Three Things

It’s been over a year since I’ve been on this blog. Since my last entry life has been decent. I’ve made a job change and found dance which has brought me the joy I feared I’d never have again. However, the uncertainty and fear currently going on with this pandemic has me thinking of Rudy and how I wish he was here with me. These feelings have brought me back to writing. Ever since Rudy died I’ve been acutely aware of how life can change in an instant and here we have it happening again for the entire world. In the last 4 years since his death there are three things that I have learned and now try to practice regularly:

Keep it simple. Take a moment to look around at all the beauty. Go outside and be in nature. I have found it to be the most healing thing available to me. Be in silence. Meditate. Listen to the birds, hear the wind blowing through the trees and bushes. Feel the sunshine on your skin. Let nature rejuvenate you every day.

Live in the moment. All we truly have is the here and now. There’s no guarantee of the next second let alone the next day or week or year. My life changed in a split second. The solid ground of the life I knew fell away and was gone in an unexpected moment. No preparation. No bracing myself. It was gone just like that. So, appreciate the NOW. Focus on the NOW. Do not allow yourself to look too far ahead and begin to worry about things that may or may not occur. Don’t even focus on the good that is ahead b/c you are wasting what is NOW. Your life is this very moment. That is all you truly have. Center yourself each day, week or month however often you need to remind yourself to live in the NOW b/c it’s so easy to lose sight. Don’t give your moments away. Your life is not in the past, that is over and done with. Nor is it in the future, a future that may never happen. This moment right now is your life. Live it and love it. Make a conscious effort to refocus on being mindful and present. I promise that if you do your life will have more meaning and it will bring you much more happiness.

Speaking of happiness, don’t wait to do what makes you happy because again there’s no guarantee the time you’re waiting to do these things will be there. If it brings you joy find a way. You may need to be creative in order to be able to do these things especially now with all that’s going on, but if that’s what it takes so be it. Just because it may not be easy does not mean you give up and forget about it. Find an alternative way. Don’t one day wish you had tried this, or taken a class for that, or traveled to this place, or did this more. You will never regret doing the things that make you happy, but how sad to regret not doing them at all. Step out of the box. Fear nothing. Follow your heart.

So, in this time of uncertainty keep it simple, live in the NOW and do what makes you happy. We’ll all get through this one moment at a time.

Judy ❤

Camp Widow

I haven’t written here in a very long time. Why? Well, I didn’t want to cry. It was impossible to get through any piece of writing without crying and 2 ½ years later it still is quite honestly. I wanted to share about an experience I had last weekend. I went to Camp Widow. Yeah, that’s right Camp Widow. It’s put on by Soaring Spirits International. In my search for other people like me I found Soaring Spirits and saw they had these camps. I went back and forth in my head whether to go, or not go. I was nervous about it. Apprehensive. Why would I want to spend a weekend with widows and widowers? It’s going to be emotional I thought. It’s going to upset me. I’ve become pretty darn good in the art of distraction, why shove grief and loss in my face. I’ll end up crying and I hate that. I hate it. I fight with grief every single day. I will fight with it every day until my last breath, but grief will not win. I will not allow it. I will always cry over Rudy dying. I cry for what we lost together. I cry for the life I no longer have. I cry for the future that is no more.

When I first arrived at the hotel I thought, what am I doing? I felt anxious. I thought, I don’t want to be here with these people. I don’t want to be a member of this club. I went to the front desk, “Hi, I’m here for Camp Widow”. Those words just hung in the air. The person checking me in didn’t seem uncomfortable, but I sure was. As I walked through the lobby I wondered who’s widowed. Do they think I’m widowed?

The next morning was check-in. Walking to registration I again was very uncomfortable. I felt alone, scared, nervous. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know a soul. How are these people going to be? Will they be what I’m hoping for? Will they be people that I can connect with that will understand because they’re living this nightmare with me?

