Monday, June 29, 2015

The Foundation - Faith, Family and Friends!

Clingmans Dome - Great Smoky Mountain National Park
May 8, 2015

I wish I could meet each of you individually to hug and thank you for the precious feedback to my last post.  It wasn’t easy to write or to post, but you are important to me and I am so grateful that you have stuck with me through well over a year now of very sporadic posting.  The spirit is willing and wants to write, but the act of sitting down and doing it remains overwhelming.  I often write posts in my head while I walk each day, but then simply can’t find the motivation to put it on paper once I’m back at home. 

Three months have come and gone.  I wake up, I breathe, I do the next thing, I cry, I conduct business, I help my mother, I try to take care of myself, I pray (A LOT!) and I wonder how it is remotely possible that I can ever be “OK” again. 

One thing is for sure…..without the firm foundation of faith, family and friends, I cannot imagine how anyone survives the horror of losing their spouse. 

FAITH – You cannot have read my blog long without knowing that my Faith is the foundation on which my life is built.  I don’t talk it about all the time and certainly don’t try to push my beliefs on anyone else without first establishing a relationship in which we share together with mutual respect.  But without my certainty that there is an eternity beyond this mortal life, that I will spend it with my Creator on a recreated Earth the way it was originally meant to be and that Bill, my dad, my grandparents and others are waiting for me, I cannot imagine surviving this grief. 

FAMILY – Our family is small, but we are strong.  My mom, Bill’s mom and I all now share the bond of being widowed and we lean on each other heavily.  My sister is two hours away and comes as often as she can. 

FRIENDS – What can I say about this amazing support system of friends that I have?  To this very day, it is my choice to eat a meal alone or spend an evening alone.  There is always an invitation to be with someone.  For the first eight weeks after Bill died, this was truly what saved me.  I could not bear to be alone and did not have the mental ability to plan where to go.  My friends took over and did it for me.   I had a calendar that simply told me where to go for lunch, with whom I was spending the afternoon  and where to go for dinner. There are still two people who text every morning to make sure I'm up and every evening to ask how my day has been and if I'm ok.  It has been an incredible act of sacrifice on the part of a huge network of people that brings tears to my eyes to even think about now.  Gradually the day came when I would decide I wanted to spend a few hours alone, but there was always (and still is) a backup place to go or number to call. 

So yes, three months have come and gone.  Because of my faith, my family and my friends, I can laugh, I can sing, I can hike, I can be alone in my condo without falling apart, I can take short trips to do something I find pleasurable, I can read, I can play.

But even more important are the things I can give away or share with others… time, my story, my experience, my money, my ability to care on a level deeper than I could ever imagine, my compassion for those who are hurting or suffering, my hope for the future, my desire to love others as they have loved me.

I would love for you to share a time in your life

When friends came through for you in a

Way you didn’t expect!


  1. Dear Sharon, now I know what you're going through, and how important all those friends are. Our eldest son died fighting a forest fire in northern Alberta 5 weeks ago. He was a water bomber pilot. The devastation is just beyond belief, but like you we've had enormous support from friends. I will read your blog with a special interest now, and keep you in my prayers. So glad you've had that direct personal daily support you describe. Take care.

  2. Your words about how your friends are coming through for you brought tears to my eyes. Faith, family and friends are great blessings and I look forward to seeing more posts from you.

  3. Sharon it is so wonderful to hear from you again. You are so very lucky to have such constantly attentive friends and family including other widows to help you through this nightmare. I have not one soul in my life like that except David. I am terrified. His cancer is not better, they are running out of treatments and he has a 99% and an 80% blockage in his left anterior descending artery into which they cannot put a stent. I wonder how two men so seemingly healthy and not yet elderly could be so sick. You are an inspiration as is the amazing daily support you have.

  4. I'm glad you have such a great network of friends for companionship. Sending smiles and good thoughts your way. :)

  5. When my father died, I went through a horrible grief. If it had not been the support of family and friends, I don't know where I would be now. I was directed to a group called GriefShare. It was so helpful that I started facilitating groups. Google it and see if there is a group near you. You won't regret it.

  6. I am so glad you have such a great network of support around you!

  7. Sharon, after my husband passed away I could not bear to eat alone because his place was empty. I turned down many invitations because I could hardly put one foot in front of the other for months. I lost weight but then realized I had to get out and be with others. Now, 2 1/2 years later, I do try to accept more invitations, and even extend a few myself. Yes, it is our friends who save us. I have very little family who live close enough to visit, but can always pick up the phone. Let them carry you over the first year. After that, the shock wears off and you realize you are alone and start dealing with reality. This makes no sense, but I think you understand.

  8. Years ago when I still had young children to care for I had an accident and required surgery on my left ankle that had shattered into a billion pieces. I was laid up for months and our church family and other friends stepped in to care for us. My childhood girlfriend flew across country to spend a week with us getting hubby and the kids on a new schedule and filling the freezer with food. I had never needed to be on the receiving end of so much help. I am still in awe of everything that was done for us during that time.

    What a wonderful group of friends you have. So much love and caring being shared when you need it the most. You are in my thoughts and prayers.