somebody’s someone: my mike

We are all somebody’s someone. He was my Mike.

I don’t have the perfect words today. So I was hesitant to share anything. I wanted to put it off for another day. However, maybe I’ll never have the perfect words. And who knows if I’ll have another day. (Don’t worry, according to my therapist it’s just an existential crisis.)

It’s International Overdose Awareness Day and I hate everything about it. I hate that since it was declared a public health emergency in 2016, over 7,760 people have died from drug toxicity in British Columbia, and over 21,000 across Canada. I hate that there is stigma around people who use drugs that prevents them from getting help. I hate that we need to be reminded to have compassion for other people. I hate the failed “war on drugs” and decades of policies that mean what should be a health issue is treated as a moral one and one of criminality. But perhaps most of all I hate how unaware I was until it was too late.

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kintsugi: emphasizing the breakage

I can’t remember who, but one of us, me or Mike accidentally broke this little ceramic bowl. I have a feeling it was Mike, but don’t trust my memory so I can’t say for sure. The grief and trauma have significantly affected my memory which is troubling in several ways, but particularly because I don’t know if I’m remembering our all too short time together correctly. I wish I could remember his exact words in so many moments, but sadly I don’t.

The bowl broke into four clean pieces, and I remember (correctly or incorrectly) telling Mike it was fixable. I told him about kintsugi, the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold. The philosophy emphasizes the breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, embracing the flaws.

Mike liked this idea, he embraced flaws in everyone and accepted them as they were – human. He did this to me, and I offered the same to him. We are all flawed.

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a note for other grievers

There is so much loss and grief out there right now. I started trying to recap some of the latest, but then got overwhelmed and scrapped that idea. This isn’t a news site and you probably know it all anyway. So, unlike those recipe blogs that make you scroll as though your life depends on it just to hit that chicken soup recipe, I’ll get right to the point.

I wanted to share this blessing I wrote for other grievers… you can define ‘griever’ for yourself. It could be recent loss or a wound from 30 years ago.

for other grievers

I feel your pain. Your sorrow, your longing, your loss.

You have pain that can’t be fixed or moved on from or gotten over.

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mike’s orange slices

“Want to split an orange, Baby?” he’d call out to me from bent over the open fridge. Mike and I always used to share them.

The other day without thinking I cut this orange up into 8 pieces and started eating, by the third slice it was getting harder to swallow as I realized what I was looking at, on the chopping board were Mike’s orange slices. His portion.

“Everything’s always better when you share”. He always said. Of course he was right.

These were Mike’s orange slices. I left them out for a bit because I was too sad to deal with them. I thought maybe I’d eat them later. I didn’t.

I hate wasting food, but I couldn’t eat these orange slices. They were his.

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Widowed at 35: Hello, I’m still here and am bringing back the blog

I’m back on my bullshit. That’s what the kids say these days, right?

A new kind of bullshit for sure. I never wanted to be a widow or a grief expert, but here I am, a member of the worst exclusive shitty club.

My husband died on July 31, 2020. More on that later.

For now, I want to say hello again – it’s been over 6 years since my last post. Potentially 10 years since you subscribed to this blog. I’m sure many of you are like what, who, why am I getting this email? Yes, it was a completely different story Before – feel free to hit that unsubscribe (I wish I could).

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