life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to grieve my losses, to laugh long and hard, and to learn how to live a full magnificent life with heart failure. I am honoring my creativity, and exploring all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say....."Don't talk like that!"



Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Things Worth Saying

Sometimes I go back and read what I have written and yes it scares me, and I am pretty sure it is rather frightening to others.  The only thing I can say without fail is that is honest. Honest beyond the point of good manners or expectations about surviving the sudden death of a loved one, but is always real. It is all part of this healing.  So, as a new year gets ready to begin, I want to focus more on the healing and I suspect there will be many more things that will scare the hooey out of me, but they will all be worth saying.

"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"  Marvin Gay & Tammi Terrel

Monday, December 30, 2019

A gift to myself...

Letting go of Skip and our holiday traditions was terribly difficult and at times overwhelming, but I am learning how to move forward, to experience the grief and embrace the gifts as they come to me…But I have also found myself in a situation with someone that seems to enjoy and elevate their own drama and chaos without the ability to acknowledge or empathize with what others may be going through. I have to find the greater power to let this go. Trying to understand it, explain it, wondering why and wanting to help is a dangerous act of enabling and inviting more grief into my own life.  I have been hurt beyond measure and been angry. Now I need to find the power to walk away from this, to focus on healing, to love, forgive, and let go of self-serving emotional destruction. Forgiveness is critical for healing, however, forgetting leaves me open to more of this kind of pain.  The lesson is to forgive, but do not forget.  Letting go is my gift to myself.
"Closer to Fine"  Indigo Girls

"When sudden death erupts into your life, your whole way of understanding the world is rocked. Previous interests – even things you loved – can seem futile. You aren’t the person you were before. This experience of love that you’re living has knocked you off course. When you gain your footing again – and that takes the time it takes – you’re going to be facing a different direction. You’ll have to find out how you fit here now, who you are in this new place."
 ~Megan Devine

Sunday, December 29, 2019

...stay tuned!

Maybe it is time…
but that has yet to be determined!  The largest I have done… 36” tall has it’s armature built out of sticks, tin foil and masking tape. It is time to begin working in the clay…. And I still have not figured out how to work in these “word” feathers in her wings or her face!
…..stay tuned!

"Gray Street"  Dave Matthews

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

It is Christmas morning…

It is Christmas morning…after the cinnamon buns are done, I will be going to Darren’s to see what Santa brought.  Last night as I sat on the porch with my vodka and tonic, as I do every night the tears began rolling as I realized it was the first time in 46 years he has not been here for Christmas Eve, then it dawned on me it was the first time EVER I have been alone on Christmas Eve. Memories began flooding back, the Christmases’ we did not have the money for much of anything and we built a toy box, painted old second-hand school desks.  Then came the nights we spent until dawn assembling. There were the “Go” Christmases, big wheels, bicycles, and skateboards.  I swear when I woke up this morning I could hear from a distance the squealing of 2 little boys…”He’s been here-he’s been here!” I suspect I have had more happy Christmas memories than most people will have in a lifetime.  I am grateful beyond measure, but the hole in my heart and life is still overwhelming at times.  I love and miss you!

"All I want for Christmas is You"  Micheal Buble

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Past

I should know just how Christmas will go. There are oodles of “Christmas Pasts” to draw from.  The activities and schedules, proceed each year with certainty!  But it is very different now and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty! Not sure what to hold on to, what to let go of, so each day becomes an exploration of “how to”.

“While it may seem impossible, comfort and pain will eventually sit beside each other, co-existing. Finding that comfort again won’t be moving away, or forgetting. Your capacity to hold this complex and painful life will expand, will let it all in, even the beautiful parts. There is nothing you need to do to make that happen. Like all natural processes, it will happen, on its own, in its own time.”  ~Megan Devine

"Blackbird"  Beatles

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Small peaceful and sometimes silly gifts

-My Sunday morning coffee includes a shot of homemade kahlua!

-Not leaving the house

-Not leaving the house

-This is why I am not leaving the house

-Who cares? Not leaving the house!

There were so many years that Christmas week was frantic. This year is very very different, without Skip,  I would give anything in this world to have him back with me this Christmas.  But I am finding small peaceful and sometimes silly gifts inside the grief as I learn to allow joy and grief to coexist side by side.
"I'll be Home for Christmas" Micheal Buble'

Saturday, December 21, 2019

...excruciating at times!

