Finding Love Again

I’ve gone through a couple boyfriends since Mark died.

One was just for fun (George – he was my happy place) and the other I thought was my chapter 2 (my Metalhead Poet) but wasn’t.

I’ve hurt.  I’ve cried. I’ve gone on a number of crappy first dates through Plenty of Fish.  I had almost decided that I’m not destined to find love again.

And then I did. I found my Sexy Chef.

I met him on POF. Had a date.  Threatened to kill him. (literally – I said to him “I’m going to kill you if you don’t let me sleep).  Had another date.  Got into a fight type thing.  Told him flat out that I didn’t want to date him, and that I was happy to be friends but for a number of reasons (the fight being one of them) I didn’t want to date him.

We became friends. We talked.  A lot. And then… I started to fall for him.

He traveled six hours to take a chance that perhaps we might have a real connection.

We do.

We have an amazing connection. I’ve fallen in love with a man who is kind, considerate, respectful, loving, caring and so passionate and supportive about me being me.

We mesh well.  We communicate well. We… … do other things well. We are very compatible.

This weekend, I met his family – most of them. We spent a night with his mom and step-dad, his brother and his sister-in-law and his niece and nephews.

They are lovely people. Really freaking awesome people. Despite my overwhelming anxiety before I got there, I was quickly made to feel welcome and I felt at home.

It’s amazing, finding love again. Finding the place where bliss and joy meet in a potential future. And discovering that I can open my heart again.  Being able to place my heart in someone else’s hands, and trust that he will keep it safe… that is an amazing thing.

I have found love again. And it’s beautiful. And he loves me. In all my beautiful broken-ness.

One Day



That Moment When…

You have a meltdown because it’s the day before your husband died.

You fall apart completely because it was the day that your husband decided he wanted to turn off the machines.

You sob uncontrollably because you can’t shut the memories off and they just keep hitting you over and over like you’re in an angry ocean that keeps slamming wave after wave into you.

You are a snotty, teary mess because it’s 4 years since he died.

And you’re doing it all in the arms of someone who is new in your life, and he’s perfectly ok with it.

That moment when you think… just for a moment, that the person holding you might actually be perfect (he’s not, not really but for that moment it felt like it)

And after, when you’re blowing your nose and apologizing for turning a lovely sexy romantic morning into a grief storm, he tells you that it’s ok, that you need to go through the emotions, feel them, express them because if you don’t you can’t heal.

It’s that moment when you feel, for the first time since your husband’s death, that you have solid footing under you again.

Turn On the Light

Still Grieving

I’m sorta dating a new person who is big on open & honest communication.  Who doesn’t get easily offended at me saying no or telling her how I feel.

We haven’t had sex.   There’s some discussion around sex that we had to have, so I brought them up.

After a while, December hit me.  If you’re a widow, you get it.  The “fuck he’s not here, my life isn’t what it’s supposed to be, I miss him, I miss the traditions, I miss being part of a ‘couple’ and this fucking HURTS” feeling.

So middle? Towards the end? of the sex conversation I pop up with:

Topic change… December sucks. In general. used to be my favourite holiday season, but now it’s not. It is, but it’s laced with pain and memories and sadness. and to top it off – the day he made the decision to turn off the machines was the 25th of June, and he died on the 26th. which means Dec 25/26 is exactly 6 months. So alway reminds me of 1.5 years, 2.5 years and in this case… 3.5 years. So my emotions are all over the place, one moment I’m feeling fantastic and sexy and flirty and the next, without warning, I feel like I’m back at square one again… except now I know that it won’t last for weeks on end and eventually I’ll feel good again. But December sucks because of all the all over emotions that show up at random times and in random situations.

Most people… a lot of people? I don’t know how many people.   But Death is an awkward subject for society in general.  And so there’s a lot of people who would run at that point.  Or change the subject.  Or blow it off with a “yeah that sucks”  “sorry to hear”  “it’ll be ok – you’ll get through it” offhand comment that would invite no further conversations.

