I’m a Widow

I became a widow just 9 days ago on January 26th.  Many of you had no idea I was married, because I kept that information close to my heart.  Those friends that go back more than a few years will remember my wedding.  The hot spring day when I pledged my heart to my husband and his four beautiful little boys.  We made a promise that day that we never broke: through sickness and in health – till death do you part.  A promise that was profoundly tested and became a tremendous gift in shaping who I am now.

The story of why I needed to keep my personal life private these past few years is a story that I’d like to someday tell.  The experience has been enlightening, and should be shared… when I’m ready.  As I’ve found in so much of life, the trials are not all about darkness – these past five years have been the best of my life.  Even now I’m smiling through my tears.  I’ve found strength in living my truth, and asking “What would the great spiritual teachers do?” “What does unconditional love really mean and how am I to live it?” “What lessons am I to learn in this?”

I know at my core, that my soul experienced what it came here to experience through this marriage: love, kindness, and lessons on compassion.  Life is not black and white.  It is made up of experiences and flawed human beings.  We’re all so flawed.  And yet, that’s our opportunity.  We’re given the chance, as those flaws reveal themselves, to love.

The answer is love.  It always is.

And now, I’ll sprinkle my husband’s ashes on the mountain top, as close to the heavens as I can.  I’ll ring the bell, just as he taught me, calling our guides on the other side; calling my son, Shawn; calling my mom; calling my husband; and calling God.

***

Why share now?  Because I’m mourning and I need the support of my community.  I’m sure there are many questions, but for now please hold off on asking them.  I’m going to need to take baby steps.  Just know that a person that I loved and who loved me, is gone.  The rest of the story will be told in its own time.

***

The following is a love letter that I will forever cherish.  Written on Oct. 1, 2013 while on a camping trip in N. Arizona.  I had left part way through our trip to make a quick detour to Las Vegas to meet up with my sister-in-law.  Upon seeing my husband again, he gave me this letter.

Oct. 1, 2013

My Dearest Sara,

The other day I promised you a love letter, and now is the perfect time to fulfill that promise.  I contemplated this while I was sitting by the fire last night and I realized that I have known so many more ways to love since we met than I have ever known before.  I am truly grateful that you have provided me the honor, the heaven sent blessing, of having the opportunity to love you, and to be loved by you.

I am going to do a little rambling here; if you don’t mind.  Sorry about the repetition, but I want to say “I Love You” as many times as I can, and here is my chance – I have a captive audience.

I love that you are an infinitely kind and generous person.  The kind of person who was willing and able to stand with me during these very difficult months.  For being the kind of person that is willing to do what you do for me, and risk the kind of shame, public shame, that is so especially hard for you to take.

I love your voice.  Have I ever mentioned that as soon as I heard it, I knew I ‘was a goner’?  Yours is the only truly angelic, heart-string, thrumming voice I have ever known.  I don’t think I can count the number of times I have heard you say something mundane like “g’morning” and thought to myself – Awww!  Never mind the countless times you have told me you loved me.  And then there is your singing – that is nothing but one big, long, out of body experience all the way.  Simply divine!

I love your hands – the feeling of love you express to me when your hand is cupped in mine is the perfect sweetness.  Your delicate fingers reflect the sweet nature of your voice in physical form.  The way you curl your hands in a gesture of gentle safety and comfort when you sleep has always reminded me of a child dreaming the dreams of endless innocence.

I love how you let me be of service to you.  You allow me to grow and expand beyond myself by taking me out of myself.  I can say that is no small task, and I think you deserve a pat on the back for that!

I love that you have an open mind, supported and nurtured by an open, clear and beautiful heart.  You are such a good person, and I have been so proud to be your partner.  It was absolutely worth the wait to be with you, and I don’t regret a single moment of my time spent with you.

I love how you curl your feet inward when you stand, sometimes.  I think that this is your feet trying to get in on the curling action that your hands get to experience every time you sleep.

