When I…

Hello all, I hope that this post finds you all well and staying safe. Thanks for checking out today’s post!

When I think about what is happening in my life and the lives of those I love, I frequently become overwhelmed. Writing helps me make sense out of things that seem nonsensical. Most days during this particular time frame are pretty much nonsensical to me, and I literally end up overthinking every thing. It’s been a tough weekend for me, as are most weekends right now, and I would give almost anything to be able to change things. I’d change things not only for myself, but for the people I love that are dealing with losses and trials of their own. While driving home from visiting my husband in hospice today I realized, for the umpteenth time, just how much being an empathetic person takes out of me. Today, for an hour or two, I would’ve traded myself in for a model that couldn’t feel as much. I’m over that now, but those feelings gave way to so much more than myself. It gets exhausting carrying the weight of so much emotion, and if people like me aren’t careful, we lose ourselves to everyone and everything around us.

When I think about this last week I have to say that it was by far one of the hardest of my life. I never thought that saying goodbye to my son-in-love at the airport would open up the flood gates to so much emotion. I spent the week barely existing, barely functioning. I feel a little better today, but the bruises on my heart will take some time to heal. My heart remains broken, but my mind is a little less chaotic than it was 7 days ago. My youngest daughter and her extended family received some devastating news that set all of us reeling in disbelief and grief. I have spent the last few days praying for peace and healing, for comfort. Healing in this situation will be a very long time in coming, and the acceptance of such news as was received will not happen overnight. So much pain…

When I think about the loss I am facing with my husband, I am so conflicted. So very conflicted. I love the man I have been married to for the past 38+ years with my whole being, yet I am agonized by watching him suffer so. The transition to death is not anything like I think it should be, it’s a very personal and trying journey. The ups and downs of the hospice journey have been confusing, I get angry, I hurt beyond belief, and yet when I don’t receive that dreaded phone call, I am grateful. And I am sad for my husband. My suffering pales in comparison to his, there is no way I can put into words how much watching him writhe in pain hurts me. For him. If I could take it all onto myself, I would. Every damn day. The miracle in all of this will be his freedom from pain, no matter what that freedom looks like.

When I think about the future and what it looks like, I would rather run backwards than look forward. I know I have no choice but to look ahead, as we all know we can’t change the past. Looking forward right now is scary, I know the future holds days of unimaginable grief, struggle and pain. Beyond those things is where I need to focus. Beyond the grief will be healing. Beyond the struggle will be an easing. And beyond the pain will be a new journey that I pray will be honoring to my husband, challenging enough to keep me learning and a new found strength. I already know that I will not be traveling alone, I am surrounded by love.

As always, I appreciate any and all who read this and hope that you find something worth holding on to in my words. You are not alone in your struggles, you matter, and you are loved. Stay safe, be kind and remember to turn your face toward the sun and appreciate its light. And warmth…

Photo by Barb Enos

And so…

Hi again,

And so… I’ve been stuck in a never ending cycle of grief and angst on so many levels that I don’t know how to breathe anymore without struggle. Every day is a new challenge in living, and though I rise to the challenge, I’ll be honest and tell you that I would rather not keep on rising. I am broken. I told my therapist today that I’ve been shattered so many times there are no pieces left. All that’s left of me is dust, and dust doesn’t shine. Dust is easy to overlook. Dust is easily scattered. I want to shine again. I want to feel pieced back together. All I feel is shattered.

And so… I try every day to be realistic, and all I find is that the reality is too painful. I manage, and I think that old say “fake it til you make it” is the way I’m making it through each day. My husband is in hospice and he seems to be rallying at this time. He has spent the last two weeks without eating and barely drank water. The end was on his doorstep. I’ve made peace with his impending death (more than once,) knowing that I would again be crushed, but believed at some point I would be able to heal. Now he’s beginning to eat again, and he’s still dying. The ups and downs of this ride called hospice are so much more intense than I thought they would be. It’s like the Grim Reaper is stalking him… and then backs off. Over and over and over again. How many times can my heart be told he’s on the edge? No matter how “prepared” I am, or even think I am, it’s never enough… I have nothing left inside me but hurt, despair and confusion.

