Archive for the 'Widows' Stories' Category

Eleven
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I am eleven years a widow now. I reread the words I have written in my widowhood and wonder how I ever made it through the pain, the fears and the frozen terror of life in the aftermath of death.

But I did. Sometimes it actually feels contained. The grief. The longing for him alive has been replaced, filled, adjusted. I can attest to rebirth and renewal. They’re not only r & r words.

And then it hits me again. Peter’s mother, twenty-four years a widow, dies at the age of 94. His twin sisters omit Peter’s four sons and his grandson from their mother’s obituary. And if they’ve removed them from the obit, you can imagine what they’ve done with their inheritance. “This brings it all up again,” I say to my mother. “If Peter hadn’t died, it would be so different.” I can almost hear my mother rolling her eyes from the other side of the line, wondering when I am going to eliminate that pointless lament from my repertoire of woes.

Ram Dass says he is “stroked.” He lives a life after his stroke that is forever different. Such is the experience for a woman who is widowed. As women, we become mothers, sisters, daughters. And we are “widowed.” I can almost see the peak at the forehead when I say the word now. The peak that begins the rest of the elaborately complex hood. And when we are widowed we pare apart a union that was once paired. We become singular in our life’s choices.

Should I go back to school, sell my house, move out of this mausoleum of grief, we wonder as widows. Should I quit my job? Do I have a choice? Some of us actually do. We’re the fortunate few.

Eleven years later, I’ve done what fortunate widows and women do. I’ve fed my boys, earned my masters, worked a farm, quit my job, sold my house, fell in love again, fed my boys some more. Through it, I’ve known that my life’s work runs parallel to my life. I have discovered a hood of being a woman that I never imagined wearing but have tailored to fit my life. Being a widow has intersected with being me.

I am a widoe. I’ve softened her with an “e” so that I can wear her name. Bear her existence. That she was I. Peter was gone. I had babies. It was survival for many years. Not enough. Too much. Too many. Too few. When is it not about survival?

But I’m not a refugee widow. Not in the Sudan. Afghanistan. Not fearing my daughter will be raped at the well. Not gathering wood to sell at market. I am a privileged, white-faced, mother of sons whom I watch grow strong like the green winter grasses outside my window. Young ones, older ones, middle-sized ones; I’ve inherited two more in my merger of families with a new mate. Six sons. A grandson too. There’s a hood I can wear more easily.

Unfortunately, motherhood and widowhood are commonly worn together. I founded WidowSpeak, a non-profit that makes visible the lives of widows, and far too commonly, it is only about survival. I work for a neighborhood of widows whom I call my “widows in the hood.” I work for renewal and justice and the strength that we must harness as a community of widows, but most of the stories that come across my desk are desperate. Widows with AIDS, widowed grandmothers raising babies, widows with hungry children. Africa, Indonesia, Iraq, California: some may forage for our children’s next meal; some of us fight for our sons’ inheritance.

Eleven years ago, only four months after Peter died, I signed the papers that removed my mother- in-law’s name from the title of Peter’s and my home. In 1988, Peter’s “ahead of his time” microbrewery had declared bankruptcy and when we bought our home in 1989 we had put it in his mother’s name. We had agreed to pay all the mortgage and property taxes and had. It was mere hours after he had suddenly died, that my mother-in-law had insisted that I change the title of the house. “I want this house out of my name,” she had repeated.

I was thirty-six, the mother of three sons, pregnant with our fourth, working at the local high school and trying to hold it all together; and I was calling loan agents to apply for credit for the first time, so that I could please my mother in law. I tried to assure her that I wasn’t boarding the next plane for a Thai beach, and saddling her with the house, but she was determined. On a cold January morning, the baby’s first kicks fluttering in my belly; I was sitting by myself at the title company, having to gulp back the tears and the morning sickness as they came in waves.

Uncanny that she would be buried, eleven years to the day, that I had signed those papers. Peter had been an eleven, and he had always claimed magic in the number. He was born at eleven minutes after eleven on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In his mother’s eulogy, they said that in her last days she had talked about having not seen Peter for a while and that she was going home to see him again. Peter had been close to his mother. They had shared a special bond. I hope she doesn’t show up at Peter’s home looking for him. That home was sold some years ago. Or maybe showing up to a house of strangers is a good place for her to start knocking. It’s a sad story. But it’s not desperate.