However, this incredibly lovely person responded with:

My friend, you are still in the active grieving process – something that can take up to 5 years for a major loss such as yours. he was your world. He was your partner. You had a good relationship from what you’ve told me. up to 5 years for the grief to ease and move into the background. It will never completely go away – there will be moments, days, special dates, that will catch you again – moments that know the wind out of you or threaten to drown you in another wave. And then it will leave you as it found you. But you aren’t there yet. You are still moving through the process of profound grief. be patient. Ride the f’n ride and know that this sucky shitty icky place isn’t forever. Continue to tell his stories. Continue to honor him in whatever ways feel right for you. Allow yourself to be right where you are – don’t fight it or judge it. embrace the ride. it is necessary to get to the place where he becomes a comforting presence in the background of your life. One that brings you warmth and fuels the smile in your eyes adn you can feel the joy for having loved and known him.

Which set off a grief storm.

My silence (we were on text, I had put my computer away, can’t type on my phone when I can’t see, can type with my eyes closed on my computer) prompted another message where she apologized, thought she might have overstepped.   She hadn’t.

She did something that I wish society would do:  She validated my ongoing grief.

I’ve been told that I’m grieving too hard still.  That I need to let go of my past.  That because I’ve been with someone new, that I love again that I should be “over” it.

But I’m not.  I loved him for 14 years.  I was his wife.  I am his widow. He is not replaceable and I will not just put him on a shelf in the back corner of my closet and forget about him like a doll I loved when I was a child.

Regardless of where this relationship goes, where it takes me (we’ve already discussed that we’re on different paths in life) I am going to revel in the fact that I can just be me… in all it’s happy, in all it’s sad, in any confusions I may have… and that I can talk about those things without fear.

And that.. that is the most amazing gift.

Turn On the Light

There’s Something About Loss

There’s something about loss after you’ve lost a spouse.

Every small loss becomes a painful big loss.

And the big losses?  The “end of relationship” losses?  Those ones are devastating.  I don’t know how to deal with those.

I know he reads these…and I’ve tried to keep it out of my blog because they get thrown back in my face later.

The fact that I mention this on my blog will probably get thrown back in my face later.

But in the end… I’m sitting here, bawling, because I LOVE someone.  And that someone has broken my heart.  But blames me.  And I have taken my share of the fault.  I own my mistakes and my douchebaggery.  I own those.  I screw up.  I’m human.  I am not perfect.

And I love him.  But my heart keeps getting ripped in pieces.

And still I love him.

I have moments of listing all the things that I don’t want, all the reasons why it will never work and as soon as I see him, as soon as I am in the same room as him, sometimes even when I’m just thinking about him… the list just gets lost in the clutter of my mind and the only thing I can think of is “IlovehimIwanthimIneedhimImisshimIovehim” and that runs through my mind over and over and over and over and I can’t shut that up.

No matter how much I want to.

I want him.  I love him. I miss him.

We hurt each other.  We misunderstand each other.  We take each other wrongly.  We assume the worst of each other.

I want him. I love him. I miss him.

The loss… the ending.. the pain… its overwhelming because I *do* love him.  Enormously.

I can’t put him in a tiny little box in my heart.  It keeps fucking breaking open.

I put my dead husband in a box.  He stays there, mostly.   But right now… I am overwhelmed with pain and sadness and tears.

Because somehow… the loss of one… rips apart the boxes of both.  The hurt of losing one… destroys my defenses against both.

I’m in love with a dead guy.

I’m in love with a live guy.

And I’m alone and crying.

overfilled suitcase

Putting Him First

I talked to a friend of mine yesterday.

She was there before Mark died.

She was there when he was sick.

She was there after he died.

She supported me when I decided to move to the middle of nowhere to be with my Chapter 2 (who hates that term)

The conversation was that I needed to do some work on me, because I need to get to a point where I’m ready to move forward.

That things with Mike didn’t work because I wasn’t ready to move forward.

I have to wonder… is she correct?

Do I see things with such a “widow’s outlook” that I can’t see how much I put Mark in front of everything else?

I don’t feel like I do.  Not now.

Maybe I did?  I don’t know that I do now.

I’m a widow.  I’m a mom.  I’m a student.

Not in that order.

I was a girlfriend.  But I want to be a wife again.

How do I find the balance between girlfriend/wife and widow?

How do I honour my late husband and still plan a future?

I don’t know. I don’t know what I want. Well, I do.  I just don’t know how to get it. I don’t know how to overcome the challenges I see in front of me.  I don’t know if I CAN because it’s not all up to me.