This is such a difficult concept in the beginning because the shock and the pain completely overwhelm all, any, every emotion.  The first time I heard this analogy I chalked it up as just another one the well-meaning… but truly dreadful sympathy card platitudes. 

I am still desperately looking for who I am and who I will be without him.  But the love is beginning to break through the pain and yes, it is hard, excruciating at times! But, It is love!

"There is Love"  Peter, Paul & Mary

Friday, December 20, 2019

Skip and Christmas and Enchilada Eve!

I have been resisting Christmas traditions. Still too difficult without him, but yesterday felt like I wanted and needed to do Skip’s, Enchilada Eve.  An Evans tradition that began 20 years ago!  The holidays are full of turkey and ham, neither of them Skip’s favorite.  Enchilada Eve was born when my sister, Adrianne made Enchiladas for Christmas Eve Dinner in 1999, it has continued all of these years. I find myself wanting to celebrate him and his enchiladas!  Skip and Christmas and Enchilada Eve!

"Feliz Navidad" Jose Feliciano

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Feeling a Little Festive

I just could not stand to put this beautiful fresh wreath my sister sent to me out on the front door where I would not get to see it very much or smell that gorgeous smell. So….I am using it for a “tree skirt”…it really “spruces” (pardon the pun) this sad but ever so easy to put up Christmas tree.  I did not think it would be possible…but I am feeling a little festive!

"All I Want for Christmas"  Michael Buble'

Monday, December 16, 2019

Guilt and Gratitude

He left me a gift…well, kind of…Skip was a bit of a collector of things and that included the cash he got over the years as Christmas bonuses, I have no idea how many years.  It was not a secret but it was his to do with as he wished.  When he died, I was able to use his stash to pay the attorney bills, (which was definitely not in the typical monthly budget and just before his death he bought a new skeet shotgun, big generator and portable AC for storm season for the house.  So, the “stash” had been depleted but not wasted on the trivial.  

Hospice provides me with a large Oxygen concentrator I am guessing around 50 pounds (when pushing it, it feels like more) and on 4 small wheels.  Skip would move the big beast back and forth from bedroom to living room for me each day. But that is now my job, and it was getting harder by the day, especially when having to roll it over Mexican tile and carpet.  

I feel rather guilty… I should have spent the rest of his stash buying Christmas gifts for the grandchildren but… (and you knew the "but" was coming) I found a second-hand portable O2 concentrator and I bought it for myself, with the rest of his stash, telling myself that it is my Christmas/Anniversary gift from him.  It has already made a big difference in my life. It has larger wheels, a luggage type handle but only 10 pounds. It runs on batteries (6 hrs) regular plugin and car charger.  I am no longer limited to the 2hr tanks when I go out.  I am feeling guilty and grateful at the same time…but he could not have gotten me a better gift, this will make such a difference in my life!  Thank you, my love!
"Thank You"  Dido

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Maybe I can do this by myself...

Each day I am forced to figure out “how do I do this by myself”?  There have been so many things I no longer have the strength to do on my own and he was always there to pick up my slack.  One of those was helping me build and stretch my own gallery canvas. I had always done that in the past on my own. But recently he would cut and join the frame, I could still stretch and gesso the canvas.  I am often caught between grieving his loss as well as the shocking daily reminders of all that he did for me. As the deadline for “nude nite” jury looms I have vacillated back and forth, thinking maybe last year was it.  However, my heart still wants to create, to return to a place where I feel normal. I just feel like I have overwhelming odds against me. But I have been sketching and I ordered some pre-made canvas…maybe I can do this…all by myself…with other new kinds of help.

"If" Bread

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Ruffles and cake...

Another day that I have dreaded has come and is almost over.  I picked up groceries, fixed the bottom panel in the back porch screen door, and unfortunately, I did have to hire an electrician (but got he got it the problem fixed…when it rained the other day the Christmas lights shorted out the outside electrical receptacles)…and I cried about 14 times because you are not here.  Finally,  I smiled when I saw this picture of ruffles and cake and remembered us.

"Have I Told You Lately that I Love You"  Van Morrison

"You are Never Gonna Survive Unless You Get a Little Crazy"

When you find the perfect shoes….flats...comfortable...can wear them with jeans or a dress, even when my ankles and feet swell (which they often do) and they are STILL comfortable is precisely the moment  you know they will be discontinued next week so you buy 2 pairs.

