Post by Category : Widow

Celebrating Hope  0

IMG_6180aabbBORDERn[2]Madisyn GreyFathers day.. a beautiful day full of celebration and contentment. A day of downtime and remembrance. For others it is a day where there is hopelessness, sadness, looking for guidance that is no longer there – a day full of remembrance that you can no longer “touch” and a day of remembrance that you wish you would not “feel.” It is just too painful, too real, to “in your face” on a day that is about celebration. It is a day among happiness where you wish you were invisible, you hope that people do not see your jealousy, your anger and gut wrenching sadness that will consume you if you let it. But know that you have greater power than that; YES! Acknowledge this feelings: be angry, be sad, weep, shout but then move through it. Move through it because as in everyday, today you will EMBRACE THE LOVE MORE THAN THE LOSS! You will find hope in those you love the most. If you are a #Widow you will let your children know that you will mourn with them but that today forward you will have your special day to celebrate this great hero in both your life and theirs. You will find your special way, together because thats what we do -as much as we are our children’s support system they are ours! Together we will shine on and move through this life remembering that beautiful being that taught us such valuable lessons in the time we had together on this earth. And to all of the sons and daughters missing their dads, the grandpas that are no longer with us that maybe raised us – shine on – no one can take away their spirit that resides deep inside your heart.
Our loved ones “being” can only be removed from our souls if we allow it! They will always be with us. Great contentment, joy and love reside in our “space” when we go towards our “grief” versus running away from it. I know this because I am a work in progress. Its hard work but together we’ve got this. So today find hope. My hope today is this song that I want to share, that I have shared several times. She is my strength, she is my “will” to keep going, she is my “light” and more than anything she is her daddy’s daughter and this song exemplifies who she is to me and how everyday I will keep working through my grief in the hopes of inspiring us all to “shine bright” even in the midst of great loss. Happy Fathers Day, Mark! – Our love “sparked” beauty way beyond the physical. https://youtu.be/SUNTU5oYx3c

Technology teaches and aids…  1

 

 

IMG_1428-marker 4 blogSarasota Red-Light Safety Camera Footage Leads to Surrender of Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect

According to this June 12 report from First Coast News:

Malik Clyburn bonded out of the Sarasota County jail. He stared straight ahead despite a barrage of questions from reporters.

Why did he turn himself in? Sarasota Police Detective Kevin Schafer said, “After he saw the video we put out to you guys and you shared he said that’s when he knew he couldn’t live with himself.”

The red light camera video showing Clyburn’s 2012 gray Kia Optima striking the man in the wheelchair. The accident happened around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. 301 and 17th Street.

Continue to article: http://fcnews.tv/1SaYDbP

 

No Matter how you look at this article it is a very sad and sensitive subject. This person made a devastating decision that will be with him for the rest of his life. This crash was not his fault BUT because he left the scene of an accident where a fatality occured he will now face felony charges.   He is young and had his whole life ahead of him. He is really going to need support to figure out how to maneuver this decision that will affect him for the rest of his life.

 

The Red light safety Camera Law in Florida, otherwise known as The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act was established in 2010 to illustrate the solution to Red Light running and help to curb and combat this deadly behavior that is taking the life of our most precious loved ones. Contrary to the critics these cameras are doing what they were designed to do. They are saving lives and preventing negligent crashes.

This article is obvious and points out how effective these camera systems are in relation to helping law enforcement combat crime as well.

A note from ATS:
“American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is pleased that video evidence from one of its
red-light safety cameras assisted the Sarasota Police Department in their investigation of this tragic fatal collision. Authorities say the quick sharing of the video from ATS with the police, the media and the public proved to be a contributing factor in the suspect’s decision to come forward. ATS offers its condolences to all family members touched by this tragedy.

Since July 2010, Florida law enforcement agencies have requested red-light safety camera video from ATS on more than 8,000 occasions as part of official investigations ranging from hit-and-runs and kidnapping, to murder and sexual assault.”

 

This article does a great job of letting the public know that in no way did this young man run a red light. Just because the video footage was captured does not mean that this individual would receive a red light running violation. In fact the spokesperson for the Sarasota Police department says, “”The light turned yellow which we saw in the video. He did not run the red light or commit any traffic infraction,” said Schafer. I point this out because numerous times the critics believe that the cameras systems are a scam and that people are being ticketed for going on yellow. ” A money grabber, they say.” You will only get a ticket if your front tires go over the white line on red! This means you are blatantly ignoring a safety law that could result in death.

