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Posts from the ‘widow’ Category



Besides the obvious pain of losing my soul mate, I’ve done many things to challenge my mind and body to see all that I’m capable of and that is still possible after what seemed like the most debilitating of losses.

I’ve walked on fire over a 108 times, done Indian sweat-lodges, put a knitting needle through my hand, walked on glass and more.

Not because I’m a complete nut job (though I may be by many definitions), but because these (what seemed like) physical challenges opened my eyes, mind and heart too much more I had yet to unearth.

I’ve taken those teachings with me and benefited from the metaphorical message they each carried.

They changed me…In a dramatic and drastic way. They have become an integrated part of my daily life, but as I was just reminded, I forgot one pivotal aspect of their teachings.

Change is good. Discomfort is something to be embraced. Change is growth. Change and discomfort is a willingness to live.

But as I recollected just recently, many, if not majority of these teachings, were preceded by a distinct and terrifying pain.

A pain of the unknown. The pain of what could be. A pain of something my thoughts conjured up.

A pain that took place before an action had actually taken place.

A pain that can stop one’s persistence, if easily hindered. A pain that waits for moments of change and discomfort to hold you back from all that you can and could be.

But more than anything, a pain that beckons your heart to take the leap…make the decision…embrace the evolution…return to what you know in your heart is what is right for you.

I chose to take that first step onto the coals. To focus my attention on the moment in what seemed like unbearable environments…to push forward when all things said don’t push forward for one more inch…I didn’t choose to lose Michael, but at one moment I decided to live for him…and then for me.

But there is pain. There is discomfort. There is doubt.

But more than anything, there is the force that has no definition or specified word, that is waiting for you to push through. To find out that it’s not as painful as it looks, or as terrifying as your mind wants to trick you into thinking.

It’s waiting for you to take the next step into what will be the most amazing time of your life.

The only time of your life.

The now.

The time where pain takes backseat to positive change.

The only kind of change that we deserve out of such perils.



“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
-Dalai Lama XIV

This quote reminds me of a new year message I shared with my friends that I’m, in true Taryn fashion, sharing with you a bit belated.

Mistakes, losses, changes…all consistent attributes in any persons life, but I guess being the eternal optimist I am, I rarely remember, fixate, or find myself debilitated because of their ever coming and going presence.

In retrospect though, they’ve all led to another path in this labyrinth of a life that I’m ever grateful for.

So as another being so eloquently put into words, I too hope for many mistakes for you and me in 2013:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
-Neil Gaiman



The 4 Fires we created the last night for the 108 aka the 108 times we walked across them for graduation.


We all hopefully do it.

Peel the layer off the onion to reveal the next.

It was hard and unthinkable to have any other “layers” after Michael’s death…but surely, 5 years later, I’ve evolved.



But the growth has been like watching a snail crossing a road:

It’s surely moving, but when you watch it continuously, it looks as slow as molasses…when you turn your glance and look back a time later, it seems as if it’s gone leaps and bounds.

This past week though…I saw the growth happen before my eyes…without taking my eyes off the whole time.

I went to become a Certified Firewalk Instructor for new things I have planned in the future for my passion and cause…but left having learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined.

It was a crash-course in the obstacles, faults, fears, and goals we all have in life.

It was like taking a sip of what I thought was water, to have my system shocked when I realized it was sprite.

I pushed myself (along with the help of a god-sent group of individuals all trying to attain the same goal or facilitating), mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Together we cried, cheered, were inspired by each others faith in the other, by each person’s perseverance when things got bad, by the ability to find a place in our mind that was pure, unscathed, and there to show us the truths within each of us.

There were moments of doubt and apprehension…but always a hand to reach out (Thank you Kathy). There were moments of realizations that we are not alone in are connections (Thank you, Del) and there were realizations that some people will test you to make sure your spirit and soul are reinforced in your being (Thank you, Robert).There were moments that I saw the utter goodness of strangers who want to do nothing more than help other’s achieve the goals set forth (Thank you, FIRE team).

