Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow, here we are at the end of another year. 

2013 was a year full of the duality that makes widowhood such an adventure.  It was full of a growing sense of contentment, and a serious sense of loneliness and longing.  As we pull it all to a close, I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go, but mostly it’s because I’m looking forward with hope to what’s next.

As I look back over the year, some really cool stuff happened.

I got a brand new car.  I’ve never done that before.

I took my first college course (Creative Non-fiction).  I got an A.  It was so much fun, and I think that even though it didn’t help me generate much material for my book, like I was hoping, it helped me to be a better writer, so it was definitely not a waste of time.  I loved it.

I did a major home improvement project and I lived to tell about it.  I love my new bathroom and finally got moved in to the “new” master bedroom!  My brother and dad helped me build a closet and it’s pretty amazing!  I’m getting ready to start a new project, wow, am I a glutton for punishment or what?

You know my furniture-painting obsession?  I refinished eight pieces of furniture this year.   Here’s the really cool, easy to miss, widowhood bravery piece of that story: I live alone.  Furniture is heavy.  I work out every day to make it possible to carry that stuff all by myself, and I have the strength to do it. 

This year, for the first time, I got out my old Christmas stuff.  This felt like a huge accomplishment.  The last time it was put in those boxes, Sawan and I put it in there together, and I just couldn’t bear to unwrap the stuff.  But, I felt ready this year.  I felt ready to greet my old things and face that sadness.  I had a friend come over to help, and I was surprised by how it made me feel.  I was prepared to sort things into a box of “things I’m not ready to get rid of but don’t want to see again for a long time” and instead, I hung those ornaments (like our “Just Married”) on my tree.  Sometimes I shock even myself.

The biggest changes of the year are the subtle ones that are hard to quantify.  At some point, I think that I really started to choose life this year.  At some point, the memories of Sawan became something that I enjoyed again.  It was no longer too painful to remember even the sweetness of him.  Now I can enjoy the sweetness, and the enjoyment, even though it carries the sting of his absence, is worth it.  The sadness that I feel now is the sadness of missing him, the loss of what we had and the loss of all of my dreams for our future, but it also carries with it a sense of longing for what’s to come.

And so, I say, bring it 2014.  I’m ready.

Love to all of you, thank you for reading my words, for being with me for another year.  I wish you all the best in the New Year!


  1. What a joyful blog post! I'm really happy for you that you could write this and more importantly the you see your own progress and recognize it for what it is. You've worked hard and it's paying off.

    If you don't already have them, a set of those disks that you put under heavy furniture to move them really works as advertised on TV. At 72 you'd be shocked to see how easy I can move heavy davenports, cabinets and bookcases around.

  2. This post made me cry...it is lovely and empowered and fresh. I have been reading your blog since my friend's husband died 5 weeks ago. I have turned to you for thoughts on what to say and not say to her and what to do and not do..and just to try and get some clue on where she may / may not be in the world right now. Maybe one day i will tell my friend about you..but for now you are someone tucked away in my mind as i clumsily but sincerely try to be around for my friend. Happy New Year to you Noel.

  3. A great post. You are growing stronger and more confident. It's been an honor to follow along on your journey.

  4. Love this Noel. Would love to catch up soon. Could I treat you to lunch? Here's to a great year full of rich blessings!