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everywhere i go.

everywhere i go i take them with me.  this ache that will never quite subside, it will always be felt.  what i hear so often is that i am strong but it's funny because i think the people who are strong are the ones who aren't afraid of my pain, who don't mind being scarred with me because the fire affects them too.

i remember there was a popular blogger who lost her four year old son in a tragic accident maybe two years ago?  i remember being horrified by it and literally thinking to myself "well... won't be reading that for a while"

sometimes the most difficult thing in the world is to watch those close to you suffer.  i write so much about being alone and feeling alone.  but there have been many who have chosen to stand in the fire with me, many who show up and show up even when i don't call back right away, even when i am spacey and overwhelmed by my text messages and don't respond back.

by leaving ohio, i am leaving a lot.  i am going to a tribe but also leaving a tribe.  it is hard, hard for me to leave.  i am sad and emotional and at times overwhelmed with the enormity of leaving all these people behind.  but then i think of trying to stay, of trying to rebuild here and i realize, it just can't happen.

also this is just a general FYI but if someone you know is hurting or going through a rough time, say something, say anything.  no- you don't have the right words, yes you might stay something stupid, but you will be forgiven for stupid comments and most likely provide fodder for the person who is going through the difficult time because it's always good to have a laugh in your back pocket.

silence is salt on an open wound.  and if you want me to give you a specific start with "i am so sorry, there are no words"


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treat it.

to everyone who has never been touched by suicide,

i get it.  i used to be like you too.  here are the most common views of suicide i either heard or personally held growing up:

that person is selfish
that person is crazy
that person is a coward
they wanted to die
they were depressed for a long time and finally went through with it
there are always warning signs, so people know it's coming
that it's preventable
THAT IT WOULDN'T AFFECT ME


there is this social stigma around depression, suicide, etc.  i can't tell you what it is like to not be able to talk openly about my husband's death.  to see people either openly or privately distance themselves from my pain, search for reasons that he did it beyond the fact that he was ill and we didn't catch it in time, connect dots that aren't connected.  all so they can convince themselves that they will never know the pain, and i honestly hope they don't- but it's possible they will.  i know people whose lives…

dating in 2016, also huge LOL at even posting this.

Half of me can’t even believe I am writing this post.  Dating is gruesome, isn’t it?  Like most of life, I suppose.
The weekend that Jim died I was standing there, a wreck, while my phone was blowing up.  Alayne goes “who is texting you so much?”
I respond “oh those are just my tinder matches” 
and I know that not everybody gets the hilarity and all I can say is until you are in the fire, you don’t see the need for a respite from getting burned.
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i have this story that literally leaves people speechless.  most people when they hear it don’t even really know how to interact with me much less get involved romantically.  and i know eventually it won’t be such a big part of my identity, this widowed, grieving mom, but right now it is and if i want anything to do with the person then it’s like they have to know it.  
again, it’s a tough sell. 

reflection.

i watched a video that my iPhone made, a video of 2016.  and it had just all of these beautiful and painful moments just wrapped into this four minute video.

the depth of my pain this year has been, at times, unbearable to the point where i wished for death.

but i saw so much smiling in those videos.  so many sweet moments and so many memories that happened when i was in a fog that felt all encompassing.



this year i felt the church's love in a way i have never before felt
this year i was able to take my kids on a disney cruise because of my co-workers at carters and the fundraiser they did for me
this year i was able to move because people came and packed and loaded me and helped with the cost of moving
this year my kids had a play set built for them while they were in another state
this year we imposed on people over and over again with our loud, yelling and crying little family of three
this year my daughter made beautiful friendships because people weren't afraid to reach …