Thursday, July 21, 2011


As a widow, I have lived by the mantra, "One day at a time."  It has been an invaluable survival mechanism, to be sure, but I've perhaps abode by this principle a bit too much, as I've noticed that I'm not as good at planning ahead as I used to be.  Perhaps part of that reason is that I'm afraid to get too comfortable in life or to count on things continuing to go as planned, knowing that everything could be uprooted at any moment.  Thus, it's hard to plan ahead if you don't know what the landscape of your life will be like in the months and years to come.  I haven't decided yet whether this tendency is a problem -- maybe I planned ahead too much before, and it's time to start letting life set its own pace, to roll with the punches.  I don't know the answer, but I try to walk this line.

Taking things day-to-day also means sometimes you don't see the big picture.  I think I have changed completely as a person from who I was when Brian was alive and I hadn't known the pain of widowhood.  I've changed completely from who I was a month after he died, six months after, and a year after.  I am not the same woman I was on January 16, 2010, when I was Brian's wife.  It's not just the fact that I've relocated to a new climate, and have pretty much given up the legal profession in favor of some career soul-searching.  Those changes of location and job are superficial.  I'm talking about what's inside me, who I am.  I have gone through a physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation; my outlook on life is completely different.  I no longer see anything the same way as I once did, and I wonder what my eyes will see when they look at the world in another six months, another year.  The changes probably won't be as drastic as they have in the past eighteen months, but I know now that the metamorphosis will never be fully complete.


  1. I've been reading your blog for about a year. My ex-husband had an affair a little over a year ago, setting in motion the wheels for our divorce. In the process I moved from New York, my home of almost 2 decades, to Austin, TX to start life anew. Divorce and widowhood are two totally different animals, but i have followed your journey with and it's inspired me to try to find hope of my own for the future, as you have done such a beautiful job with. So thank you. I'm not nearly there yet, but I will keep trying, as I too am young and rebuilding.

  2. Hi Wendy I hope you're doing well. I've been meaning to get around to reading your blog for about a month now and I have finally have gotten the chance to read it this week. Wow! Boy have I teared up several times but I have been hooked in to read each entry.
    I met you about a month ago on the plane you were taking from Austin to Des Moines for Bonnaroo. I was actually heading to my father's funeral and was kind of in a place of denial of his death (even though honestly we weren't close at all). Meeting you on the plane really calmed my nerves for having to attend a funeral I honestly did not want to attend. After meeting you I realized if you can persevere with all that you have gone through in the past year and a half, I can make it through one day. Like you said in your previous post "one day at a time."
    Reading your blog has also helped me find perspective in my marriage. I've been married almost a year now. I'm really enjoying the new journey in my life-even though it may not always be easy. Reading your blog is making it to where I want to enjoy every minute of marriage and not take things for granted like I may have in the past.
    Thanks again for everything and hopefully we can continue to keep up!

  3. Wendy, I lost my Gavin two months ago - eight week to the day actually. I hear when you write about change I find myself believing,seeing and saying things that not so long ago would never have come from me. It is soothing to know that other have walked this path before me. I am finding that mortality is a scary scary fact of life, that I have been blessed to have never faced before. Gav was only 36 years old and there was no warning. Who know that life could alter so radically in a heartbeat. But it has. I wish you well and enjoy reading your blog. BLESS

  4. Thank you all for your comments!

    Anonymous -- good luck in your voyage to rediscover yourself and start anew. I can think of no better city to do that than Austin.

    Lauri -- I came across your card the other day as I was going through my purse - I'm so glad you found the blog, and even more happy to hear that our conversation on the plane helped you through a terrible time. I hope you and your family are doing as well as you can be at this point. Know that grief isn't something you "get over," but it does lessen with time, and you learn to live with it, then to enjoy life again.

    Tink A-Belle -- I am stunned by the similarity of our circumstances and just glad that by shedding some light on my path, it helps you see that there is a road ahead and that, though difficult and rocky, is passable and might just lead to a wonderful place. (See the last advice I gave to Lauri as well.) I will be thinking of you as you face this painful, difficult part of your life. I started this blog about 4 months after Brian died, so perhaps some of my older posts might resonate with you (though I don't mean to suggest that there is a timeline or that you should be grieving any particular way or should be feeling certain things at certain times -- I know this is unpredictable and different for every person and every situation!). Still, I take great comfort in the fact that others in this position have found some measure of comfort on this site.