Only one other moment since Michael’s death have I been so utterly sure that the things I learned would change my life forever.

I am now a certified Firewalk Instructor.

But more than that, I am a better person. A person that has much growing to do, but can finally see life with clear eyes and an open heart.

I didn’t want our time at F.I.R.E. to end and had a bit of hesitation in the outside world being able to fully comprehend all that took place…all that will run through my veins from this point on…and they may not…but I knew that for 4 days I learned amazing and extreme tools of enlightenment and empowerment, I met people who are more than people, but now family, and I have no doubt that I was where I was supposed to be…with Michael’s amazing spirit alongside me the whole time.


“Courageous risks are life-giving, they help you grow, make you brave, and better than you think you are.”


Monday will be the big day….

5 Years.

5 years since I last heard his voice..saw his face…heard “I love you…and I’m so in love with you, baby.”

And in these 5 years I’ve learned just what it takes to be the “perfect” widow, and I’d like to share it with all of y’all:

  1. You must be imperfect.
  2. You must make mistakes.
  3. You must persevere.
  4. You must follow your heart.
  5. You must do so knowing that many will tell you you shouldn’t.
  6. You must ignore them.
  7. You must find a reason to smile…
  8. Not everyday…as that is not feasible…but more times then times you frown in a year will suffice.
  9. Being a widow is a title you should be proud of..
  10. Never forget that.
  11. You are amazing.
  12. Your spouses love will get you through the moments that you will sometimes feel are unbearable…
  13. Keep you heart open to feeling it.
  14. Life is short.
  15. Love is eternal.
  16. Repeat that to yourself each day.

And there you have it….ingredients to being the perfect widow.

It took me 5 years to realize and I’m sure I’ll become more “perfect” along the way…but this is all I have so far.



Life’s pretty darn comical.

I get all I could ever dream of…then that gets taken from me.

Next, I get used to the grief and pain and in a way have it take the backseat to the life still before me…but then I’m slammed with something else that clouds the clearing my heart and mind had worked so hard on clearing.

A recycling of the good and bad…a recycling that fogged over the beauty still present in the midst of the uninvited madness that made its presence pretty darn known.

I was never good at juggling…or surprises.

Everyone’s been telling me to take me time, in hopes that a clearing can be made once more.

But it could be clouded over again…or it couldn’t….or maybe I was too preoccupied by the clouds that crept in to not look a bit further to see the clearing was still there….just a bit harder to see.

I think I’m going to have to go with the last theory.

It’s slowly getting brighter and brighter. I’m finally kind of enjoying the whole recycling thing, too…keeps me on my toes.

And I’d rather be on them than my knees…

The Wall

“But mostly, I cried because my life had been going full speed for so long and now it had just stopped, like running right into a big brick wall, knocking the wind and the fight right out of me. And I didn’t know if I’d ever even wanted to get up and start breathing again.”

– Sarah Dessen

This quote embodies the day I was notified and the months and years to follow (and even random moments in my day-to-day life).

I never thought I’d be here.


Living….thriving…without my love by my side.

At first I held back from a smile or a good time, in fear that it would be dishonoring him. But with time and introspection, I realized that by doing so…holding back..I was dishonoring him.

Our loves don’t die for us to shrivel up into a ball, to live in a cave, and become Gallum-like. But in the beginning I couldn’t grasp that.

But the winds of time and his love blew away those mis-conceptions, and with that came the realization that I was going to get up…I was going to start breathing once again.

Man, do I love him, with every ounce of my being.

I still have those choke-up moments in realizing how far I’ve come…how much I’ve lived…

Those moments where I’m shocked at my soul’s capacity to survive…

My face’s ability to smile…

My arm’s ability to embrace…

But even in that astonishment,

I am never,


astonished by my heart’s capacity to pump our love through my veins.

And with that knowledge, nearly four years later, I am able to live.

I am living.

I hit the wall…

But I stood up.

I’m standing.