I checked in and got my badge with a ribbon on it that had “2 Years”. At first I felt like it was the Scarlett Letter. Great. I get to wear this, I guess I can’t hide now. Everyone had a badge and it came to be a great thing. Walking around the hotel you automatically connected because you could relate without even saying a word.

This weekend ended up being the best thing that I could have done for myself. I met women and men all doing their best to move forward without their partners. We all shared the common bond of loss and pain. It was a weekend of comradery of sharing stories and learning from the talks that were put on how to manage, tools to use and just the fact that we are not alone. The things I was feeling and thinking are what each of us widowed are feeling and thinking. We were able to talk about our loss without seeing that uncomfortable expression on the other person’s face. We were able to express ourselves knowing the other person understood. We were able to talk about things that didn’t shock the other person. It was comforting. It was healing. No matter the age that we were, no matter the number of months/years that our loved one has been gone, we all understood.

I am thankful for the women and men that I met, they are my widowed family. They will be there for me and I will be there for them. We are all looking for peace and happiness once again. We know that the grief we have over our partners dying will be with us for the rest of our lives, but we have our community to help along the way while we try to find our new path. I’m grateful.


Grief is a process. You can’t rush it. You can’t wish it away. You can’t avoid it. You simply cannot control it. You work through it in your own time, at your own pace, on your own terms, in your own way. I feel as though I am getting stronger. Adapting more to my new normal. I still cry without notice. Something will open the floodgate of grief and I will feel the overwhelming sadness and sorrow. I still feel the pang of loss during the day when thoughts cross my mind. I hear or see things that remind me of Rudy and all that we had. It’s private and even though others may be around me I silently grieve and feel those feelings quietly. Grief has become my companion. It’s always with me and at times it is hidden away and other times it surfaces just to remind me it is still around.

I find that I need to be outside more than I ever have before. Rudy was always the one who enjoyed the outdoors much more than I did. He saw the beauty and peacefulness and was completely satisfied to sit and just be. Now, being outdoors amongst nature is where I find the most peace. It doesn’t matter so much where, the mountains, the desert, the beach – anywhere that it is quiet and I can hear the sounds of nature. The wind, the ocean breaking on the sand, the birds – it all bring me peace and rejuvenates me. I think of Rudy during this time. I talk to him. I cry for him. I pray. I sit and let myself just be. I understand the peace that Rudy felt and maybe, just maybe he has passed this on to me.

I found a necklace of a dove hanging from a cactus while on a hike yesterday. The dove represents peace. It was symbolic to me. What are the odds of finding this necklace hanging way off of the path? Was it a sign? I choose to think it was. Rudy and I talked about if there were a way for us to communicate with each other after one of us passed we would try. I believe that Rudy has and continues to send messages to me in many ways. Can they all be explained rationally? Probably. But the coincidence of the things that I have seen and my children have seen are just too much. We choose to believe it is Rudy and it brings us peace.

❤ Judy


The Closet

I do most of my mourning alone. Many people are uncomfortable with a person who mourns and don’t know how to respond. Some people ask me how I’m doing and I pause because I want to say how I’m really feeling, but doubt they want to hear the truth. It’s better for me to not say a word than to see and hear the awkwardness, the uncomfortable response, or the quick getaway that some take. If you don’t want to really know the truth don’t ask. You may not always get the truth, but when you do be prepared. There have been times when I’ve been honest and forthcoming with how I really feel. It saddens me even more when people back off because it is uncomfortable for them and they don’t know how to deal with it or don’t want to. It makes me feel even more alone. Empathize. Put yourself in my shoes.

Try to imagine how you would feel if your husband or wife were dead.

Then imagine how you would have to go on and the things you would have to do. Unimaginable, isn’t it? If it is too uncomfortable simply don’t ask. It’s better for you. It’s better for me. I am very grateful to those that continue to keep in touch. To those who haven’t forgotten and who reach out to me even though you don’t know what to say and tell me so, your caring and acknowledgment of my pain means a lot.

