Camp Widow Canada 2014

I think I’m in Camp Crash.

I think that the emotions, the connections, the feelings of “normal” and the smack of reality have finally hit.

How do I explain to those who’ve never experienced it how incredible it was to be at Camp Widow?

How to I articulate to the overwhelming emotions, the incredible people, the ability to go from dancing the night away to being there for someone in need to just hanging out as just RIGHT?

Camp Widow is something most people will never understand.   My man, my new love, he doesn’t get why it’s so very important to me that I go each year.  He’s concerned about money, about bills about all this other stuff but Camp Widow?  That is something that makes me feel normal again, just for a while.

I stopped in briefly to visit friends on my lay over.   One of them said that I should hit up RollerCon – that it was amazing, awesome and something not to be missed.

I’d miss it for Camp Widow.

And I *love* roller derby.

Over the next few days, I’ll write more about the bits and the days and the moments.  But for now…

Long Live Love…

Well Loved 2014

One Week

In one week, I will be sitting in Toronto, hanging out with my Widda peeps.

I will be having a drink or two, catching up with those who I haven’t seen in a year, and meeting new people I’ve only connected with online.

For 3 glorious days, I will be doing nothing but immersing myself in my being as “Mark’s Widow”

I won’t have to pretend I’m ok if I’m not.

I won’t have to hide tears.

I wont’ have to smile if I don’t want to.

I can tell morbid jokes about death and people will LAUGH because they will get it.

I will miss my family, but these three days… they are about me… my healing and my grieving.

And when I get home, I will be able to focus on my family and my life… having taken the time out to honour Mark.

It is something I am looking forward to with every fibre of my being.

camp widow  hope matters

September 11

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before – I may have – but meh – it’s another year.  (How’s THAT for a run-on sentence?)

I think back 13 years to September 11.   I was heavily pregnant – my son would be born 16 days later.  I was already on maternity leave and watching the news in the morning, having gotten up with my older kids.

Everyone else was sleeping.

I watched as the plane hit the first tower.   I called my mother, who then said it was a hoax.   I woke my husband.

I watched the second plane hit the next tower.

And while I was horrified by what I saw – I had no understanding of what I was really seeing.

All the people who were dying?   They left someone behind.

A spouse.

A child.

A parent.

A sibling.


I had no understanding of what that meant.   My parents were both alive.  My husband’s mom was still alive and I wasn’t around when his Dad died.  My husband was still alive.

I had never experienced loss.   I was young, naive and it was all a theoretical exercise of “oh that’s awful”

And today, 13 years later, I get it.

I understand what it’s like for those left behind.   I understand how devastating it is to have your life turned upside down in an instant.

Today, I remember.



I hate that there’s so many people I talk to now who DON’T know Mark. 

He’s just Jane’s dead husband to them.

He’s not Mark, who loved fishing, who was passionate about the environment, who cried when the Cheakamus River was blown out by CN Rail, who spent countless hours on the river, who had a laugh that sounded like the alien from Flight of the Navagator, or Marty McFly, depending on what he was laughing at. 

The people I know now didn’t know his incredible strength, his dedication to his kids, his ability to see the good in everything. 

They just see a picture, a box full of stuff and a beautiful urn. 

Some days, I just want to talk to someone who knew him… and understands why he’s left such a huge void in my life.