Updated: Jul 18, 2021
My name is Sue. I am from a small farming community in Southwest Iowa. My husband Mike and I built our life, our family and our farming operation over the last 30+ years.
In 2016 Mike was killed in a motorcycle accident. On that day life as I knew it ceased to exist. My life and the lives of my family and friends were forever altered. That was the day my journey with grief began. My journey continues to this day and will until I leave this earth. I believe we never “finish” or “get over” the loss of someone we love. Our journey changes and evolves over time. I would like to say that it gets easier with time but that would be a lie. Grief simply becomes more tolerable with time.
I am a widow. I say that not because it defines who I am but because it has shaped how I see the world and what I believe. It took me quite some time to admit I am a widow. I hated that word because I felt it did in fact define me. I was a woman who was suddenly no longer, in the eyes of the law and society, married to the man who had been with me for 30 years. One phone call , one moment in time changed my status from married to widowed. It didn’t seem possible let alone fair! I still dislike the label of widow but I have accepted it as one of the many aspects of my life that has been altered.
When you experience a significant loss you can’t help but be affected. You are not the same person you were before. Every aspect of your life has been altered by events outside of your control. What was once important may no longer be. What is valuable to you, monetarily, physically and spiritually becomes different than it was before your person left. How you let that loss affect you is something each of us decides.
I decided to share the lessons and experiences of my journey with grief. I believe those of us who come through a loss, reasonably intact, owe it to those that come after us the “wisdom” we have gained. At minimum we owe it to others grieving to show them they can survive their loss, that they are not alone and that at some point life will become bearable again. Grief is not an easy journey by any means. I’m not going to lie, I was a train wreck for the first couple of years after Mike died! If you have been there done that you understand. What I learned from my experience is what I want to share with all of you.
My hope is my experience will help you or someone you love with their journey with grief. Whether you are grieving yourself or are someone who is supporting staff for a grieving person, we need all the help we can get! My intent is this will be an avenue for all of us to share our experiences, the highs and the lows, the good, the bad and the ugly parts to help each other get through.
What I write about in this blog will be based on my personal experience, the experiences others have shared with me, what I have learned from reading and what I have learned from people smarter than myself on the subjects of religion, spirituality, psychology and life after death.
Earlier I stated that being a widow helped shape what I believe. After Mike died I found myself needing to know about topics that never peaked my interest before. Suddenly the afterlife and what my husband may be experiencing became very important to me. I needed to know if he was okay. I was raised Catholic and only knew what I was taught. I started reading books written by people who had near death experiences describing what they had seen on their brief visits. I consulted a few mediums and watched documentaries on life after death. I was a sponge and wanted all the information and opinions I could get to help me figure out what I believed now. I have met some fabulous people who have helped open my eyes to new ways of thinking about the universe and all it has to offer.
You may or may not agree with my beliefs and that’s okay. You may not agree with everything I write , that’s okay too. When reading this blog some things may resonate with you and some may not. Take with you what fits and simply leave the rest behind. I will ask you to be open minded not just to what I write but to the comments and beliefs of others who share with us on this site. I have developed some pretty thick skin over the last few years but others, especially those at the beginning of the journey with grief, may be pretty sensitive so please be kind when interacting with others. We are here to uplift each other, it’s the least we can do.
What can you expect from me and this blog?? I promise you I will always be honest and open about my experiences and my beliefs. I am pretty much an open book and I have a hard time keeping my opinions to myself. I have told several people that I after Mike died my “give a shit” broke. Initially I didn’t give a shit about whether I lived or died, what was the point of staying here without him? It eventually evolved into not giving a shit about what people were saying about me or their opinion about what I was or wasn’t doing. It seems that people can have some pretty strong opinions about how we should handle our grief. The sooner you realize it’s YOUR journey and their opinions shouldn’t necessarily drive your decisions, the better off you will be. Of course that’s just my opinion so take it or leave it.
As I said before, my beliefs may not be the same as yours. Some may be offended by my beliefs and ideas. Rather than waste your time reading my blogs to figure out whether this may be of interest to you I will give a laundry list of some of my beliefs:
I believe in a higher power. I call mine god because that’s the only name I have ever known.
I am a spiritual person. That to me is quite different than a religious person. I was raised Catholic but I no longer subscribe to an organized religion. The teachings of the church don’t resonate with me anymore, I’m not sure they ever did. I still pray to a higher power just not in the same structured way I was taught over the years. If attending church is an important part of your life and it brings you joy, that’s great. It just doesn’t work for me. I promised transparency so there ya go!
I believe in reincarnation. I believe when we reincarnate we are here to learn. What we learn each trip is intended to elevate the level of our soul (assuming we are willing to recognize learning opportunities when we get here). I believe we have multiple trips to this place and multiple chances to get it right. I know it sometimes takes me several attempts to learn new things, why would it be any different for other souls trying to learn a life lesson?
I believe we can communicate with those who have crossed over to the other side. I believe they are with us constantly, guiding us and sending us messages.
I believe everything happens for a reason. This one took me a while to wrap my head around but I truly believe it. We may not know that reason until we get to the other side but we will eventually know why certain things had to happen. If we can ask ourselves what lessons are to be learned from an experience we can use it as part of our healing process. Not necessarily an easy thing to do but the long term benefits are invaluable.
I have been known to swear from time to time. Okay maybe that was an understatement, but you might as well know that up front too! I also have a dry sarcastic sense of humor and sometimes my sarcasm will seep into the blog. When you are on your grief journey there can be some mental eye rolling over the ridiculous things some people say and do, it comes out in me with sarcasm.
So, I hope you will join me in my attempt to assist people with their journey through grief and life. We are all in this together, we might as well help each other when we can.
I will end this with a quote I saw recently that kind of sums things up for me.
“And when you get to where you’re going, turn around and help her too. For there was a time, not long ago, when she was you”