I did not notice this until I was inside the store!  
The therapist would call this a perfect example of  "widow brain"...BUT…I think it is a simple case of DO NOT GET DRESSED IN THE DARK.
"You are Never Gonna Survive 
Unless You Get a Little Crazy"

"Crazy" Seal

45 Years ago today....

The holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and family celebrations are centered on gratitude and abundance. In my deepest grief in an effort to feel better I will force myself to seek out things I am grateful for.  Listing in my head and heart all of the things that still remain and I remember there are others that have it so much worse.  It seems like a good idea, and this kind of gratitude is in keeping with the holiday season. But gratitude and grief don’t cancel each other out, they exist side by side. Focusing on one while ignoring the other, gratitude or grief, regardless of which one it is, does not bring less pain or less heartache. I am learning how to allow them the coexist AND experience both of them fully!

So today I cannot celebrate our anniversary with you and I am still grieving your loss in ways that create unbearable pain …but I realize that I can also celebrate the life we had.  It was not perfect, but it was a great life you gave me!  I love you, I miss you, happy 45th anniversary!
"Nothing Stays the Same" Luke Singh

Friday, December 13, 2019

Treading lightly...

I am treading lightly into this possibility, but will wholeheartedly admit that a big part of moving forward has been not knowing “who I am” without him.  I do not “fit” into the person I was, and I have lost the confidence to look for what kind of person can or want to be.  However….I am intrigued by the thought of exploring and finding out if any of my deep self remains.

"You Might Die Trying"  Dave Matthews Band

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The tree is up!

Christmas tree is up....and lit!

"Grown Up Christmas List"  Micheal Buble'

I do miss my "goofy" reindeer of Christmas's past,
but cannot do it by myself anymore, and then the
packing it back up...Oh my!

all of the friggen' weirdness

Grief really sucks. It has screwed up just about every part of my life that I had not already managed to screw up on my own.  I had no idea how many horrible and truly weird things grieving people experience.  I thought it was just me, and I was quite possibly on the verge of "lock her up" crazy. Things I do or don't do, that the outside world might think is unusual or weird but is actually perfectly normal for grieving people. The problem is, grieving people often don't realize how normal we are until we share this experience....honestly including all of the friggen' weirdness.

                   "In My Blood" Shawn Mendes

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Unexplained evidence

From  my Facebook post on this day one-year ago….

Skip is home for a few days...we have played (gone to the movies, out to dinner) and the big one...on my list of to-do's...Cleaned out the pantry, painted, new shelf paper and reorganized...Yay...DONE!

And it feels like it was just yesterday...You are still everywhere…which becomes the most wonderful painful fact of my day to day life.  You are not here, I still am.  My heart and brain still cannot get wrapped around this undeniable truth, but there is some kind of unexplainable comfort that I have tangible and wonderful evidence of you with me everywhere every day.

"Here, There and Everywhere"  The Beatles

Amazon is my Hero!

I know this is going to look and sound silly, but here goes anyway!  I read a quote the other day that said: “Those that are living focus on dying, those that are dying focus on living.” And I will add my own addendum “and being independent in my own home is a big ass deal!!! So, this little doo-hickey may not look like a big deal to you but for me, it will be fantastic!  Hand-held shower heads are the most spectacular things…when you can reach them.  However, the shower stool and my diminishing inability to reach up…is making showering a bit dicey!  After looking at all kinds of possibilities, including the obvious of installing additional grab bars and praying that the old ceramic tile would not crack when the drilling begins, the cost or having a weirdo stranger in my bathroom to install it. I was at a frustrating standstill of what to do short of sponge baths or not showering at all, and believe neither is a good option. Then there was Amazon!  And this suction cup doo-hickey holds a showerhead that you can put it anywhere on your wall came up in my search! This means I will not have to stand up in the shower at all to reach the showerhead.  Amazon is my hero for $9.99 and there will be no weirdos in my bathroom!
"Express Yourself" Charles Wright and 103rd St. Band


The most heinous part of losing a loved one are the sneak attacks of overwhelming uncontrollable grief.  I understand that grieving people call them “triggers” and they can be anything! They are brought on by a situation, a memory, a smell, a song, food, a photograph, a grocery can be absolutely any ridiculous thing known or unknown! And that is precisely why they are so unavoidable and overwhelming.  I am learning how to “check-in” with myself, especially after or during a trigger, figuring out what it was, how to avoid it or at the very least acknowledge that there is one coming and prepare myself.