And so… I spend a lot of time up in my own head and need an escape. But, no matter where I go, there I am. I am teetering on the edge of depression and I’m stuck. If I jump in, I know I will have to dig a long time to get out. I’ve been there. I don’t want to go back. I fight like hell, but fighting an invisible force, without strength, doesn’t go well. I can’t let myself go, I have to stay strong for my husband. For myself. I have to fight…

And so… I know that the sun will come up again, it always does. I know that no matter what happens, or when, I am loved. I am supported. I am not alone. I need to stop “shoulding” myself. I “should” be happy he’s rallying. I “should” be grateful for more time. I “should” not beat myself up for being so confused. Or angry. Or sad… What I “should” do and what I actually do are not companions. Not even close.

And so… I realize this post probably makes little sense, but it’s gotta be okay. Making no sense right now is how I roll and it’s how life comes at me. Suffering the stages of grief “should” be easier right now. I’ve been grieving the loss of my husband for almost a year now, but the loss to come is at once unfathomable and impossible to imagine. WTF? Walking out this chapter in my life is more of a crawl. Moving forward has lost its momentum. I’m out of steam…

And so… I am going to bed. I’m gonna put my pajamas on, brush my teeth and pray that sleep comes peacefully upon me. Thank you for sticking with me, I appreciate it so much.

Stay safe, be kind and remember to smile when you can…

Photo by Barb Enos

What if…?

Hi all. I find myself thinking “what if” a lot right now… Let me fill you in.

What if you knew the last time you hugged your spouse was just that, the last time? I’m talking full on front to front hugging, feeling the warmth of your loved one encompassing you and feeling their breath on your neck. Would you hug tighter? Longer? Would you try and commit to memory just how they smelled, like soap and water, or fresh cut grass? I had my last full on hug with my husband on October 3rd of 2019 and I can remember almost everything about that hug. I didn’t know then that it would be the last time those strong arms would wrap fully around me, or that the timbre of his voice was going to be forever altered just 27 days later… We were on our front porch in the early part of dusk and he was getting ready to drive from our home in South Carolina to see his family in New England. I stayed behind because of my job, not knowing that we would never be the same couple that hugged and kissed goodbye that evening. With almost a year between then and now, I wish I had gone with him, but I had only been working at UPS for 4 months, so taking almost a month off wouldn’t have been possible. Hindsight…

What if my husband had gone to the doctor when he called me that day complaining of a headache? Would he have had the same type of catastrophic stroke? Would he have been able to have medications administered that may have broken down the massive clot that formed in his neck and caused so much damage? What if seems like an innocent enough question, but in my reality it’s a fully loaded, assault style weapon. What if I had flown up to New England and dragged him, kicking and screaming, to an emergency room? Or a doctor? What if? What if? What if? I don’t blame myself, nor do I blame him, I just wish I had been able to see the future. I know there’s a reason why we can’t see into our futures, and looking back on the past 11 months has shown me exactly why we don’t get to see ahead.

What if I hadn’t agreed to move back to New England and had stayed in Richmond? What if we went back to South Carolina? Because of Coronavirus and it’s vast reaching destruction, I have no idea what our lives would look like right now. I know that being home in New England, and back in the city of Boston, has been exactly what we’ve needed it to be. I hate that my beloved is dying, I fucking hate it, but I am so glad to not be alone. I have been able to spend time with him this past month and am ever grateful for that. I’m with him every day and will be with him when the end comes. I am not sure when that will be, but it can’t be too much longer for him. He doesn’t eat, he barely drinks anything and is being kept comfortable. He deserves peace. And rest.

What if I knew that I would become a widow before I turned 60? Would I marry him again? I would. I wouldn’t trade my life with him except for the past year. All the turmoil and chaos, all the strife, all the loneliness? I’d do it all again to have my husband in my life. Love is a great feeling, but it’s a decision. A hard one at that. I have messed things up, I’ve been mean and hurtful and cruel to him over the years, as he has to me. But… We have stuck together and decided time after time after time to love one another and I am so glad we have. We don’t have, nor have we had, a storybook romance. Our romance is more like a suspense novel, with some shade thrown in, and the two of us are both aggressively trying to figure things out. We have always said that our relationship is aggresive/aggresive, not give and take. We have always been this. I will miss him so…

What if? A question that begs to be answered by all of us, but very rarely do the answers make any sense…

Photo by Jack Gittoes on Pexels.com

Thank You…

Hi everyone. Another day is upon us all and I want to share my heartfelt thanks to all of my readers, followers and to the world beyond. I don’t have the most successful blog out there, but it’s okay. I want my blog to be something I look forward to writing, I need that more than ever right now. I wish I had the desire to write every day like I did in the beginning, but my life has changed so much since then that I’ve had to completely shift my focus.

