for what we are perceived to have, or for our vulnerabilities that can be exposed. 

Widows are forgetful. We repeat things. We cannot think of the words sometimes. Our minds are a little like a bunch of knots we are trying to unravel into a new storyline. Be patient with me.

Are you strong enough to be my man? If not I certainly know I am strong enough on my own.

Patience and Balance

My current charter is to learn to be patient when I want to dive headfirst. To know that what is meant for me will come. To be thoughtful in my decisions. To realize I will have happiness again even if it takes time. To know there is a plan for me. I am grateful for my intuition which guides me. The stronger that grows the easier it is for me to learn to be patient. The more aware of myself I am the easier it is to practice this new charter. What is meant will be. What I want and need will come in time.

In my past life I have had to put myself out there first always, now I am learning to lean back and let it come my way more.

Patience in myself is difficult for me to give because I am harder on myself than anyone else. I want to walk side by side with those things that are right for me and not be ahead or behind of the situation.

My passion and excitement for living often comes off as impatience so I need to work on my messaging. I am not trying to rush through this world but instead find a balanced approach filled with light, love, peace, and mindfulness.

In all aspects of life, I am uninterested in having anything that isn’t 100% meant for me, that doesn’t improve me as a person, that isn’t clear to those around me that it is right. If someone doesn’t want me in their life or serves me as a negative energy; I would rather be free of their vines. I have already done this with a few people and it makes me stronger. I am no longer interested in chasing, or making things fit that should not. If you want me in your life you will let me know. If it is meant for me I will know.

 

I am finding patience, balance, peace, strength, growing passion, and living every moment. Be Here Now.

Sharing Their Joy

I think we have discovered that Luck is not in the cards for me. But I am so blessed for those in my life. I think they still have luck on their side.

This week I shared in the joy of my friends. Being a part of their happiness makes me very grateful. I feel something. They want to tell me. They value what we have. (When I truly think hard and recall that my husband is dead a coldness and emptiness washes over me). I love the opportunity to feel otherwise.

One friend let me adopt their kids to trick or treat with this Halloween. Her daughter and I walked hand in hand and house to house along with the rest of her family and parents. I cannot recall ever getting a chance to go trick or treating in this manner. I had been laying in bed since 6PM but my friend was not having any of that and showed up with 4 kids in tow ready to rock.  A was so excited to have a hand to hold and to run house to house with in her Batgirl costume. Watching her face was watching pure joy.

Another friend shared in their joy of purchasing a vacation home. I was able to know first, see the pictures, and write the congratulations email.

And my newest friend shared with me the news of his job opportunity. Finally someone valued the back and forth again on something I am great at, business. Now all we need is champagne.

After my husband passed away people were hesitant to share positive news with me. I am truly happy that is not the case with these people. I got to share in happiness and joy and celebrate for other people.

After loss I became more sensitive. I am more in tune to my intuitions. I am more caring, more quiet, more thoughtful, more soft. It’s good because this empathetic side balances out the strong, independent, resilient, tough side.

It is not that I share that soft side with everyone, just the few I trust and let into both parts of my world.

 

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Lessons since becoming “CRINGE” a Widow

A good morning text is the best text you can get. It starts your day special when it is from a person who cares about you or that you care for (or ideally both). It is a simple gesture but it matters. It shows that you are on that person’s mind as they begin their day. It is those small things that make you smile and start the day with a positive… with time they hopefully develop into more texts to include goodnight.

I learned that in order for me to be ready to accept someone into my life I had to introduce myself to who I am now, a suicide surviving widow warrior. I am nothing like the girl I was on 10-20-2016 and she will NEVER exist again. Would you even want her to? NO! She walked blindly through life. Thinking things were just great all the time.

I learned that in order to choose and attract better people to be in my life, I had to be comfortable in my own skin, not settle, and not be so vulnerable in my new widow world.

I learned that pure evil does exist. I learned to forgive myself because I will falter and make mistakes on my journey. As long as I learned from the mistake and do not make it again then I think it is ok!

I was swiftly reminded that I have a strong intuition but it is only a useful tool if I listen to it! Still learning to always listen and when the volume is low listen even harder.

I am learning that things happen in their own time and there is no point to try to change the timeline, but try to roll with the waves and hold on tight.

I learned abruptly that life is short and you should always be kind, be honest, and be yourself with no apologies. Use the time you have wisely and around those that fill your heart with happiness. Do not settle for friends, family, or partners who do not bring you joy and compliment you. I see more people settling for things it is unfortunate.

I recall that there is nothing more amazing and joyful than laughing/dancing/drinking.celebrating/talking with someone who makes you enjoy life. Surround yourself with the best of the best.

