Two Choices

It’s 9pm, the boys are in bed.  I’m about 2 minutes away from going and tucking them in for the night.

After that, I have two choices.

A: sit on the computer, wallow in my grief, talking to other widows & widowers and my friends… wasting time in cyberspace… spacing out on the TV or

B: paint, sew, crochet, declutter and generally make my home nicer.

Some nights, a lot of the nights, I choose A.

Tonight – I’m choosing B because I want my life to be more than sitting on my couch.   I want time with my children when they’re awake, and I want time to myself where I’m comfortable just being.

Tonight… I choose B.


Restless Irritable and Discontent

Snarky, cranky, sad, and just generally in a bad mood.

I need to find something that helps with those feelings because they happen a LOT at this time of night.

I need to find a way to make this time of night a good time of night.

Not that I can right now because I’m still recovering from the flu – but there’s a number of things that might work.



Writing (other than the blogs – which I do anyhow)

Studying for my CAIB 4 exam.

Cleaning another part of the house.   (I wonder how clean my house would be if I deep cleaned a different room every night?)

Writing the damn book.


Working out.

I can’t take the dog for a walk because the boys need me to stay here.

OH! I could find someone to play long distance chess with :p

I could repaint my house.

Put in new flooring.

Tile my kitchen.

What I don’t want to do is stare at the damn computer every night.   Or the TV.   I want to be active and enjoy my evenings.

That’s a choice. It’s my choice.  And I’m not going to let the grief win.   I’ll feel it.  I’ll live with it.  I’ll move through it.  I’m going to honour it and Mark with all the dignity and depth of feeling that he deserved – and he deserved a lot.

But I need to live my life.  I need to pull myself out of the holes and find the light.   There is light out there.  There is joy.  And I’ll find it.

I just need to heal from this flu.

Depend on Yourself Kintsugi Life is what Happens Mark's Urn

I Dreamed About Him

I’m sick, at home, and I had a 2 1/2 hour nap on my couch (which by the way is incredibly uncomfortable and I need a new one asap!!!) and apparently had a dream about Mark.

It wasn’t a visitation…. there’s a different quality to those dreams.   This was just a manifestation of my husband in my dreams.

We bought a house in my dream.  It was monstrously huge.   The previous owners had left behind an enormous amount of stuff.

I’ve dreamed about this house before… but only in recent months since Mark died.

Oddly enough, in my dream, the guy I was dating was there too…

Weird dream.

But in the end, Mark and I were walking through the house, looking at the different rooms full of stuff, trying to determine which room would belong to which child.    I wanted to do a reno to create a cozier place for us, but we decided we wouldn’t.  (Reno is where the guy I was dating came in, he does construction and is my usual guy for construction related questions).

It was so pleasant and familiar being there with Mark, walking through our home, determining which room each kid got, determining which room we wanted.   The house was really massive – something like 7 or 8 bedrooms….

I woke up feeling peaceful… albeit sick and miserable, but peaceful.  Maybe it was a visitation – enough of one to allow me to gain some peace, anyhow…

But it was nice, spending time with him, even in my dreams…

I Miss You

I Don’t Want To Go To Bed

It’s 11.45pm.   I’m exhausted.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  I can barely stay upright.   The ticking of the clock is too loud.

But I don’t want to go to bed.

I don’t want to lay in our bed.

I don’t want to sleep alone.

I don’t want to wake alone.

I don’t want to realize that there’s another day without him.

It’s like the layer of numbness is coming off… and I’m aware, oh so painfully aware of his absence.

Going to work every day is making it more evident.

I gave up something tonight, just for the interim, that is important to me because my kids need me.  They need some consistency and some stability and the safety of knowing Mom is going to be there.

I’ll go back in the fall – but for right now – my kids need me.   They need me because their Dad died.

It’s a choice I’m making – to be the best Mom I can possibly be – but I’m not happy about HAVING to make the choice.

I want him back.  Not just the dreams of him.  Not just the memories of him.  Not just the echoes of his voice in my head.

I want him.

I want my life back.

I want my children to have their life back.

I really don’t want to go to bed – but  I can’t sleep where I’m sitting – it would be incredibly uncomfortable by the end of the night.

Mar & Jane Wedding

Something’s Changing.

I don’t know what it is.  I don’t know where the shift is happening.   I just know it is… I can feel it, almost as if I were a snake preparing to shed my skin.

I can feel my new self rubbing against the skin of my old self – it doesn’t quite fit right and the parts that don’t fit are rubbing raw and uncomfortable.

I can feel the old self starting to fall away, to be left behind.

She served me well.  She got me through some tough times.

But it’s time to let her go… she doesn’t quite fit in my new life…

Depend on Yourself

Grief Affects Different People

I discovered today that grief affects different people different ways.

It’s brutal for some, and it’s a quick and easy process for others.

I remember wondering, back in the late 90’s how the widow of a prominent lawyer who was murdered could marry someone so quickly after his death.

I still wonder that, only for different reasons.

I don’t know what their marriage was like.  Perhaps they didn’t have the same connection Mark and I did.  Perhaps they were on the verge of divorce.  Perhaps they weren’t and they did have a connection as deep and strong as Mark and I and she just couldn’t face life without a partner.  Perhaps she found that connection again in her new husband.

The end result is… I DON’T KNOW.

I don’t know what led her to marry someone so quickly after her husband’s death.   And I don’t care.

