Grieving Through Friend Face
Social media is a funny thing in situations like these. For the first few days after Tim’s passing, it was pretty much radio silence through my typical social media channels. There were a lot of calls to make, and I didn’t want anyone in the inner circle to find out through a Facebook post. I’m sure I missed some people, but I tried to keep the news as personal as possible.
By day two of telling people, “personal” ended up being a text from me. Whoops… so much for that plan, but there are only so many times I can say what happened and try to explain the situation while keeping my psyche in mostly one piece.
Anyway, on Monday the majority of my online social world knew through the original blog post, which also got shared among some friends and family. My personal Facebook was still pretty quiet, but pictures of him from our friends started popping up through my news feed. At first they made me cry, because duh… everything does (including a fondu pot this morning). After the initial heart pang and sob, I’m just so happy to see some of them.
This was from the best day of my life with the people I loved the most, and look how happy that man is! We should all be so lucky.
On Tuesday his obituary ran in a North Carolina as well as an Austin paper. Writing that was its own adventure. I was trying to look for examples online, and realized that most obituaries these days are one line at best. Person name. Birth date. Death date. Service info or just a line saying that there will be no service. Fucking depressing. So I googled what is proper to include and went a little overboard writing all the words. $800 later and I feel like he is properly recognized.*
* ps that is not a plea for donations or anything like that (I am fine), that is me being surprised at how much obituaries cost. Well played newspapers in an online economy, well played.
I shared Tim’s obituary to my personal Facebook page, since I wasn’t sure that anyone in the world really spent time cruising that section in the paper. It was difficult to write and even more difficult to see show up on Google the next day, but I’m happy with it. As soon as it hit my personal FB, all the acquaintances and less close friends knew and started sending their support and love. I will never shy away from sending a note to someone facing a hard time, even if I haven’t talked to them in years. I got so many of those yesterday, and they helped me through a rough day.
Spoiler alert – shopping for craft supplies and decorations for a memorial isn’t as fun as it may seem.
The best comments I got were ones that recognized how much we loved each other. An old friend mentioned how he looked at me when we first started dating, and people who I thought barely knew us told me what a lovely couple we were and will still be. I would cry with each of those comments, because they reminded me of the great love I’m missing as well as reaffirm that the world knows that I love this person with my whole heart.
I also did my first act as a single/widowed (which do I use?) woman and re-activated my Netflix. I’ll be taking bets on how long it takes the reality TV and cooking shows to overtake the current recommendations of Zombies and skeezy slasher films. It’s a weird feeling to accept that you’ll be marching forward in the world uncoupled with absolutely no desire for anyone else.
51 thoughts on “Grieving Through Friend Face”
It’s tough to hear all the incredibly difficult tasks that are set out in front of you right now, but the fact that you can still focus on your love is truly awe-inspiring. Hold on to that. And thanks for writing this.
As strange as it may be it is nice to be able to follow you through this journey. Netflix is probably a good start. I would use the term widowed – its more endearing I think. Sending you your daily hugs xx
1. You’re amazing, and totally inspiring.
2. The IT Crowd might be the funniest show ever.
Have watched all 3(?) seasons of the British IT Crowd with Tim years ago. We LOVED that show! I heard there is an American version but not sure if it’s any good?
I’ve only seen the British ones as well. Nothing else useful to add since everyone else has worded things much better than I and have made some great netflix suggestions. I will state the obvious though: Tim had excellent taste in TV shows 🙂
Give yourself a year to grieve. Just be with the pain and the loss. Give yourself the time to get angry (you might), or bitter (hope not) or depressed (inevitable) and allow yourself to process all of that through your writing (whether private or public). Fill those days with the things that comfort you (the dogs and Simon) and know that a lot of us who have never met you are sending love and support via the internet.
In the meantime, Falling Skies is a pretty good drama from TNT.
Echoing this for the recommedation of giving yourself a year. My dad died in Sept of 2012. Mom had an aution May of 2013. She will tell you she made decisions and sold stuff that now she kicks herself over.
Take your time. Whatever form your grief takes and whatever title you use is correct.
If you’re in need of Netflix recommends I have lots. I would also recommend Hulu Plus- it has all 11 seasons of Top Chef.
Hugs and thinking about you
I love hearing about the love you and Tim share as you reflect… having the time you had with him was obviously such a blessing to you both. His obit was BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT and so lovely. My Netflix recommendations are Once Upon A Time and Sherlock.
I have always loved how happy you two looked together. The wedding and Simon pictures are absolutely priceless and I am so happy that you will always have those. Thinking about you always!
I love seeing all of the pictures of you and Tim, both on Facebook and through your blog. The love you share for one another is so evident <3
Someone told me once that there is no wrong way to grieve. I have always found that helpful.