It’s been a little over four months. People have moved on as expected. The pain is dulling and Rudy’s passing is becoming a memory to you. I continue to live his death every day. Reminders everywhere. In the house, wherever I go, on the phone, in the mail, people I see, and tasks that I need to get done such as beginning to go through his things. This weekend has been a task of going through his closet. Getting rid of things I can part with and storing things I simply can’t.


I seal airtight the uniforms he looked so handsome in. I cry when I find the uniform he wore to our wedding. Heartbreak. Loneliness. Fear. Pain.

Packing, sorting, storing – it all takes my breath away at times. I find shirts with the sleeves rolled up just as he last left them. I cannot roll them down. I can still smell his scent on the shirts. I cry as I hold them and smell them. I think of the past when he wore these clothes. Some I teased him about, like the lime green shirt he thought was such a great idea. It’s hideous and I laughed when I came to it. I’ll never part with it. Our home is now becoming my home. It hurts. It’s emotional. It’s exhausting. I’m tired, but things must get done. It’s part of moving forward.

I talk to Rudy. “Can you hear me?” “I miss you.”

I now walk by his closet and it is full of empty hangers. Whether it was full of his clothes or empty it is difficult either way. It is another day in my life without Rudy. Mourning. Trying to move forward. The pain of his death continues. I wait for it to lessen.  I am tired.

❤ Judy

Push, Learn, Grow

Up early again. Not a good night’s rest. No reason other than current circumstances. Some nights are better than others. The nights are in fact improving, but last night was an hourly wake up until finally I just got up at 3:30. Enough. It’s going to be a long day.

My life is such that I feel like I am in limbo – I am in limbo. Sometimes I’m able to ignore it and other times when faced with decisions I cannot. I usually know what to do after thinking about it. Once I look at the facts I am able to make a rational decision. I’m having a difficult time deciding on some things now it seems. So, I guess by not making a decision I am in fact making one. This is another thing I hate about mourning. You are in inner turmoil. You almost feel like you don’t know yourself any longer. When you lose a spouse you really do lose half of yourself, at least that’s how I feel. So, how do I fill the other half? What am I to do now? Is there another side to me that I’ve never explored? Do I do what I’ve always done which is what is expected of me or do I move out of the box that I’ve surrounded myself with all these years? I don’t mean that in a negative way. I love my box! I was very happy and content with where I was and how things were, but now things are different. They are very different and now I am different too. What does that mean? Heck I don’t know and I hate that. How can I go on with my life as it was when much within it has changed? I have always done what is the norm. Do I now do what is not expected, but instead way out of the box for me? How would people react? Would they be supportive? Would they question? Would they talk me out of my ideas and thoughts? Should I care?

No, I shouldn’t.

Yet, for someone who has always done the right thing, what is expected, a rule follower it is very difficult to let go and run free. But, that may be just what I need at this time.

Then there is the question – do I dare? Do I have the guts? What am afraid of? What is the worst that can happen?

What is the best that can happen?