I personally believe that people need a reality check. Unfortunately we have proved as a society that we no longer know how to STOP ON RED. We need technology to provide us “training” so that lives can be saved! We live in a reckless and righteous society where risky behavior is occuring and people are paying the ultimate price.  People are  actually blaming a system for  “invading their privacy.”  We live in this society where people actually believe that negativity, anger and yelling loudly about their rights WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

My husband died at the hands of a negligent red light runner. He is not coming home! He will never be a father to my daughter and we will never know the beautiful life as a family we “could” of had. Instead of being angry, yelling loudly or spewing negativity towards people I made the decision to take action in hopes of preventing this type of negligent behavior that resulted in death for our family. With conviction, compassion and common sense I WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Law enforcement, Education and Red Light Safety Cameras take part in saving lives and preventing deep heartache, they illustrate a step towards curbing this deadly behavior.  As motorists we have a responsibility to obey traffic safety laws so that we can keep each other safe. Technology is here to stay as long as we, as a society continue to grossly neglect that responsibility.

 

Seasons Greetings, Grief!  2

FSTD8BRG33OXPTO.LARGESEASONS GREETINGS! Well, it feels so loud these days. It seems as if people are shouting it when in truth their tone is probably no different than it has ever been. This year it just seems loud! Upon the death of a loved one life becomes foreign. It is almost as if you are in a different Country and cannot comprehend what other people are saying.
You move each moment as if you are walking on thin ice.
Will today be the day that you break? Or at the end of the day will you wipe your brow knowing that you maneuvered around that crack for yet another day?

SEASONS GREETINGS. No one speaks your loss. Even if someone else has been through a similar situation you do not want to hear about it. You nod graciously and find yourself consoling them. Words come out of our mouths that say –
“I am so sorry – my loss must be bringing up such hard memories for you.” How do we get to that place where we nurture other people and their grief instead of our own?
Maybe it is a survival reflex? Maybe if we don’t “feel” it we do not have to “own” it. But somehow in that moment of loss we have to embody it.
We become the representation of grief to our family, friends and the world around us that sees us.
Still today people say to me – “You remind me of Jackie Onassis, I think it’s the way you hold yourself and everyone around you together.”
I have never been “fake” in my grief I have always moved through my grief honestly and proficiently.
People have commented “you were chosen to go through this, only the strong survive- you are a survivor, there is a reason for this and when you look back someday you will reap the rewards of your loss?”

SEASON GREETINGS!! Really? I will be better for this someday? Because all I want right now is to be planning the Holidays with my beautiful husband who was “mowed down” by a red light runner two weeks prior to the birth of our daughter.
I want my daughter to be able to go shopping with my husband so she doesn’t have to feel yet again that she has gotten me “nothing” for Christmas even though I am telling her that her love, her beautiful hand made cards and her happiness are all that I need to make this a beautiful Christmas.
I want to look forward to New Years Eve where I can toast with my husband this life that we are getting through together and this daughter that we are privy to parent.
I want my husband back and I can’t have him back. I want him back for me! That’s what I want for Christmas!
I want him back for my daughter so that she can see the pride on her fathers face and know what love between a dad and his daughter really is.
I want him back for his parents, his brother, his nephews, his family and his friends. I want him back so that my parents do not have to “worry” about me being alone and I want him back so that my brother can feel whole again.
It has been 11 years. I want him back for me so that I can get rid of this gapping hole in my heart that will not seem to heal. That’s what I want for Christmas.

Season Greetings. This holiday season if you know a widow or a widower, someone that has experienced the pain of losing their children or children that have lost their parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters please bless them. Please hug them. Please pray for them. Loss is foreign. It is the “elephant in the room” that will not go away.
It can be a very daunting and lonely time… these holidays. The one gift you could give to all in grief is that hug – no words. We do not want to hear “they are in a better place, wait until you see the rewards for going through all of this or worse yet there is a reason all of this happened.” This Holiday season honor who we are and who we have had to become in our loss. Be patient, be kind and don’t walk away because it’s easier for you. We are trying to speak your language again, the truth is we are healing but we will never know the same words, thoughts, feelings or friendships, life just tastes different now. Most of us want that wonderful feeling again of Saying “SEASONS GREETINGS!” With an outward smile but on the inside we are shouting “SEASONS GREETINGS, GRIEF.” I am most certain that Jackie Onassis felt the same.

If you have experienced loss and know these feelings maybe this is why we are finding each other now.
Don’t be ashamed say it loud and proud: SEASONS GREETINGS GRIEF!
Acknowledge it; embrace it and them move through it. We don’t want to get stuck in it but have permission to divulge it.

