Tuesday Tunes | Wake Me Up

Aloe Blacc — Wake Me Up

Each week I share a currently meaningful or relevant song from my playlist. You can check out past Tuesday Tunes here. I love new music, so please share your favorite tunes in the comments or use the new the new weekly linky below! This is the first go at a weekly linkup, so please share! :)

Tuesday Tunes Weekly Link Up!

User Doesn’t Exist

It may have been more than four years now, but there are still random occurrences that sucker-punch me in the gut. Like today.

I’ve kept The Hubs’ email account open for a few reasons I don’t need to go into. If I haven’t had to check it in a while, I try to sign in periodically to make sure the account doesn’t get purged. Today I realized it had been a while so I tried to log in. And what did Hotmail (or Live or Outlook or whatever it is now) greet me with?

“This user doesn’t exist.”

Thanks for rubbing it in, Hotmail.

I tried a few more times, googled a bit, and tried to use my horrible excuse for a memory to recall when I last accessed the account. Well, it turns out what felt like “a while” must have been a year because the account was deleted.

nooovia

Punch in the gut. This happened to me with my old Hotmail account about a year or so ago. I had kept it active just so I could save all of the emails/pics/etc I had acquired from 2003 to 2007 before I switched to Gmail, but I let it go a little too long and Hotmail deleted it. I was devastated to lose it without a backup, so I vowed to be careful not to do the same with The Hubs’. Apparently I suck, because now all of his emails, all of our email traffic, everything from 2003 to the day before his death…six years of exchange…is GONE.

Gut punch, I tell ya.

It’s my own fault, so I can’t be too mad. (Although I really think they jumped the gun and it wasn’t quite a year. I mean c’mon, my godawful Yahoo account from high school is still active!) And since I don’t delete non-junk emails, if I really wanted to find something we exchanged between 2007-2009 I could find it in my Gmail. But still. That’s only two years. Just like that, another record of his existence = deleted. Gone.

Maybe it’s for the best. I can’t keep holding on to those types of things. It’s just material, and all of the important stuff is right in here *thumping my chest*. But it still sucks. Really sucks.

Back up your important emails, lovelies. <3

LauraMc

That is just awful! Can you email hotmail and see if they may have a backup somewhere? Anything from the internet is often not truly deleted. I am proud of your for reacting so calmly! What an awful occurrence.

Erin

Good idea, Laura! I think I will, it can’t hurt. Might as well ask about my old one as well. I’ve made peace with it if they say no, but if they can offer something it would be nice to have! You can bet I’d be backing it up ASAP! ;)

I kept Kevin’s email alive on hotmail as well-I probably haven’t check it in 2+ years, so imagine the same things has happened to his. Probably not something I want to face.

Helping Yourself Heal – Support for Widows Part 1

helpingyourselfheal

Welcome to the first installment of an 11-week-long series here on WSW called Helping Yourself Heal. In this series, we will be examining a set of practical steps that I have found to be helpful and relevant to the grief of a widow. (Read more about the origins of this list and my reasons for this series here.)

Each Sunday I’ll tackle one of the suggestions from the list, sharing the info from the original article as well as my own experiences and suggestions. I hope you’ll join me in examining how you can help yourself heal, and be sure to pass this along to anyone you may know who could benefit. <3

 

Suggestion #1 – Allow Yourself to Mourn

Your husband or wife has died. This was your companion, the person you shared your life with. If right now you are not sure of who you are, and you feel confused, that is appropriate because you have lost a part of yourself. When you experience the death of someone you love, live with, and depend on, feeling disoriented is natural.

You are now faced with the difficult but important need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death of your spouse. It is an essential part of healing. [source]

Honestly, this is a doozy to start with, because it was probably one of the hardest ones for me implement. In fact, I still struggle with this.

From the very beginning, within a few short dazed and numb hours, I was required to start making decisions. These were huge choices, decisions no 25 year old should have to make, much less one who was in shock. Crucial decisions like if I should call my in-laws to give them news about their son since they couldn’t be reached, how quickly I could travel to meet my husband’s body as it touched onto American soil for the first time in six months, and what I wanted to do about a few finance things. More important decisions were looming: where to bury my husband, how to plan his funeral and arrangements, how to get home. I had to make a choice: fall apart, or go into “business mode” and shove the pain into a corner so I could take care of business. And while I’d much rather have given up in that moment, I didn’t. I put it all aside and focused solely on making the right choices, making my husband proud by honoring him in these final ways, doing things as I knew he would like them, and presenting him and his life in the best possible light.

Yet somehow, when all of the ‘stuff’ was over and I found myself back home facing what semblance of life I was left with, I never turned that “business mode” off. It was too painful to face the loss, it hurt too much to let myself mourn. So I stayed numb. I kept everything locked away. Avoidance became my coping mechanism.