Today, my life and work intersect again. I work for the widow in Chad who relies on the United Nations and private donations from wealthy countries, and miles of bureaucracy, for a plastic tarpaulin to call home. And I also work for the widow who blogs from the attic space of her rented home. Living in Chile, as a child, in the years leading up to Allende’s election, my window to humanity’s collective suffering was opened and only gets wider. When I look at my well-fed children, I cannot forget the children’s gaunt eyes from the gutters of Coya. When I blow my “woe is me widow-whistle,” I renew my pledge to work for widows worldwide. Widows who lose their homes and their children too.

I pledge to blog as the widow I wear. A postmodern widoe, whom I call my PoMoDoe. I’ve been quieting her because I fear my edge, my anger, my bitterness, my myopic singularity. “Who am I to speak for widows?” I question, stuffing my words into my behave box. Today, I realize again, that there are no “ifs” in his story but that there are necessary edges to my story and though I may be able to soften my Doe, I will no longer be able to stuff her.

I have a voice and I will continue to listen for the voices of the widows and their children whose voices have been stripped from them. To be widowed is to become singular, but it doesn’t mean we are alone. It’s 2009. It’s a new year. The numbers add up to eleven. We welcome a new president, of a new generation of Americans, whose mother-in-law, a widow, will be living with her family in the White House. Peter’s mother had been a staunch republican. She had campaigned for Reagan, she was bitterly opposed to immigration and didn’t hold back her thoughts about Americans of color and language. “What are they doing here?” she’d ask with exasperation. “Tell them to go home and learn English,” she’d say about those who were moving into her once only-white neighborhood on the sparkling Marina. There are some beautiful ironies here. The Catholic priest who presided over her service was Pakistani and his lyrical accent was difficult to understand, but he spoke an impeccable English.

The Widow Next Door
Thursday, December 18th, 2008

WidowSpeak Blog—Michele

Grief is a thief; it steals the breath of life and leaves devastation in its wake. What happens when grief robs a woman of not only her husband, but also her ability to cope with the world around her? How do others know when the aftermath of loss has created a dangerous situation for their friend, family member, or neighbor? When has enough time passed that we no longer wonder if a person’s life difficulties could have something to do with the death of a loved one? The answers to these questions can only be discovered if we are willing to plant our own feet next to a widow, and walk a portion of the journey by her side.

A young woman lost her husband in a car accident six years ago. At the time of her husband’s death their children were eight and two, and her full-time occupation was caring for their family. The car accident that took her husband’s life left this young woman in deep despair. And then she got lost. As each year passed, her ability to find her way out of the forest of grief declined. She stayed in bed, she stopped cleaning the house, she let the yard go—and most people stood by and watched. After the first few years these others assumed this woman was lazy, useless, and a bad mother. Yet, her friends remembered a kind person who loved her children and worked hard to make their lives full and happy. At one time she belonged to the local church, volunteered in the neighborhood, and reached out to others. But when it was time to walk the road of loss—she walked alone.

After six years the department of child protective services was called to this family’s home. The house was declared a fire hazard, as was the surrounding property. And then someone spoke up. A friend recognized that this young woman never functioned the same way after her husband’s death. She noticed that the light was gone from her eyes, her former level of energy never returned, and she could still see that she loved her children and wanted to be able to take care of them. Most importantly, she didn’t put a timeline on her friend’s grief journey.

This good friend searched the Internet for a group that would help this widow. She sent a message to a widow’s support site, and that message happened to land in the lap of someone who knew someone who might be able to help. After a volley of phone calls and e-mails it was discovered that this woman was given one week to get the house cleaned up, or her children would be removed from the home. When the first call for help was received, three days had already passed.

A group called Catholic Charities was contacted, and agreed to make a home visit. What they found when they arrived was a home that could be aired on a daytime talk show—and a woman so lost she couldn’t find a path out. The very next day Catholic Charities rounded up eight volunteers and worked twelve hours straight—sifting, sorting, removing, and caring. On the appointed day, they still needed more time. The case worker for Catholic Charities called the Sheriff assigned to the case, and said they were well on their way to getting the situation under control but could they have one more day? Granted the extension, more volunteers showed up the following day, and as they finished the last bits of work a social worker arrived to take the children. As the social worker looked around the house, she wondered aloud what the problem could have been. The children looked healthy, the house was clean, the kids obviously wanted to stay with their mom; after a few phone calls she left, bewildered by what had taken place. The next day, the Sheriff returned and declared the case closed.
What a gift this wonderful friend gave our sister widow: the gift of understanding. She recognized grief for the thief that it is, and reached out a hand in help instead of pointing a finger in accusation. This led to another gift: the care and concern for others so beautifully displayed by the staff and volunteers from Catholic Charities. They do their work without judgment, and they don’t leave the person in need once the immediate dilemma is solved. This family will receive free counseling, and now has a place to turn for help, support, and hope.
The last thing this widow said to her benefactors was, “I didn’t know how to ask for help, I am so grateful.”

