shut up and love.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m about to enter the month of October.  Or I’m coming off of 2 weeks of reflecting on grief as I hear the news of tragic deaths in my community and I watch as my children grieve for friends, for other families and it pulls at our own grief of missing John.

So this morning when I read an article about a woman bitching about how women are not naggers when they have to ask their husband to do everything they want.  I want to bitch slap this writer.

Instead I remember that I so used to be her and now I’m not.  But at least I also have another argument that I could retaliate with as far as perspective besides my ol faithful widow card.

I think same sex couples get on each other’s nerves and one has a more controlling personality and so they say what they want more and they probably fight.  That’s my safe  let’s not go there answer.   but…. because I’m sad for some families that have had the rug pulled out from under them and everyone is saying, what can I do, I can tell you.

shut up and love.

so here it goes…

Dear Gemma,

Shut up and love.  Now Gemma, I hear you, I totally hear you, I know he should have called the cleaning service but because he does not think like you it does not mean he is less than you.  He actually was aware of the cost and thought oh crap, she will get pissed if I spend too much.  He knew he should just do it himself.  But you choose to go and do the laundry and pick up his stuff on purpose because you were just mad he did not call the cleaning service like you proposed.  The idea really is you felt guilty for not have a perfect bathroom, he does not feel guilty but that pisses you off so you threw your guilt over to him and by God, he got it.

Girl, I know this game.  I was a freaking pro at it.  and you know what.  I am so damn sorry.  If I could say sorry more and teach anybody anything, it would be to shut up and love.

Because guess what Gemma, my husband is not here anymore.  the rug was pulled out from under my family and now I”m going to tell you what I have learned since I met Grief.

*I was an asshole and so was he but we are all humans and so therefore, we sometimes are assholes.

* quit trying to be perfect.  there is no perfect, instead just appreciate.  look around and appreciate.  appreciate that garden, appreciate that spider web, appreciate that there are 5 piles of stuff on your kitchen counter.

*remember when you would be really pissed and have bad thoughts.  well seriously I have to tell you that you do feel guilty when it happens.  and that makes you throw up a lot, develop a gag issue, get really sick, drink way too much and have panic attacks.

*remember how you get so annoyed at the bitching about that one little thing that was like every single day and you imagined hitting them or telling them to shut up?  Well, imagine standing there 4 months later and remembering this and crying and wishing you could hear them bitching about what ever was bugging them every day at that moment.  wishing you could hear them when you really wanted them not to be like that but you would give anything to hear that bitching.

*that mess up present that they did not get right, for me it was several things.  I wear the diamond stud earrings in my ears everyday almost because I want that fight to remind me of how stupid I was.  remember that stupid bracelet he got you, I have one too.  I was pissed that he spent $ on something that was not really me.  Well now, I wear it and I almost cry, and I turn the beads on it lovingly and say thank you to myself but to him so he can hear me say it, and know that I’m so sorry I told you I did not like it.  I love it now and it means so much to me.

* remember when you are doing all the housework, or laundry or whatever it is that you do right and all the time, well there are things that he does that you are just not admitting to.  what is it?  I”m a feminist.  I know how to do all the things he did.  right?  HA!  I don’t fucking know how to buy tires, or I don’t know how to screw things to the wall.  I do not know how the riding lawnmower is a gear shifting things or what< I can ride the hell out of it, but I don’t know what kind of motor it is.  I did not know you can jump a lawn mower with jacks.  I do not know how to make onion rings like he did,   God dammit I miss his onion rings.

*I miss him calling our son, my big boy even if the son is 14 and really is a big boy but you miss him saying that even though when you heard him say it when the boy was little, it annoyed you.

*I just think you do need to have my perspective because the only thing that is going to help us in our self absorbed world is to listen and love and I need you Gemma to stop and listen to me because writing an article that talks bad about your partner is not really going to do any good but cause more bad feelings to come up with other people who are annoyed with another’s petty silly faults.   Let it go.  because I promise, you miss it.  and you don’t want to have to miss it.


so shut up, and love.



cremation and crucifixion.