I love that you muse about the inner lives of cows.  That speaks to your compassionate, creative spirit, and it is an absolute precious personal quality.

I love that you ‘like’ me, as much as you love me.  I could never express how much that means to me.  I have never known that in a partner, and it makes all the difference in the world.

I love that there is so much forest to walk in, but that you would prefer to walk close to me and hold my hand.

I love that you were willing to go camping with me even when “you are too old for this shit”.

I love that we can still finish each other’s sentences and frequently remark that we were clearly born from the same soul embryo. Twin white feathers, actually.

I love that you loved my boys, and treated them as your own.  The universe has recorded your love and kindness and it will never be forgotten.  Ever.

I love that I sit here next to the fire in the woods and I want to write you love letters.

I love that I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.

I love that you compare me so favorably with your dad, a man I know you have the absolute highest respect for, and in whose integrity you trust completely.

I love that your wonderful parents accepted me and took me in as their own.  I love each of them for making such a beautiful contribution to the woman, my soul mate, Sara that I will treasure and hold dear through this, and all of our lives together.

I love that you have a wonderful, witty, smart, beautiful and precious daughter, whom I have had the opportunity to get to know and love through your love for her.  Your mothering is a true testament to the strength and purity of your love for her.  She is so indescribably lucky.

I love that you shared your son, Shawn, with me.  You gave me the opportunity to share in your joys, sorrows, love and infinite sightings of 11:11.  To love him through you was, and is, a true joy of mine.

I love that you taught me, and expressed to me, the greatest degree of tenderness a human being could ever know.  It was a warmth, gentle and enveloping me always.  I longed for that for so long even though I couldn’t name it.  But I did eventually name it – Sara.

And most of all, I love you for simply being you, and being willing to be with me for our short time together.  You are truly one of the greatest blessings in human form I could have ever asked for.

Love You Always, All-Ways, and Eternally,

Mike

P.S.

heart leaf
“…the ‘heart leaf’ that I was drawn to from far away.”

OK, so I guess that I love you even more because this letter is not done.  I took pictures of me in the glen writing you even more verses of love, and saved for you the ‘heart leaf’ that I was drawn to from far away.  I hope you will treasure them.  The song “Awake” by Josh Groban was playing and connected me to you in a most profound way.

I realized that I had intentionally left one of my loves to the end, but I had not realized that the “end” of the story would be pages and pages later, so I plumb forgot about it!

I love your curves!  Goodness gracious, how could any full and true letter of love from me not include that statement of love?  Your figure has always evoked the most feminine of energies and I am quite sure the goddess Venus looked just like you.  The softness of your form reflects ever so generously the softness and nurturing of your spirit.

I love that you love me as you do so that I may have the companionship, dignity and love in these days of my life… the love of a good woman can never be overstated, and you, my dear, are the woman “they” are talking about.

I love that the highlight of my day is getting to lay in bed with you holding hands.

I love that you miss me when I walk three rooms away.  Clingy? No.  Loving? Absolutely.  I love that we share an office because otherwise we would be spending the day more than 8’ apart, and we can’t have that, can we?!

I love that you stood up to me and gave me shit when I needed to grow.  Hopefully, I decided to take the right path more often than not.

I love the fact that it looks like I’m going to need another notebook to finish telling you all the ways I love you.

I absolutely love your sensitivity.  Fortunately we are both of the same wave length so we had the opportunity to resonate like timing forks, rather than clashing like cymbals.

I love how the food that you have cooked for me always tastes better than if I had cooked it since you have such a special ingredient to add the flavor – love.  Cheesy?  Maybe.  True? Absolutely.

I love that you like to “visit”.  Who does that, anyway?  Must be a love thing.

I love that you never got what a “remote” was.  Looking for something you called a “zapper” kept you busy anyway.

I loved to come and sit at your feet by your chair after I said something stupid or was being stubborn.  And after I apologized, you would tease me jokingly, “it’s what you’re supposed to do – humble yourself before the Lord.”  Yep.

