As noted last weekend, the 21st marked 3 years since my hero’s death, but tradition continues of being around amazing widows leading up to or after the date.
This past week we were in Fayetteville, NC for our annual golf tournament for the organization, followed by our annual AWP Skydive!
Like all of our events, we have a definite melting pot of women at all different places in their journey. We spent time racing around in golf carts, talking till 4 in the morning, and lastly, suiting up to jump 13,500 feet out of a perfectly good plane for my 3rd year in a row.
During all of the festivities I have to say that I have never laughed so hard in the 3 years since Michael’s passing. Not just laughing, not even snorting laughter (which I’m known for), but hurled over holding my belly laughter.
Each year that I can make on notch on the widowhood belt, I’m left amazed at all that my fellow widows do for me in the continual process of healing a heart that has gone through the most devastating of losses.
As the trip came to a close, sleep deprived, in need of a shower or two, and smeared eyeliner accompanying the proud bags underneath my eyes, I looked in the mirror to see a noticeable change after my three not long enough days.
Not just a brighter sparkle in my eyes, but more evident, very well defined smile lines on each side of my mouth. Two lines that we’re a parenthesis to the grin that never left my face during my time with them. Lines that I proudly wear and look forward to deepening as the year’s pass with my fellow widows ,who help me make the stories that form the evidence of a live well lived.
I love you all!
Three whopping years since it happened.
Since my soul mate went to the other side and I ventured out in the unfamiliar world called widowhood.
The Angel-versary is always a time where I look back on the time that has passed, things that have been conquered, feelings that have been realized, and growth that has taken place. As I drove in my car one evening, thinking of these things, thinking of THREE, one thing took precedent.
In the rehashing of all that has transpired, what came to mind the most were the three words that have got me through it all. Three words that he said to me for the last time on May 21st, 2007. Three words that have not only carried through my grief but helped me soar above it’s grasps into a life where smiles are more prevalent then frowns, and memories are recalled while making new ones.
Three words that on this three year anniversary will be heard in my heart and felt in my veins. Three words that have defined my being.
I LOVE YOU.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh?’ he whispered.
‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’”
I’d be lying if there weren’t moments where I begged for a sign, dream, feeling that you were here…around.
Like a detective I’d search for clues or signals…but my magnifying lens, in turn, seemed to blind me.
It’s not a matter of the physical…that was something I had acclimated to not having or needing long before you were taken. It was more of that sense that in my deepest moments of despair you’d appear out of smoke to wipe away my tears.
But I forced it.
I begged and pleaded.
And it equated to me not feeling what was there all along.
Your presence…unfaltering presence..in a place that I could not see with my eyes, or figure out with my mind…
but felt it lodged, deep in my heart.
I’m sure of you.
I’m sure of you.
It’s been nearly 3 years since I saw this video (it’s been stuck on a broken computer), and nearly 4 since it was filmed in Eagle River, AK by my baby (you can see him in the reflection of my sunglasses).
I sure don’t sound the same, and definitely don’t look the same, but I sure do feel the same each time I watch it.
Love you mucho mucho.
“I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.” -Jennifer Louden
Let me just say how much I love this quote. I really should print it on cards and hand it out to those who make the snide remarks that I will not be able to be happy until “move on” or somehow refuse to acknowledge the smile on my face when they see no one is standing at my side.
In my later years of college, single, partied out, and facing a world sans boyfriend…I found self-acceptance. I learned to love ME as ME. Flaws, bad decisions and all (and believe me when I say had a few). That was a trying time, as I believe we sometimes are our worst critics. But I did it, I peeled the layers of my onion and saw a new life before me, one like play-doh; bright, colorful and ready for me to mold.
Well, a little less than 9 months later Michael came back into my life and my own personal happiness was their, but enhanced by my soul mate…caught on fire. Maybe that’s why separation did nothing but enhance our relationship more, not strain it, because the happiness never faded, and still hasn’t to this day. Others just seem to have a hard time grasping on to the “sustenance and happiness” which still run through this widow’s veins.
So as I walk on this journey, I’ve dusted off my “self-care”…which was gathering dust…and decided to continue the path of happiness I found on my own, found enhanced by my soul mate, and found resurrected like a phoenix out of the ashes.
I wanted to touch base on guilt, as I believe it has played a role in my grief with Michael’s loss.
The guilt that he died and I lived
The guilt of the things he never got to experience that I know have been.
The guilt of having eyes to still see this world’s beauty and ears to hear its melodies.
The guilt of knowing that he would have handled this pain, loss, and life better then I could, if it had been me to go instead.
The guilt that is created in my over-thinking mind…fictional and factual.
The guilt has sub-sided though, as I know it is a belt of weights I buckled around my waist…a belt that never was supposed to weigh on my hips, my being, my soul.
You see, guilt was never a component of our life (even though I may have used it as a defense mechanism in a disagreement…bad Taryn), so it makes no sense that I would make it a part of my life now, and the love that is still ours.
But I apologize, to Michael and the others around me, for the moments where I let guilt’s claws take their grasp on a moment that could have been put in the light it deserved.
Now I can’t say that it doesn’t creep up at moments where life is a-glow and I feel as if I’m surrounded by a bubble of positivity…but those are just the workings of my brain….
not my heart.
“Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.”