Finding Strength and Living After Loss

My New Years Eve Eve post………

Over in my Widows group, this past week the subject of suicide has been a topic, for obvious reasons. The holidays in general can be a really tough time, add in the lost of a loved one, the feelings of loneliness and isolation….it’s easy to fall into pit of despair and feel as though there is no way out……(I feel I have to add that we are not professionals on suicide here….and that folks reach out to the Suicide Hotline…..1 800 273 8255……))

Just finished writing this…was going to post it tomorrow, but in light of some of the other posts, I decided to post it now.


With the winding down of 2017, I’m reflecting on how far I’ve come. I survived a full year of ‘firsts’ without Jim. I moved, bought my first car, moved again, bought a home.

I survived heartbreaking pain and grief…pain so deep and raw I didn’t want to live. On those days when ending it all seemed the only way I wanted to go, I wrote…..some of what I wrote was in the form of goodbye letters to my children. After I’d write, I’d tuck the letter away, only to add to it the next time those feelings of ending it over took me. All I could think was, I just want to be back ‘home’ in Jims arms. The last entry was dated late August. As I sat and reread those letters, my heart broke for that woman, whose struggle and pain was so deep she wanted to die. My heart broke for her, for me. Then I thought about how far I’ve come since that last entry………………

Before I begin my journey into 2018, I needed to address some of that pain and grief. Don’t get me wrong, I know the pain of his loss and the grief that has become my companion will always be with me….The fact is, widowhood can and is a lonely time. No matter who we are surrounded by, we are missing our partner. But, Jims love was and still is an incredible gift, a gift that keeps on giving, regardless of where he is. My grief, in its own way, speaks volumes of the love we share. Each tear that falls, is, in its own little way, a tribute to the man I love. My healing is coming at it’s own pace in its own way, my way. I want to start my 2018 ‘book’ with a blank page. So I’m ceremoniously burning those ‘goodbye’ letters. Writing them was purging, rereading them reminded me of how far I’ve actually come, by burning them I’m letting those feelings go..I’m freeing myself to allow myself to move forward and live…………

Another year has come and gone.

The first full one, without you.

So many ups and downs,

at times I didn’t have a clue….

How was I going to make it?

Living this life without you here.

Yet somehow, day by day,

I made it through this year.

A little bit stronger.

A little bit wiser.

I’m moving right along.

Where will this journey take me?

Hopefully, to a place I belong.


As the minutes tick down

I’ll close my book of old

While anxiously opening a new one,

With stories yet to be told…..


Second Christmas & Widowhood

I made it through my second Christmas without Jim. Last year I was staying with my daughter and her family……this year I awoke in my own home, alone..and you know what? It and I was ok. I enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee before getting ready to head down to my daughters. A start of a new tradition for myself?!?! Maybe. I’m learning to not think to far into the future, instead taking things as they come without to much planning……

My neighbor gifted me a Santa Hat……..

So dressed like a candy cane I headed down to my daughters………I spent the day with these amazing little people……yes my life has changed, but I’m incredibly Blessed.

And though I’m 9 hours or so away from these beautiful people….thankfully there is Marco Polo and FaceTime..

Christmas and widowhood can and is a lonely time. No matter who we are surrounded by, we are missing our partner. But for me, this time of year speaks of love…Jims love was and still is an incredible gift, a gift I was Blessed with. My grief, in its own way, speaks volumes of the love we share. Each tear that falls, is, in its own little way, a tribute to the man I love. So I made it through feeling pretty good actually…my healing is coming in at it’s own pace in its own way……..the journey continues……

Christmas Eve…Missing Him…Remembering Us ❤💚

This is my Christmas Eve post to my Widows Group. Thought I’d share it here as well. So many of us are missing loved many of us dealing with our grief and pain silently. My wish for you, that somewhere amongst the grief and pain you can find some semblance of comfort and it with family and/or friends..or lost in your loving memories.

Our loved ones will Always be with us…I know this to be true, as I live it everyday….

Good Morning and Merry Christmas Eve ❤💚

This will be my second Christmas without My Jim. Jim and I never treated or followed the ‘rules’ when it came to holidays and gifts. When we got together, Jim asked me how I felt if he took a page from his beloved grandparents ‘book of relationships and life’ and follow their lead. He said they rarely bought each other gifts for the holidays, instead choosing to treat each day of their lives together and love they shared as the gift it was….Jim used to say I don’t need a calendar to tell me when I have to give you a gift or tell you I Love You. So…that’s how we approached things…….I will miss our routine Peppermint Martinis and Polar Express Christmas Eve..I will watch the movie tonight minus the martini….I’ll miss our sunrise mimosas on the beach Christmas morning and our afternoon viewing of my favorite Christmas movie, the Alistair Sims version and classic A Christmas Carol…both of which I will do by myself and my memories. I will be spending time with my daughter and her family today and tomorrow. I will celebrate the real reason for the season and remind myself of how incredibly Blessed I am..for I Am Loved ❤💚

Ok, with that said, I’m sharing a poem I wrote last Christmas Eve, my first without Jim. It’s crazy how fast the time has flown by…but our Love..his Love..continues to is my precious gift.

As is Your Loves. Those of you who are in the midst of your journeys of firsts…hold tight to your memories and your love…and Know they are with you. This is the season of miracles….Believe ❤💚🙏


I’m incredibly Blessed……

but the emptiness is real.

I feel his presence, but I miss him so…….

This is ….My first Christmas without you

And though It’s hard to celebrate….

The gift of your love is one I cherish

And one I will hold dear for goodness sake…..

I hear your laughter in my mind

I close my eyes, I imagine your touch

My love for you is forever

The gift of your love…is enough


Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon~

Loved this quote…I’m a sucker for little white fairy lights and have them up all year round. We loved sitting in our small living room with nothing but the fairy lights lit, sometimes talking, sometimes in that companionable silence that was us.

Mid-Winter wisdom

Totally Love this so had to share!!!! I’m so not a winter person, but over the years have come to terms with my own form of hibernation and the need for it….


Sometimes withdrawal and letting go is as much part of growth as is achievement and moving forward:

There is a tendency to want to hurry from autumn to spring, to avoid the long dark days that winter brings. But winter darkness has a positive side to it. As we gather to celebrate the first turn from winter to spring, we are invited to recognize and honor the beauty in the often unwanted season of winter. Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let us be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let us also encourage our spirits as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.

Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr, The Circle of Life

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