Rudy always trusted my judgment and I always trusted my gut – until now. I am torn between doing what is the norm and what may be considered out of the box and a crazy idea. Truth is it’s me who’s the person thinking “you’re crazy”. It’s the rational side of me saying “stay the course”. Do what you’ve always done – you know that road so well. But, now there’s a new side or a side that has awoken saying life if short, no regrets, take a risk, go for it. I feel I have lost myself or maybe the truth is that I am finding a part of myself I that I haven’t quite been introduced to yet. Maybe this is a gift from Rudy to move beyond the person I was toward the person that I never would have known while with him. My life is now broken into two different segments. One with Rudy and now one without. I could potentially live another 40+ years, longer without Rudy than with him. What am I to do with that time? How am I to live those years? Do I stay the course as I always have? I struggle with this because things are so different now that it’s almost like fitting a round peg in a square hole. It has not been that long since Rudy died yet sometimes I am surprised that it hasn’t been longer. I am tired and I am in turmoil over his loss and over what I am to be now and what I am to do. Patience is not a virtue I possess in large quantities. I want answers now. I want to know now what will become of me. Maybe the answers come as I am ready to hear them and accept them. Taking the road less traveled may be the right road. Facing fear may be just what I need. I don’t want to just exist. Rudy would want me to really live. He would always tell me to keep my options open. He never doubted. He always believed in possibilities. He always believed in me. His death is causing me to really look at myself, what I am, what I’ve done, what I love, what I believe in, what my passion is. With his death he has given me an opportunity to explore and grow beyond where I am now. He would be so angry if I remained stagnant and withered, that I know without doubt. I will take what I’ve learned from him. To embrace change and adapt, to fear nothing. To learn from failure and grow beyond any success that I have. To keep pushing and learning and growing and to believe in the conviction of my decisions no matter the thoughts of anyone and most importantly fighting the doubts within my own head. With him I will forge a new journey. I still do not know what that is as of yet. I do know that I will learn more about myself and be introduced to a side of me that I did not know existed, and you know what?

I think I will like her very much indeed.

❤ Judy

Simple and Precious

Valentine’s Day came and went. Another “first” without Rudy. I had been dreading it. It wasn’t a particularly big holiday for us. We did celebrate, but Rudy always did sweet somethings for me. Unexpected gifts at any ol’ time. Flowers regularly. Cards hidden for me to find. He was sweet and romantic and always thought of me, always wanted me to know how much he loved me. As I see commercials of couples it tugs at my heart. As I see couples holding hands walking the same path that Rudy and I walked it tugs yet again. I see couples biking and running together and then I see Rudy and me. These are things we did and I wonder if these couples realize how precious those moments are. Things that seem so simple are probably taken for granted, yet those are the things that will tug at your heart. I see elderly couples, walking, laughing, helping each other along the way and I wish that Rudy and I had reached that stage in our lives together. I will never know him as an old man, I will miss growing old with him.

Every day I think of Rudy. I go to sleep thinking of him. I awake and my first thought is of him. Sometimes my thoughts are controlled and are actually a comfort and other times I’m submerged in grief and struggle to rise and take a breath. I feel sucker punched at times. The pain still surprises me. It can come out of nowhere. A smell, a sound, a sight, any and all of my senses can be overwhelmed with memories that recall Rudy. Sometimes I give a bittersweet smile and other times it hurts so badly it takes my breath away, literally.

I wonder, will I ever find joy again without it being bittersweet? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I hope I simply find joy again.

I do feel Rudy with me. I see signs from him most every day. After his death I was desperate to connect in some way with him. To know he was OK wherever he was. Rudy was unconscious when I finally got to him and he never woke. The last time we were together was on a subway when he took a photo of me giving a thumbs up before my race. I wish that I could have had one last conversation with him, but my conversations were meant to only be one way. I take comfort in the signs that I see and I choose to believe they are from him somehow letting me know he is OK and he is with me. It’s OK if people think they are simply coincidences. Lose a spouse or your child and you too may begin to look at everything differently. I now question coincidences and I believe in possibilities and that those possibilities may in fact be truth.

Creating memories is the most important gift anyone can give one another. I’m not talking about the staged memories of events, parties, or vacations. I’m talking about the day to day memories that we all shape. Those are the ones that count and those are the ones you will miss. I miss holding Rudy’s hand. I miss going on walks together. I miss car rides going wherever the road lead us. I miss hearing the snowfall with him. I miss hearing his silly jokes and hearing him laugh. I miss that great, big smile. I miss giving him a hug when he walked in the door after a long day at work. Don’t take moments such as these for granted. Appreciate them even more. The “I love you” that is said, the hugs that are given, the hands that are held, the smiles, the laughter those are the moments you will miss the most and those are the memories you will cherish and remember forever.

