“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”Dr. Seuss

Wedding 25th anniversaryTwenty-five years ago today I married Phil McElhaney and it changed the trajectory of my life.

Today I celebrate our once-in-a-blue-moon love story!

On New Year’s Eve, 1990 there was a blue moon. I helped Phil host his annual NYE party. We’d only been dating a few months but when we went out on his back porch to look at the blue moon he told me he loved me. For the first time I said, “I love you, too.”

We married June 6, 1992 and vowed to love and cherish each other “‘till death do us part.” (We left out ‘obey!’) We had an amazing life with love, laughter, travel and adventure. This amazing man showed me what it meant to be fully loved. He taught me how to truly enjoy life. Tragically, only seventeen years Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

speaking at Camp Widwo“When asked to list an emergency contact number, how many of you have to stop and think about whose name and number to write down?”

Hands shot up all around the room when I asked this question at a recent conference break-out session. We were at Camp Widow™ and my program on “From Sorrow to Social” was filled with recently widowed men and women. Read the rest of this entry »

Reading Sandberg's book.jpgI’ve started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.” You likely remember that Sandberg, COO at Facebook and author of Lean In lost her husband Dave suddenly a couple years ago.

Her title comes from a conversation with a friend where when she said, “But I want Dave!” Her friend replied, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.” Read the rest of this entry »

Michele Neff Hernandez Keynote

Michele Neff Hernandez giving Keynote for Camp Widow, Tampa

For National Women’s Month I want to tell you about an inspirational widow who had turned her sorrow into something amazing!

 

Michele Neff Hernandez was a young woman with three children when her husband, Phil was tragically killed while out riding his bicycle in 2005. When she couldn’t find a community of people like her who could offer understanding and support she created one. A big one! Read the rest of this entry »

Have you started dating since losing your spouse?

Book coverHere’s an excerpt from my book, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life about my first date after the loss of my husband.

The Perfect First Date

About two years after Phil passed I had my first date. At least I thought it was a date. Read the rest of this entry »

(The following is an excerpt from my memoir, “Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life,” published in 2016, six years after losing my husband, Phil to a brain tumor.) Book cover

I have always been philosophical, looking for meaning and purpose in life and its events. I study life. Phil lived life. He didn’t try to analyze it.  That was one of the attributes I loved most about him.  Maybe that’s why I’m the one left behind– to analyze, to reflect upon the deeper learning.

About a month before Phil died he was in neuro-ICU Read the rest of this entry »

Meredith Grey“You’re no longer a widow.” Dr. Meredith Grey’s therapist said to her a few episodes ago on the popular TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. “You’re married to a dead man.”

Is Shonda Rhimes reading my book? I have a chapter called, “Married to a Dead Man.” Read the rest of this entry »

Camp WidowWhen Michele Neff Hernandez was widowed at a young age and couldn’t find a community of widows who wanted to focus on moving forward she created one. From that first, small gathering of widows and widowers Camp Widow® has grown into three weekend long events. Read the rest of this entry »

RosePhil always brought me a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. Brought. They weren’t delivered. He thought that was too extravagant. Every Valentine’s Day he would stop by the grocery store on his way home and pick up a dozen roses. I’d make dinner. We’d exchange cards and have a romantic evening at home.

The first Valentine’s Day after he passed Read the rest of this entry »

Thank You quoteSometimes after loss our hurt is so strong that we think there’s nothing to be grateful for. My existing gratitude practice helped me to look for the little daily blessings during his illness and after his death.

The following is an excerpt from my newly released book, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life. Read the rest of this entry »