I am now wondering if I can activate that same “check-in” when there is something that helps, creates a giggle, makes me feel better.  Yesterday I got to help. It was as simple as helping my son drop off and pick up his car for some work.  Yesterday I got to be the HELPER …NOT the HELP-EE…and it really felt good!
"Have a Little Faith in Me" Michael Franti

Thank Goodness for Alexa!

"No matter how your short-term memory worked before your loss, it has likely changed in your grief. It's as if remembering all of life's little details are "extra" expenses, and your mind can't afford them. Your mind can only retain so many things, so it simply drops what is not necessary for survival."

Thank goodness for Megan Devine, therapist, writer and someone that can honestly share the real grief experience. Her writings always make me feel a bit more normal. Not better, but normal in my own, sometimes scary, weirdness.

Thank goodness for Alexa!!!

"Hold on to the Memories" Corey Tynan

Monday, December 9, 2019

Holy Crap Holidays....

This time of year, seems to add an extra measure of "holy crap".  Christmas, 45th wedding anniversary, and the New Year, it feels like I am already bearing more than I can, more than I should ever have to. There is the heaviness of all the ways I miss you and the traditions that have gone flat.  Death sours the season in ways that I could not have ever known or understood.

I have always loved the holidays. There are parts of me that want the traditions to stay exactly the same, other times I want to change everything make it new, start fresh. But right now, I think I would rather just hide in my blanket fort until the whole thing is over and adding insult to injury… it is another Monday …always a good day for a blanket fort.  I have no idea how I will survive, just fairly certain as long as I have a blanket fort that I will.

"Thinking Outloud"  Ed Sheeran

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fearlessly Authentic

For a good part of my life, I really felt like my superpower (most of the time) was my ability to assess and control my reactions to a bad or a good situation.  I carefully began to realize that the only thing in life, I had any kind of power over is how I feel about something. For a control freak, this is a big deal! Most of the time this fell into the “picking my battles” or simply eliminating the source of frustration from my “emotional plate”.  But this is really the first time I have not been able to do that! How does one rationalize the ridiculous nonsense, like I am terribly lonesome, but I do not want to be around people? How much  I want to claim my self-confidence back but I am now realizing how much of that was because I always had him to back me up, even when I was wrong. I set deadlines for myself “to be over it”, they come and go and still I am not over it. These feelings are frustrating and uncontrollable. I have lost my superpower. It is not pretty or comfortable.  What I am left with is incredibly vulnerable and absolutely no control over how I feel about anything. The only thing I can hang on to, right or wrong, is to be fearlessly honest and authentic about surviving death.
"We Are All Alone"  (Learn How to Pretend) Boz Scaggs

Saturday, December 7, 2019

I lie.....

People ask…and I lie!  

It does not matter where or who, the first thing they ask, out of true concern is “How are you doing?” My “go-to” answer is I am fine.  That is what I want you to hear.  But it is a lie.  I am not fine.  I did not go to a Christmas party last night with wonderful art friends and gallery owners because I just could not face them.  I turned down an invitation to another party next weekend for the same reason. (That and I should not be driving at night, or at all for that matter!)  I fell flat on my tail bone in the bathtub this week (not a pretty picture) and it still hurts like the dickens, the cat drug in another rat, a leftover from the now-empty hoarder house next door, and I came as close to passing out, without actually collapsing, chasing him and the rat back outside. The house inspection for new homeowners’ insurance did not go well, because so many building codes have changed and the house is 50 years old. My TV remote quit working and I cannot understand what the technical support people are asking me to do to fix it….thank goodness for Roku, at least I can change the channels.  Just another normal week without you, I am fine....but I lie.
"I Won't Last a Day Without You"  Paul Williams

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The glorious mess that I am...