❤ Judy

Longing to Run Free

Loneliness is a terrible thing. The loss of a spouse places you in isolation even when you are surrounded by others. You have lost your best friend, your closest confidant, your companion, your everything. Yet, when you are literally alone that loneliness can be even more profound. It intensifies the loss that you have experienced. Previously you had someone to share everything with and now you really have no one. Sure you have friends and family, but truth is they have their own lives and will never understand the depth of loneliness you feel until they themselves experience it – and they most likely will if their spouse dies before they do. That doesn’t help you now though. You are left to deal with and manage the isolation and loneliness that you feel. You feel it every day, but sometimes it is more intense and overwhelming. You feel as though you are on the sidelines watching everyone else live their lives. You don’t feel as though you have a life anymore. You are just existing, getting through each day as it comes. That is how I feel most of the time. The only time I really feel alive right now is when I run. For an hour or so I feel good and positive and then it ends and I go back to going through the motions, doing what I have to do to get through each day.

Losing someone you live with, who was your partner in life is losing half of yourself and you struggle, you struggle every day to find the other half again. It hurts. It aches. You wonder how long you will go on like this. Time is passing. People have moved on and are forgetting about the loss that has occurred in your life and the impact it has had on you. The impact of the loss of your loved one may have eased in their lives yet it has not for you. It is harder now in fact. People have moved on and you don’t hear as much from them, yet you hurt just as much if not more because the reality of your life is clear now. You feel like you have no future. Truthfully you feel like you have no life. You have to start over, find a new way, yet you are so tired. The effort and energy to get through each day can be overwhelming and as a result you just exist.

It’s difficult to adjust to being alone because your spouse has died suddenly. You didn’t ask for this. You didn’t expect it. You were viscously grabbed from the life that you loved and shoved into a dark, desolate place that you never knew existed. You wish you could find your way out, but right now you find no door, no window, and it can be overwhelming. Death of a spouse changes you. You have lost half of yourself. You don’t know who you are anymore. You are left to your own thoughts with no confidant to share them with as you once had. You are on your own to figure out the rest of your life. You are left to manage your loneliness. It is a terrible place to be. A scary place. There is a light in that closed off room. Some days it is very dim and some days it burns brighter yet, I look forward to one day finding a door or a window that I can escape from. I long for that freedom and when I have it will run and run and run.

❤ Judy


Having Faith

I saw something recently that said to have faith. That things may not work out the way you expected, but the way things were meant to be. Then I thought about my life. Why is it meant to be that I am a widow so early? I don’t understand. I don’t understand why this is how it was meant to be for me. Am I being tested? Is there a reason that I am going through this and if so why? I just don’t understand why I am meant to hurt and be lonely and sad. What is the purpose of it all? Maybe if I knew it would help.

People tell me to have faith. I understand and I try, but unless you are the one who has been devastated with the sudden, unexpected loss of your spouse you will never understand how difficult it can be to have faith that things will turn out well. It’s easy to say “have faith” when you are not the one experiencing a loss that has changed your daily life as you once knew it. You can’t imagine what it’s like to go on without your spouse because of death unless you are living it. You can’t imagine what your life will be like without your spouse. For over 30 years my husband was in my life every day. It was “our life”. We had plans for our future. Plans for retirement. Plans to do things with our future grandchildren. All of that has changed now. My grandchildren will never meet their grandfather and that breaks my heart like you will never know. He wanted so much to meet his grandchildren. I weep every time I think that they will never know the great man that he was. It hurts me deeply. People who meet my family will never know the family that we were with Rudy. It has changed now. There is a void and I am so sad about that.

Yes, things will work out and they will be different. They certainly won’t be better. I will never understand why this is the way it is meant to be for me. My relationship with Rudy wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn near. My life with him was wonderful and I am so sad that it is over. My heart is broken. I hurt, but I keep moving forward. I have no choice. I will never understand why this is the way it is meant to be; why this is the plan set forth for me. Yet, I will have faith that it will get easier and that somehow, someway I will create a life without Rudy. That faith however, is easier said than done for the one living with loss every day. It does not come easy. For people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss you doubt, you question, and you are confused. If I could flip a switch and say I have faith and that would fix how I feel every day I would flip it. It doesn’t work that way when you are in the pit of grief. It just doesn’t. Yet, I do have faith that it will get better, but having that faith does not make me hurt any less. It doesn’t make me feel any better. It is hope to hang on to.