When you have gone through so much it is best to find someone else who has also walked a journey of some kind (experienced heartbreak, loss, divorce) because they will understand you and you them. They will not give you the sad eyes but will look at you with amazement of your resiliency and strength. They will share their cuts and bruises with you too. I feel most comfortable when we share things with one another that not everyone is privy to.

I learned that while they may be harder to find there are good men left out in the world. Just that is a comfort.

A good friend reminded me: you want someone who would be afraid to lose you, who sees your value, your worth, and your beauty and will shift whatever they need to in order to be able to be with you. I hope…

I learned you miss companionship, being held, and sharing your day/ideas/goals so very much when your spouse passes away. These qualities do not develop overnight with anyone and in many cases will require slowing down and being very choosy.

My brother reminds me to visualize positives, follow the laws of attraction, and keep reading The Secret.

A person who goes through shock, loss, and trauma needs consistency, stability, and honesty from the people she surrounds herself with. I learned that I can overthink, overreact, and be pessimistic sometimes and need to continue to work on that. I learned that most people are flimsy and cannot grasp this need. They are more concerned with their needs and do not realize the confusion they may cause you. Not because they mean but because life is not clear cut.

I am blessed with great and supportive family and friends. I learned that I must keep surrounding myself with good positive, people only and cut off the negatives.

The negatives/trauma I have overcome do not define me as a person but they make me who I am and make me stronger. I am tired of learning and being strong. I want to collapse into someone I trust and fall apart a little. I hope I can soon before I fall down alone into the corner of the room.

Matt wants to see me happy and living and especially dancing (medium reading 1). I promised him I would do my best to do those things.

Just a few of my random thoughts on lessons I learned in the last year and things I am working on too.

One Year

Matt was a handsome, intelligent, friendly, quiet, and amazing man. He loved me immensely. I was his other half, we were a team, we were the best of friends. Our relationship started off as colleagues, roommates, and best friends before it grew to be love. I know this is why we were so successful for so long at being together and sharing our lives. We were opposites in almost every way possible. But we shared common morals, family lives, and loves like reading/eating/beer/sports/smoked meats/friends. I cannot fathom that it has been a year since I have tasted Matt’s amazing smoked tenderloin on the grill. How has it has been a year since we have held hands or embraced? How has it been 365 mornings without him on this Earth. How have I survived this intense loss?

I lost my best friend one year ago. Oct 21st 2017 is when I know he passed away. His certificate says Oct 22nd 2017. I have reflected a lot on the loss of my husband over the past year. I have looked at his passing from every angle possible. Trying to understand why, how, when, and what I may have missed. I have gone to therapy and went through EMDR for my post traumatic stress. I have shared his story one on one, on the blog behind an anonymous shield, and in countless support groups for Widows.

One thing that I have not done been is publicly open about the circumstances of his loss. I chose to wait to reveal this publicly for several reasons. One, I was still processing everything myself. Two, Matt was an extremely private man and I was very concerned with revealing what is his biggest secret. Three, I wanted to be sure when I posted this that I was prepared for the people who will ask for my help, ask me tons of questions, find themselves in this story, or find their loved ones in this story. I am telling his story today because Matt loved good people and was always there to help someone in need. This may be the best way Matt could help. Telling Matt’s story will help to erase the stigma, create a safe space for men and woman to discuss mental health, and maybe even save someone else.

This is not something that will be easy to read and I urge you to consider passing by his story if you do not wish to know what happened to Matt or feel that the story may be too upsetting for you. I feel that telling it today is the right thing.

For those that follow the blog this is a reposting of October 23rd 12:30 AM:

It was a normal busy week filled with work, business trips, meetings, etc.
We had just moved into our dream house. He had a new position he was very excited about. My flight was a little delayed and the bags simply would not come. Saturday evening turned into Sunday morning, as I excitedly drove him to see my husband and fur kids waiting for my arrival. The entire day I had tried to reach my husband on the phone sending calls, texts, and pics. He was not the biggest fan of the phone and often left it in the car or did not hear it. Nothing of concern just a normal day for me.
HAPPY

I came into the driveway the house was pitch black with no lights on outside either. I thought this was odd being that I was coming in so late at night/early in the morning. I quickly got my things from the car and unlocked the door announcing happily “Honey, I’m home!”. SILENCE, Dogs barking excitedly outside at this hours… strange… screen porch door propped open… strange. Cell phone on the counter. Next came 30 minutes of blind panic, running through the house yelling his name. As each moment passed the fear became more real, the worry escalated, I was certain someone took him. His keys, car, and wallet were placed in their proper places. I raced inside and outside looking and screaming. PANIC and FEAR

