Something I never planned for was to have a prebooked appointment for the funeral home. I was unprepared for that!

Finally, it was time. A dear friend offered to make the trip with me, and after waiting outside for a period, they opened the door allowing us to enter.

As we walked down a long hollow sounding corridor, cold permeated the left side of my body, it became clear, that the man I loved was laying on a frozen slab on the other side of this wall.

We were ushered into a plain room where we sat across a plain desk, with a plainly dressed woman clothed in head to toe black. In a monotone voice she calmly plainly explained what came next and asked what arrangements I would want to have.

Through my numbness, and with despair in my heart, I felt drawn to his presence, I so wanted to go there and hold him one more time. was I scared? I don’t believe so, but possibly I was unprepared

And yet part of me resisted, and minutes later, I was back in the car, driving away from the person I loved the most, and had spent half my life with.

Days turned into weeks, now a few months later, it still feels surreal. And each time, it reenforced the deep realization that I could never have understood another’s grief until I had the experience myself.

So unique to each of us and yet universal.

 

This is widowhood.

The days following his death, I was in a bit of a daze. I wondered through our home, calling out for him to send me a sign. We had spent long hours philosophizing life after death. He said he would send me a sign, let me know he was OK, maybe offer some peace.

He said, he would come back as a red winged blackbird. It was his favorite bird, as a child and we have hundreds of them here, maybe it was a safe bet. But then I asked, how would I know which bird was him.

And he told me; I would simply know”, I felt prepared.

The next two mornings after his death, I went to the lake with my morning coffee, and I waited for that red winged blackbird to approach me. I felt so certain that I held out my hand and sat quietly, but none came.

By the third morning I was desperate and I began begging the heavens for a sign.

My face and arms upturned to the heavens and pleading with him or God, to send me a sign.

It was then, a ringing sound pierced the air. And as I held the cool receiver to my ear, a stranger’s voice came through that said; “your chickens are here.”

And so I thought, maybe it as a sign? Not in the form he had said, but for years he had wanted chickens and I had resisted. He had ordered them 18 months prior, and they never came, but here they were, three days after he passed.

It would be a couple months before I reached out for a spiritual reading.

The first thing out of her mouth? “I see feathers everywhere.” She seemed confused and asked me if I had been finding feathers, collecting feathers, she said there were so many feathers, and she also said, Willis wants you to know, the feathers are real, and he is too. I cried…

And so, I received my sign along with many more that will share in this book, along with effective ways I helped myself cope, ease the pain, and recover. I am no longer afraid of the future, I feel prepared