Remembering Tom: Loss, Grief, and Life Updates

2022 The Most Difficult Year of My Life

I’ve tried writing this post so many times but wasn’t ready, found the right words, or wasn’t able to bring myself to post it.

My wonderful, kind, and loving husband, Tommy, passed away in January 2022, after a short and painful battle with cancer. We had no idea he was so ill, and by the time he was diagnosed he was stage 4 metastatic; the cancer had already spread to his other vital organs. We were in the middle of buying our house and moving when when we noticed the symptoms and then they escalated really fast.

Tom was part of my life for many years and I was very lucky to love him, and be loved by him, for our entire time together. Some days I wake up and still can’t believe he’s gone 😢

This picture was taken the day we celebrated our wedding in November 2018. That was the happiest time of our lives.

I never knew how complicated, complex, deeply personal, and exhausting grief can be - on all fronts - mentally, emotionally, and physically. And it’s not something you “recover from” or “get over.” I don’t think others will understand what it’s really like unless they experience it for themselves. I spent a lot of time learning about it, and found a lot of resources at this blog that have helped me process and understand it a little better. I also spoke with a grief counselor in the weeks after it happened. 

There was also a lot of secondary changes and side effects that happened because of the trauma and grief. The biggest ones are the memory loss, brain fog and difficulty concentrating. I always had a very good memory and could recall the smallest details, but after the loss I can’t remember things like I used to. And sometimes my brain doesn’t feel like it works like it used to. I get mentally exhausted very easy now, and can’t handle the same demands like I was able to before. Part of it was from burn out during the pandemic but compounded by the trauma of losing my husband. 

I spent all of 2022 dealing with the pain and loss of my husband, and adjusting to those big, sudden changes in my life. I didn’t have energy for anything else. 

Some days I didn't want to get out of bed but Mr. Gold tried his hardest to get me out. He was sweet and purred on me and meowed at me. And when that didn’t work he would get more aggressive and bite me.

I’ve been slowly getting around to doing the things that I used to enjoy. I’ve learned to put myself first, become extremely patient with myself, and to give myself as much time as I need. To be graceful and kind to myself. And to cry and work through the feelings whenever I need to, or whenever they suddenly hit me. Some days are just like that, and I’ve learned to accept them and let it be what it is.

You can read more about the other things that happened during the rest of 2022 in my bio page. I updated that page in October.

Journaling: The Only Creative Outlet of 2022

Blurred image of an open journal with a feather pen

One of the things I’ve found the most comforting is journaling. I’ve continued to journal over the last few years (to cope with stress, to ease my anxiety during covid, and the times of uncertainty). I paused for a few months after Tommy passed, but after a while I needed to figure out what I would do next. I had lots of decisions to make, and remembered how writing things down helps me sort out my thoughts and consider my different options. Journaling is also very therapeutic for me, and it was through the constant journaling that I was able to process a lot of my emotions and make big decisions. And to be confident I was making the right choices for myself going forward.

The Future of This Blog – Ideas for Upcoming Posts

Through the constant journaling, I realized how much I really enjoy writing in general. I’ve been wanting to get back into regular blogging again, I really loved doing it in the past and missed it. This blog helps me remember the different times in my life in greater detail along with the pictures and captions.

Studio pictures from 2018 - my last exhibit and the last time I made art! Miss these studio days.

I’m not active on social media and don’t enjoy it all that much; it’s not the same, or as fun as keeping a blog, and it doesn’t fulfill that writing need. I deactivated most of my pages a few months ago, and will keep them offline for a little longer. I do love taking daily pictures of random things and moments with Mr. Gold, so maybe I’ll make the future posts here more picture heavy.

Some fun with Mr. Gold. He reminds me of those influencer cats on Instagram. I joke that he’s going to get his own page and endorse cat products…maybe one day.

Right now I’m thinking the future posts will be about my slow return to art making (I haven’t made any new art in about 5 years!), some recipes of the food pics I post, and DIY home projects/updates. I’ve been in my new home over a year and am finally getting around to the updates I had in mind when we first bought the place.

How to Reach Me

I know this post was long, but thank you for reading. If you want to keep in touch, email me, post a comment below, subscribe to my email list, or follow me on Pinterest (I do go on there a lot these days for house/DIY project ideas). I’ve been wanting to do the art events like I did in the past, maybe sometime later this fall.


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