What I do know is that despite my brief foray into dating – I’m not ready.  I don’t want anyone BUT my husband.  I want what I had with him – and no one will replace him or be him. No one will know me the way he did.

No one will know me the way he did.

No one will laugh the same way.

No one will react the same way to my kisses.

No one will know just how to push my buttons – and I won’t know how to push their buttons.

No one will have the history of me from the last 15 years.   No one will know who I am and why I am… not the way he did.

That’s ok.

I’m just not ready to start that process again yet.    I’m not ready to take the time to get to know someone, their idiosyncracies, their quirks.

And I don’t want to have to wait for someone to get to know mine.

The reality is – some people are ready for love and romance and dating again fairly quickly.   Despite having dated already – I’m not.  I look at the people I could date, and wonder… WTF?  They all seem nice… but none of them are Mark.  Not one single one of them.  They’re all themselves and  that’s not fair to them that I want them to be Mark.  Or a close facsimile.   Nope – I want the real thing.

Grief affects different people different ways.   For me, the first 6 months I was looking for the love and companionship.

Now – while I still want the companionship – I don’t want the expectations that come from dating.

I want to figure out how to be on my own… and when I’m ok with my own company – I’ll be ready to date then.

I miss Mark and the life we had promised each other.

Mark and Jane Kissing


I woke up on my couch this morning.    I hadn’t intended on sleeping on my couch, but even when I woke in the middle of the night, bashed my head on one end table, and kicked the other (the couch isn’t long enough for me) I stayed on the couch.


It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t want to sleep in my own bed.

The idea of going to bed, sleeping alone and waking up alone, simply wasn’t ok with me.


So when I felt myself drifting, instead of getting up, turning off the tv and lights and going to bed… I pulled the couch blanket over me.

This morning, I think that was one of them.


I realized this morning, post-Valentines, that I go out of my way to make these *firsts* – these *special days*- our holidays special.


The summer after Mark died?   I planned a couple of holidays.   The week before his Celebration of Life – the boys got to go visit family.  Christmas – I planned fun special things.   New Years, I planned on being at a party.   My birthday?  One of the best I’ve had in years, aside from the fact that he wasn’t there.   And Valentines… I planned a dinner and a small party of sorts for myself and a friend who was alone on Valentines as well.


I refuse to succumb to the overwhelming numbness, the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming grief.

Oh don’t get me wrong – it still gets me – but I rarely stay lost in it.  I fall in the hole, but then I come back out of it.


This is the parent I want my children to see as a role model – the Mom who falls apart, then puts herself back together again.

Life is not about being stoic.   Life is not about being broken all the time.  Life is a series of dismantling and putting back together.


I hope I am setting a good example.   I hope they are learning to handle adversity in a healthy way.

Mostly – I hope they understand it’s ok to fall apart because we can get up and put ourselves together again.


Happy Post-Valentines to all my friends…. today is Friday…. and the weekend promises to be mostly sunny, which means a hike is possible on Sunday 🙂



Hey Sarah????  Wanna come climb a mountain with me again?

Aaaaandddd There It Is.

the ripping, tearing, searing pain…

the tears and sadness…

the closed up throat, the lack of breath.. .

the cotton, the numbness…

the inability to think…

I’ve been staring at the computer screen – hoping to have my brain realize that it needs to DO something…

only to realize time has passed and I’ve done nothing.

Chunks of time lost, memories wrapping me in a coccoon…


Happy Valentine’s Day

I’m waiting for the day to rip me apart.

Not only is it the traditional day of lovers & couples, but it’s a very special anniversary for Mark & I.

So I’m waiting for the emotional devastation that *should* happen.


15 years ago today was the first time he told me he loved me.   It wasn’t planned.  It wasn’t contrived.  There was no fancy balloons, no flowers, no romance to it.

We were at work, in the back office, and he said he loved me.    We were both into movies at that time – so all I said to him was “Ditto”  (bonus points if you know what romantic movie that’s from)  It was two weeks after we’d first gotten together – but we’d known each other almost a year at that point… he was my friend.


He broke up with me the next day – but that’s another story – we got back together the day after :p


We always “celebrated” Valentines Day – not as *Valentines* but as the first day we acknowledged our true feelings.    I think back on those days and I’m in awe of who we were… how we forged on and got together and made such an amazing life together.  I’m in awe of how persistent our love was.


I love you Mark.  Forever and always.   You will forever live on – because you live on in my heart.




I don’t know how to adequately explain how truly blessed I am.

I don’t know how to put into words the gratitude I have for the people in my life.


Mark’s passing brought people into my life that may or may not have found their way here.   My friends, my circle, my support, my “go-to” people – have strengthened, changed, and created this wonderful, amazing life of love.

I have new friends who weren’t in my life before.

I have existing friendships that are stronger and more connected.

I have people who I’ve known peripherally who are becoming a part of my inner circle.


Each person brings a distinct joy to my life.    I hope I bring a joy to theirs as well.


But it’s hard to explain how amazing parts of my life have become.  For the first time… I have FRIENDS.  I have people I can call and say “Hey, coffee?” and chances are, they’ll say yes, because they WANT to hang out with me.

I have EVERY single “circle of women friends” movie… in my life.


I am so freaking blessed.  So very lucky.  And so incredibly sad that Mark had to die for this to happen…

Dance in the Rain