My life is full of possibilities. I’m feeling like maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to heal.
I’m feeling things I haven’t felt in over three years now, like, there are things I still care about.
I’m starting to feel like myself again. The person who wants to approach her life with a kind of integrity, beauty, and health. Instead of someone who wants to hide herself in a corner and anesthetize her pain into some kind of oblivion.
I’ve been feeling faith. That thing that I left behind so long ago, the thing that I railed against during life’s unfairness, the thing that so let me down when I was in need.
I feel the beginnings of faith in things I never thought I’d believe in again, ever.
And they are baby steps. But they are huge because they cross a chasm that is so great; one would think you would never dare attempt to cross it again in this lifetime.
But I’m finding a bridge, a bridge that takes me over the loss below to a new way of living. A land that feels like it has sun, where people smile, work has purpose, and life isn’t completely wasted time.
I never thought I’d feel these things again – a new courage, faith. And as well as I feel today, I may feel this good tomorrow. I can do this. I can thrive. And I’m not as limited as I thought.
And in all of this possibility. There is still the one thing I want above all else. I want my Buddy with me.
The thing that is not possible.
The more I think of things I love, the more I discover how we shared them together. A song, a cause, an adventure… I muse about the possibility of moving to Africa. I can be bold; I can do anything, right? And then I remember how we loved that, too – together.
And as I drift further away from having him here with me on this physical plane, the more I realize – how perfect we were for each other.
My best friend, my love, my other half.
It’s hard to think of going on in this life without him.
And when my thoughts take me to my heart’s desire… I see in my mind’s eye a picture of me –
On the outside: blond, strong, caring, capable, and optimistic. And on the inside, I am just a pencil sketch of stick-figure woman, bent over, carrying a crazy hole in her heart.
But I think I can take better care of that woman now. I think I can.
* “Buddy” is my late husband’s, Patrick’s, nickname.
As you cross over that bridge to find your way again in the world around you where people smile and work and live their lives. Remember you are surrounded by people just the same as you. Strong and confident on the outside but carrying loss sadness or pain on the inside. Its all part of lifes path and none of us escape it.I’m sure you will find your way, your buddy will be watching over you proudly. The angels are always close to those who are grieving, whispering that their loved ones are safe in the hands of God.
Cheryl S says
Lisa, I am so glad to hear these words from you. I hope that you continue to feel better and better. Just remember, in all those adventures that you contemplate and you miss him by your side, how you loved those things together, he would so want you to do those things and enjoy them, for both of you. Cheryl
Jo Ann says
Well Lisa you got me crying again. We all loved Patrick but our love for him was different than your love for him. I know how much we miss him and it left a hole in our hearts. So I know the hole in your heart is alot bigger than ours and your love for him was greater. We all miss your BUDDY.
Reading this reminds me of my grandmother and also my jump rope coach who I lost from cancer years ago. Their courageous spirits and strength inspired me to write a poem dedicated to their memory and I hope this is of comfort to you as well.
Even after all these years,
I still feel your presence
my good times,
Comforting me in my
sorrow and tears.
Your body is gone
yet your spirit remains,
You’re my guardian angel,
In everything I do and say.
I know I can make it
on my own,
For with your guiding light
shining on me,
I never feel alone.
Your love is what keeps me strong
each day and night,
Knowing you’re happy and free
makes me feel alright.
God bless u Lisa and your neverending strength, wisdom and beauty, both inside and out. I hope someday I can shake your hand and say to your face just what an amazing woman you truly are.
Very lovely, poem. Thanks.
Thank you Lisa. You really have become an inspiration to me. After reading your book “Worth Fighting For” you really made me realize just how precious every single moment is in this life and we should never take anything for granted, especially my husband. God bless u Lisa. Patrick was lucky to have such a strong and loving woman like you. You are just as much his guardian angel as he is yours.
All my love,
Red Hot Chili says
Beautiful poem. I lost my Todd 4/25/10 to pancreatic cancer. He is my guardian angel, I know he is watching out for me.
Thanks Angela. I’ve written so many poems throughout the years, they’re like a reflection of my life. My struggles, losses, triumphs, successes and emotions. Writing for me throughout the years whether it’s poems, short stories or plays has been a form of therapy, it’s how I express myself. And God bless u Angela for staying strong through your loss and for remembering that our loved ones are never truly gone. A part of them stays with us, guiding us every step of the way.
I feel your distress. I feel your sadness. I feel your anguish. Even if I ressents, I’m not in your place. I know I have no the words to ease your pain. Courage.