I started this blog a little less than a year after The Hubs death as a way to write through my emotions. It was a start, but yet I still only faced my grief for those brief hours it took to write it down. The rest of my days and weeks were spent distracting myself and denying the mourning that I obviously desperately needed. And I’ve learned over these past four years, and especially in therapy recently, that avoiding the inevitable only makes it worse in the long run. The only way to grieve is to go through it. You can’t go around it, you can’t tread lightly on top of it, and you can’t ignore it.

It is so, so important that you allow yourself the time you need to mourn. If this means you need to be alone, do it. If it means you need someone around you all the time, do that. If it means you need to wear your PJs for a week straight while you watch old home movies and cry, then DO IT. Let all of those feelings come and soak them in. Your hurt is evidence of a love so important, so deep, so true. And mourning for the loss of a big piece of your heart is a display of that love. It is okay to let yourself cry in the Target aisle when you see your husband’s favorite candy, the one you purchased in bulk for his care package, because it feels like yesterday that he was asking you over the phone to pick some up while you were standing in that very aisle. It is okay to eat take out and not cook for a month (okay, a year) because every time you grab a pan it makes you think of cooking all of your favorite meals together. It is okay to sleep in his shirt, the worn out one he wore all the time, and to spray his cologne on it and close your eyes while you breathe deeply. It’s also okay to soak that shirt in your tears. Let it out. Let it go. It is okay. You are okay, no matter how you choose to mourn.

But please, let yourself mourn.

The only way out of that pain is to feel it.

Just remember the caveat to this step — you are not alone and this is not the end. I promise. While it is important to allow yourself to feel the pain of mourning, if that pain ever becomes too much to bear, please don’t give up. As much as it’s not possible to believe right now, the pain won’t be this overwhelmingly devastating forever. You will find healthy ways to cope and to release, and the ache of grief for your love will eventually become a comfortable partner rather than a crushing enemy. And until you get there — you are not alone. Reach out, there are widows out there who understand exactly how those breathtaking, out-of-body, disbelieving moments feel and we are here to help you through it. Send me a message, check out the Resources page for communities you can connect with, google ‘widow support’, search for a widow Facebook group (there are many!), call a hotline, whatever you need to do to connect with someone who understands.

Community creates hope. Hope brightens the light at the end of tunnel.

And there is a light. <3

[…] out Part 1 here, or read more about this series […]

[…] out Part 1 and Part 2 here, or read more about this series […]

10 Years Ago

2004

10 years ago, 19 years old.

This girl.

She was so young, so full of love and possibility and excitement.

She was carefree and a little wild, heady with her first dose of freedom.

She was determined, flying past barriers and dreaming of a grand future.

She was in love and learning how to be a wife, making mistakes and love.

She was rarely afraid, exhilarated at the thought of seeing the world.

She was consumed with life and living every moment presently and completely.

This girl.

She may have aged,
gained some weight and a child,
lost a husband and some innocence,
and grown wiser and wearier, but…

She’s still in there.

And I’m going to find her.

This post is a response to the weekly Writer’s Workshop over at Mama’s Losin’ It!. Learn more about the ‘pretty much famous’ weekly prompts here. This week I chose: ‘Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?

Sarah

You will find her. I have faith in that! You never truly lost her. Thinking of you!

Andrea

I love you so much sis! She IS still in there and i Know you will find her!!!

Erin

Thank you Sarah! I believe she is in there too. It’s so easy to let ourselves get lost in the tides of life. I wish for a bit of that youthfulness for us all! :)

Erin

I love you too! Your creativity and determination inspire me! :)

Oh that last line just jabbed me in the heart. She’s in there and you will find her. Very beautifully written.

Erin

Thank you Kat! <3

Tuesday (Wednesday?) Tunes | James Dean & Audrey Hepburn

Now that the routine of the new year is upon us, I’m working on one of my mini-goals for this year: more regular content on WSW. Right down to a editorial calendar, you guys! I usually write on the fly, without much editing, so moving to a scheduled system is kind of a big deal. I hope it turns out to be fulfilling, for both me and you! :)

Which leads me to today’s post — Tuesday Tunes is back! I’m a day late, since I had to share my wink-filled day yesterday. Haven’t seen my tune posts before? Check this one out, or this one.

Sleeping with Sirens — James Dean & Audrey Hepburn

*Each week I share a currently meaningful or relevant song from my playlist. You can check out past Tuesday Tunes here. I love new music, so please share your favorite tunes in the comments (or if you’d like to see Tuesday Tunes turn into a weekly linky, let me know!).