Sometimes it takes a life altering event to make you truly realize how precious and short life is. We’ve all heard the cliche ”life is short” a million times but after you have lost a loved one, you realize just how short life really is. You begin to remember every second you spent with the person and wish so hard that you could have a few more moments with them. Another chance to hold them, another chance to say I Love You, another chance to make a new memory.
I think it is understandable why people feel the desire and overwhelming need to create new memories after a loss. We understand how important memories are and realize one day they will be our greatest possession.
Since Darin died, I have spent the past 1.5 years grieving and living in a very dark place. I won’t lie, the winter months have been bleak. The lack of sunshine, cold weather and snow have really played on my anxiety. The sadness and loneliness overwhelming.
Now that the days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer, I am feeling energized. After all these months, I FINALLY feel ready to start taking some chances and follow some dreams. I am working thorough the guilt I described in my “It’s OK To Be Happy Again” post and moving forward.
First up–going away with the kids and spending a couple weeks in the sun and relaxing. The kids and I are going on a fun adventure that I can’t wait to share with you later. Planning the trip has been overwhelming and a reminder that Darin is not here. There will be a void but being in the warm sun around family will make it easier to cope.
The “old” Ann would have been hesitant about planning a trip… about budgeting, driving to a destination, arranging insurance, travelling as a single mom etc. The “new” Ann realizes that if I want to go on a trip then I need to plan it. I need to jump in and take charge. I learned a lot through the process and actually feel empowered. I am so excited about our adventure and can’t wait to take lots of photos and make many, many happy memories.
My challenge to you—plan something special for your family this weekend. Take photos and make new memories. You will not regret it.
Although Darin passed away 1.5 years ago, I still feel guilt. Why you ask? I was not really sure until I read this chapter. The author, Alicia King, writes “There is nothing disloyal about surviving.” That sentence perfectly describes how I feel right now. There is a sense of guilt that Darin died and that I am here. I know this sounds silly to people that never experienced a loss but for me it is very real. I struggle wondering why Darin was taken from us….why him.
The feelings of guilt are also overwhelming this week as I plan a family trip to Florida. I feel guilty planning a fun vacation without Darin. I know Darin would want us to go away and recharge after the stress of the past 1.5 years. I know Darin would want us to enjoy ourselves and think about happiness and moving forward. After reading this chapters, I now realize that I am placing this guilt on myself. Deep down inside, I feel that I am pushing Darin’s memory out of our lives and this is further from the truth.
At the end of the chapter , Alicia included a quote written by Diana Doyle. The quote is so powerful and it has helped me realize that I am not being disrespectful to Darin by moving forward with my life. I am actually doing the opposite, I am honouring him and the life we had together.
“The most profound way to honor someone who has died is to live, not just exist, but to try new things like skydiving or chasing your dreams. Perhaps you simply notice the glisten of morning dew on the lawn, or the sound of children laughing. Take a moment to be alive, in memory of those who can’t.” -Diana Doyle
I am at a crossroad and I need your advice. It has been almost 1.5 years since Darin passed away. Writing this blog profoundly helped (and continues to help me) through the toughest and darkest days of my life. The encouragement and love that I receive from my readers helps me more that you will ever know.
Thankfully, the days are not as tough or dark anymore and I can finally see a glimmer of light. I can finally see a new life emerging, waiting for me to embrace it. Do I still cry and get sad? Hell yes. In fact, this past Saturday was terrible. I basically laid on the couch and slept all day. I was so lonely and sad. Weekends are still tough, even after 1.5 years. Will I mourn and grieve Darin for the rest of my life? Absolutely.
But I need more…I need to start living. I know this is what Darin wants me to do. I can often hear him telling me to move on, to start living my life. He wants me to be happy.
I am not ready to stop writing about my journey and I want to write about discovering my new life. Writing is therapy for me and if I can help one person going through the hell of losing someone than it is worth it.
Here is my dilema. “Living Through The Tears – learning to live day by day” chronicles my life after losing Darin. I want to keep writing on this site about my journey of self discovery. I am still living through the tears and I am still learning to live day by day but I am struggling with guilt. Is it disrespectful to Darin if I write about my new journey on this site? Should I start a new site? Please tell me your honest opinion as this is something I am really struggling with.