Today marks the end of 4 months and the beginning of the 5th I have been alone.  His death still marks my time weekly and monthly. August 5th feels like yesterday and years ago at the same time and I struggle to keep track because my emotions and grief play terrible tricks on my perception of time in both my heart and head.  One of the things I have learned is how awkward it is to be around people.  I work so hard to smile, blend in, NOT to talk about it so no one is uncomfortable, but it is exhausting and painful to pretend that I am recovered, and back to normal.  I know most people want and expect the old me, and I try, but to be so profoundly changed, grieving, and so different at the same time is brutal.  I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me, I just wish I could share this grief.  But until then I am learning to accept me, and the glorious mess that I am.
"Gray Street"  Dave Mathews Band

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Comfortable & what I know....

As much as I want things to stay the same, comfortable, and what I know, they change and I have no choice but to move along with them.  Changes used to be discussed, not always before they were made. Most changes were a deliberate act.  Since August an ongoing series of changes keep rolling over me. Some require my input others are going to move on with or without my acceptance.  Some are huge legal (well huge for me) others are as silly as how do I shop for groceries for 1 person.  But what I can tell you is that every decision brings a certain amount of angst because, in the end, I have no one to celebrate the successes or share my mistakes.  That is kind of what I am thinking as I unpack the Amazon blow-up Christmas outdoor snowman to replace the 9 ft penguin that just crapped out.  And I wonder do I really need a giant blow-up snowman?  This time, "the same, the comfortable and what I know" overrules anything reasonable. And one big blow-up tacky, obnoxious, ridiculous and happy Christmas decoration is how it has always been for over 20 years and I just cannot change that, not yet.

"The Same Mistakes"  James Blunt

He is up!
There are no ice sickle lights along the roof because that is way outside my skill set at this point, but I do have just plain white lights on the rock border. So this year the snow is already on the ground rather than falling off of the roof. My grandsons were great at doing that! I cannot wait to see it when it gets dark!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Surviving roadblocks!  I know it might sound silly to most, but roadblocks to recovery pop up daily. One of the biggest I have found is giving away your “things”. Your truck, your clothes and this weekend the boys came and I wanted them to have your fishing stuff, watches, coin collections, metal detectors, tools, family heirlooms, and your guns.   As much as I want to and know in my heart you would want them to have them too, each time it feels like I am giving away parts of you, I am letting go of you over and over and over again.  It hurts but to do anything else would not be right either.  These were things my son and grandsons could use and enjoy and perhaps remind them of much you loved them. I am reminded of the proverb that I will misquote here…You cannot open your hands to accept the new gifts of life if you have your hands clenched around the old things.  I am learning that holding on the “things” does not make me feel good, holding on to our love and memories does.  The stuff has become a roadblock that may be
keeping me from moving forward.

"Give Me Peace, Give Me Hope"  George Harrison


Sideways is a good description of my recent life! I recognize how things should be, but I know some never will and then there are other things I should do and be and are doable but I just can’t.  Life has gone sideways!  There are days that my head and heart want to do something and my body just craps out on me, and the same thing happens in reverse….it is maddening!  

I decided I would not do an indoor Christmas tree, but I would do simple outdoor decorations. I was a light string short and the blow-up Christmas penguin sprung a leak.  Then there has been the gross rat invasion after the next door “hoarder house” was cleaned. (She lived there for years, with 2 dogs but the last 6 weeks without power or water, it took a 4 person hazmat team to 2 dumpsters to clean it out). The cleanout was followed by an exodus of rats into the neighborhood!  I caught 3 in traps, then in an effort to stop up and possible entry point with that expandable insulation spray can, I trapped one inside the wall, I cannot begin to explain the putrid smell. The bottom section of the porch screen door "fell" out, the one with the cat door. It has felt like I am paddling hard as I can and accomplishing nothing.  I am not standing still.  I am moving as fast as I can, which admittedly is not that fast, in fact, it feels more like doing nothing more than stamping out fires before they overwhelm me.

I am not moving forward or backward…but I am moving to just maintain. I just wish it was faster, better, healthier, recovered, etc. etc.  Although I prefer to acknowledge that sideways is better than downward or completely immobile. I am accepting sideways as a positive thing.

"Everyday is a Winding Road"  Sheryl Crow another string of lights, ordered "Rat sorb" overnight from Amazon it seems to be working thank goodness, a new blow-up snowman on the way and I have the bottom of the door and a healthy supply of duct tape out on the table for repair, my day is full moving sideways!

Friday, November 29, 2019


So, here is this: wherever I am in my life, whatever path I am currently on: I write.
I write to leave my future self some messages. I write to give myself a path to my heart. I write to figure out the lessons of the universe. I write to say the things I am afraid to say out loud that might hurt someone's feelings, sound silly or is just something that over the years I have learned is not proper to talk about in public.