Linda Haugen says
Your words and picture are encouraging. It’s been 4 months that my husband passed with pancreatic cancer and I’m not there yet. But your thoughts are helpful. I went from a “We” to an “I ” so quickly I can’t accept it, yet. But thankful for the good moments I do have. I read Time doesn’t heal–It’s what you do with your time that heals!” I like that. Take care. Linda
“We” to “I,” and are they “our” friends, or “my” friends? “My” ranch, or “our” ranch? I hated being stuck in between those 2 words, but somehow it straightened itself out after awhile. Hang in there, ii does get easier to manage. It just takes – time.
ps. I like the “it’s what you do with your time that heals!”
Lorraine, Somerset, UK says
I have been a fan of Patrick ever since I was a teenager (in England) and saw North and South and then Dirty Dancing. Lots of women were jealous of you Lisa because we all wanted to be Patrick’s wife. Even get to be the one he says to “nobody puts Baby in the corner” would of satisfied me! I am nearing the end and almost don’t want to finish the book as I know that means Patrick has died. The devotion you showed to Buddy and him to you was tremendous. I agree with the Dr – he was alive because of your love and devotion. The nearest grief I have come to yours is when our 12 year old niece died in March 2009. When someone so close to you dies time is not always a healer as each day is another day without them but what you just said above in your PS is true “its what you do with your time that heals”. So compared to what you and Buddy went through in the battle of cancer, I will read it to the end this evening. I hope that I can help my husband who has an illness that will claim his life in the future in the way you helped yours.
Kinga Swiercz says
this blog is so sad! it’s full of emotions!
Lorna watt says
Hey Lisa, today I remembered a poem from the series little house on the prairie that Michael Landon wrote ( I know what a weird thing to remember).
Remember me with smiles and laughter,
For that’s the way I’ll remember you.
If you can only remember me with tears,
Then don’t remember me at all.
This is easier said than done ! I don’t know why today when I remembered this I thought of you but I just thought I would share it with you.
Your blogs are so fantastic they make me think a lot about stuff. When tonight I got a message on my phone to say there was another one of your blogs up I thought I would read it tomorrow.(it’s late in Scotland) but I lay in bed and I couldn’t sleep cos I wanted to read it. And I did!
Lorna.xx. P.s I hope there aren’t too many mistakes in this message like last time.ha ha.
Your Buddy must be close to bursting with pride for you Lisa, probably with tears in his eyes, but bursting nevertheless. How you must be aching to hold him again, the rawness of your loss must overwhelm you at times. Nurture the woman inside you, so she can be strong, stand tall and carry that broken heart into the sun. She so deserves it.
It’s good to hear that you’re starting to feel like yourself again.. Of course you want your Buddy with you and I wish you could have him there with you..but like you said, it’s the thing that is not possible.
I do think that he watches over you and misses you just as much as you miss him..but I know that is not as good as him being right there next to you…
I am very proud of you and you are an inspirational woman…! Because of your “love it, need it, or leave it blog” I was able to throw away a whole bunch of clothes I no longer need, love or fit. Because of that same blog I now keep my aunt’s clothes in a plastic bag and so on…So thank you again and again!
Keep up the good work, Lisa! You can do this !
you have such a wonderful talent for putting the inner turmoil into words.
I wish for your stick-figure woman that she will find the strength to straighten up, so that each day
she may bear a little more resemblance to her strong outer self!
Your love for Patrick will guide you on this journey, I am sure, and although the hole in your heart cannot be cured, Patrick’s love for you will help to soften it.
Sending blessings your way!
Lindsay Luckadoo says
Lisa, reading this blog made me cry. I want nothing more than for you to have your Buddy with you again. You were perfect for each other…true soulmates. But, I know he is so proud that you are finding a new courage and faith. Just cross that bridge one baby step at a time, and know that we are here to support you every step along the way.
As always, much love to you! XX
Barbara Maffett says
Lisa, this was so beautifully written. I am now going into 18 months and it seems to be no better. In something I read, it was described as an amputation since half of you is now gone. You are so amazing and I admire you tremendously. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will reach the point where you are now. But I have reached the realization that I will never ever stop missing my beloved Jack. God bless you!
I know we will never stop loving and missing the one we loved so much. I think we just find a way to carry that as we continue our journey. I know that there are moments now that my love and connection to Patrick warms me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad he’ll always be with me (as painful as that can be sometimes).
You will have better days ahead of you, Barbara. But your loss is still fresh right now. 18 months is hardly any time at al!. Just hang on. It’s terrible, terrible that anyone has to go through it. But it takes time, and you just have to ride it out.
Kathy Thornhill says
How beautiful. Through it all, you are finding hope and beauty again. This is a message of hope to all of us who face adversity and loss of any kind. I am glad to hear you have had good had hopeful days.
Julie Clements says
Its strange the things you feel and the things you dont take for granted, as its all part and parcel of the healing deep within.