Thank you. Those two words never seem enough to say, though most times they’re all we have. There are so many people I wish I could say thank you to in person… I would love to say thank you to the Polytrauma Unit staff in Richmond, Virginia at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. The amount of love, compassion, patience and expertise poured into both my husband and myself while we were there goes way above and beyond “work.” We were cared for like we were family and the time spent there will forever be a cherished memory. As human beings, we’re not meant to spend our lives alone, and we were not alone there. Though Covid-19 kept me from physically being with my husband during his last three months there, I knew that I was there in spirit. I was included in his life daily and saying thank you just doesn’t seem enough.

Thank you. Those two words have been said more in my heart and mind than anyone could ever know. I have known more pain in the past 2.5 years because of other people’s actions, and if I could, I would say thank you to those very people that hurt us. I know that sounds weird, but the pain inflicted on me and my husband served a purpose that I’m sure was unintended. The most painful thing I’d ever experienced was nothing more than the pouring of a foundation on which to stand against that which we now face. The fact remains that we still feel the pain of estrangement, but the pain of watching the man I love slip away from this earthly life far outweighs the pain of being abandoned by our daughter. We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it and incorporate lessons learned into our present and future.

Thank you. I am grateful to God that I have been blessed with the ability to forgive others. And to forgive myself. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we forget the wrongs committed against us, it means that we accept what is and that we choose to lay down the weapons of anger, resentment and confusion. I have been able to walk through the angst of what life throws at me because I truly believe forgiveness matters. I’ve had to forgive myself so many times throughout my life for things I’ve said and done, and I know I will continue to do so. Forgiveness towards others is easier for me than self forgiveness, but I still believe in it. When someone wrongs you and you hold onto that bitterness and anger, it hurts you, not them. Forgiving isn’t forgetting, not at all. Forgiveness can help you find peace within if you let it.

Thank you. A simple phrase that packs such a punch. Being thankful and having an attitude of gratitude, even in your darkest times, can bring light to your heart. And life. Am I sad most days right now? Sure I am. I also know I will be for some time to come, but that in time, I’ll be okay again. I’ll be different, I’ll change over the course of time but I’ll try to remain positively changed. It’s impossible to not be changed by the pains life gives us. In the long run, over the course of our lives, pain defines and re-defines who we are and who we will become. I accept this. I try hard to learn from the situations that cause me pain, and since life is nothing more than a series of lessons, I know that what I am learning will have great impact on me. I don’t seek pain or painful situations, but I don’t hide either.

Thank you… for reading this. For sharing my journey. For lifting my husband and I in your prayers. I hope that no matter who you are and what you’re facing that you’ll find encouragement through my journey. The only thing that will save us all is all of us, humankind can save humankind, and I am ever hopeful that we will do so…

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This Hurts So Much…

I am an American. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a grandmother, I am a wife, I am a friend, I am an Auntie. I am not a punching bag. I am not a fool. I am not a failure.


I am many things to many people, but what I am not is probably more noticeable than what I am. At least right now. It’s not about what I am, but who. Right now pain defines my life, but it’s not always going to be this way and I know this. When you look at me, what do you see? Do you see beneath the surface of my skin? Do you feel sorry for me, or with me? Do you see the way life’s circumstances are starting to show in the lines of my face? Do you see the depth of the sorrow I feel in my eyes? Do you see the silver in my hair? It’s okay if you see all these things, I don’t try to hide them anymore. I hurt. I cry. I cry every single day, I cry myself to sleep most nights while I pray for those I love.


I have been loved and I love with all that I have. There is no way to put my pain into words to make people understand what I am going through. I ache for my daughters, they are losing their Daddy and I can’t take away their pain. I can’t imagine not having the man that is the Poppy to my MiMI, but I can’t imagine him having to “live” in constant, physical and emotional pain with no end in sight. I am so conflicted.

My husband is now in hospice and we are waiting for something that no one wants to wait for. I want to wake up tomorrow and have it be 1993. Our girls were 5 and 10 that year and we were an intact family. I never imagined that all these years later that we would be so broken. Families belong together, not apart. How do I fix this? How do I survive this? How to I protect my children from what’s coming? How to I let our grandchildren know the man their Poppy was? How do I live without the man I love more than my own life? How? I know the why, not the how. It’s all so painful. All of it.