Thank God there was someone who didn’t need to be asked aloud in order to hear the cry.

When the Lord Closes a Door
Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

My friend Michelle came into my life in November of 2005. Around that time, grieving my husband had become my full-time job—I did everything else part-time. Two months after Phil’s death my life was settling into a pattern of managing widowhood, and single parenthood, one challenge at a time. My friends and family still kept an eye on me, but at the end of every day my most reliable companion was grief. Until early November when I got a call from my sister, Debi, asking for my help. My brother-in-law’s cousin had lost her husband to cancer the week before, and Debi wondered if I would write her a note. She thought I might know, better than anyone else, what to say to her.

The interesting thing was I didn’t feel like I knew anything about being a widow—except that it was thrust upon me, and it wasn’t optional. Sitting at my desk thinking of what to write, I finally settled on the truth—I was so sorry she lost her husband and the months ahead wouldn’t be easy, but I was available to talk anytime she wanted. That short message began a relationship that has changed my life.

Within weeks, the two of us felt an unmistakable kinship created by our loss experiences. We discussed all the things that we hated about widowhood—sometimes in pretty colorful language. It didn’t take long to figure out that speaking to each other could be done in half sentences—the other friend could always fill in the blanks. Some days we needed to cry, other days we needed to laugh, but with each passing day we discovered that we needed each other. Many mornings I woke up, with swollen eyes from an evening of wailing, and ran to my computer to see if I had mail. Her words became my lifeline, or perhaps more accurately, my hope line.

Miraculously, we took turns having break downs; we also took turns carrying the imaginary candle of hope. Each of us believed in the possibility of healing, but neither of us was sure how to go about it. Many days we weren’t sure we even wanted to try. What we didn’t realize at the time was that we were helping each other heal with our every interaction. Our spirits were slowly rebuilt with each tearful conversation, with the quiet acknowledgement of each other’s pain, with the certainty of a pat on the back for a forward step taken, and with the intuitive phone calls that came when the voice on the answering machine didn’t sound quite right.

Michelle was the only person who understood that I wanted to die, but that I would never kill myself. I could tell her that I missed being a wife, but I had no desire to have another husband. One day she would agree with me that neither of us would ever re-marry, and the next day we could jointly agree to the exact opposite course of action. The most telling part of our mutual understanding was that we verbally agreed that given the chance, we would immediately trade our wonderful friendship in for the opportunity to have our husbands back—without hesitation and without any hard feelings! The illogical, roller coaster of grief was much easier to ride with a partner who was willing to either clutch my arm during the frightening drops or encourage me to throw my hands in the air—depending on the day. Somehow Michelle always knew what kind of day it was.

Reflecting on the phrase, “When the Lord closes a door he always opens a window,” I realize that my friendship with Michelle is a window that opened for me after the death of my husband slammed shut a door, with unnerving finality. Through the window of our friendship I am able to see the good that still exists in my life and in the world. The frame of our friendship window was forged by the fire of grief and reinforced by the power of shared experience. Our window is draped in mutual love and unwavering support. Unless you have lived the loss experience you might not notice that our friendship window has a unique style of glass—it allows us to view the world as it could be if we dare to believe in the power of hope. The deafening crack of the door that death closed for me reverberates in my heart and in my daily experience, but when the noise threatens to alter my life view—I just look out the window.

Dating
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

About a year after my husband died I began feeling extremely restless. My mind seemed to be skittering from one thing to another. In a way, this was welcome relief from the heaviness of deep sadness and depression.

But something was missing. Of course, something was missing. Floyd was missing. I was missing Floyd in a new way.

Somehow, from this agitated state of displaced energy, I decided to try internet dating. A couple of well-meaning friends had suggested it.

It took me some time to figure out the mechanics, since I knew little about computers at that time. I spent time organizing my profile information and coming up with a catchy tagline. I posted my profile and waited for responses. Well, I didn’t really wait. I was out there looking for my perfect companion in cyberspace.

I boldly responded to profiles of men that sounded like interesting dating prospects. At one time I was corresponding with eight men at the same time.

