Monday, April 26, 2010


Today is a good day. It’s a beautiful day. Here I am on day 375 and I can say that today I am ok. When I woke up this morning, my first thought wasn’t “Donnie’s gone”. That doesn’t mean the grief is gone. It still waits around the corner for me. Stalking me. I think it will hide in the shadows for the rest of my life. BUT, I am ok today. Today I stand strong and grounded and blessed. I am grateful for the blessings in my life. I am grateful for Donnie and what we shared. My friends and family and even the kindness of strangers and I am grateful and blessed.

I have been wanting “normal” back in my life for the last 2 ½ years. But I have come to the conclusion that I won’t ever find that “normal” again that I had before. And FINALLY, I am ok with that. I am ok with things not being the way they were before. I don’t think I will ever feel that “normal” again. And I quit fighting it. No, I didn’t want to be a widow. No, I didn’t want anything to do with what it meant that I would go thru. But I am a widow and I have accepted that. I can’t go back and change anything. I can’t go back and capture that “normal” that I had before. I can only work on and accept my new normal. It feels good not to fight it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t exactly the path that I would have chosen to travel in my life, but it was the path that I have been given. I am choosing to be ok with the new normal that I have given. It’s not always easy, but I am OK with that.

Yes, today, I am ok. Today I am happy. Today I laughed, today I smiled and today I appreciated how lucky I am. And I won’t take for granted the things that are important and the blessing of TODAY.

Donnie’s death didn’t destroy me. I am still standing. And when someone asks today, how are you?, It won’t be a lie this time when I say, “I’m ok.”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

one year

Dear Donnie,

Wow, one year. Most people say that can’t believe it has been a year already. I can’t believe it’s only been a year. It seems like forever since I have seen you.

It’s been a while since I have written you a letter. It isn’t as easy to write you letters as it was before. It’s gotten harder. It isn’t that I don’t want to talk to you or don’t think of you every single day. I remember for the first 6 or 8 months, I wrote them to you all the time. My words and my tears spilled on to the page. I cried all the words I wish I could have spoken to you. I still speak to you in my heart. It’s just so different now. My life is so different than when you were here. What a difference a year can make. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be able to function again thru a day and even smile, I would have told them that they were full of shit! Now there were people that told me that time would heal my pain and I can say that is bullshit. The pain is still there. It isn’t as raw as it was a year ago but it still hurts

The pain of your death changed me. Have I healed? Some, I guess. I would say that I have more learned to cope than heal. My hearts been stitched up, but will always bear the scars of losing you. I think that I held onto the pain of losing you for so long because it was the only way I knew how to hold onto you. The grief and the pain connected me to you. I felt like if I was miserable, that was me being loyal to you. I associated that with being loyal to us and all we were supposed to be. I feared happiness more than I feared loneliness. It was so much easier to curl up in bed and shut out the world. I hated waking up every day. But each day I got out of bed, put on my fake smile and kept going. And slowly I realized that I have so many reasons still to live. I realized that I had to let go of that pain to ever be able to move forward in my life. I am finding me again and I know that you are happy for me.

The guilt of living without you is still there. not as much as before ,but it is still there. I can’t help it. I feel guilty for smiling and being happy. I know what you would tell me. You would tell me that I have no reason to feel that way. You would tell me that you want me to be happy and that feeling guilty won’t change anything or bring you back. And you would be right.

I still find myself wanting to call you and tell you things. I will hear about something and think immediately that “ I need to tell Donnie that” or “ I need to ask Donnie that, he will know”. You always made me feel so confident in my own decisions. I want to ask your advice all the time. But I have come to learn that I am on my own now and have to make decisions alone. It’s funny sometimes how you come back to me in a memory. I will be totally involved in something and a memory will shine bright in my mind and make me smile. I am glad that I can think of you and smile.

So many times I have just wanted to ask you a question. I know what you wanted for me. But I have to ask one more question. Do you mind? I know that you watch over me. I know that you see me. Do you mind that I am moving on with my life? I swore to myself that I never would, but I am. Do you mind that i have found my smile again? Do you mind that I can now picture my future without you in it? Ok, that’s more than one question. But the truth is, I know the answer to all of these questions that I have asked. I just wish I could hear you say the words.

But here are a few things that I want you to know.

I will never forget you. You are in my thoughts and some of my sweetest memories. You touched my soul and loving you changed me and made me a better person. Losing you changed me too. I love you and will love you forever, nothing can change that. I have been afraid to say goodbye to you. But I know that I have to. I miss you. I miss your laugh. I think that is what I miss the most. That and watching you play with Caley. It breaks my heart sometimes to look at her growing up because you aren’t here to see it and be part of it. I know you see her but I hate that she won’t “know” you. She is missing out on so much by not having you in her life. Moving forward is hard. The kids miss you terribly. We are all different without you. But we are going to be ok somehow.

Your life meant so much to so many people. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to share such an important part of my life with you. I am thankful to have been your wife.

I know as I move on that you are somewhere near me, smiling. You taught me to be willing to take risks, so here I go. I hope that you are proud of how far I have come in this last year and I hope you know I will take a part of you with me wherever I go.

I love you

Always & Forever