Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a writer’s block of sorts…

Or maybe more of a writer’s flood

Or perhaps a mental flood is the best way to put it.

My mind is filled to the brim when it comes to the amount of varying thoughts and emotions going through my head these past few weeks, and it’s chipped away at my usual inclination to compose them all onto paper. The one year of Nate’s passing brought on a new state of reflection…

Its like my life is now composed of two chapters…before and after. And day by day, the before becomes more and more of a distant dream I can hardly believe I was once lucky enough to be living. Before things were so much simpler. Before I was fairly certain what tomorrow looked like, and it certainly didn’t involve a dead husband. Before, we never saw the after coming. And then all too quickly, Ian and I were thrusted into the after whether we were prepared for it or not...And then the before abruptly ended, beginning a new chapter of life after Nate.

A year ago, I could barely see the next hour ahead of me let alone the next day. I was literally living and surviving minute to minute. Those first few weeks and months after Nate died are such a blur; full of appointments and meetings for things like the sale of our house along with all of the financial loose ends that need to be tied after a spouse passes. My dad (thank God for his leadership during those months) and I spent those early weeks on robot mode with the same dialogue on repeat with each and every meeting…”my husband just passed away. Here is the death certificate, and we need to blah blah blah”. Those types of meetings and phone calls continued for weeks and months after Nate died.

Then the establishment of our new normal began. After almost 8 years of being out of my parents house building a life with the man I had spent almost half of my life with, I found myself back in their home…only this time with a little boy in tow. The past year my parents, Ian and I have all worked together to develop a new way of life, and although I will always hate that they have had to forfeit their sole responsibility in being fun grandparents, I will always be so thankful that we were able to turn to them as our worst nightmare became reality. Without their support, I honestly don’t know how we would have made it through the past year.

Over the last year, Ian and I have also tried our damndest to get used to this “new normal” of life without Nate. Ian started preschool, which he loves, and I have gotten him involved in several different activities to explore his interests. I started back to school myself this past spring, and I have spent most of the past year just trying to discover outlets that are helping to keep me sane. Ian and I have traveled together, and I have been forced to do things on my own as a single woman and mommy that I never thought I’d have to do. This past year has been so incredibly busy, chaotic, and honestly just a big old blur, which has made me realize how much I haven’t quite let myself grieve.

My friend sent me this image the other day, and I thought it was so on point when it comes to the loss we face as a widow or widower.

You see, we aren’t just grieving the loss of a person…we aren’t just grieving the loss of our love and their physical presence. We are grieving so. Much. More. The other night for example, I finally allowed myself to think about me and Nate’s beautiful house that I sold last year. I remember the day we moved into that house…I stood in the kitchen unpacking boxes, as Nate went to our old place to clean up, and I thought to myself “soon there will be little feet pattering around this kitchen…this is where we are going to raise our family”. And we did…for a very short amount of time…we were lucky to bring Ian home to that house. We were lucky to have five years of memories in our home…But recently, I find myself not only mourning the loss of our house, I find myself mourning all of the memories we weren’t able to make in it…Sending Ian to school on the first day together. Bringing another baby or two home. Watching Ian bring friends over. Birthday parties. Graduation parties. Holidays that were to be made. Home improvement projects we were excited to tackle. I miss that house, but more so, I miss the home Nate and I made together. I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing it.

I find myself mourning memories I never got to make with Nate. A ten year anniversary trip we always planned on taking back to the Bahamas where we had our honeymoon. I get so sad thinking about the daughter he always dreamt of fathering, that we will never create together. I mourn the loss of having a partner to make decisions with, to plan with…I mourn vacations he won’t experience with us, golf outings I no longer watch him take with his brothers or my dad and uncle. I mourn the loss of our weekends together, our time with our families, and our daily routines…

I find myself mourning the loss of a future that has completely been altered. It’s not that I didn’t realize how much was going to change when Nate died, but its like its really soaking in now that tomorrow and everyday after is completely on my shoulders. Nate was such a good leader…Such a wonderful partner. And it’s been such a transition having to make decisions on my own and try to envision the rest of our lives without him. Because I have to envision it…for Ian and I, I have to. Because its real, and it’s not changing. And I think it’s that fact that is finally propelling me into a state of reflection over everything we have lost. Things will never be the same. I will never be the same. And I guess I wouldn’t want to be the same after everything that has happened…As much as I wish I were still that woman who woke up as a wife on the morning of September 28th, I think it’s safe to say that she died with Nate. This past year has tested me and hardened me beyond what I would ever think was possible…But it also has shown me that tomorrow will come whether you are ready for it or not, and everything I have had to adapt to, make decisions on and work towards this past year is setting the foundation for the life Ian and I have yet to live. So I’ll continue mourning what we have lost…probably forever…But I’ll do so while continuing to work towards tomorrow.

Ever since I woke up on September 30th and greeted the first day of year two without Nate, I have spent so much time reflecting upon the 365+ days gone by and how they have completely transformed me into somebody I probably wouldn’t recognize a year ago. It makes me wonder who I’ll be another year from now…If there is one thing life has taught me thus far, it’s that anything is possible…So, I suppose for now? We will see what tomorrow brings.



Mother. Writer. Painter. Runner. Student. Extroverted-Introvert. Lover of romantic novels. Wine
connoisseur. Poet. Concert junkie. Stay-at-home mommy. Wife…Or more recently, widow.
There are many different words and ways I would describe myself over the years, none of which I ever
thought would include the title of “widow”…Especially at the age of 30. Alas, I inherited the title on
September 29 th , 2017 when my young, healthy, 36 year old husband passed away suddenly and
unexpectedly. Life has given me the biggest, most unforeseen curveball I could have ever imagined, but in the wake of this tragedy, my late husband continues to motivate me to become a stronger woman and mother to
our four year old, little boy.
When I am not chasing around our little guy, I have recently come to enjoy running and CrossFit, and trying to live a healthier, fuller lifestyle in honor of the man who stole my heart at 18, and in honor of the woman I want to become. I am also a full-time student going back for my Teaching License and an avid writer and reader…Both of which have saved my life throughout this journey in grief. There is nothing more beautiful and freeing then speaking your truth and absorbing the words and stories of others.