I was 51 and hadn’t dated in a very long time. The emails led to some actual dates. Let’s just say the experience was less than satisfying.

Reflecting back on this time, I see that my restlessness was but another phase of my grief process. My decision to date came from a place of missing Floyd’s physical companionship.

I wasn’t looking for another man. I was looking for Floyd in other men. I believe this was evident to these potential dating companions. But I was blinded by grief masked as dating energy.

I realized that my skittering mind was really fulfilling the role of a protective disconnection from my heart and body. I was still lost in grief. It just had a different package.

The pain of feeling my grieving body was so overwhelming that I believe my mind was searching for a way to disengage and somehow feel ‘normal’ again.

I realize I didn’t want to look—no—I didn’t want to feel the ache of missing his tender hugs, his kisses, his soothing and loving gazes into my eyes.

Is This Menopause or Depression?
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Soon after Floyd’s death I felt myself descending deeper and deeper into a dark, lethargic place. My body felt sluggish. My mind felt like it was stuffed with cotton balls. I ate little, but seemed to be gaining weight.

I decided to visit my naturopathic doctor. She reminded me that I was beginning my transition through menopause. Somehow I had forgotten that my body was moving into this new physical place.

Her conclusion was that the menopausal symptoms were affected by my grief and the life stress of having to move soon after my husband’s death.

The stress in my life was intensifying the hormonal shifts going on within my body. In turn, the hormonal shifts were pulling my grieving heart to very dark and extremely painful emotional places.

Homeopathic remedies, carefully chosen herbal blends and acupuncture took the edge off my cloud of multilayered discomfort.

Reflecting on this extremely uncomfortable period of time, I think that I was feeling abandoned by my body as well as by my husband. My body was changing, and I didn’t seem to have anything to say about it, just as I had nothing to say about my husband dying.

Who am I without my husband? Who am I now as a menopausal woman?

On rejoining the world of the living
Monday, July 9th, 2007

This post is about sex, or more accurately, my lack thereof and all of my emotional baggage surrounding that fact.

Well, not just about sex, more so dating, interest, relationships, and how the hell a young widow is supposed to make sense of all of this shit and deal with incredible feelings of guilt at the same time.

The new town that I’ve moved to is wonderful. There are people here whom actually have some of the same interests as me. After years of being the only young, slightly-lefty, college-educated chick in a crowd of sorta-righty, career military folk, it is downright refreshing to no longer be the “freak” in the crowd. On a military base, I might have well been coated with neon pink paint and wearing a suit made out of tinfoil. Here, I fit in. I had forgotten what a simple pleasure “fitting in” is.

And so while in the process of building new friendships, my mind has occasionally wandered into the future: what will happen if I meet someone here who I like? What if I decide that I might like a boyfriend sometime in the future? Those questions might seem mundane, trite nothings—I try to be a “grab life by the horns” kind of chick, and really, how much stress can be caused by the mere thought of a future suitor? But I have to be completely honest—I sit here in tears as I put these thoughts that have plagued me for weeks into record.

During my last session of grief counseling back in March, the issue of relationships came up, and I asked for a professional opinion. The therapist’s response? “You’ll know when you are ready.” Thanks for that $65/hour advice there, Doc!!!

I mean, really, what the heck? I have scoured the internet, books on widowhood, sought professional guidance, and I am still completely and absolutely lost. Part of this utter confusion, no doubt, lies within my realm of dating inexperience as a whole. My former husband and I started dating very, very young; he was my only real boyfriend in fact. Actually, we were officially a couple before either of us had our driver’s license. And so, my memories of dating, falling in love, and sex originate from a completely outmoded frame of reference. I can’t approach this strange new world using the same rules that applied back in high school—namely, I can’t initiate a relationship by asking someone to share a seat on the school bus with me. Making out in the back of my parent’s van won’t constitute a “date.” Guys won’t be willing to date me for years before we have sex. One of my worst fears is that my return to the dating scene will be an epic tragi-comedy on par with The 40 Year Old Virgin: sweet, yet hapless girl desperately wants to love and be loved; she unknowingly breaks almost every rule in the book, and hilarity (at her expense) ensues.