❤ Judy

Baby Steps

I read something earlier this week that has stuck with me. It talked about the sudden loss of a loved one and how we tend to dig our heels into the moment before we lost that person. We don’t want to let go, we resist. To accept what has occurred is very difficult because it is simply unacceptable. However, life goes on with or without you. You can remain frozen in time denying the death wanting and desperately seeking a reason, an apology, and an acknowledgement of what the universe has done to your life. Or, you can accept that reality has changed for you. My path has been altered. I can either take the newly paved road that leads to a different life or continue on the broken potholed road that leads nowhere. What I read is not something that I have not heard before since Rudy’s death, but for some reason at that time it really hit me. Maybe because I was ready to digest it. My life has changed. The initial shock, anger, helplessness, and fear has passed now. Oh I still have those feelings, but not as intense as initially. My perspective is beginning to change. I feel more in control. I don’t know what is ahead, but I am getting used to being alone and managing my daily life and new responsibilities. It’s still tiring for me and I look forward to things settling down a bit more, but it will take time I realize that. I do know that I don’t want to continue on a path leading nowhere. There is no happiness there. I know that I can take that path leading to a different life from what I expected and Rudy will still be with me. Initially I felt as though I would be leaving him behind if I moved forward. I felt upset with myself if I smiled or laughed because I always think of Rudy in that moment or thereafter. Why am I laughing and smiling without him here with me I would think. This is something Rudy would want for me and for everyone that knew him. He would never want sadness to take over, but instead joy and happiness. I believe that he sees me and is with me every day and I know every time I cry he hurts. He hated to see me cry. He hated it when I was sad or upset. He would get upset himself. While I can’t help myself from crying at times I feel that I am taking baby steps forward. This week has been different. I keep going back to read that page from the book. I have to rejoin life, my new reality. I feel I’ve taken the first step this week. I don’t understand why that passage struck me at this time. For some reason I was ready. I won’t question, but instead just continue forward and take each day as it comes.

I’m getting used to the daily tears now. They are a part of me and not as foreign as in the beginning. I don’t fight it as much as I did at the start. The waves of grief can come quickly bringing on tears then just as quickly pass. I can cry for a couple of minutes and then be OK. It’s kind of crazy in a way. Literally one minute you’re fine, the next you’re crying, and then you’re fine again. I hated that lack of control a month ago. Now I just go with it. It is what it is. I cry when I feel like crying I stop when I’m done. You just never know what will set you off. What will the trigger be? Some things you think will upset you don’t and then things that you wouldn’t expect to upset you do. Yesterday I had the oil changed in the car for the first time. I sat there patiently watching Ellen on the TV while the car was worked on and everything was fine. However, once I got back into my car to drive home I began to cry. I thought about how Rudy would always tell the kids (and me) that it’s so important to stay on top of oil changes. I went to the same place he always went and as I drove away I cried and I hoped that he saw me changing the oil just as he would want me to. Then I thought, I’m crying over an oil change. How wacky grief is. There is no script. No guide. No rules. You fly by the seat of your pants. It is unique. Individual. Each person who mourns does so in their own way on their own timeline.

Giving your support to people who mourn deeply is significant. It’s important to just be there and stay in touch with the person without judgment. You have no idea what that person is going through. You do not know the relationship between your friend/relative and the person who died. You really don’t know your friend/relative who mourns and what is going on inside his or her head, how that person feels, how and what that person thinks. All you know is that you have a friend/relative who has lost someone very close to them and it has altered their daily life. What you must also know is that your friend/relative needs you. Your calls, your texts, your notes, your time, your conversations – they all matter. You can’t fix anything, but what you can do is help that person in mourning know that he/she is not alone, and that is tremendous.