But in the end… where I”m supposed to be… who I’m supposed to be with… will happen.

I will always be in love with a dead man.  But I want a future with a live one.

Life Is Short

Happy Birthday To Me

I turned 41 two days ago.


How did I get there? Here?  How did I get to be FORTY-ONE??

I spent my day at school, had a pop quiz in biology, a test in chemistry and my English teacher taught me a way to remember the metric scale which I’ve promptly forgotten half of it (I’ll have to remember to ask her for it again)

My boys made me dinner.   We had birthday cake.

I went out to hang out with acquantences who will likely become friends.

Had a good time, played cards, had a drink or two.

Saturday morning found me up at the butt-crack of dawn… actually before the butt-crack of dawn… to drive an hour or so away to play roller derby for the day.

6 hours of skating.

A lunch date.

2 more hours of skating.

I played in a bout where I got knocked on my ass by a wicked hit to my sternum (totally legal) and I had SO much fun!!!

My body hurts from the bangover.

Overall… I had a good weekend.   So far.

But there were moments… moments of longing.  Moments of missing.  Moments of intense sadness.

I looked out in the crowd at the bout and there was no one there…. no one to cheer me on, no one to support me, no one for me to have a victory drink with after the bout.

Don’t get me wrong… there were people I knew in the crowd… but they were there to watch *derby* not cheer *Jezebelle* on (my derby name).

My husband would have been there.  My ex-boyfriend? I don’t know that he would have – he was hot & cold in his support of my hobbies/goals/dreams.

I have friends I celebrated with… and watched them go home to their spouses.  I watched them go home to their families.

That’s the part I hate most about being a widow.   Going home alone.  Combine that with the knowledge that my ex is so very close… that I would probably just have to go upstairs and tell him that I miss him, that I need him, that I want him, that I want to work things out with him… and we’d find a way…

It hurts… knowing that he’s right there.   It hurts, knowing that my love for my husband is part of what ended my relationship with the man I love now.    It hurts… knowing that I go to bed every night, starving of skin hunger… missing him incredibly (both the hims I love) and wondering if I’m ever going to be able to have a love like what I experienced again.

Happy Birthday to me.   I didn’t get a picture of me on my birthday this year.  I’m not going to.  Or maybe I will.  But right now… I’m kinda feeling sorry for myself, wishing I had him here to snuggle up to on the couch, watch a movie before I go to work, or go through my flash cards with while we drink coffee and just be together.

The loss of a love relationship after the death of a spouse is harder than just an ordinary break up.   I grieve over my 2nd chapter daily.    I miss him.  I miss my husband.  While there is so much good going on in my life, I am grieving over the loss of the future I was promised… again…


I’ve been screaming lately.

In my car.

With the music cranked.

Gutteral, visceral screaming.

My throat kinda hurts… blarg.

I’m not sure if I’m screaming over my husbands death or the recent ending of what I thought would be my 2nd chapter.

I’m grieving over both.

The difference?  If I *really* wanted to, I could go upstairs, and yell at my ex for hurting me, for leaving me with a broken heart…  I can’t yell at my husband because he’s not here.

So I scream.

In my car.


Because I haven’t been able to cry the way I need to.

I haven’t been able to let it out.

He thinks I’m *over* him.  That I’m easily moving on.   I’m not.   I’m just extraordinarily skilled at disassociation and putting feelings into a tiny little box.

Only problem is that the box for my love for him and my grief over our relationship ending keeps getting clawed open by the sound of his voice, the look in his eyes, the sadness and love emanating from him when I see him.

I’d forgotten what it was like to have a relationship end.

I miss him.  Both of them.

Imma go out to my car and scream again.

Being a widow sucks.   Being a widow and going through a seperation sucks.

Screaming sounds good right now.

Tear Composition

Some  People  Letting Go

5 Years

The best advice I’ve been given to date about being a widow and being in a relationship AS a widow, came from another widow who’s now 14.5 years out.

Wait at least 4 – 5 years before getting into another relationship.

That seems like a long time to me.  I’m gonna be 42 by then. 42 and a half, even.

But…. It kinda makes sense.

Year 1… I was numb.  Couldn’t think.  Couldn’t feel.

Year 2… I was not numb.   Couldn’t stop hurting, let it override everything.

Year 3… I am in.  And I’m becoming more clear as to who I am and what I want and where I want to go.

