Skip to main content

Losing someone....

The month of January is almost over and I don't remember it ever starting. Not to say I don't remember my two granddaughters, Jillian and Samantha, going to dinner New Year's eve with me and spending a girls night watching movies and eating tons of food!
After losing my husband in November, I somehow moved through Thanksgiving (got through his birthday on the same day), and into December in a complete fog. I flew to Rhode Island to spend the holidays with our youngest daughter and her family in Massachusetts. I can only catch glimpses in my memory of what we did while I was there. Jill and I had some special times and shared lots of tears. I went to see two of the boys play basketball and they were good at shooting baskets and dribbling down the court. However it seemed I was someplace beyond myself. In space maybe - or outside my body looking at the world from a distance.
Spending Christmas with the four grandchildren (triplets 12 and our youngest grandson 8) was an extra special treat but without Raymond there was an unfilled place in my heart and at the dining room table.
The children kept me company every minute. Austin, the youngest, was a lot of fun. Mackenzie shared her big bed and her room. Still, there were reminders of his absence everywhere I turned.
Now at home, I've been caught up in the busyness of settling his estate. Doing paperwork, going to appointments alone, making decisions that will only impact myself. Turns out even the best laid final plans require a lot of work.
My life over the last few years has been regimented, scheduled around long hospital stays, doctor's appointments, surgeries, procedures, prescriptions to be filled, and pills to be dispersed. I'd taken over all areas of our existence except taking care of the almost two acres of lawn we have. Our daughter who lives nearby and her family did the lawn work last summer, with R helping very little. He simply was no longer able.
This year when warm weather arrives - and I'm counting on it arriving! -  I'll be learning to cut grass on the lawn tractor.
Because he loved the outdoors, the lawn, bushes, and trees, I plan to plant something in his honor. I haven't decided yet what. But it will be something he'd love.
When this first happened, I was sure I'd keep busy with my writing, my friends, my church. My -  my - my everything. Turns out mostly I amble around the place alone, touching things, and wondering what to do next. Wondering if I should do anything or maybe just take a nap. Often napping wins. I look at the dust gather. Think I should do the dishes. I do eventually but there's no hurry. No hurry to do anything. No where to go that's important. That's a huge change for me from the life I've lived for the last few years.
There's no guide to tell me what's next on the agenda.
I'm hoping that something in my life becomes important again. Right now I'm in a holding pattern.
Waiting. Not sure for what, but waiting nevertheless.
I've read several books on grief and that helps. I'm right on target. Smack in the middle of grieving. And no end in sight. I pray a lot and I know the Lord is listening. I'm just not getting any message except - HOLD ON. THIS WON'T LAST FOREVER. BETTER THINGS AHEAD. I hope so. I'm just not holding my breath. Bless you for reading this. If you have any advice or you've been through the loss of a spouse I'd love to hear from you! Hugs, B


  1. I can't imagine what you're going through, Barb - only notice the similarities to what my mom went through when my dad passed 12 years ago. Her advice (which she says she's been living every day, although it does get easier) is "One foot in front of the other."

    Take care <3

    1. That's exactly how I'm living right now. I get angry at myself because I thought I was such a strong person. This has knocked the breath out of me.
      The worst is not knowing who I am. Appreciate your reading and commenting. I'll be okay. I need to lose the impatience!

  2. Dear Barb, my heart goes out to you. I, too, can only relate to you through my mother. You are a strong woman and I am sure time will help, but grief is the price we must pay for love. How blessed you are to have such a wonderful supportive family. God bless you all.

    1. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Some days I do really well, like today for instance. I made myself a list of things to do. Simple things around the house and items to shop for. That worked to help me get my head on straight today.
      I appreciate all the support of family, friends, and my church. Blessings to you too.

  3. It is very tough. I had a very hard time after my mom died. It took me over a year to feel normal and do day to day things. My kids got me a plant and I took care of it and that helped me a little. You are in my prayers. I hope that you get strength. Please eat right because emotionally hard days take a lot out of us.

    1. Munir I appreciate your thoughts. I'm learning the death of someone we love isn't that simple to get over. I've read several books on grief and it seems I'm in the middle of it. There's nothing to do but go straight through it. It says some days will be fine and others you come crashing down. Winter doesn't help. I look forward to warmer weather and getting out more. Appreciate all the kind words. Hugs to you all!

