Thursday, August 19, 2010

Four months

I couldn't fall asleep last night until 5am, which is late, even for little widow me. I stayed up going through all of the thousands of new emails (mostly junk) that have come to Ron's address over the last month, and reading some of his archived sent mail. I cried, missing the familiar tone of his writing. I tossed. I turned. I cried some more, for no apparent reason. I ate chocolate--long after I had brushed my teeth.

Because I've done my requisite widows' lit reading, I was not surprised that our journey in grieving and healing would be non-linear. We are coping well, and then we are not. We are feeling capable and hopeful, and then... so not. It's happened before on the anniversaries of Ron's passing that I've felt the sadness first, and then remembered the date.

This past month, the kids have delighted me with their resilience and strength--their ability to remember and celebrate their father, their compassion for others, and their instinct to live joyfully. On Ron's birthday, we toasted him with strawberry sprinkle donuts for breakfast, rode horses, and capped the day at the Pond. A good day.

I have been initiating efforts that seem to me like a measure of moving forward: sorting through Ron's drawers, giving away clothes, purging furniture, going to the office, and venturing out for fun without the kids. Most of the time it feels natural, but occasionally it feels like my own spin job.

What I miss most these days is emotional honesty. There was no need to edit with Ron. If something was on my mind, I could always share it with him. If I felt the desire to smooch him silly standing at the sink brushing his teeth, I would--shamelessly. If I was annoyed by something big or small, I'd get it off my chest. If I felt desperately needy, fearful, jealous, or sad, I could lay it bare to him and find comfort. There was no need to temper my emotions, good or bad, so emotional honesty was easy.

Living honestly as a widow is challenging. I'm constantly working to be the best version of myself around the kids, and--let's be clear--I'm not naturally that good. I'm stuffing emotions down my throat so I can pass for normal in public, and smiling when I check out at the grocery store. I temper my emotions for friends because they are so amazing and generous and the last time I sobbed about being lonely on the phone, one hopped in the car the next morning and drove four hours to visit, bless his heart. And when he left? I worked hard not to cry like a baby. Gestures of kindness and pleasure feel so deeply satisfying that I sometimes feel aware of suppressing my reaction because it just wouldn't be appropriate. Family friends took us on a wonderful boating adventure, and I was so moved to feel the wind on my face. If I had really let myself go, those few silent tears rolling down my cheek could have quickly evolved into the ugly cry. It's easier on a blog, but in real life, truly, you don't want honesty from me.

And I'm not on this roller coaster ride alone. I found dear little Mai hiding under the sheets this week, sobbing in the middle of the afternoon. Said she missed Ron. I did, too. We had a good cry and cuddle, and then moved on.

In case you think this post is all doom and despair, it is not: I've lost another 5 lbs. Unlike the caregivers' diet, the widows' diet is effective. It's like the heroin diet--no sleep and no food--but without the heroin, which makes it eminently more affordable on a widow's budget. I'm thinking of adding yoga once the kids start school.

Signing off with honesty made easy online: I love you. Thank you for reading. And caring.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I had no idea until you mentioned this blog elsewhere today. I've had a lot of 'speed bumps,' 'curve balls,' what ever you want to call them. I always remember the saying that's it's in our darkest moments we find our greatest strengths. I hope you continue to find yours... it looks like you have some great helpers!

  2. Love the video! (ugh- not my voice).

    Guess who else likes pink frosted donuts with sprinkles? Princess Fiona! Next time we'll have to eat those donuts with her too! :)

    Keep up the writing - you have a beautiful way with words and its quite therapeutic. You should do yoga! I'll let you know when I start teaching classes here in my studio. I forgot to show you the studio while you were here - its on the 2nd floor of the barn.

    Thanks again for the marshmallows and the lovely cards/drawings! So cute!

  3. Another nice post, Ha...sometimes when you lose anything so dear, you have to look around and see what you have left

    And love it like crazy

    Sorry for the bad English

  4. I would guess that "being strong" is becoming a mantra you never want to hear again. I wouldn't be strong. I'd be a shrieking, hostile, puddle. So don't feel the need to be strong. But I hope you feel the need to see me soon!

  5. i love you honey. xoxo, suki

  6. Hi Ha,

    Thank you for continuing to share your journey!! Hope to visit soon!!


