Trying To Find My Why…

Trying to Find My Why…

This morning I awoke with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Once firmly rooted in the roles of wife and mom, I now find myself treading unfamiliar paths. Life’s unforeseen twists force me to redefine my very being. Wrestling with questions about my purpose and identity, I long for a sense of fulfillment and clarity. Who am I now? What is my place in this world? My purpose?

As the roles that once gave me definition change, I struggle with a feeling of disorientation. I’ve tried to fill the void with various activities, ventures. Yet, I realize these external pursuits are merely fleeting distractions.

Though my recent commitment to the Fab40 campaign, dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer has been rewarding, it has also presented its own emotional hurdles and challenges. Confronting a world burdened with grief and loss, I’m overwhelmed with a complex array of emotions.  Seeking “votes” or “donations” during such turbulent times evokes a sense of guilt within me. Where does my loyalty belong? Am I doing the right thing? Making the right choices?

Life is a journey. This is another path I must explore to rediscover my purpose. I reflect on the values that have guided me throughout my journey. What brings me joy. Fulfillment. A profound sense of connection with the world? It’s easy to retreat during these moments. Seek solace in the familiar. The comfortable. The safe. Yet, in doing so, I miss out. On life. On living.  I may not find the answers today. Tomorrow. Or even months from now. I will embrace the process. Allow myself the space to grow. Adapt to the changes life presents. Trust that I am resilient to navigate the uncertainty. Uncover a renewed sense of purpose that resonates deeply with who I am now. Who I hope to become. 

Today, I will continue to fight for those who are unable to do so themselves. My belief in this cause remains unwavering. The statistics speak for themselves – 1 in 8 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. With no known cure, early detection is crucial for survival. I hope you will continue to stand beside me as we join forces in this critical battle.

#NBCF #BreastCancerAwareness #PinkRibbon #StrengthInNumbers #TogetherWeCan #HopeForACure

Double Duty

Being a mom has always been more than just a title to me. It is my most cherished role. My favorite “job” in life. The love, joy, and challenges that come with it are a constant source of fulfillment. However, everything changed when Greg died. The shift was seismic. Suddenly, being a mom was tougher than I’d ever imagined. I was confronted with the daunting task of becoming both mom and dad. 

Greg was more than my husband. He was my rock. My sounding board. My partner in parenting. He was the one I turned to in tough times. The one with whom I could share my worries. Concerns. The one who provided a fresh perspective. Unwavering support. But suddenly. He was gone. An aching void impossible to fill. 

In the earlier years of parenting, a scraped knee could be healed by a simple kiss. A colorful bandage. Those physical hurts were easily soothed. I could reassure the kids that everything would be okay. But, now as adults, the hurts they face become more profound. The solutions aren’t as straightforward. Emotional wounds and internal struggles cannot be fixed with a bandage or kiss.

Navigating these complex emotions and uncharted waters of solo parenting has been a journey filled with both heartache and resilience. In this new chapter of my life, I find myself facing a myriad of tough decisions that seem to bear down on my shoulders. Heavy. Relentless. 

Once, these responsibilities were shared. A shared weight between two people who balanced each other. But now, it’s my heart that bears the brunt of it all. From the mundane choices of everyday life to those pivotal, life-altering decisions, I’m the one who must shoulder the burden alone.

As I stand at these crossroads, I’m often plagued by self-doubt. Uncertainty.  I find myself reevaluating my decisions. Wrestling with the overwhelming uncertainty that life can bring. Despite my growing belief in myself and the strengthening I’ve undergone over the past nine years, there are moments when I still doubt my own worth. My capacity to make important choices. I miss Greg’s guidance. Perspective. And insight that once steered us through the intricate passages of life’s twists and turns. It was reassuring, a source of comfort, knowing that we could tackle even the insurmountable challenges. 

The burden of being a single parent, carrying the weight of every decision often becomes overwhelming. There are moments when the load is too heavy. The struggles insurmountable. Yet, I choose to hide the depths of my struggle. I put on a brave face. Stand firm in the face of adversity. Offer reassurance that they can lean on me. Some days, on the outside I am the mom holding it together. The pillar of strength. While inside, I’m wrestling with relentless pressure to live up to the expectations I’ve set for myself.