I love that I am quite sure you have exclaimed, “Good Lord!” at least a couple of times while reading this, and I know well enough, you’re loving it too.

I really love that I’ve always wanted to be the best person I could be with you, not only because you deserved it, but because I felt an inner welling of goodness within me that let me know I was loving and demonstrating my Greatest and Grandest version of myself in that moment.

I love that you’ve been such a good teacher to me.  You helped me grow as a teacher, parent and student of life.  I felt so good growing as a parent under your caring and insightful guidance.

I love that commercials make you cry.

I love that you wear extra rings on your adorably cute fingers.

I love that I can always trust you.  I see your faithfulness and Integrity as the gold standard, and it always made me feel safe.  Especially if anyone else ever had the slightest clue of the treasure you are there would be a line of suitors a mile long in front of the house!

I love that you respect me.  That’s a big one, you know?

I love that you are a self-reflective person, like me.  It always works better when there are two.

I love your kindness of spirit.  I love that you appreciate mine.

I love that it makes me giggle every time you say, “hello?”, even if it’s in an email or text because I can totally hear your precious voice saying it.

Well, I guess the time has truly come to finish this letter of love because I need to start getting ready and head into town to pick up my love.

 

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53 thoughts on “I’m a Widow

  1. Sandra

    Sara, I’m so sorry for your profound loss. You were so fortunate, as I am sure you realize, to have had such a love in your life. Undoubtedly that makes your loss all the more painful. My heart goes out to you.

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  2. I am speechless and heartbroken for you. i do remember years ago, and the Face book posts and pictures. Sara, I am so very sorry for your loss. my heart once again goes out to you and more prayers are being sent up ..

    Like

  3. Maureen Luikart

    I have been thinking a lot about you and have so much to tell you. It will wait until it is the right time.

    I love what you have been able to share.

    Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

    Your authentic self is heard. I know that this grieving will go on for a while. If there is anything I can do please let me know.

    We have shared more in a short time than I ever thought I could. It is precious to be myself with all my flaws. I know that we will both learn to share more until we know each other like most people will never be able to do.

    Thank you for sharing your precious heart.

    Love Maureen

    Like

  4. Charlotte Smith

    Sara. I had no idea but my heart aches for you now. You will be in my prayers and hopefully some comfort during this difficult time will come to you. You seem to have had to experience more than any of us think is possible. But you seem to always find a positive in all of it. You are an amazing person. Love and strength to you.

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  5. You are the most special, generous and yet very complex woman Sara! I’m in tears reading this more than when I learned you were seriously ill. How unusual , yet my heart knew you were so capable of tackling anything that tried to stop you. So please know I am so very sorry for the loss of your love – please reach out and we will be here loving you back always!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sara..Of course I sometimes wondered if you had been married but never dreamed you were presently married. I am not one to ever ask any personal questions of any of my friends and I surely won’t start this late in life but what I will say is that I mourn for your loss in the way only someone who loves you, is part of your “community” and really truly cares for you. I respect your reasons for not saying anything and for your timing when and if the time becomes right. The love letter was phenomenal and if it was anything like what you shared it was a great ride. What a treasure to physically have to cherish. So, I will send you love, hugs and understanding and pray that you might get thru this as you have other events in your life…with strength and dignity as the beautiful lady you are. With love, Denny and Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rita Rector

    Sweet Sara, I am a widow, too, 10-03-05, at 3:27 AM. Some numbers never leave your memory.

    I wrote an entire message that disappeared into cyberspace and I can’t recreate it. Note to self, always copy before clicking “post”.

    Your love letter is one for the ages. You know it, as you saved it. Over the years, it will be a comfort to you and allow you to release pent up tears. Let them flow! Only by washing your soul, will you be able to heal.

    When you are ready to share, I know how beautiful it will be. Your friends are here and always will be. Don’t suffer in silence, we have soft shoulders and open hearts.