Netflix rec, if you are into British period dramas (I find them enormously soothing): North and South, Lark Rise to Candleford, Death Comes to Pemberley.
so I remember when my dad died (he was 50) the first thing my mom and I did was go buy an all in one scanner/printer. because he would never let us get one. it’s weird, but you just kind of suddenly move on, and there’s no other way to do it. kind of like your Netflix thing. your identity is different. not bad… just different. you have to become your own person again, which sucks, and is scary, but is also awesome, because you don’t realize what you changed or held back about yourself. I actually like my mom a lot now… she has a personality and interests that she never had before. before she was just kind of my mom.
oh, and we spent the whole first week sitting around watching a long miniseries about George Washington with barry bostwick playing george. it was amazing.
and we go to beer festivals a lot. #1 best thing about her widow status. I’m 100% sure she would rather not be a widow, but it is what it is and you make the best of it.
we wrote a long obit too. it didn’t seem appropriate for someone so young to have such a fucking depressing one liner. but damn if they aren’t expensive!!
just some things I’ve observed from being on the outside looking in. you have all the right attitudes. you’ll make it <3
It was obvious how much you two cared about each other, even just meeting him for a few hours. Take the time to heal! Hugs!
P.S. When I’m in need of just something simple and heartwarming I go back to Doctor Who. Have I seen it several times? Yes. Still makes me feel better!
That picture at your wedding is amazing!
There are so many great TV series that are on Netflix right now. I’m more of a sci fi person, so I love all the Star Treks that are on there. X-files, Fringe, Friends (not sci fi, but classic). The Netflix Originals are proving to be really good to (Orange is the New Black, Kimmy Schmidt, etc)
I second what Tori said about it being ‘nice’ in a strange way to follow you through this journey. I don’t mean that your situation and the tragedy that has happened is nice at all (it’s not, it’s terrible), but you’re an incredibly eloquent and articulate writer especially as you go through this time. My heart continues to break for you and you’ve been in my thoughts ever since your original post. I wouldn’t even be able to type a sentence if I were in your shoes so I incredibly admire the strength that you have. That wedding picture speaks volumes of your love for each other. It’s priceless and freaking adorable. Netflix recommendations: anything that you watched as kid, like old Nickolodeon shows or made for TV Disney movies. Maybe you can find episodes of the original Saddle Club tv series somewhere??
I am absolutely in awe of how you are handling this. You are a truly awesome lady.
Netflix recommendations: Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives (have fun trying to figure out when Guy Fieri is/isn’t drunk), Good Eats, and all the bottom-rung Disney movies that are currently available (I mean, Hercules has Pegasus!). I also think Horseland the TV show is available on Netflix, which is bizarre to me, because I recall Horseland the online sim horse game!
I know that you don’t know me and I have never commented before but I wanted to send you my condolences. I lost my “little sister” when I was in college so I know how seeing a picture or just random object can send you both into hysterical crying and/or hysterical laughing. It has been 17 years since Steph passed and it still brings me to tear up right now thinking of her. But I promise you it will get easier. You will find that you cry a little less and do not feel guilty for that at all. It is your job to keep his memory alive not your grief.
I read your annoucement yesterday after not tuning into bloggerland for weeks. I was so confused and heartbroken for you that I kept checking to see if it was your blog that I was reading. I lost a family member suddenly and to the same cause eleven years ago. It was the most devastating day of my life. I just keep wishing that this didn’t happen to you, but I am also amazed to see that you are still writing. I didn’t comment until now because I was so utterly without words.
I am so very sorry for your loss.
I do not know if you read the Equestrian Ink blog, but I think that Laura Crum’s writings about her late husband are very inspiring.
I am glad that you are surrounded by your animals, friends, family, and the online community.
Take care of yourself,
I was going to comment my own comment about Laura’s recent writings about her husband. I’m going on 3 years since my dad passed following a long battle with cancer. reading her reflections has led me to some interesting thought processes on my own feelings. When you can do so I recommend reading her stuff.
The obituary was beautifully written and was a perfect tribute. <3
You are one amazing and strong lady! You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers.
also, my mother is still wearing her wedding ring. he died in 2008. so don’t let anyone tell you you have to take it off.
My mom still wears hers. Dad passed 20 years ago this month. It is certainly a personal choice.
Love that picture. Priceless.
RE movies, I have to second (or third) any Disney movie with horses in it. Also True Blood. Sure, you’ve seen it before (and got me addicted, thaaaaanks) but can’t hurt to watch again!
And we are ABSOLUTELY going to see the Minions movie when it comes out next month. Pencil it in!
So glad you have all those beautiful memories and a great support network.
And netflix. 😉
this is the 1st time I’ve been here to your blog. I saw it in a sidebar on somebody else’s.
I hope your heart can find healing soon. I’d lose my world if my husband left me now. I can’t imagine having to go thru that.
Seems we have something in common if you have too many animals. So do we.
Take you time. There is no timeline to grief. Don’t speed it up, don’t slow it down, like a river, let it run its course.
All of those pictures radiate love and happiness, the adoration just shines through.
Scrubs is my go-to binge watching show, or The Office. Or honestly anything at all from HGTV.
If you’ve never seen it I highly recommend Gilmore girls on Netflix. It is one of my favorite shows, filled with sarcasm and one liners and pop culture and a whole spectrum of emotions. I watch it when I’m happy, I watch it when I’m sad, I watch it when I’m angry and it always comforts me and brings a smile to my face. I try to watch the whole series (7 seasons) once a year even though I’ve seen every episode so many times.