I am working so hard to smile and appear to be “over it” while my life is still shifting and changing. It feels like standing at the beach.  Right at the edge where the waves recede and wash the sand from under my feet. The first few waves you feel the sand slipping away.  Then all of the sudden I have to step forward, backwards, or sideways so I do not lose my balance and fall down.  As I shift away from the intensity of the early days, I often feel as though I am failing.  I just do not know which way to step first. I feel like I have to re-enter the minutiae of life and I am failing.
So I write to leave myself a map, or develop a plan, reminding myself of what did not work, and explore what might work, because in the end, I just really don’t know.

"Arms Around my Life"  Janis Ian

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving...and coexisting

This will be my first Thanksgiving after 45 years without you.  There were lots of “Norman Rockwell-ish” Thanksgivings, but there were also a good amount of harrowing, terrifying and looking back, funny Thanksgivings too!    There were years when it was just our little family of 4, years of a full house bursting at the seams with extended family and friends, a year in Philadelphia with 160 teenagers in the high school band performing  in the Thanksgiving Day parade, and when both of our sons were in the service, (Navy & Air Force) stationed far away from home that we shared our Thanksgiving dinner for other young servicemen that were also stationed far away from their own homes and family. Each of these precious memories all had one thing in common…you sitting at the table.  As I enter this unimaginable holiday season without you, I am trying so hard to allow the grateful, happy, funny and loving times to exist between the overwhelming grief of losing you. This Thanksgiving I will be grateful for the wonderful memories and supportive family that I do have, but there will also be unbearable grief that you not here.

"Ghost" Indigo Girls

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I'll figure it out...

The past few months have been an extraordinary learning experience!  Learning how to incorporate grief and gratitude.  Learning how to be realistic about what I can and cannot do physically and emotionally.  Being honest with myself.  And yes, I do know that I have a terrible time asking for help and I think most people see that as a flaw, but it is how I have been all of my life, it is what is familiar, it is how I have always done it.  I know it may not be the best way, it’s just my way.

"Jagged Little Pills"  "You Live you Learn!"
Alanis Morissette

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Balance

It’s another Monday, and again that miserable memory returns, I have no control of the overwhelming grief that consumes me at every weekly anniversary, but I have to learn to let it wash over me, honor our life together and begin to move forward.  I have to learn to balance gratitude for having him in my life and the grief of living without him in my life.

"The Secret of Life" James Taylor

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bigger changes....

Well, I certainly have the “messy and complicated” down pat, it is the "show up anyways" that still bites me in the ass.  When I say “show-up” it can mean anything from actually getting out of the house and doing something to just answering a phone call.  

This is the part of grief I was truly unaware of.  This is the part no one ever talks about.  Sometimes my need to squirrel away is not a defect or a symptom of my not recovering from grief, it is just part of the healing and learning who and what I am by myself after 45 years of being half of.   I know there are even bigger changes coming…

"They Know"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, November 21, 2019

..."without someone trying to fix it"

Sometimes I feel like my whining just drags out on the blog.   As I read back through the last few months of posts the whimpering and moaning is overwhelming and I find myself hoping no one is reading any of this.  But then writing has always been one of my ways of healing, maybe I am just telling my story and trying to breathe life back into me.  Still looking for how I live in this new normal.

“To those who grieve, she suggests finding a nondestructive way to express it. “If you can’t tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark story line. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it.”  Jane E. Brody, New York Times

"Breath of Your Life"  Hall & Oates

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Muddy Waters

Sometimes I find social interaction exhausting. The effort to join the world again is Herculean and monumental. Those densely scattered grief land mines are hard to face and they jump out at me from everywhere. I watch myself shrink my world down by, refusing invitations to just about anything and everything.  By controlling the size of my world, I keep myself safe. More than 40 years of my life are right here in this little house.  The love, the fights, the children all of those memories are right here. As outgoing as I have always been, I find that I need a lot more time alone and quiet than ever before waiting for the muddy water to clear.

"Alone Again"  Gilbert O'Sullivan

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday 8:35 AM

 "Monday Monday"  Momas & Papas

"Gratitude and grief don’t cancel each other out."