2nd blog in less than 24 hrs.  but I have really messed up not writing about how grief is everyday in my life just with me thinking about things but also in how I guide my children though thoughts and questions.

So I’m downstairs folding clothes, watching a BBC series… just doing the mom thing when Anna comes down the steps.



Mom I have a question.


Mom you know how we have Dad’s ashes.  ….

Pause from me.  actually if there was a brake sound that what it would be.   I also paused the TV.

Yes, we have his ashes.

She says, because he was cremated.


Well does that mean they burned him?


I paused because how I answer this is very important to her vocabulary, her soul, and grief.

Anna, when a person dies, are they alive?


that is right, their soul goes to Heaven.  (this is what my family believes).

So yes, the body is burned and his ashes are what is left.  but Anna is not something I like to think about,

she says oh I’m sorry,

No, Anna, I just mean, it’s a hard thing to think about and you have a good question but it’s hard to think about.


So then she says so cremation is what they did to Jesus?

Wait. what?

No they crucified Jesus, on the cross.

What is the difference.

Cremation is an act of what happens to a non living body, just like another choice is burial.

What else can you do to the body.

I shared that I thought maybe in some cultures that were near the ocean that they might send the body out to sea.  (or is that some children’s movie I saw?)

Then Anna says, well, what if a boat comes along and sees the body.

Well, Anna, I don’t know, I have never thought of that thought.

Well what is crucifixion?

That is how Jesus died and two other men that day.  That is how they killed him.


Well cremation and crucification kinda sound the same.

Well, one is an act after death and one is a way of death.

Oh, ok.  well thanks…….

sound of feet running up steps.

me,   jaw open, staring.

For Anna, she is very much like me, she is a happy girl, who loves people, who hurts when others hurt, who feels things deeply and thinks deeply.

One thing I have worried about is if her childhood has been happy.  Childhood is for being free, growing, developing and playing.  I have tried to provide this, but we have also been tangled up in dealing with grief.

I don’t want her life to be about stories of how she worked through things.  but I guess it might be in someways.

coming in at four years

this year, has been a healing year.  A year ago at this time, I was in Disney world taking my children on a dream vacation.

I hated my job and I loved my job.  I did not like never knowing what I would be doing day to day and I like children, actually like a routine.  So in the chaotic job a year ago, I went back into the classroom for 4 months and I remembered why pulled into Life a bit better 20 years ago.  I passionately love working with children and I truly enjoy watching them learn, but watching life in so many viewpoints that the classroom offers.  so ok

so going from being miserable, led to dreaming of a way to get out.  to jumping out and creating my own heaven.  My Nest.

So now, I am home making money, I am home to manage my home better, I am home to say goodbye and hello again when the children go and come.  I work with me.  I work with the most remarkable thing in early childhood and that is…. babies.

this year, my grief wound stopped bleeding so much, so many analogies.  I began to face bad stuff that I had pushed off.

first halfway through this year, I had a bit of a breakdown.  In May I melted down.  I was pissed.  I was pissed at my brother and family, I was pissed at my best friends.  So I shut them out.  and then I missed them.  So I somehow in this… found myself facing myself and saying, how are you going to clean up your mess you made.  So I decided to think about the future.  I decided to face some fears.  So I picked up the phone and asked questions.  and that led to another step, and another call and an answer and I started breathing differently because I had answers.  soooooo

I began to clean my house better

I began facing finances and thinking about my future.

I found activities that made me happy, like cooking and watching movies and reading again.

I started to be more social.  I started to say yes even if I was afraid.

I’m still not on solid ground, I keep making a few mistakes that I try to get away from, but old habits die hard.

but I want to return to writing, so I can think things through, to feel excitement, to be creative.

I even now have the saddest day as my special day, it’s the johnaniverarycation.