I just realized the other day that these last two phones I’ve gotten never once took an actual photo of Bret…

Some older photos have been migrated over, but I haven’t taken a new photo of him in well over six years now.

This little a-ha moment happened when I was scrolling through his photos trying to look for one for the frame for Hope For Widows annual Widows of Hope Virtual 5k. I had to actually stop for a moment and figure out which electronic archive would be the quickest option for finding a pic of him.

Even Facebook Memories show me less and less of him as time goes on.

These memories of his existence are now buried below the newer layers of my life, and I can’t decide if this is horribly upsetting or intriguing. It’s probably both, honestly.

The intrigue comes from the simple awe that time really does heal. We are resilient creatures!

It also comes from the fact that beautiful stones are formed within the earth in similar ways – will these layers of my own grief make something beautiful someday?

I truly hope so.

It’s sad to realize that he is not a part of my everyday life anymore, though.  Of course I think about him every day, but I am a different person than I was when he was around.

Sometimes it feels like he wouldn’t even know me, and then I have to wonder if I would know him.

I don’t have to worry about this because he is gone, but it’s just one of those late-night widowhood thoughts that has wiggled its way into my brain on occasion.

It is unlikely that I could ever forget about him entirely – at least I hope not – but someday, the evidence and memories of him will be buried even deeper than than they already are.

The funny part about that is he absolutely hated the idea of living in the past. He would have never wanted someone to be shackled to their memories of him.

Sorry, Bret. I am still gonna remember you for as long as I have a memory. But you’ll be happy to know that evidence of our lives together is getting a little tougher to sift through. It’s not as easily accessible. 

It’s buried now, in the sedimentary layers of my life.

But someday when it’s all complete, and polished up to a sparkling sheen, I know the layers with you in them will be amongst the most lovely. 

Below is a similarly themed poem I wrote about him for my first poetry collection, Recollection:


I don’t look at your pictures anymore 

at least for any real length of time

I see them in passing on occasion

but never stop to linger

not for long, anyway

I looked at a photo tonight

it was one of your happier days

lovely to see, of course

but sadness hit once more

when I realized that I had forgotten your tattoos

You’ve been gone so long

I had forgotten the art on your skin

Mark your calendars! Hope For Widow’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K event has returned on Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12, 2023. Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcome to participate. The proceeds will directly support widows through the annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program. Do you have or know a business that would like to sponsor? That’s an option too! To register and frequently asked questions- please go here:  https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=139671

*Photo/Graphic via Sciencing.com and Blinkie’s Cafe*



Layla Beth Munk is a blogger & author who was thrust into this widowhood journey abruptly and tragically on February 11, 2018. Her husband of 12 years had ended his pain once and for all. She soon made the decision that she would not let his final decision define the rest of her life or their daughter’s life, so with her sense of humor at the helm, she started writing about her newfound station in life. Grief waves still get to her, and probably always will, but with the help of her fellow widows as well as friends and family, she has been able to realize her dream of becoming a published author! Layla is so grateful to Hope For Widows Foundation for providing this level of support to her, and so many others! Layla has two amazing children, one who is grown and one who is almost grown. She lives in eastern Oregon and has a wellness & beauty background. Layla enjoys writing poetry, watching anime, and homeschooling her daughter.

Her blog can be found at laylabethmunk.medium.com and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.