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  • Date Widowed
    December 29, 2015
  • Cause of death
    Heart attack

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  1. Kater

    Two things can be true at once

    Candace, it’s so true isn’t it - yesterday but a lifetime ago. Thanks all for your comments. This community was so important for my sanity in the early dark days of grief and now I learn so much from you all as I navigate through this next phase of what is starting to feel like my “new normal”. Kate
  2. Kater

    16 Years- One Tough Cookie

    This: “Any widow will tell you that the anniversary date of your late spouse’s death will give your soul a stir.” It’s what brought me here the last couple of days (tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary). It never ceases to amaze me how similar my thoughts and feelings are to others that have experienced this loss. It’s why I so value this community. Judy, your piece was beautifully written and was so relatable. Thank you for posting it. Kate
  3. First off, I always feel like I need to explain when posting as I don't post often and not nearly as often as I read. This site was soooo helpful to me in the early days and it still is a destination for me when I need to feel connected to others that get it. Thanks to everyone that does post as it is your discussions and comments that make these boards helpful for us lurkers But as happens from time to time, I have something that I feel compelled to put "out there" and this is the community that I feel most safe doing that in. Tonight is the 3 year anniversary of Stoni's heart attack. Although he didn't die until the 29th, he was unconscious in the days between. This day feels a bit more difficult as it was the last time I heard his voice, and the night it became apparent that our time together was likely coming to an end. As it does, life has changed tremendously in those three years. I have moved cities, recoupled, changed what I am doing work wise...basically started life over. But all considered, it's good and it's even starting to feel "normal". Not too long ago, I heard someone use the expression "two things can be true at once", I think in the context of politics. But I thought it was also the perfect description for when we start to find happiness again after loss. We can be happy and sad. When we recouple, we can love our new partners AND love and miss our others. It isn't one or the other. One of the things that I so love about NG is that, without ever having to explain one word of that to him, he gets it. I knew it before, but it was crystal clear tonight. NG was doing some work, so I turned off the TV and in the quiet I started replaying the events of 3 years earlier in my mind. I started reading some old journal posts I had written during the first December without Stoni. I can so easily go back to how I was feeling at that time. I was in the midst of all that when NG stopped for a bit of a break and said, "I feel a bit awkward asking you this, but is there anything special that you'd like to do on the 29th in memory of Stoni?" I nearly fell off my seat that he would ask that when he did. He didn't know what I was reading nor the significance of today. Through tears I thanked him for asking and said I'd give it some thought. We talked a bit about things and then he told me that one time when he was at my place he told Stoni (in a picture) that he would take good care of me. This was before we were even a couple. (We were colleagues and developed a friendship after Stoni died with no real intention of pairing up...until we found out how compatible we are). For someone that has not lost a spouse (he's divorced), he is incredibly understanding. And so while I am very much thinking of Stoni at this time of year, missing him and the life we had together, I am so, so thankful for the new relationship I have and that I don't have to choose. I can fully live both of my truths.
  4. Kater

    Widows at Christmas dinner

    I think it's interesting. I generally feel an immediate kinship with anyone that I learn is widowed, regardless of age. About 18 months after S died, I spent a month in NYC as a get away from life. My mom was coming to join me so I was meeting her at the airport. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with a lady maybe in her early 60s. I told her my story and she said she was meeting her sister who had lost her husband a few months before. When her sister arrived, she introduced us and I told her I too had lost my husband. It was like we instantly connected. Our eyes welled up and we talked a bit about how difficult it was and then we hugged before departing. And then there are the two older widows at my church that clearly knew my husband well. One has never even remotely acknowledged my situation and the other barely has offered a word of support. There are others that were just lovely, but these two always had me a bit baffled. Maybe it's an age thing, maybe its just a personality thing. I don't know, but I agree it feels weird when it isn't even acknowledged.
  5. Possession on my house -our house -was this past Tuesday. It took us nearly 6 months of house hunting to find this one. It was love at first sight. I am not much for material things, but I loved this house as did he. We often sat in it marvelling that it was really our house. The decision to sell it was difficult, but I have to say in those final days of packing I was so sick of it all that I just wanted to be done and out. I have not really lived in it since September as I have been on a year off. I feel I did a lot of my grieving for leaving prior to. But it really is hard. As has been mentioned, it is not just a house but a home full of memories and hopes and dreams. I get that it is the end of a chapter that we didn’t want to end. I told someone that we only moved in in May 2013 (he died Dec 2015) and it was supposed to be our forever house. They pointed out that for DH, it was his forever home. I do like that idea.
  6. Thank you for bumping. I have not seen this before. Thought it was great so posted it to FB for my fellow wids there. Didn't take long before the helicopter showed up. "you're so brave" "I am in awe of you", etc. And then my favorite, "this is a good analogy for life's journey, not just grief". Sigh. When will I learn that people don't get it, they won't get it and many don't even care to try. (I did have one friend thank me for posting as she said it was helpful to try to understand what people go through when they lose someone so close). I know it doesn't matter but for some reason it kind of does....
  7. Kater

    I FINALLY have a JOB!

    Yay, yay and yay. I am so happy for you! That is great news. Congratulations. K.
  8. Kater

    4 years ago...my post on YWBB

    Sending you hugs, Maureen. As we all know, time is so altered now. I just passed the 2 year anniversary, so that means when I lost S, you were about where I am time wise. It’s still so odd to me how raw and recent it feels sometimes, and at other times, it feels like another life ago. When I was new to this, I would have thought 4 years was a long time. Now I know the number in front of “years” means little. I hope all the best for you. K.
  9. Kater

    Has anyone runaway? Did it help?