    The Nguyens

  7. 5 months and every day now something seems to pop up now reminding me of memories of the past. Spring moved into summer and now we are moving into fall...I seem to feel Ron's absence more and more these days. Trying to remember the joy that we shared at family get togethers past and closer to present. My boys mention Ron a lot perhaps they feel my void.
    Keep strong Ha. I look forward to your updates on the blog. Hope we can get together soon.

  8. Ha,

    I am very sad for your loss. At age 37 I too lost my husband to cancer almost four years ago. At the time, our son had just turned three. You may not remember me, but we both attended GHS. My maiden name is Stacey Rose. I think it is wonderful that you have this blog. Keep writing :0). You have a beautiful family and Ron sounds like he was a strong and wonderful human being. Take great pride in that you were there for Ron when he needed you. In reading your blog it is very clear that you did right by your husband! As a fellow widow please know that I will be thinking of you and your family. Warmest regards, Stacey

  9. Stacey, Of course I remember you! I'm so deeply sad to hear of your family's loss as well. After so many years, I'm sorry it's this shared sorrow that has reconnected us. I'd love to hear how you and your family are doing. I hope you'll contact me directly at: ha AT Big hug to you, H.

  10. God has been the difference in my own life during times of loneliness, heartbreak, and pain. I know too well what it means of not getting encouraged by others and the hurt that comes from that. I've found that only God always offer encouragement and hope, much better than any human can offer. I can only imagine how it feels to be widowed. I have the taste of having a soul tie broken- I've gotten dumped in the past and it's hurt me so much in the past. The Bible teaches that a sexual relationship (whether marital or premarital) results in the man and woman becoming one (a soul tie). I believe that even emotional involvement (without having sex) also creates soul ties, but to a lesser degree than a sexual soul tie. Rejection and abandonment are all painful things. King Solomon said that everything in this world is vanity, everything is meaningless- a chasing after the wind. Eventually whatever we gain in this world (relationships, success, wealth), we lose them all at some point. There is something you can never lose though- God. God surpasses everything in our lives. Our thirsting for things in this world (especially human relationships) is evidence that we need something greater than those things to satisfy us because everything except God will end up failing you in some way. God has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. God can't die on us and leave us in a state of loneliness. God won't cheat on us, dump us and go off with someone else. Whenever you feel lonely or feel that you're missing something in your life- realize that God wants to fill that void in your life. So many times I've been ignorant about the Bible. We're trained from our birth to live by our 5 senses- thus we look to perceive God with those senses. Most of the time, we can't perceive God with our 5 senses as He is a spiritual being. God has wanted me to develop my spiritual senses and rely on His word (the Bible) to experience Him. I've learned to always see God's word as alive, powerful, and relevant for each day. When I've failed to see that in the past, it's robbed me so much joy and peace. I've learned to look at the Bible as a powerful and active gateway/portal to God. We can try to occupy our minds with so many different things in this world to try and fill the void in our lives or suppress the pain, but all of those things will keep us still hungry and thirsty. God has promised us that if we reach out to Him, He will give us rest, quench our thirst, and satisfy our hunger. If you haven't done that, I hope you will give God a chance. I further hope that God will use you to go and reach others with His word, just like He has used me to reach out to you. Many people in this world are hurting just like you. Many are just looking for a simple act of kindness or a word of encouragement (words are powerful- they can heal and motivate or when used in an evil manner destroy others) which they don't receive from others. Ultimately, many even end their own lives because they feel hopeless and want to end their pain of torment- all because they've failed to see God was nearby all along and they failed to perceive Him with their spiritual senses. God loves you more than any human in this world! He wants to be your companion today and take care of you and your family's needs. I hope you see and explore His love for you today through the Bible- the Bible is the secret source for unraveling peace and joy for you when you can't find them in this world. I can't give you physical copy of the Bible right now, but you can freely access it online at ( May God bless you, heal you and strengthen you and your family. Continue to write and help others for His glory. Claim God's promises to you from His word today. Humans will likely fail to encourage you when you really need it, however, God won't fail. All you need to do is turn to His word. It is available 24/7 whenever you need it- to experience God.

  11. Please read these verses when you get the chance- Isaiah 55:11-13; Jeremiah 49:11; Psalm 146:9; Psalm 68:5; Isaiah 54:4-6; Revelation 21:1-7; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Isaiah 2:22; 1 Corinthians 7:29-35.