The obituary was so beautifully written, honoring Tim’s spirit and celebrating life and relationships. I keep thinking of you, wanting to send you messages, but everything I type sounds dumb so I delete it. Just know that I’m sending you hugs.
So many hugs to you.
Just remember to be kind to yourself. <3
I remember how incredibly strange it felt to have to go through the … weird daily motions of death. Funerals, memorial services, all that. SO strange to have to do something when this puzzling, horrible thing has just happened.
More love to you.
You have received so much love and an outpouring of support. It is a credit to who you are as a person. So many of us are thinking of you constantly and hurting with you. I have no words to add to what has already been so beautifully said by so many. In the coming weeks, months, years, you may be surprised by the different feelings that come up and what you go through. We’re here for you no matter what. You’re pretty remarkable. Much love. xx
the obituary you wrote was lovely, as is that picture – you’re right, he looks like the happiest man in the world at that moment. i’m glad you have those memories – and the memories of all your friends and loved ones – to hold close.
That’s such a sweet picture. Glad you’re staying true to yourself and your feelings and your good memories. Hugs.
Just wanted to send virtual hugs. You’re an amazing person and, like I said before, don’t be afraid to do whatever you feel you need to. That picture of you, Tim, and friends is beautiful.
Wow – what a heartbreaking event in your life. I’m sending condolences and good thoughts your way. The obituary is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us all.
Echoing what most have said – let grief run it’s own course. It’s a funny thing, I think often when you start to feel normal again, you think.. well maybe it’s all over, and then something will stir up some emotion inside of you, and you realize it never really is. It just changes form. Like others have said as well, your obit was beautiful.
As far as Netflix goes, I like to binge on long running season shows.. because then it doesn’t end so fast. Right now I’m in the depths of Grey’s Anatomy, and have also almost conquered Supernatural (i’m a chicken though and the early seasons freaked me out too much for me to watch at night haha).
What a joyous picture!!
Hugs from CA!
You are an AWESOME young woman. Your mother Betsy means the world to me; therefore, you do too! I will not try to put into words my feelings because there are none. You are the writer and I am so thankful that you have that gift and outlet for your feelings. Your writings are truly helping others as they help you to get through another day. I LOVE the picture of you kissing Tim on your wedding day! Absolutely TRUE LOVE! Hold on tight to those pictures and memories and when you can, celebrate them. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Much much love from afar!
What a lovely obituary Lauren. I have no words of advice but I’m thinking of you everyday. You are strong and you will come out the other side of this.
Obviously, I suck at keeping in touch. MySpace (and those beloved Kudos) drifted from the daily social media routine, and many deleted and recreated FB accounts later, I somehow didn’t reconnect once we all left the Triangle. I was stunned to hear the news. That smile above is how I prefer to remember him. Heartfelt thoughts are aimed your way…
You may want to get in touch with my friend Cassie Evans aka “The Witty Widow”. https://m.facebook.com/thewittywidow?refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthewittywidow
Her husband committed suicide in March, and she has a great blog.
I have to admit that when I seen the title for the post on Monday morning, I thought you had lost your horse. When reading it and finding out it was your husband, it completely floored me. I didn’t see that one coming at all.
As others have said, you are an amazing woman to handle all of this with such grace. To write about it and let the world know how you’re coping with everything, yet word things so eloquently? That takes a certain style and class for which you are to be admired.
Take your time dealing with things and don’t make any snap decisions. If you’re not sure about something, give it a day and go back to it. From the photo and how you speak of him, it is clear to everyone reading your words, how much love you two shared. We should all be so lucky to have someone in our lives that loves us that much.
I can’t believe obituaries are that expensive. You did a really good job writing it.
I wish there were something I could do or say… Or even Netflix shows I could recommend but I cancelled mine so I have no idea what is on there anymore. Just know you are in my thoughts.
I am so sorry you are going through this. I lost my mom and a close friend two years ago and I remember all too well the sticker stock of the obituaries… and the memorial craft-fuelled mania that I worked myself into as if creating the “perfect” guest book could bring my friend back to me. I can’t imagine what you are going through right now, but you are in my thoughts often. XO
Love your photo — smiling through tears at that happy moments, the gift moments, so many gifts…
My heart is with you; I read not long ago that one of the most important things any person can do is write & share their story. No matter what that story is. Because it’s real & stories are what connect & hold & help people in the loneliest of times. I’m finding it’s true, even more so than I thought, on more levels than I thought. Thank you for having the grace to share yours, because it is helping me shuffle closer to the courage to write mine, a growing step that I have yet to do.
I am so glad to hear that your Dad is with you & you have loved ones close “dragging” you out — now I really wish I had cheddar biscuits, you are right, you just can’t not nibble on them! <3
Oh my world Laura, I just checked into your blog to see what you were up to and couldn’t believe my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss, I always sensed through your writing that you and Tim loved each other very much. Many condolences.
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