Monday, August 31, 2015

Out and About, But Oh, So Painful!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - August 4, 2015

I find myself wanting to write, but when I sit down to do so, the words just simply will not come.  Amazing how I compose these fabulous posts while out walking, but when sitting at my laptop, those words have simply vanished.  There is no logical explanation for anything going in my head these days.  There is no logic to grief!

Five and a half months have passed.  The inability to take a deep breath has, for the most part, passed.  The ability to go about my daily routine has, for the most part, returned.  The business aspect of Bill’s death is, for the most part, complete and things are functioning as they should.  As for the tears, there is no, “for the most part,” to it.  They flow every day.  Multiple times every day.  Sometimes, it’s just a eyeful of tears when a memory crosses my mind or I hear his laughter in my head.  Other times, it’s tears flowing down my face because I open a drawer and there lie the jade necklace and earrings he brought me from China and presented to me in the wee hours of the morning he returned because it was our anniversary and he couldn’t wait.  Or one of his students posts yet another picture on Facebook that I haven’t seen along with an amazing tribute to the influence he had on their life.  And sometimes, there is no trigger at all.  The reality just hits anew that he is gone and without him in them, the days seem empty.

But I try.  Part of that trying includes efforts, feeble though they may be, to resume the activities I most love.  Being outdoors, traveling and hiking.  Our weather during June, July and the first part of August was simply miserably hot and humid, so there hasn’t been much hiking, but I have taken full advantage of my early morning body clock and walked regularly often before it is fully light.  (Another perfect time for shedding tears!)

I have taken several short trips to visit friends and have attended a couple of conferences at The Cove.  I wrote about one of those adventures in my last post.  When you read this, I will be on my way to another destination with new friends that aren’t really new at all.  It will be a week of seeing new things and deepening a friendship that already exists.  I promise to write all about it.

My support system here at home continues to humble and amaze me.  My fear that it would go away as time passed has not materialized.  My schedule remains full and is a delightful mixture of time with folks who have been part of my (our) life all along and others, who have moved to the forefront and caused me to wonder how I managed to live life without them in it regularly before.

The "gypsy" in me seems to be changing.  That's a whole post in itself, but I am learning that the independent Sharon who once sought solitude for weeks at a time, really wasn't so independent at all.  There was ALWAYS a certain someone waiting to hear from me, calling to see where I was on my journey, wanting to know when I'd be home and of course, in later years, constantly texting from his office begging for pictures or being curious about what hike or road I was on.  His favorite way to end a conversation when I was traveling or hiking with friends was, "ok, it's time for you to come home!"  Even if I was only two hours into a week long adventure, that was a special communication between us and is the way conversations always ended.  Then he'd laugh and say, "I love you - have fun," and be gone to his next class or rehearsal.  

So, without that centering presence always "there," no matter where I was, I find myself being much more content here at home among the support system that is a constant source of encouragement.  Once September arrives, I have made some commitments which will keep me closer to home and that is ok.  There is still plenty of room for adventure and plenty to write about.

So, as the saying goes, time does march on.  Time is a gift.  It is also a miracle.  Never take it for granted or assume there will always be another opportunity to do or say what needs to be done or said NOW.


  1. Thanks so much for that post. It is so supportive to read about your experience. Yes, the tears come easily, and I really don't want that side of me to go away now. But Will lived every day as an adventure, and I have to at least live each day well to honour him. It doesn't come naturally though! I am getting out and about though, and it helps a lot. Take care, and fine enjoyment in at least some parts of your new life.

  2. Beautiful post. I am glad to see you are getting out and about and have a support system that can keep you going. All you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and, so far, you're doing that wonderfully. :)

  3. Hi Friend, Don't ever punish yourself for your grief. We ALL experience grief in different ways ---and experience life differently. You are truly doing GREAT. I am proud of you for getting up each day and finding the beauty in the day---through nature. Glad also that you have tons of friends and family members who love you and pray for you. Your trips sound amazing --and hope you can continue to do that more and more... As you know, we just got home from the Tetons and Yellowstone. You would have LOVED it. The weather was perfect and from the wildlife to the sunsets, we took in everything we could for those 6 days there. Wonderful place.

    Hugs and Prayers,

  4. Thank you for writing and reminding us not to take any one in our lives for granted.

    Also I don't know if you know the blog "My Bizzy Kitchen" but you and Biz are on a same or similar path. On her blog today she wrote about making our time between our birth day and the day of our death dates count living well in the dash. if you don't know her writing I would encourage you to check her out. I hope your new normal will get easier as time goes on. Take care.

  5. Your pain is so deep because your love was so deep. It will take far more time than you want, for the grief to subside. Try to lean into the grief. Accept it as your season of life now. It will make it easier if you don't fight it.

    You remain in my prayers.

  6. Such an honest and heartfelt post Sharon. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm here in the lodge using the internet and waiting for you. You are probably walking down to see me so I'd better go. I do think your pain is so great because your love was so special. How lucky you were to have that and it will remain with you always. Bill is there with you. I wish it were in the way you both wanted it to be.

  7. It is good to hear from you. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you. I am glad that you are getting out and happy to hear you have such a wonderful network of friends that keep supporting you. Know that your blogging buddies are out there supporting you too! :)

  8. Your willingness to share the journey of grief so honestly and openly is a gift to all of us. Thank you Sharon.

  9. Your willingness to share the journey of grief so honestly and openly is a gift to all of us. Thank you Sharon.

  10. I wish I could be there for you Sharon. You are a strong woman. Never doubt that.

  11. Truth. Things can change in an instant. Today is all we have. Keep going, keep hiking and taking those photos. Onward.

  12. Still thinking of you almost every day. I'll see you by November, I promise!