Holidays and milestones in life can be a trigger for grief.  I am sure this weekend was especially difficult for most widows as it was fathers day.  I also have my birthday this week and this year it is “milestone” birthday which has been making it especially difficult.  Pat and I were the same age (well he was 6 months younger than me and believe me he reminded me of this all the time) so we were going to celebrate our 50 years together.  Age has never really bothered me, especially when I was with Pat because we were going to do the growing old thing together. I think that is why turning 50 has been so hard for me.  I have to figure out what growing old looks like now that I have to do it without him. It’s been a year and a half since I lost Pat and I know things in my life have changed and I have changed but what I still haven’t figured out is where i go from here.  

Day to day life has changed because it just naturally does when someone is gone.  I am struggling with the long term part of life. I guess because I am a planner I would like to have that figured out in my mind even though that does not guarantee that it will happen (as we know all too well).   I have been trying to go with the flow and wake up each day and see what life choices there are that day but to me that sometimes feels like I am stuck. I really have no picture of what my future will look like other then what it is today.  I guess in the big scheme of things no matter how much we plan none of us knows what are lives will look like past today. The part i think i am struggling with is that I am not even sure what i would like my life to look like next year or the year after.   I wake up each day and try to keep my heart and my mind open to new opportunities and maybe a different path in life.

Even as I struggle to move into this next decade in my life I try to remember all of the good things that happened over the last decade and how some of those came out of nowhere and surprised me.  I am trying to keep my heart open to life and all that is amazing in this world even amid my grief and sadness of life without Pat.

As I move closer to the day I know he is smiling down on me and celebrating this birthday with me in heaven, which warms my heart and makes me smile!  

To everyone who is celebrating a holiday, anniversaries, milestone, etc . I hope you can find something to be thankful for and something that you can smile about even as you try to find your way in this new life.


Eileen Clarke is an average everyday woman whose life was torn apart on November 2, 2017 with the sudden loss of her husband Patrick (Pat).

She is now in the process of taking a journey that she never asked for but must take nonetheless. Her hope that in sharing her journey she may be able to help other woman as she embarks on her own unplanned journey of grief and rebuilding.