Sometimes, I miss my sanity.

My nostalgia for it usually happens when the clock in my bedroom changes from midnight to 12:01am, and I am forced to accept that I am officially in the pits of insomnia. Again. It is around that time that I start thinking about Sam; you know, from Sleepless in Seattle? I never fully understood him or this movie until I too became widowed. If my widowhood were a movie, it would be called Sleepless in San Diego….or it would be called Grief-Sex and the City….but that’s an entirely different blog altogether.

Sleeplessness. Ugh.

Insanity. Double ugh.

Grief-sex. Yes please.

Sanity. Oh how I miss thee! I miss catching a cold and not automatically assuming I am dying of cancer. I miss filling my head with the kids’ weekly schedules instead of eulogies for my friends and family.  I miss the days when my biggest parenting dilemma was teaching the kids how to do their own laundry, instead of teaching them how to spot the warning signs of depression and suicide, because I know now that they are genetically predisposed to this disease, and I can’t un-know that.

I miss my sanity.

My son Garrett recently misplaced the cremation necklace he got from my in-laws a few years ago…… The fact that the words, “cremation necklace” are even in my vocabulary really pisses me off…..I miss the days when my son asked me to spend $65 on a nerf gun.  As a mother, you can always say no to a $65 Nerf gun. You cannot however, say no to a $65 piece of jewelry that encases the ash of your son’s father.


So I ordered him a replacement cremation necklace and it arrived at our doorstep at 7:35 this morning. My son insisted that we fill it right then and there so he could wear it to school.

I miss the mornings where my biggest problem with my son was getting his cow lick to stay down.

A cow lick is nothing compared to a small plastic funnel being clogged with what I can only assume is a bone fragment from my husband’s body. After breaking two wooden tooth picks and defiling a pair of scissors with my husband’s remains, I was beginning to panic. The clock was ticking and I had to get my son out the door for school with a cremation necklace around his neck. I HAD TO!!

Only you widows with children will fully understand my drive to accomplish this task, and how guilt about our kids’ dead parent drives absolutely every single action, thought, and feeling of every second of every day.

After ten minutes of battling with my husband’s bone fragment, I had convinced myself that my son’s emotional well-being depended upon me forcing that damn bone fragment into that ridiculously small tube that was feeding into an even smaller opening of a cremation remains capsule.

I grabbed yet another toothpick. I jammed, and I swiveled, and I pricked that stupid bone fragment with the same enthusiasm I once had for Pinterest back in my married days. As the clock inched closer and closer to the school bell ringing, I stabbed, jabbed and crammed that little wooden stick into that funnel with all of my widow might!!!!

And then it happened.

I took one last giant strike into that God-forsaken funnel hole and yelled out at my husband in frustration, “Stop being so damn stubborn John!” And with that statement, the plastic funnel went one direction and the small cross necklace went in the other. The ashes went all over my leggings.  Garrett and I started laughing.

Sometimes, I do not miss my sanity at all.

©Copyright 2017 Michelle Miller


Michelle Miller is a grief blogger, has essays featured on and, and is the author of, Boys, Booze, and Bathroom Floors: Forty-Six Tales about the Collision of Suicide Grief and Dating. Her memoir chronicles the aftermath of her husband’s infidelities and suicide in 2014 at the age of thirty-one, and how she used dating to run from, and simultaneously into her grief.
Prior to her husband’s death, Michelle worked full time with special needs students in a small town while balancing life with two young children and a volatile marriage. Her approach to grief is one of extreme empathy, humor, blunt honesty, and….okay, a few cocktails along the way.
Michelle is currently living with her best friend, and their five children in San Diego, California. She is working on her second book, Ghetto Grief which is a collection of short stories about the unconventional ways in which she grieved and continues to grieve her husband; set to be released in 2017.For links to follow her on social media, view her blog, purchase her book, or read her published essays, visit: