Widow Truth-Lost

gray wooden maze

The past few months have been busy for Trey and I. In March we went on our first big road trip since losing Tom. Was I nervous? Yes, nervous and scared is more like it. Would I be able to drive 8 to 10 hours a day? Would I get lost? Would I be able to keep the boy and I safe during our travels? All the fears and big feelings followed me as we visited Mobile, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, Holden Beach, North Carolina, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. The feeling of accomplishment was huge after that trip. Just a few weeks ago we were in Washington, DC where both Trey and I took part in the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Convening. Again, we went out of our comfort zones, feeling lost and again the feeling of accomplishment we gained by pushing forward was huge. We ultimately found our way through, but the fear of being lost and placing ourselves in uncomfortable situations is so very real.

That is how the past 10 months have been for me, that is how I feel about my grief-everything seems so far out of my comfort zone and I feel lost most of the time. Today as I start my week, that feeling of being lost is very strong. It is a big, big, BIG feeling day. Lots of tears. Tom has been front and center of my thoughts these days. I know part of it has to do with my DC trip where I needed to go back to when he passed and work through those memories as I prepared for my speech. It was hard, but it was also therapeutic to open the ole trauma closet where I stuffed a lot of those feelings. I know probably a bigger part of it has to do with the fact that July is right around the corner. I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea that Tom has been gone almost a year. It feels like a lifetime ago that I last kissed him or held his hand but in the same breath it feels like it was only yesterday.

When we cross the one year mark, what then? I have unapologetically been grieving, saying it is my grief, my time, but at a year will there be a miraculous shift in my grief? Will day 366 be different than the ones before it or is this just another milestone? Will I not feel so lost in this world without my husband? Will the path I am supposed to be on somehow illuminate to light my way? Today with the big feels, I can’t see anything but a maze ahead and yes, I feel incredibly lost.

This is grief my friends. The struggle to interact with the world with a smile is hard. Behind the smile is a very lost and sad soul and the struggle to interact is uncomfortable. I know as I find my way through this maze of life I will look back at what I accomplished which will be to live a life Tom would want for me, and one that I can be proud of.

All my love,


Widow Truth-In my time

Grief. I am 8 months in the grief journey and the big advice I would give a new widow/widower is that you grieve in your time. You do things, in your time. You can’t compare your path with another persons. That is true for life isn’t it?

I have had the video of Tom’s service for some time, but I was just not ready to share it until now. It’s kinda long but it is beautiful. When I watch it I see what I wanted his service to be, a true celebration of the life he lived, the people that loved him and the people he loved.

All my love,


Widow Truth: Rambling thoughts on a Sunday morning

For a week I have felt pretty good. I have found myself with enough energy to get out of the house and start interacting with the world. You know, doing things that I see people around me doing. Going to the store, going for walks, pretty much living and taking care of everyday life. For me, I find I can do things in little increments because the world around me is so overwhelming. Life is overwhelming, but this past week I have not felt so overwhelmed…until yesterday and today. Tom is on my mind and heart everyday. Everyday is another reminder that I am doing this world alone. But for a week, the heaviness of Tom’s loss was not as great which is why I sit here today feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under me and the weight of grief is suffocating. As I was wondering around my house this morning, and when I say this I mean actually slowly walking around from room to room with no plan to where I was going or what I was doing. Just wondering around and trying to understand why is my heart and soul feeling so unsettled. So, I turned around to my two shadows, Lou and Remi our german shepherds that were following me on my mindless journey around the house, and told them, “I bet today is the 15th”. It is. 6 months since Tom passed.

The significance of the 15th for me is that it is a marker of time. Tom died on July 15th and it just so happens that our twin girls died on June 15th. As with the girls and with our son that we lost, John, the day Tom passed is a part of me. My heart is forever marked by my love for them and it bears the scars their losses have left on it. It is as if their deaths are ingrained in my DNA. My heart and soul pick up on these anniversaries before I am consciously aware of them. This is something I have learned over the years with the babies. I could be just doing my thing and around the anniversary of their loss, I would find myself in a loop of sadness. Honestly, with the babies I thought it had something to do with the whole mother/child bond and that is why my body remembered the anniversaries. Maybe the answer is really tied to having your heart bonded to someone else, and mine was fully and completely bonded to Tom.

I am glad this awareness happened this morning. Now that I understand why yesterday and this morning was tough on me I can work to focus on that bond we shared and see the beauty in it…and it was beautiful. I was blessed to meet Tom when I was just 19 years old and we had a beautiful, loving life together. That is something some people never find or it takes them a while to find that one person that was made for them. Without a doubt, Tom was made for me. So, yesterday and this morning I focused on what I lost, but I will move through today and I will push myself to focus on the blessing I had and that was 32 years with the man my heart bonded with so many years ago.

All my love.

Widow Truth-10/8/2022

The other day I mentioned to a friend that I felt like I was chasing happiness, but it keeps slipping through my fingers. Grieving is hard and I often wonder when exactly will I have true happiness in my life again, or will I always be chasing it. As I started to really ponder my statement, I think it may not be just happiness I am looking for but peace. Since Tom’s diagnosis, there has been a constant level of anxiety within me. As his disease progressed, the level of anxiety increased. His death has raised my anxiety level even higher. Always feeling like there was a heavy weight sitting on my chest.

This week brought another first. It was Tom’s first Heavenly birthday. That was a tough day. We did what felt right to us to remember him, but there were tears shed in the quiet before bed as I talked to him. This week also brought a huge change for our home. On Tuesday, I had Tom’s hospital bed moved to storage and our king size bed brought back in the home. When the hospital bed was first ordered for Tom, I remember saying to him that when the king bed comes back, it won’t be because he got better, it would be because he had passed. He shook his head, acknowledging the different paths with ALS we would have. I have been dragging my feet about storing the bed. It was hard to say goodbye. That bed had become a part of him for 3 years. It had become a part of our bedroom. Again, in the quiet before bed as I talked to him, I cried. I cried for him and I cried for me. When our bed came back in to the room, it was hard. As I made the bed, I talked to Tom. I ended up staying up later than normal, because I was trying to delay sleep. But in the end, exhaustion won and I slept. Really slept. I woke up more refreshed then I can remember. I slept on his side of the bed because it felt right. It felt comforting.

As I write this, I have slept in the bed 4 nights. Each night, my sleep is getting better. Today as I have puttered around the house, I realized the weight on my chest seems lighter. While I still find myself crying in the quiet before sleep and often when I wake as I realize that Tom is really gone, I feel the anxiety starting to become less. Am I feeling some peace with the changes that have occured? I am now exploring how maybe it isn’t happiness I am chasing but peace. Maybe happiness will come once I am at peace with this side of ALS. I am a work in progress. I will however, sit and enjoy the peace I feel in this moment and the fact that the weight of anxiety is not pressing down on my heart.

All my love,


Widow Truth-9/28/2022

How is it possible to see beauty when grieving? The days should be grey and stormy, and they should reflect they way you feel…and yes, that is how I feel much of the time. Tom’s loss has left me lost and some days I can not see beyond my sadness, but there are moments when I see that just for a short time, the storm is passing and the sun peaks out.

If you would have asked me how I was yesterday, I would have easily said, not great. Monday and Tuesday were tough. Dealing with the start of probating Tom’s estate has had me crying. Thinking how cruel it is that part of this administrative process is removing Tom from accounts. Erasing him from life. In these moments, I am left wishing I could touch and kiss Tom just one more time. Ask him for much need advice and often thinking to myself, “how is this my life”?

Then there are moments when If you were to ask me how I am doing, like today, I would say, not bad. I woke up with a gift waiting for me. One where the beauty of grief shows itself if you are open to it. It was this gift that elevated my mood and allowed me to do some advocacy to help others.

So what was the gift? It was pictures and a draft version of a video. I hired a videographer to capture Tom’s Celebration of Life. I knew that I would not have the capacity to remember the day, and honestly, I wanted to remember. So this morning, through tears I looked at every picture and watched the video. As I watched, I was struck with how beautiful it all was. The people that showed up to show their love respect to our family was beautiful. The tribute to Tom regarding his state and military service, beautiful. The love Tom and I had for each other and for our son was front and center in those pictures and that video, and it was just beautiful to see through someone else’s eyes.

The timing of being sent those pictures and that video, was a divine gift. I was reminded that in the middle of my suffering, the beauty of love was there and death cannot erase that love…but the banks and the government…that’s another story!

In true Tom fashion, he would have said he was not worthy of such an outpouring of love, that he was just a man living the hand fate had dealt, and at the same time he would have had a smile on his face and that amazing twinkle in those beautiful green eyes amazed at that outpouring of love.

I will share the video once it is finalized.

All my love,