The journey through motherhood continues. It looks different than it did when Greg was alive. I’ve learned to lean on my own resilience. Find support where I can. Navigate the complexities of life with everlasting love for my kids. I will continue to redefine my life. My role as mom AND dad. Doing the very best I can. Every. Single. Day. 

Staying Alive

These past 9 years, I have gracefully juggled extreme emotions. Navigated the intricate dance between happiness and grief. Joy to tears. Tears to joy. Finding the delicate balance is tough. One moment. Embrace life’s joys. Live in the moment. The next. Acknowledge the sadness. Fraught with emotions and uncertainties, I struggle to balance on life’s tightrope.

I cherish the moments of genuine happiness. Milestones. Celebrations. Laughter with family and friends. Simple joys. I smile. Enjoy the present. But there is an underlying awareness. Greg is not here. He will never share these joyous occasions.

Grief is a constant companion. It’s a shadow that follows us through the brightest and darkest moments. It’s that unexpected guest who arrives unannounced, barging into our hearts when we least expect it. It’s a void. A hole. An empty space that reminds us of the bonds we once shared with those who are no longer with us. And it can surface in the most unlikely of places.

A few weeks ago, my sister and her husband were in town. It seemed like a simple plan to meet them for happy hour. A casual gathering of family. But for me, it wasn’t so simple. The anxiety welled up inside me, threatening to overwhelm me. The anticipation was overwhelming. 

To make matters more complex, several of my sister’s friends joined us. The conversation turned to travel plans. Places they would visit this year. Dreams for future adventures. These were the same dreams Greg and I had once shared. Dreams of exploring “bucket list” places together. Creating lasting memories. I sat there. Silent. An observer in a sea of animated conversation. What could I contribute? How could I explain the giant void in my heart? No one knew the pain I carried. The emptiness that gnawed at me from within. Why would they? Or why would they even think those were my thoughts? 

As the conversation flowed around me, the ache and pain inside me grew more pronounced. I wanted to escape. Retreat to the sanctuary of my car. Turn on the music. Let my emotions flow freely. Music has always been my refuge. A comfort that washes away the sadness. I wanted to cry. Scream. Release my pent-up emotions. When I got to my car, that’s just what I did. Cry. Scream. I let the grief pour out of me. It was a moment of release. You’d think that after all this time, I would be past this. That grief would have loosened its grip on me. But the truth is, I’m not. Grief is not a linear journey. There’s not a perfect beginning and end. It’s a constant companion, always lurking in the background, ready to rear its head when we least expect it.  

There are many days when I’m okay. I carry on with life as if grief is a distant memory. And then there are days like that one. Grief surges to the forefront, demanding to be acknowledged. On those days, I feel it intensely. I let it wash over me. I honor Greg’s memory. And then, eventually, I’m okay again. Grief may be a constant companion, but so is resilience. I am able to find moments of peace and acceptance amidst the storm.

Rediscovering the Pen: Writing Brings Hope

Life is a tapestry woven with joy and sorrow. I never imagined my life to be as it is. My life was nearly perfect. On the trajectory to lifelong togetherness. Living our best lives. Together. But fairytales don’t always end with the “happily ever after.” Mine did not. So, here I am. Still figuring it out. 9 years later.

Life continues its relentless march forward. I “do” life. Fall into the mundane rhythm. Yet, the shadow of grief is ever present. Not all encompassing. But there. Time is a complex companion.  It is not a healer. Yet it transforms. Changes the way grief affects me. I can’t wave a magic wand. Make “it” disappear. My sorrow has been altered. Redefined. Mellowed. Softened. Moments of heartache. 

My journey has been a tumultuous one. Peaks and valleys. Acceptance and surrender. Longing and despair. The beginning. Raw pain. Overpowering, engulfing every aspect of my life. An all-encompassing force, like a fierce storm raging within my soul. The world seemed colorless. Life lost its meaning without Greg beside me. Every day an endless struggle. Memories brought meaning and solace. Cherishing our treasured love, laughter, tears, joy, and challenges, softened my sorrow.