After 30 minutes I entered a very dark attic that I thought to enter at the last moment. What I saw I will not describe to you because I feel like it is a trigger for others with PTSD and Trauma. Suffice it to say my husband had taken his own life. I did not realize at first what I was seeing… my body left me and something grabbed hold of me to propel me forward. I was screaming what are you doing in here this isn’t a funny Halloween joke. And then I touched his hand and I knew. My heart stopped, my life changed, my love was gone.
HORROR and LOSS

The rest of the early morning had me giving directions to lost first responders while trying to keep myself from sinking deeper into the floor and the corner that I was now melting into. I answered questions, wrote out a report, and immediately was asked to give them a funeral home. I am 35 alone with no family in the state he was my family. Funeral homes are not something I am aware of. The police needing to take care of business while my entire world had crumbled to the ground was very difficult to understand. Thankfully by then we had woken a dear friend and she came to sit with me and helped.
I just wanted to turn back the time and it not be true. It was not true was it?
SHOCK and BARGAINING

Recounting this to you here has me crying very badly but I am no longer paralyzed by fear and panic when I retell the story.
EMDR and THERAPY

My dear husband took his own life after suffering from an unknown depression. He was in a pain I did not know about for what I now suspect was a very long time. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are things I now see with the knowledge I have picked up over the last year. Through working with a medium to speak with Matt after his passing, reading books, talking with my therapist, and a dear friend who has lived through similar pain; I have an understanding of what he may have been feeling, going through, thinking, or not thinking of. My husband was not selfish, weak, crazy, or abnormal. Matt was anxious, depressed, concerned, in pain, closed off, and tired. I do believe that Matt was doing all he could to self medicate, be ok, cope, and move forward with his life. I do believe that he wanted so very much to live and feel pain-free. I do believe Matt felt that my life would somehow be better without him. I do believe after working with the medium that Matt now realizes that he was so very loved by all who know him, especially his wife. I do believe that Matt has clarity as he has crossed into Heaven and he has awareness of how amazing he truly was, and how much we needed him.

Please if you feel that you or someone you know may be suffering with depression reach out for help.

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

Matt will live on in our hearts, memories, pictures, and videos. But he will also live on through my crusade to erase the stigma that keeps people with mental illness from seeking help. There is nothing wrong with a man (or woman) crying, asking for support, needing medicine to cope, or requiring therapy.

I hope me sharing the story of Matthew will encourage others to speak with their children, family, friends, about suicide, mental health, and the importance of kindness.

I love you Matt. I miss you. Thank you for watching out for me. I see you in the birds, I hear you in the songs, and I know you are encouraging me to continue forward and be happy. With love, your Wifey.   10-22-17

She grew calm

I am the calm in the storm:

I do not really think I feel anything anymore. I really just allow the hard moments to happen to me and I go along with the punches, waves, bends, and curves. I do not care what happens to me.

When the Narcissist happened I literally watched it unfolding doing nothing to protect myself from the danger and the signs. It took a persistent and unexpected friend to really get me to act on what I knew and walk out.

When the latest thing happened and I should have reacted in some fashion negatively, I did not. I sat calmly and waited. My date even asked me if I was in shock or ok. He looked at me with concern for how chill I was. Dead husband hanging in a rafter of my attic was my reply. I have not shouted, cried, or freaked out yet about it. I suspect I will not.

Old me would have been more crazy, more frantic, more enraged and cried and screamed. I think it would take a lot to get me to respond emotionally again to anything that happens. I hate shock and surprise but I also no longer allow these unlucky occurrences to shake me. I have no choice because the emotions just do not come.

I cannot hardly cry anymore. Maybe a brief 30 second outburst into the fur of my dogs. But beyond that this widow is growing colder, quieter, more worn down. She is reserved, beaten down, and expecting nothing but unfortunate events to continue to find her.

Luckless:

luck·less

adjective

  1. having bad luck; unfortunate. synonyms: unluckyunfortunateunsuccessfulhapless, out of luck, cursed, jinxed, doomedill-fated

I recall saying to my husband once how unlucky I was typically. How bad things seem to find me. I always felt I was a good person, striving to be my best self while being helpful to those around me. Honest, kind, considerate, and giving. He used to say I was selfish sometimes. Maybe I am a little bit. I do not think I am a bad person overall to warrant such circumstances, but that is hard to self judge. I had no idea all this could happen to one person/family. He and I are both luckless.

Brief encounters of Joy:

Things make me smile sometimes or laugh out loud. I try to surround myself with those things first and foremost. I have a couple of good friends that I swear take away the pain by lifting my spirits and making me giggle. It is during this laugh out loud comedy over google chat or Facebook messenger or a bottle of red that I feel like there is life still in me. I have some new friends that I love to visit at the coffee shop. We share our life with each other and those moments I think maybe I will be ok. I see their strength and try to grab hold and learn how to be stronger, wiser, and more assertive.

