Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | July 17, 2012

Love = risk. Joy = grief.

Signing up for one is signing up for the other. I know that now.

But you know what?  I’ve never met one person who said it wasn’t worth it. Or maybe those are the people who drive into bridge abutments late at night, or somehow mix too much vodka with their doctor-prescribed sleeping pills. It’s actually not all that rare. You might be surprised who has considered such.

July 17th. Jeff is Three Years Gone today. The daylilies are blooming bright and fragrant, just like that other hot morning three years ago. Today.

Do something for me? Say his name. Dig out a photograph. Tell me a story. Tell Anna a story.  Because some days I can’t get my head around how he is so, so gone and yet so very present in our lives. Unless this has happened to you, there’s no way you could understand this reality that we live with every day.

If not for me, do this small thing for some other grieving person you know. Say his name. Talk about her. Remember.
It really does matter. They may cry. But you know what? It’s worth it.


“As the days passed, [he] got to be more and more a photograph. The thought that someone I had loved so much had passed into memory was bitter, bitter and appalling. I saw [him] as I would have seen him through the wrong end of  a telescope at fifty paces on the beach. He was so close that he was almost upon me, but when I looked, he stood at the end of a great expanse, so diminished I could hardly make him out, so small that I could have put him neatly in my scrapbook.” – from the novel Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object, by the late great Laurie Colwin

All my pictures seem to fade to black and white… 
… (Oh, these cuts I have: they need love, to help them heal. )   
-Elton John, by way of Bernie Taupin

 Thank you for being here, my people. It really does matter. That is all.


  1. Do something for me? Say his name.

    awesome and perfect. Love.


  2. My heart aches for you, and I can relate to what you are feeling. It’s been 16 months for Rick and I can’t yet bring myself to look at any home videos, or pictures beyond the few that I am numb too. I am so afraid of how I will react ; hearing his voice; his laughter, seeing the love in in eyes that was just for the kids and I. Watching him move around on the tv screen. I am so afraid.
    Thank you once again for writing the words, that I can’t seem to say to anyone.


  3. Beautifully said as always. You are an inspiration. Namaste.


  4. I never thought when we were so young that it would all come down to this pain. I thank God alot that Steve does not have to experience this, he would never have been able to handle it. Staying behind sucks. It hurts every minute of every day. When you say “Do something for me today, say his name”.. family and friends hardly ever do anymore, almost like they are afraid that it will make me hurt all the more. When I do they seem to want to hurry that part of a conversation along. I guess I am supposed to be all better after 3 1/2 years ?? NOT!! Love it when you pop up on my e-mail, always relate to your words and thoughts.


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