Gratitude, gratefulness, appreciation, thankfulness…that’s what they tell you will give you a whole new perspective on our problems.  And to be honest with you, for the most part, I think they are right.  So, you can imagine how horrible it was when none of it had any effect on the amount of pain and grief I felt when Skip died and all of that appreciating, I squeezed out between the tears never made me feel the least bit better. Gratitude and grief don’t cancel each other out.  They exist side by side and I am still figuring out how that happens!

"Catch the Wind"  Donavan

Sunday, November 17, 2019

...and covers always make it better!

Cold gray Sunday mornings are precisely why heated vibrating recliners are made…and covers always make it better!  Sometimes spending time alone snuggled in is just what I need.  There are tons of things that need to be done, but right now I think is just wonderful to be here in this amazing chair under my covers with my memories.

"Photogtaphs & Memories"  Jim Croce

Friday, November 15, 2019

Reclaiming little pieces of me...

Somehow, someway it just felt like time to begin sketching for “nude nite” sculpture ideas.  I do not know about real sculptors but I am finding that the “engineering” of the armature and the display are just as important as the actual work…..and for a 2-D person, this is really really a challenge that I need to figure in from the very beginning!  It feels good to reclaim little pieces of me, who I used to be.

"Me"  Paula Cole

Thursday, November 14, 2019

More Than I could have Imagined

Maybe my tears are not a weakness.  I have been conditioned to believe they are a sign of frailty, vulnerability, and instability.  I never would have seen them as sacred and powerful. If measured by my tears, it is quite possible that I am much stronger than even I could have imagined.

"As Tears Go By" Rolling Stones

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


There are days that I adore the company, but still, I am working through a lot of day to day life without him. I want to believe that I am strong and am doing well, it is what I think everyone wants to see, too. But, the process is not fast or easy and it seems to need to be done alone.  It appears that no one can help me through it, truly it is a one-person undertaking.  There are still emotional “triggers” that I am unaware of, that literally will overtake me without my permission.  They are always shocking and overwhelming.  Everything from a simple non-descript sound or smell.  This morning it was the feel and warmth of wrapping the soft wool shawl around my shoulders that he got for me last Christmas before going out to the porch for our coffee. 

"The Way We Were"  Barbara Streisand

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I know...

Coffee with you every morning on the porch, like we always do.  I know you are here with me!

"There, There and Everywhere" Beatles

No longer and not yet...

Trying so hard to recognize and honor this space.  Realizing that the normal I have known will never be again, Skip is gone and what I blindly accepted as normal can never be again.  Not knowing how my life unfolds from here is overwhelming at times.  Right now, I feel like I am in an extremely frustrating “holding pattern”. Anxious, afraid and just do not know how to create my new normal, but I do know and understand it needs to happen. This quote really appealed to me, maybe I should not try to rush through this period of space "no longer and not yet”.

"Everything I Own" Bread

Friday, November 8, 2019

Hidden under the eggs...

There are so many big things that have changed….grief sucks!  It impacts every single part of life both big and small.  Skip had a huge sweet tooth!  His Chocolate Hershey bar is still “hidden” under the egg carton in the fridge. It is a silly happy daily reminder of him. I just do not have the will to move it, throw it away or God forbid EAT it!  I feel so ashamed that in a world that I am expected to accomplish a multitude of things including his memorial, legal and financial issues (and I have), that I do not have the stamina to throw out a silly candy bar.  Just cannot let go, hard as I try, I am just not ready to let go.

"Catch the Wind"  Donovan

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

An Alteration of my Being...

Yesterday was another month anniversary of your death.  Monday’s are always a bit an emotional reality jerk but the fifth of each month adds to the emotional burden, there is a small victory as I count down the days I have survived, acknowledge the things I have accomplished, but still the feeling overwhelms me and I cannot tell if you died 3 months ago or yesterday, the loss just will not let me go. And I am left with the only choice left…to learn how to incorporate this grief into my life.

"One Day at a Time" Yosuf (Cat Stevens)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I feel you....

I know you are still here…I can feel you and last night when I went into your room to say goodnight and turn out the light I could smell your hair.  It was as strong as if you were standing right next to me with your arms around me…It was overwhelming.  I stood there with my eyes closed and breathed you in and then as quickly as it came, it dissipated, I walked around the room searching for that scent, but it was completely gone.

"Where are You Going?"  Dave Matthews Band