And I know it seems easy—if you’re not sure about things, then you’re not ready; but in reality, relationships and sexuality seep into so many aspects of our lives that they are akin to eating and sleeping. Soon, I plan to make appointments for both a family doctor and an OB/GYN. My personal, baseline, preventive health measures have been neglected ever since my husband’s leukemia relapse date of February 19, 2005. The OB/GYN visit is necessary—I don’t think that I’ve had any of my cancer screenings for three years now—but is also a great source of stress. The issue, of course, is birth control. I haven’t been on anything since we found out that my former husband’s chemotherapy treatment had resulted in sterility, and I am obviously not planning on sleeping with anyone at all in any sort of near future—but OB-GYN appointments are an annual thing. What if I meet someone in the next year? I don’t want to have to go to the trouble of going to another doctor’s appointment just to get a prescription—so should I go ahead and get a script written in the off chance that I’ll need it in the next year? Am I a really horrible person for even thinking about the possibility that I might eventually sleep with someone else? I mean—I know that I’m not, really, but that knowledge does nothing to assuage the intense feelings of guilt. I can’t be a nun for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to feel like I’m cheating on my former husband either.

Ironically, the inward stress has shifted outwards as I work towards decorating my apartment. I find myself actively avoiding displays and photos of Eric in areas of the new place that a guest might see. I don’t want the place to seem like a mausoleum to someone who never knew my former husband, and I don’t want to bombard a poor unsuspecting guest with a wall-sized display of him—but at the same time, I want to hang onto the happy memories attached to those pictures and drawings.

And so, I actively avoid it all by sitting at home with my knitting, and going out with my (all-female) knitting group. Can you tell that I’ve been knitting a lot lately? It’s so soothing, and when there’s a mistake, you simply rip the mistake out and reknit. If only real life was that easy.

Mourning Clothes
Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

I started wearing black in my teens and I have grown through the black of many shades and stages. Black dresses with carefree frills, black slacks for sassy, practical black for warm gloves and hats, the black I wore was playful and nonchalant, naive to the darker fringes found in wardrobes after death swoops in and kills nonchalance.

I liked wearing black. Satin black dresses, tied at my back, ebony curls and polished grey pearls; his charcoaled hair against my white breast. Black was an accent, not a focus. I asked him to wear it, and then wrapped myself around him like a sash circles a neck. Twirling around the smoky clubs, holding onto the black-and-blue of his eyes, we danced the midnight streets and the wooden floors of our churchhouse, under the moons of a blackened sky.

Black changed when he died. That night, I discovered the black of a widow. A shiny black; sharp and crisp. For Mama Til, my great grandmama, a widow’s black was dull, highly buttoned and severely laced. At the turn of the century, when Til stepped out of her launder woman’s home, she wore a widow’s costume. It was observed and noted that she was in her mourning period, and she was sheltered from the bite of the invisible widow’s black that I wear, perhaps?

Newly widowed, I yearned for an intricately woven, black-lace veil to drape over my tear-streaked face. I wanted the world to know that I was mourning my beloved. I wanted motorists to slow down when I crossed the busy street. I didn’t want for them to mistaken me as a goth and be suspicious of me. I wanted to wear a sign on my back that said, “be gentle with me; I am learning to walk with a limb missing.” But my widow’s black was quiet. Because mourning clothes aren’t worn in my time or culture, I wore naked clothes of grieving. Without a costume, I was blurred in a land of out-dated words and invisible wardrobes.

I didn’t wail in public. I didn’t throw myself into the unforgiving ocean or the expectant funeral pyre. I pinched my face brave as I feared falling apart. Afraid that if I crumbled, so did my children, my family, the peaked roof above our heads. I won’t crumble, I repeated, biting my lip till it bled. But no one saw the blood either. In my culture, the images of death are tucked away, until one day death bleeds in front of us. And then we don’t have enough towels in our closet, to sop it all up.

The black of my once-preferred wardrobe, paled as I tried on my new black. I didn’t know what to wear to describe my grief. A black armband to mourn revolutionary style, elevating my love to martyr? A hooded cape with a widow’s peak at my forehead? I recoiled at the sight of black. I heard widow and I cringed, “Don’t call me that. It isn’t true. It isn’t my story. It’s Jacqueline Kennedy’s, Yoko Ono’s, Katie Couric’s. Go away. Be an interrupted nightmare. Be someone else’s costume and title.”

The man I loved did not die fighting for the illusion of freedom. He was not a sacrificial lamb, a statesman or a rock star. He did not die in a factory accident, a car accident, or from an environmental disease. I didn’t watch him suffer and dwindle away, and yet, I live in the shadow of crumbling towers, where daddies and fathers and lovers disappear. Where I became widow and single-mother in the same swoop.