When life gives you lemons you’re supposed to make lemonade, right? Well, this Boston based girl says 2020 can suck those lemons… I am so over this year…

If you’ve read this far, please know that I appreciate you. I wish this were a happier posting, but I am not happy. I’m raw. I’m shattered, and I’m bereft…

Be kind always and stay safe…

Photo by Barb Enos

It’s Not Easy…

Hi All,

Life sucks right now. It’s not easy. Actually, I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy. I think life presents us with challenges to hone our deepest survival skills and teach us what really matters. What really matters? I can only answer that question for my self, and I’m going to try. And keep on trying as long as I am able to.

It’s not easy to wake up every day knowing that I have to face the longing in my heart for my husband. Yes, he’s alive, but the man I loved all these years is gone, both in mind and in spirit, replaced by a man that is so different I don’t know him. At all. The strong, loyal and fiercely protective husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend is forever changed and forever scarred by the stroke that took him away from those of us that love him. In place of the man I knew is a little boy’s mind full of fear and angst and self-doubt. The heart that beats within his chest is not the same heart, it’s compromised and broken and weakened. He has no quality of life as long as he lives within such a tortured mind and broken body, and I can do nothing to help him except to hold his hand and tell him I love him. And I do.

It’s not easy to know that my husband, who is currently in the hospital, will be going back to his long term skilled care center and once again be forced into isolation. Coronavirus is a stealthy killer, but it doesn’t just kill those infected with the virus, it slowly kills those people that are living alone, forced to be kept from their loved ones in order to “protect” them. Protection my ass… People need love, they need physical touch and they deserve to stay connected to their loved ones. Can you imagine being a caregiver in a nursing home and having to enforce rules that you know are not going to protect your patients? Can you imagine what it’s like to have to walk the halls of a place where people are forced to eat in their rooms, where people can’t commune in what should be a community? Not only do the patients and their families suffer, so do the staff and their families. Failure to thrive is killing thousands across the country and while these numbers are not included in the daily count of Covid deaths, they should be.

It’s not easy to watch the country I love destroy itself more and more every day. As a collective people we are imploding and unless we stand united, divided we will continue to fall. Not all law enforcement officers are bad, not all people of color are criminals and not all caucasian people are racists. The civil unrest and ensuing protests are warranted, the violence and death and destruction are not. Vigilantes? Really? In the 21st century? POC aren’t even safe when they’re sleeping peacefully in their own beds. Breonna Taylor did not deserve to die. Neither did Tamir Rice. Or Botham Jean. Just because someone looks different than you do doesn’t mean they’re criminals. Hell, Tamir Rice was a 12 year old boy, a child, playing in a park. WTF America? Are we so desperate to prove ourselves as a bully nation that we think the loss of life in the black/brown communities across the nation is worth the price being paid? POC are human beings, plain and simple, and deserve to have the Constitution and The Bill of Rights work for them as easily as it seems to for white people.

It’s not easy to be an empathetic person in a world full of cynicism, narcissism and selfishness. It’s incredibly difficult to stay positive when the world around you is always so damn negative. I am trying really hard to hold onto the tender heart that beats within my chest but there are more days than not now that I want to give up. What’s the point of being kind to one another when your kindness is received or mistaken for weakness? I am NOT a weak person, but I am broken. I am not a cynical person, but I don’t trust very often anymore. I am not a shy person, but I don’t want to put myself out there anymore to meet people. The world around me has become so dark and so cruel that I don’t want to participate in it. I want to hide most days from what’s going on around me and that’s not healthy. At all.

It’s not easy to know that someone I care deeply for is now experiencing the pain of seeing her beloved grandchild used as a pawn, a weapon. Really? Another family torn apart because pride and the desire to “win,” is all the involved parties can see. Sure, throw another beloved grandmother to the curb, we’re older, so we don’t matter. As hard as I try I will never understand why the children of my daughter’s generation think grandparents don’t matter. They need to know that the pain they willingly inflict on us will come back to them someday. And when it does, your parents will no longer be able to help you find your way home. Remember this… Karma is a bigger bitch than you, the children that throw their parents away, and she (Karma) will find you. I don’t relish the idea that my own flesh and blood will someday know the pain that I carry every day because of her actions, but she will. I can do nothing to stop it. Again, be careful what you ask for, because when you get it, it’s probably not at all what you want.

It’s not that easy to let go, and harder to hang on. Living in the 21st century is not for the faint of heart and it takes blood, sweat and more tears than a human body should be able to produce. I have cried enough tears since May 2018 to fill the oceans, and know there are many more to come. Hug someone you love after reading this, thank the universe for the breath in your lungs, and thank whatever God you believe in that you can smile through the pain. It’s not easy, but it is possible…

Until next time…

Photo by Barb Enos