My joy however is muted by grief:

I wish I could just throw caution to the wind and truly enjoy moments more. I know I am probably damaging a potential relationship right now because of my inability to handle uncertainty, grey areas, and letting this evolve. I know that is because of grief.

This calm widow requires consistency, certainty, understanding, space. She craves joy, laughter, and passion. I think I do a good job hiding the cold side. Maybe you do not even know about it?

If you know me you may be wondering why I need to be more assertive, me the Type A, me the strong coworker. It is in my personal relationships with guys and friends that I allow myself to be walked all over, hurt, and used. I am of two minds it seems.

  • Work: Strong, firm, spirited and feisty
  • Emergencies and conflict: calm, balanced, unemotional
  • Dating and sometimes in Friendship: do not say no enough, not as assertive, sensitive, uncertain, people pleasing

I continue to take to the waves and when they knock me down I simply stay calm… almost debating if they should drown me or I should float with them. The old me would have swum them, ridden them to see where I would end up. The old me would thrash and fight if the waves started to swallow me.

11.5 Months

I guess I am checking in on myself a bit but also trying to be there for others.

I am just under two weeks away from the one year anniversary of losing my best friend to suicide. It is still inconceivable. There one day and gone the next. On a phone call that morning and then gone that evening.

This week I travel for business for the 3rd week in a row. Next week I am home. The following week is dreaded. I still do not have a plan for what I will do and where I will be.

I have been busying my days with work, adult beverages, online dating apps, and chatting with my close friends over the computer.

As I close in on the year without him. I am trying to put into words how much I miss but it simply is bottled up. I miss his kindness, his presence, how much he loved me, his friendship, him all of him. I cannot dig deeper because when I do I flashback to seeing him. The flashbacks have been much more frequent lately. Trigger words like rope for example send me into tears. I am not avoiding thinking of him but thinking of him brings a lot of pain along with it. It is not easy to explain. When someone you love so much has brought you  both joy and immense horror how do you deal with that?

Reflecting on the person I am today. I am a shifted person. Instead of spending my time rescuing dogs I am instead trying to be there for people. Whether it be support groups, private messages with other widows, writing this blog, or lending an ear to a friend or family member in crisis (depression or otherwise). I am trying to be a better person, listener, support, and friend.

Suicide, depression, and anxiety are extremely important topics for me. I have had several friends talk to me about these topics as they relate to themselves, siblings, friends, etc. My eyes have been opened up to how pervasive depression is. I am grateful to those of you who have come to tell me your stories. To help me to shed light on what my husband may have been feeling. Those people know I will be there to help them if they have a bad day. It is now on my radar, you are on my radar, you matter, and you are loved.

If you are wondering if you may be suffering from depression please contact your doctor and get a therapist referral. Here are some of the signs of depression from Mental Health America. The hyperlink below will open up the website for you. I hope that we will continue to erase the stigma on mental health issues. Talking about it saves lives.

What Are the Symptoms of Clinical Depression?

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Sleeping too much or too little, middle of the night or early morning waking
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (such as chronic pain or digestive disorders)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

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October 1…

The waves are crashing in.

I woke up yesterday to my dog jumping heavily on my chest. “Wake up Momma!” she was saying. “It’s my big day” she screamed.

Understanding crossed my face as the Facebook newsfeed showed me my memories. It is my youngest pups birthday and she wants to share it with the world. (Note to self pretend like you did not forget her presents and rush out and get them asap!)

October 1. The start of the month I have been dreading for 11 months. 

Introspection continues but has turned more toward the negative.

  • Alone. Me, the girl who has parents that have over 50 years together in marriage. I am alone.
  • He left without a word, a note, or even a thought for or of me.
  • I was not enough to keep him here.
  • I missed signs.
  • He did not feel like he could tell me.
  • You think I am the wild widow.
  • Judgment is typical of our type. Between my new wheels, my new dating apps, my new body malnourished from lack of hunger but toned. I know you think I am a mess, vulnerable, and easy prey.
  • I had no say in losing my husband to suicide.
  • I had no say in the next situation either when the man took advantage of me.
  • There is no certainty of tomorrow
  • I cannot reach out to be held when I need it, because the person I would have reached for is gone. When I tried to find someone to reach for after he passed, I was naive and vulnerable which resulted in a severe kick to the heart by a master manipulator.
  • Now, if I even think about trying to reach for someone again, I feel like there is an electric collar around my neck to zap me.
  • I have very few single friends to do things with.
  • Seeking single friend to do things with. To get me out, to lift weights with, to eat with. It has to be someone who understands. This person is hard to find at age 36! Most people already have their core group by my age. Most are married and making babies. 

 

  • No one who has not been where he is can understand him. 
  • No one who has not been where I am can understand me. 

Be Here Now. Live Every Moment