I had a dream last night. I rarely have dreams about Darin but when I do they are very real and emotional. I haven’t shared my dreams before but I feel like I have to share this one and write it down.
As many of you know, Darin died suddenly and there was no time to say good bye, no time to comfort him as he was dying. One of my biggest regrets is not being able to hold him and tell him he was going to be ok. Not able to be able to hold the love of my life and comfort him through the pain. It breaks my heart and always will.
Here is my dream and you will understand why it is so important for me to write.
I was at a shopping mall. There were a lot of people walking around and suddenly I saw Darin. He looked so handsome and happy. He was wearing his favourite shirt and looked so radiant and alive. I started calling his name but he did not respond. (FYI He never responds in any of my dreams). I started following him, I had to catch up to him. How odd that we were at the same mall.
Eventually I caught up to Darin. He did not speak to me but he let me hug him. He let me hold him as he sat down and began to collapse. He let me comfort him the way I wish I was able to when he died. (FYI He never lets me touch him in my dreams).
I know not everyone has the same beliefs regarding spirituality and the afterlife but I believe the dream was Darin’s way of reaching out to me and letting me do something I so desperately wished I could do. He was letting me comfort him during his time of need. He was letting me erase my regret. The dream felt so real. I could feel him in my arms.
Have you ever dreamed about a loved oned that has passed away? Do you feel they were sending you a message?
My new website, Suddenly In Charge, was created to help people prepare for life events. Life can change in an instant and it is very important to be prepared and get organized.
Our group of contributors will post important tools, techniques and inspiration to help people get in control of their lives.
Topics include: estate planning, budgeting, organizing your life, taking care of yourself, single parenting, divorce, meal planning and a whole slew of other topics.
My new life mission is to help others get prepared, get organized and hopefully make life a little easier. If you have suffered a loss or experienced a life event, I hope Suddenly In Charge helps you through the transition.
I just returned from attending the She’s Connected Conference in Toronto. The conference was wonderful and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people IRL that I follow on Twitter. Making a face to face connection was fantastic.
I had the honour of sharing a train ride with @noliesplace and @shoeboxbegone. Both of them are wonderful women and I am thrilled to know them. I was excited to spend some time with @80sgirlforever. I wonderful friend that has been very supportive.
Attending the conference was very important to me. It was another step in my “transformation” or “reinvention”. It was an important part of my journey to figure out who the heck I am now and what my new life path is going to be.
MY biggest take away from the conference is “WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL.” We all come from different backgrounds, religions, beliefs etc…… but we share a common thread.
We are all women with a story to tell.
I met a young widow. The bond we instantly shared was unbelievable. I met someone that truely understood the hell I am living on a daily basis.
I met women that have experienced losing a child. Their strength and energy is remarkable and inspiring.
I met a woman that was abused. Her journey is breakbreaking yet she is confident.
I met a woman fighting cancer. Her face glowed as she described her family and children.
I met women who were divorced and trying to start their lives over again. They were relearning to rebuild as I am.
I met women who were single parents, struggling to raise their kids and work fulltime.
I met women who were raising special needs children. Their dedication and strength is incredible.
Meeting these incredible women made me realize that we ALL have a story to tell. The stories will all be different but they are OUR stories. We should not be afraid to tell our stories. There are many women going through similar life events, by sharing our stories we can help someone else, make friendships and also help ourselves.
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Was it a good day? Yes. Was it easier that Thanksgiving last year? Yes.
Thanksgiving used to be a reminder that the holiday season was just around the corner. Christmas decorations would soon be in stores and the holidays were not far. Now Thanksgiving is a reminder that Darin is not here and that we are going to face another holiday season without him.
The Christmas decorations that used to make me happy and feel like a kid, now make me sad and lonely. Last year I would cry on the spot if I heard Christmas music or saw decorations in a store. This year I was able to make it out to the car before crying. I guess that is called progress.
Here is the post I wrote last year after Thanksgiving. I wrote it one year ago yesterday. I must admit, as I read the post this morning, I realized that I still feel the same way. I wonder how I feel next year.