“OPEN TO RECEIVE”  18

IMG_0046Two weeks ago we ventured into NYC for Madisyn’s very first Broadway Audition. We knew going in that it would be a great experience but the chance of her getting the part was “slight.”
It was the learning experience we were truly after.
I am so proud of her for going into the weekend with a great attitude. Of course she wanted the part- but she is young and new to this whole arena and has much yet to experience.
Day of the audition she would walk in and out of the “holding” room where we would meet after each one of her try-outs. I walked in and out of that “holding” room with great pride for all of the children that were eagerly hoping for a chance to be on Broadway.
Looking around the room it could be anyone’s moment. As the day was coming to an end Madisyn was still up for consideration.
I could start to see and feel the anticipation on her young face. It takes a lot for these kids to embrace these emotions and know you could be the next one cut.

I ventured back out of the “holding room” and into the hallway where I had a private moment. I wanted Mark to be with us. I asked him loudly to present a heart IF he was in fact watching this all on-fold with Madisyn.
I asked him to help her to be happy and content no matter the outcome. Within seconds of asking…I received – as I walked back into the “holding room” I stepped over this heart- surely it had to be there all day? Or was it? I walked in and out that door a dozen times! I gratefully thanked him and knew within a moment that he was with us- he sent a tangible gift as a sign of his never ending “my heart is always with you Melis, just remember that.”
Honestly – I was STUNNED!!! Emotionally grateful as I stepped into that room for what would be one last time.
I heard my name being called; I was one of the parents that were taken into a separate room. I walked back out that door gently stepping over the Heart that I was privy to receive. We were called into the room to be told that our children were no longer needed that day – they were cut and would no longer be considered for this role.
No matter how or what you know going into an audition you are still disappointed because you know that your child will be sad that this is where they are no longer “needed.” It is hard because none of us like to see the disappointment on our child’s beautiful face. But I was ready to go to her because I knew I was not alone in sharing this news with her.
She was disappointed but grateful for this opportunity- she said that this audition and many others that she will encounter will help her prepare for the role that she will someday “get” when that “role” is ready for her. What an amazing gift that child is.
I share this always so that you continually “open to receive.” Do not close the doors to the infinite possibilities of spirit – the gift you will receive in opening your heart and mind are endless.

Time & Courage to Face the Empty Space  0

It has been 10 years and it still aches as if it has been 10 minutes. Life is furiously passing me by. I am strong. I have dealt with my husband’s death but not the aftermath that piles up such as the closet, the drawers, the pictures, the same bedroom set. Can you relate?

People often comment on my being so courageous. Am I really?

As I look around my home (10 years later) my husband’s physical life still has a position in our home. In every room, corner and closet.

I believe my fear is that the last remnants of my husband physically living in our home will now be absent due to his substantial presence that he so faithfully depicted.

If I clean out, get rid of or throw away his material presence will the vast hole in my heart “grow” beyond repair?  Or will that hole slightly diminish knowing his love is still present and cannot be depleted by physically removing items out of our home that we shared.

With the absence of his “items” will there be a fresh vibrant space that will allow new “light” to shine in? I am reminding myself that unlike materialistic “things” Love is ever- present, everlasting and irreplaceable.

In my heart I know it has never been about tangible “things” that has kept his memory alive but about the intangible gift of love that has lived on and taken on a new form in his untimely noticeable absence.

I have never felt it necessary to clean out until now. In order to move through my personal grief journey and not get “wedged” in it –it is time. I know now that getting rid of the “things” will not take the immeasurable love away that I was so privy to receiving when Mark was physically present in our home. In fact I can hear him whisper– “Clean out! Get Rid! Let it all go.” The murmur awakens me; in my mind I see that playful smirk on his face – one that conveys to me, “ I will always be with you, no matter the time, distance or space. “ Comfort has set in and I am now ready to clear the clutter.

I have judged myself harshly and have kept this a secret to the outside world for fear of being criticized. No matter where we are in our grief journey (whether it be 10 minutes or 10 years) none of us has the right to be critiqued.   We did not enter this journey voluntarily. From the moment we lost our partners, life took on a whole new formula. We were headed down one road and suddenly hit a big curve! We had to take a turn down a road that was unknown; there was no map and no GPS to guide us. We all took the road that we were most comfortable knowing at the time.

I am writing this in hopes that someone else out there is seeking solace.

We are in this together. We are a force to be reckoned with and each of us has our uncomfortable grief space that we are terrified to share for fear of judgment.

Trust me…trust yourself…you will know when the time is right.

If you can relate, I am hoping that by sharing my “space” it will ultimately allow you to know that wherever you are in this process it is exactly where you need to be.

*This post was first written for Modern Widows Magazine. http://modernwidowsclub.com