    Wishing you peace,
    Rita

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sad to hear of your loss. You’ve been through so much dear Sara. I’m sending you lots of love and hugs, especially during this time of mourning. Be kind to yourself and patient with your grief. Thank you for sharing that beautiful love letter from Mike. How lovely.
    xoxo -HH

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  9. jjoni

    Sara, Wow i have so much love and respect for you in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your beautiful love letter. It is amazing and i am sending you love and more love!

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  10. My heart goes out to you. You have experienced profound blessings, and extreme losses. You are bound to feel a variety and depth of emotions that many of us will never know. I have never experienced such love, and doubt that I will in this lifetime. With great love, comes great loss. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Like

  11. Kay H

    You both deserved each other! My heart aches for you and there is no need to tell everyone everything about your personal life. Love and hugs Sara!

    Like

  12. Michael Hills

    I have read this and I am glad that you have shared it with people like me from across the sea. I have always had the most love and respect for you my sweet friend. Please find strength in the love that I give you and so many more people give you. Cherish the memories and all the good times Sara. Oh why oh why can’t we just sit down over a cup of tea – ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. “Please find strength in the love that I give you and so many more people give you.” THIS right here. Yes! It’s the reason I share. So much strength comes from the feeling of love I receive from others in return. Thank you.

      Like

  13. Tina Mason

    What a challenging time you are going through, I saw that you are a very private person and respect that but I do hope you will tell your story when you are ready. From reading the letter I can see easily how well you fit together, true soul mates. You both have the amazing skill of putting your feelings onto paper, so much love poured out of that letter. Be strong my friend xxxx

    Like

  14. Harvey Stanbrough

    Thank you, Sara. Again, so very sorry to hear of this. Thank you, too, for being so open, so willing to share even your husband’s letter. I was unable to read it through right now–we all have our battles–but thank you for sharing it, and I will read it through another time. Whatever blessings are mine to bestow are yours. May you heal quickly and well in all ways.

    Like

  15. Jill

    Sara I am so very sorry for your loss. You have endured so much and still you are asked to suffer more. You must be amazingly strong to cope with all this and do it with such grace.

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful letter – it makes everything that much more heartbreaking. But your courage in sharing that is a reminder to the rest of us to maybe find a few moments and tell those that are dear to us just how special and important they are in our lives.

    Sending you a big, virtual hug.
    Jill

    Like

  16. Geri

    Words are escaping me now. I have tears instead. My heart aches for you so deeply. I am sending you my love and prayers, wishing so much I could be with you my dearest friend. XOXO…

    Like

  17. Duane Johnson

    Sara, oh my gosh. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing. One day I hope to experience the type of love just expressed to you in that beautifully written letter. Your community is here for you. -Love ya, Duane

    Like

  18. Laura Pervier

    Sara, that is a stunningly beautiful letter from Mike. Wow! I’m so sorry for your loss. From that letter (which you will treasure forever and be grateful to have), he sounds like a wonderful man. You’re so lucky to have had each other. I wish you and your family well during your grieving process.

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  19. Sara…I am just so sad for you. I finally got around to reading this today and have not stopped tearing up. I cannot even hope to offer the right words…just know that I hold you in my thoughts and prayers for a deeper purpose than our disease…You were very blessed to have had such a loving person in your life…and from his signature, it was “always, all-ways and eternally”…WOW!
    Just think of him and he will be there…his love is surrounding you forever. God bless you…love, Micki

    Like

  20. Kathy

    Sara, I’m so very sorry to read of your loss. You have had to struggle with so much and I imagine this loss must feel like one more almost impossible burden to bear. I hope that the knowledge of the incredible blessings you experienced in your life in sharing it with your husband will be a great solace to you. Many people spend their entire life without finding their soulmate and that is perhaps an even greater tragedy. Sending you love and my most sincere condolences.

    Like

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