❤ Judy

Reality Hits Hard

I am tired. Fatigued both physically and emotionally. I’m tired of having so many things to do. I’m tired of making phone calls, explaining what happened to my husband, presenting the death certificate, my marriage certificate. I’m tired of receiving letters in the mail – “to the estate of “.

This week I saw my status for the first time listed as “single”…… I’m tired of crying every, single, day. It exhausting to mourn.

I received this recently from a dear friend who also knows grief so well:


I had my own notion of grief.

I thought it was a sad time

That followed the death of someone you love.

And you had to push through it

To get to the other side.

but I’m learning there is no other side.

There is no pushing through.

But rather,

There is absorption



And grief is not something that you complete.

But rather you endure.

Grief is not a task to finish.

And move on.

But an element of yourself –

an alteration of your being.

A new way of seeing.

A new definition of self.

It made me cry because I’m finding it to be true. I want so badly to push through it, for it to end. I am realizing that it is really a part of me as much as I don’t want it to be. I mourn that fact too. I want grief and the feeling that comes with it to go away, but I know deep in my heart that it never will. Somehow I will learn to live with it, but how do you live with sorrow? How do you make peace with it, accept it into your life, and not fight it every day? Maybe that’s one reason for my feeling so tired. I have not accepted it. I keep fighting it because I don’t want it in my life. I do try to push through to get to the other side, but it is true there is no other side. As time moves forward I am realizing that it will never leave me.  My friend and others who have lost spouses and children have told me I will never get over it, but I will learn to manage grief.  I hate that. I don’t want it to be a part of me at all.  I don’t want it to have changed me, but I know it has.  Yet I still try to fight it because it is so sad to me that it has changed my life forever.

I think what is killing me is the amount of time it is going to take to move through this process.  I want a time line for grief and I can’t get that.  I want to know what I have to do to learn to live with it and there are no directions.  I just hate not knowing when I will feel better, when I will finally accept it. When will I be happy again?

I never know how things are going to affect me. Seeing things and people that remind me of Rudy can be comforting or very upsetting to the point where I am incredibly uncomfortable and want to run away. It is as if the cup of grief that I am holding overflows. I can’t contain it, it is just too much.

I am beginning to learn what I can tolerate and what I cannot. I have to keep my guard up and remove myself from situations that are simply too much to bear at this time. It’s been 2 months and nine days since Rudy died. Most everyone is moving on and it isn’t as profound as it was initially, expect to me and my children. That is to be expected of course, but for those of us that have been affected greatly by loss the smile you see on our faces does not mean we are happy. The decline of invitations does not mean we don’t want to be with you – we do. We are either exhausted or uncomfortable with the environment that we may be in. We want to be included in things. It’s just that we have good days and not so good days. We may accept an invitation and then find that we in fact will not be able to go after all. It may be just too much. Many may not understand this. As a result, the invitations may stop being extended, but I hope this does not happen. The last thing someone that is grieving wants to feel is anymore alone than they already do. Keep asking.

Grief is very individual and the majority of the grieving process you endure alone. No one knows truly what is going on inside of you, what you feel, how you feel, and no one can truly understand. Everyone handles grief differently. Your relationship with that person who has died was yours and yours alone. Only you know all that you have lost. It is hard to talk to people when you are feeling so devastated. What can people say? Nothing really, nothing. There is nothing anyone can do other than to be there and to listen and to lend support to let you know that despite the feeling of loneliness on the island of grief you are not alone.

The reality of Rudy’s death is setting in and hitting hard. I feel lost, yet I will continue to endure and try to come to terms with my new reality, my new life. The sun is about to rise. It is a new day and my focus is just getting through it. I look forward to the day when I feel as though I’m actually living again instead of surviving.

❤ Judy