  4. I don't have any magic words or advice to offer Barb and I'm so sorry. But I do remember my Mom after Dad passed away. She was only 49 and still had my youngest brother at home. He was 15 and my other brother was in college. Having those responsibilities probably helped but I still can see the lost look in her eyes...the attempt to keep going...the weight loss...the tiredness. I think my youngest brother got a bit lost in the shuffle but he was a really good kid and tried to step up and be the man of the house. Mom never remarried. She's 87 and has lived a very full and active life. She traveled the world, worked 3 jobs at times and helped my sister raise her family after she divorced. I remember her talking about Dad and his life and how he died and what she wished she had done differently during that time. It helped her to talk it over and over and we were all happy to listen and be with her. I think of my Dad every day and I know Mom does too. Which is OK because I think it's love that fuels the grief...the grief is like a memorial to them...the never forgetting, just the love and memories that get sweeter over time. I'll keep praying for you and also wish for warm weather that will come with peace and comfort.

  5. I am so sorry. There are no words I can say to help but know you are in my thoughts.

  6. Thanks Yaya and Gail. Every day is a new day. Some good, some not so good. I think you're right Yaya. Memories get sweeter. And grief is equal to the loss and the love we felt and yes a memorial to them. Thanks for writing. Hugs to you.

  7. You describe the listlessness and lack of direction so well. That's exactly how my best friend felt when her husband died unexpectedly at the age of 49. When we look back on those dark days, it's hard to believe it's already been so long ago, but as painful as it was, she got through it. The love of family and friends helped her get through, and that's what's gonna get you through, too. My heart goes out to you.

  8. The key to weathering grief seems to be to listen to your heart and don't try to do too much too soon. It also helps to stay as connected as you can to the people who love you and understand. It sounds like you're doing all you can. Sending prayers for your comfort and healing.

  9. Deb is right. Listen to your heart. You will get through this stage in life but at your own pace. Asking for advice and help and prayers is good. Many want to do grief alone and you don't. You have been alone only a few months. That's a huge change in your life. Writing and sharing is good. We will listen and be here for you. We care!

  10. Hi Barbara, my thoughts are with you. As you said, there will be good days and bad days. I think planting something in his honor is a wonderful idea. Please take care of yourself and continue to get out and meet with your friends.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Dreaded School Pictures

This year when my children brought home their school pictures, I cringed. These kids can leave home looking cherubic, but the minute they pose for that school photographer they are transposed into unrecognizable beings. My middle daughter brought home pictures bearing her name and room number that couldn't have been my offspring. Nor a distant relative.
I had worked for hours on this child. Her hair was parted in the middle and drawn into a cute little ponytail over each ear. Even though she is at an awkward age, she looked adorable when she went out that door. Her missing front teeth only added to her charm. The kid in the picture has her mouth open wide displaying ugly dark gaps. Her one visible ponytail is lopsided, her part is uneven, and her bangs look like they were cut with pinking shears. I know this isn't my child because I always give my children a good haircut before they have their pictures taken. The only thing vaguely familiar is the sweater the child has on. My dau…

Building a story vs building a house

My latest book!

Dear Writer: 
Writing a story is somewhat similar to building a house. Or not!
Remember this:
when we give a piece of our story to someone to read - we expect them to see the whole.
It's like building a house and offering a single piece of lumber to another builder. “Here, see the house I'm building.” SOME CAN SEE IT AND SOME CAN’T. Here's the thing: MOST CAN'T.
This step is as necessary to me as breathing. 
I need to give you single boards as I create them. AND I expect you to be a visionary and say, “Why yes. I see.”  
I need you to see how special the piece of lumber is that I'm using and to see that eventually I'll add more pieces to make the whole. 
Choose people to read your work who like the kind of stories you write. 
There are as many kinds of stories as there are houses to live in. If you give a brick ranch to someone who only appreciates a cape cod then he'll have a hard time fitting himself into what you are offering.
Don’t rebu…

My Favorite Essay by Gladys Taber


From an essay by Gladys Taber
Family Circle  - September 1982

    I sat in the sun the other day while the dogs dug up the lawn and thought about work. I wasn’t working. I was just thinking about it. I have found that when I cannot possibly accomplish everything I am supposed to and feel an unbearable pressure---as all homemakers must---if I just stop, life goes better.
    I get a good book, make some spiced tea and sit down on my own corner of the sofa or in my favorite lawn chair. I let life settle in around me, and that is the only way I can express it. After 20 minutes or half an hour, I go back to the mechanics of living.  AND at days end I am just as far along as if I had not stopped to think.

Another of her thoughts: time for thinking is a gift one can give only to one’s self.

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have over the years. When I've had it with my life some days -  I have only to sit down with a glass of sweet tea and think of this essay an…