Trying to fit into my pre-dated corset, I looked up “widow” in the dictionary. From dowager, it said, a legal term. A woman who could own property because her husband had died. I looked for a widow in literature that I could relate to. There had to be stories of widows walking over boggy heaths, weren’t there? Civil War widows tending to the farm, hungry babies at their skirts. Widows of the Depression waiting in a bread line, cold children at their skirts. Widows of WWII in factories, boosting the value of America, children working at their skirts. Widows of Vietnam, staying out of fire’s way, horrified families hiding at their skirts.

Where I live, women run corporations, same-sex couples adopt children, domestic partners are entitled to working benefits and single mothers keep rediscovering that it has always been a village of women and children, around the hearth, while the men disappeared in the hunt, or war. Maybe, I realized one day, it’s not how I dress myself, but how I write myself. I can wear my name and write widow in a way that becomes me. My widoe can evolve from dowager, by dropping the w and adding an e. I can write myself as widoe and create a new way of looking at myself, through my own lyrical fingertips.

My widoe wears an e, the way another widow wears high-necked black, another wears a white mourning veil, another, a heavy shroud, or a severe peak. I told my professor that the e is the proper way to make the o long and widow feminine. Spare me the grammar lesson, she says. Okay then, widow is written in an archaic language that doesn’t define me. The e loosens the patriarchal bindings of widow, with origins of being his property. I know I’m privileged to live in a fertile valley where women, at least overtly, are not regarded as property. The nagging hole in my belly is obesity alongside the widow of India who has been cast out to the streets to beg with her children. The widow who has been denied her home, her children’s, inheritance, which had been stolen by her husband’s family.

“Widoe” is somewhere in-between mammal and woman, I said to my professor, as I explained my thesis title. Birth unites women in a family of mothers welcoming life into hopeful arms. Death unites women in a family of widoes releasing life from helpless arms. My widoe has the freedom to walk to a Haitian dance class, down the street from my home, thirsting for rejuvenation, from the live drumming, the sweat, and the colorful skirts. I don’t live the Haitian widoe’s day-to-day hunger and poverty. But, in many ways, I live her pain, her dance of raising children on a dime. Rather than deny my widow’s hood, I cut my cloak from a cloth that belongs to all widows, tailoring it to me, grateful for the choice I have to be able to wear what I want.

Returned and rebuilding
Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Sorry for the long, unannounced hiatus. There were quite a few big decisions in my personal life over the past several months that interfered with both my blogging time and my access to the internet. I am writing now from a new town, a new place of residence, a new vocation, and most importantly, a new lease on life. I finally feel that I am at a point where I might be able to build a fulfilling and healthy life for myself, alone. Also, there are quite a few poor decisions from the past year that need to be rectified. I had read studies and anecdotal evidence of widow(er)s making poor financial and life choices after the death of their partner, and I am afraid to tell you that possessing the knowledge alone does not protect you from succumbing to an increased rate of mistakes and missteps. Ah well, I have all of the time in the world to rebuild myself into a stronger and better version. And for that time I remain eternally grateful.

In addition to announcing a return to regular blog updates here, I wanted to inform the readers of this corner of the web of a new online service which I was invited to try. The service is a newly launched online memorial site, Respectance.com. The site allows one to create a lovely memorial for a loved one who has passed, creating a place where people all over the world can meet and remember their loved one. My page is here, and I encourage you to check it out and add your own! It’s really sort of a neat concept.

Thank you for your patience.

Tragic differences
Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Recently posted at Living Forward, this excerpt perfectly describes the doubts in my mind every time I think about the possibility of ever becoming emotionally invested in another’s life. Unfortunately, there’s more than one kind of heartbreak out there; so I’ve included her commentary on the doubts of the recently divorced as well.

divorced: she might cheat on me
widowed: he might die on me

divorced: when is it going to fail
widowed: when will he get sick

divorced: 6 out of 10 marriages will fail
widowed: everyone dies

divorced: im scared of screwing up
widowed: im scared of losing him

divorced: i need to protect my heart
widowed: i need to protect my heart

Mercury
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

My person becomes fluid

For I’m about to head

to the fourth new town

in as many years.

It used to be so easy.

Roles I dutifully embraced:

Loving wife, tender caregiver, faithful girlfriend.

Now, all roles are gone.

I can be whomever, whatever I want.

A brand-new, clean slate.

Most people would kill for this chance.

In a way, I already have.

So why am I so damn unsatisfied?