    I am in the middle of my "run away" year Although I prefer to call it my "figuring out what the he!! I'm supposed to do with my life now" year. Like you, I don't really have much responsibility and so was able to take a one year leave of absence from work. I pushed through for about a year and a half without a break after S died (funeral was on Friday, back to work on the following Monday) and I was tired. I having a hard time caring about anything, my job included, and it was starting to show. However, since I teach at University, I have 4 months off in the summer anyway, so my time off really is 16 months in total. I am 6 months into it. Learning how to really be on my own was part of the objective of the year. I am currently in a city where I know nobody. I am taking a yoga teacher training course and am teaching one class at the University (trying to see what life is like here and whether I might want to move), so I have social interaction almost daily. Honestly, I am starting to enjoy this time to myself. Of course, with technology, it is easy to keep in touch with family and friends, but I am finding less and less desire to do so. I'm all about connecting and visiting with people, so I'm surprised, and frankly, a bit concerned, that I am becoming this comfortable on my own. Now...in the interest of full disclosure...I am in a new'ish relationship, however, he is in a different city so we don't see each other often but we do talk everyday, so I am not really feeling isolated because of that. People have asked me why I picked this city. A few years back, S and I were talking about moving further west and this was one of the cities that was on our list as a possibility. In fact, this would have been about the time we would have been thinking of moving. I do have many moments when I think that we were supposed to be here together. I have only made arrangements to be here until the end of December. Really have no idea where I'll be after this. Good chance, part of the time will be spent packing up "our" house and putting it up for sale. Not even sure, at this point, that I will return to my home, which means leaving a good job and my community of friends. Everything is up in the air at this moment. So did it help? I don't know yet but it felt necessary. It has given me some space to think about what I really want out of life, what is important and what isn't and to know that I can be OK on my own. Good luck with your decision. Kate
  10. Kater

    We have lost one of our own

    Thank you for updating us and for the beautiful words about him. I too had communicated with him privately from time to time. He really was a special man. Just 3 weeks ago I arrived in Victoria, BC where I will be until the end of the year. We had planned to connect while I was here and yesterday I had a very strong thought that I should text him to let him know I was here. I am deeply saddened by this news. Once again it is a reminder to not take a single day for granted. Kate
  11. Kater

    How do you sleep?

    Your comment about smelling her perfume making your knees give out reminded me that I had the exact same experience. My husband was rather well known for his great smelling cologne. I often squirted a bit on my hand so I could smell it throughout the day. I used to write him a letter every day before bed. Sometimes it was at 1 or 2 in the morning. I'd get really tired writing then could easily fall asleep. It felt like I got to tell him about my day, and was a little bit like that end of the day conversation. I am sorry for your loss. It all just sucks. Kate
  12. Kater


    Got my first (and only, so far!) at 46 in memory. It is on my wrist. Love love love it. No regrets. In fact, just today I was looking at it and thinking how happy I am with it. Thinking about a second "this too shall pass". This is a saying my grandma and mom have used many times. For me now it is a reminder that everything in life is temporary. The good is that the really awful, dark moments of life will pass, so just hold on and wait but the good passes too, so notice and appreciate what you have while you have it. Just need to decide on a spot..... Good luck with your decision. Kate
  13. Kater


    i just passed 15 months and have not gotten rid of his clothes (I relocated things out of the dresser but still have them). Coats still fill the hall closet. His shoes take up most of the shoe rack in the garage. His half of the closet is as it was. There are some hooks in the closet and it took me a year to take his pj pants off the hook he left them on his last time at home. I was just thinking yeasterday that I might tackle packing things up soon, but I don't want to yet. So I will leave the idea and revisit it when it comes up next time. 4 months is very, very early in this process. At 15 months sometimes I feel like I am just getting started. Do things as you feel ready for them, even if that is longer than you thought or expected it would be. Sending you hugs. Kate
  14. Oh my. The fact that there were new posts added to this topic that brought it to the list of "Unread" posts today is a co-incidence I needed. I just finished meeting with my boss and requested a one year leave from work (after this term ends in April). I haven't really nailed down yet what I want to do with the year. I have some ideas, but up until an hour ago, they were just that. Now that I have the OK at work, I need to transform some ideas into plans. I've talked to many people about my idea for a year off. They all express how exciting it is. Frankly, I am not really excited at all. It just feels like what I need to do to figure out this life that is in front of me. A life that I don't really want; that isn't a result of any actions or choices I have made. A life that was dropped in my lap. So now to figure out what to do with it. I am slightly terrified. Worried a bit about money (I've been asked a few times if I can afford it....wouldn't be thinking about it if I couldn't). Wondering how it will feel to be venturing out on my own without S beside me. Well, as scary, or exciting, or whatever it may be, the trigger has been pulled, so here I go. Thanks for some inspiration, Milojka. Kate
  15. Kater


    I got a memorial tattoo about 8 months after S died. I can't explain it - nor do I need to - but I felt a lessening of my grief from it. I don't know if it's because I have a visible reminder so I know I will never forget (like I ever would but that does seem to be a thing I worried about in some part of my brain). It's on my wrist. I love it and I love that I see it all the time. Even though I am 46, an accountant and a University teacher, nobody has offered a negative opinion. I thought in those peer groups there might be a few of them. Honestly, I think tattoos are becoming so common and visible, it's a non issue. I do call it my "gateway" tattoo as I now have some ideas for another one....ok maybe two.....three? Oh boy.

Personal Information

  • Date Widowed
    December 29, 2015
  • Cause of death
    Heart attack

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