Her advice kinda works for me.  My plans for the next 2 1/2 years has changed, somewhat.   I’ll be busy with school, getting my kids through high school, buying a house (I will own a freaking house before I’m 45, dammit!), and generally just learning who I am and what I want.

The other part of her advice?

Find a FWB.   Just keep the emotions out of it.

I’m pretty sure I’d be ok with that – but I’ve used FWB as a way of escaping the pain and loss and emotions before and now… I want… no I NEED to feel them. I NEED to go through them.  I can’t let go of any of it without FEELING it.

And until now – the feeling part has been missing.

My relationship with my 2nd Chapter came to a complete close yesterday.   As in, we’re both done done.  No going back.   And I won’t go back.  He doesn’t want to be my 2nd chapter – he wants to be Chapte 1 of OUR story… which is fair… except he’s got a chapter 1 already… he just doesn’t see it.

I hurt.  All the emotions of being a widow, of losing my husband, of being alone… all came back.   Only multiplied because now I hurt because I’ve lost my relationship, too.

I want to NOT hurt for a while.  Pretty please?   Just for a while, feel joy and freedom.

It’ll come.  I caught glimpses of it when my son and his lady and my grandbaby were visiting in August.  The joy of the new generation.  The freedom of a life unmarked by pain and suffering and sadness.   A blank slate upon which a new story will be written…

And I get to do that for myself now.  I get to write the story of the rest of my life, make plans for my children and me and focus on OUR happiness.

For the past year, the focus has been on someone else’s happiness… but now… it’s my turn.

Now… I get to change paths.  I am still a widow, and I don’t know that that will every stop being central to my life, but my future looks different.   My future looks bright and open and full of possibiliities.  For the first time in 3 years.

Peace PhoenixRising Dance in the Rain

Are You Happy?

I’ve had some difficulties in my new relationship.  Nothing serious – just a lack of support where I need it – or more rather, support in a form that doesn’t necessarily FEEL like support although I know logically it is support.

He’s amazing and wonderful in so many ways.  He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he brightens my day even when he’s miserable.

And when I’m in a full blown grief attack – he doesn’t know what to do.

If I’m CRYING he’ll come over and hug me.

But if I want to TALK… well… that’s a different story.

He’s not an emotional talker.

He doesn’t know how to just listen – he wants to fix the problem.

He can’t fix the problem.   And if he could, well… that would create more problems.

The whole grief, I want to talk about how much I’m hurting, how I’m struggling thing…?  He has difficulties with that.

I admit, I moved REALLY fast with him – 7 months after Mark died, Mike and I got together.

14 months after Mark died, Mike and I moved in together.

We’re planning a life together and it’s been just over 20 months.

So the grief is there – especially given that it’s been so short of at time.

And all my friends are in other places.   I don’t have those friends here who I can just go for coffee and BE… whether that is good or bad…

He’s it.  He’s my one here.

So I went online last night looking for the support I’d found in the past online.  Looking for people who get it.

I had 2 separate people say “Are you really happy?”

Yes, I am.

I love Mike as much as I miss Mark.

I don’t love by half measures – and while the love is *different* because they are different people – the love is just as strong and pure and true as it was with Mark.

I am simultaneously very happy in my life and with my future as I am sad and grieving for my past and the future I’ve lost.

It’s a bizarre situation.   People further out tell me it gets better.

But yes, I am happy.  And I’m still grieving hard.

Turn On the Light

Valentine’s 2014

Made it through.

Not that it was spectacularly hard to get through – I spent the day focussed on other things, and more or less enjoyed the day.

Found a dime from him – knowing he’s around today made it slightly easier.

And then… I found out my Aunt died.

And I just lost the good feelings.

Until my Metalhead Poet showed up at home… with flowers and chocolate.

I didn’t tell him – but it’s the first time I’ve gotten flowers and chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

It was a nice way to end the day…and now I’m off to bed.  Must get rested up for derby tomorrow – my first bout as a benchmarked skater!

I’ll be taking the memorial pendant with me – I so wanted Mark to be there with me, and I’ll take a piece of him.

Overall… Valentine’s 2014 was not overwhelmingly bad….. there were some lovely amazing parts to it… and some sadness.

Happy Valentines Day.

Valentines 2014