How have I learned to live forward? Redefine my grief? Acceptance. Acceptance that there is no “cure” for grief. Acceptance that grief does not go away. Acceptance that grief exists because we shared a beautiful love. Acceptance that it’s okay to not be okay. Acceptance of a normalcy in my life. A new rhythm. I know Greg will no longer walk through the door. His voice an echo in my mind.  

My journey is one of resilience. Strength. Strength that I never knew existed. Strength borne out of necessity to move forward. My journey continues. There is no end. No choice. No option. I am here. Alive. And living. I need to live. 

Throughout my journey my one beacon of hope was The Power of the Pen. Writing. In the beginning, I wrote for me. To keep Greg alive. But the stories ran out. What could I say? Did anyone care?  Now. I’ve discovered hope. Again. “Embracing Ink..A Journey of Moving On and Navigating Grief” is a tale of resilience. Growth. Discovery. As I expose my personal navigation through grief, I hope to offer solace and understanding to anyone treading the same path. We can get here together. One breath. One moment. One step. At a time. 

I realize it’s okay to be happy. Laugh. Live. I understand the love that Greg and I shared will forever be a part of me. It CAN coexist with pain of loss. I embrace my reality. Grief is not a sign of weakness.  It is a testament to my love. 

Grief is not a linear process. There’s no fixed end date. It’s a lifelong journey. A path I continue to walk with courage. Grace. Resilience. My love for Greg is my guiding light, illuminating the way forward even as I carry the weight of the past.  I know my life will never be the same again. I can accept the change. Grief has become a gentle companion. It is an integral part of who I’ve become, coexisting with happiness and hope. As I move forward I know that Greg’s memory will forever be a cherished presence in my heart.

May we find peace together in our journey…life is meant to be lived.

9 Years

August 30, 2014. Nine years ago. An eternity. Or yesterday. It feels one and the same. The day my world turned upside down. Changed forever. The day Greg left this world. Yet, the absence remains imprinted on my heart. This journey. A rollercoaster of emotions, filled with highs and lows. Crashing waves. Moments of solitude. Reflecting on my grief journey, I realize how profoundly my world has changed. Most difficult? Learning to embrace the present, even in solitude.

Today I celebrate Greg. I celebrate his life. One of honor. Integrity. Love.  Compassion. On this anniversary (as others) I am enveloped in a bittersweet embrace of sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for the life we lost. Gratitude for the life we had. 9 years later, the pain of losing Greg remains, but I am grateful for the legacy of love and cherished memories. Sorrow and sadness. A testament of our love. Greg was not only my life partner. He was my soulmate.  My best friend. A piece of my heart was taken away that August day. I’m not sure it will ever be whole again. 

Amid the sorrow, there is an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude for 40 blessed years. The precious moments we shared. The love that continues to sustain me even in his absence. I am grateful for every smile.  Every laugh.  Every argument (let’s be real!).  Every tender touch. All that we experienced throughout our life together. The years we had were a gift beyond measure. We created our own world. One of love. Trust. Understanding. Our life was full of joy, challenges, and growth. For that, I am eternally grateful. Greg brought immense joy and meaning to my existence. While I may not have realized it then, I am thankful for every second we had. We just didn’t have enough of them. The twinkle in his eyes. His “squeaky” laugh. His raucous snores. The warmth of his hug or touch of his hand. These memories are etched in my heart and bring warmth to the most difficult days. Greg’s love will forever guide me through life’s journey. I find strength in his memory and draw inspiration from the beautiful person he was.

Today I choose to honor his memory, focusing on the joy and love we experienced together. I will honor Greg by embracing life with courage and grace, just as he did. I will cherish the memories we had, knowing they are my greatest treasure. I will continue to carry forward his legacy by emulating the compassion, kindness, generosity, and humility he embodied. Greg’s memory will forever remain alive in my heart and the hearts of all those whose lives he touched. “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains.” Thank you for being my light. Today it will shine just a bit brighter. Forever loved. Forever missed. Somewhere over the rainbow…