The First Ninety Days of Being a Widow Sucks

I’ve been a widow for a little more than 90 days. Widow. I loathe that word. It’s a word that defines someone by the loss of a loved one. Typically, I want my Monday posts to be inspirational or motivational, so why write such a negative title? Because it’s true. The first ninety days of being a widow sucks. But perhaps I’ve learned a few things that might help someone. My First Days During the first days, grief consumed me. Waves of grief hit over and over and over again. I had things to do: arrangements to make, family and friends to inform. Ten or fifteen minutes, maybe a half hour of effort, exhausted me. If I wasn’t crying, I sat in a mental and emotional fog that nothing seemed to penetrate.  Friends said, “If you need anything, let me know.” Guess what? I didn’t know what I needed or how to ask for help. I couldn’t call anyone because reaching out was more than I could do. All I could think about was that my husband died. One friend of mine texted me every few days for the first couple of months. She’d ask how I was feeling. Then, […]

I’m Stronger than I Thought

In January, I had strong intentions for the quarter, but I anticipated very little of what happened and my plans went awry. My life and my writing feel like a jumble of puzzle pieces that don’t fit where they used to fit. It’s the end of the first quarter of 2021 and it’s time to evaluate what I’ve accomplished and where to go from here. And the biggest lesson learned over the past three months is that I’m stronger than I thought. Making Unsurprisingly, revisions of If I Should Die are off course. Only six chapters farther than I was at the end of January is disappointing. I made adjustments to the timeline, which meant shifting chapters around. When I revise a novel, it’s like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle that get’s redrawn in the middle of my efforts. (Does that make sense?) Creative thinking takes more energy than blogging. For both, I struggle with focus and energy, but focusing on writing a blog post is easier because of its length. Managing A friend helped me keep the website updated during February. Since then, I’ve maintained the website. Focusing on the rewrite and blogging, the managing area of my business […]

A Grievous Loss and a New Life Journey

Why have I been absent from blogging? I’ve had a grievous loss and a new life journey to travel. My husband, Robert W. Burrows, died on February 10th. His death was quick and unexpected, though we’d been expecting it for years. Prepared Yet Unprepared When death comes, no matter how prepared you think you are—it’s unexpected. First, there’s a kind of numbness. Then a deep sharp twisting unrelenting pain. Grief is uncomfortable and messy and an overwhelming tidal wave. When a loved one dies, you go through the motions of daily life, find paperwork, eat, and sleep— if you can. You have moments when you feel almost normal then a small thing, often a ridiculous thing, triggers a tsunami of emotions. One friend likened this to walking through a field peppered with landmines. For me it feels like I’m trying to swim to shore—one wave carries me closer to solid ground and the next one slaps me down to the bottom of the ocean, drags me through the sand and silt, spins me in circles until I don’t know up from down, and drags me further from shore than I’ve ever been before. And yet, sometimes I make it close […]