As like you I felt lost as if half of me had died too, but in time I took those baby steps as you call them and began to see that although he was not with me anymore I could feel my heart mending as the memories and our dreams I could still keep these as they are forever with you.
Even though I have married again and have a son who is now 17yrs old, my feelings never left me I feel him about me probably saying as he did all those years ago I told you you would find someone else and you would have a son didnt I!, As we had talked this through and no way would anyone ever come into my life I used to say but he knew before me.
As I was on my own for over 2yrs and working as a carer a nurse got me to go on a blind date which no way was I going to do, but the guy in question wrote to me and said lets meet we could just be friends.
So I did and it was like meeting a old friend we got on and its odd but it happened 10days seeing each other and he asked me to marry him and he said I know I will never replace your hubby but lets be happy together and to my shock I said YES! and we had met 24th 0ct 92 and married Nov16th 92 and still all is well I will always believe in my heart that he picked my guy for me, as I feel so whole and my heart feels full of love from two wonderful people past and present. My son knows all about my hubby and how he died,and often says well mum you have us all to take care of you now,this makes me so proud and I think he’s watching over us all God bless you Lisa life is amazing there is so much to do and see take your time with your baby steps love Julie XXOX
This is so wonderful, and such a positive, hopeful message. And what two wonderful and special men you have in your life. But clearly, you recognize blessings when you have and see them. Best – L
I’m writing to you for the first time, so firstly I wish to tell you how beautiful and moving your blog is. It is truly wonderful that you are sharing your thoughts and your wisdom with the world, letting people get to know the beautiful and strong woman who stood by her husband in both good and difficult times, thus setting an example what true marriage is all about.
Patrick has been and still is such a big part of your life and I believe that a relationship based on such profound love never has to end. Those kind of bonds cannot be broken, not even by death. True, your husband is not with you physically anymore, but perhaps that too is just another test of strength that the love of two special souls must endure. Even if not with you in body, who is to say that he cannot be with you in energy, in love? “Reality is nothing more than perception” and when we truly open our eyes to faith, we learn to perceive things differently. We learn to listen to the small voice in our soul, guiding us. We learn to notice signs around us and recognize them as messages, perhaps sent to us precisely by the one we love.
Maybe you can continue your journey with Patrick by your side… Feel him in the warm breeze on your face, or in a song that reminds you of him. Maybe you can ask your Angels for guidance to teach you how to read the signs around you and feel close to your husband through your heart, thus taking him with you on the adventures you’re about to make. Maybe you can tell him you love him before you fall asleep at night… and really truly feel those worlds transcending space and time, uniting you with him every time you speak them. Maybe you can switch your focus and decide to perceive him as close to you, rather than far. Maybe you can look at yourself in a different light and believe yourself to be NOT a widow, but a wife.
Then every new adventure you experience, could be an adventure shared with him – done for him even. And when you break that barrier…. when you reach that stage of spiritual intimacy, your heart will be so full of love that there will be no place for pain. And you will never feel lonely, because you will be able to feel him with you. There will be no missing.
To conclude this, I will share a quote with you:
“Let yourself love someone or something worthwhile
With your whole heart
‘Till the very end,
And I promise you:
You will never ever feel alone again.” – Dan Kelly
And while others will probably tell you to keep building yourself as a self-reliant independent person and compliment you on your strength to do it all alone, I’m one of those eccentric people who will tell you: You don’t have to feel alone. With Love ALL things are possible. You can find him again. And that will be the greatest adventure of all.
Sending you a blessing.
Dear Iva…thank you so so much for your beautiful comment! I do completely think the same way you do…!
I`m so so very sure .. with Love All Things are possible!!! Nothing can stop the true Love …!!! If you have this true Love to someone.. this bond can never be broken and will be there forever!!
Your words are a blessing … thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
Patricia Baird says
So happy to hear you are doing better. When we lose someone we love so much, we always want them back and will, till it’s our time to be with them again. Love never dies, I am sure “Buddy” is with you at all times, but not physically as you wish he was, and as do so many of his loyal fans. If there is one thing I wish for is, for no one to lose someone they love so much, be it spouse, child, parent, sibling. But, that is not the way life is, I am proud you are doing the things you are, and sorry to say the hole will always be there, but with time it will heal slowly. If you think you can take better care of yourself then you can. Be patient, have Faith in yourself, and never forget “Buddy” is with you, and you have lots of friends & people who care about you and are praying for you. God Bless you ! ! ! Pat xxx
William Fairless says
Patrick always said you will be fine in the interview Lisa, and i am so glad that you are being strong for him even though we never forget the awesome memories…
What you wrote is so bittersweet – full of hope and strength but also with a big stone of pain. I wish I could do anywhat to take that stone away from you, but I have nothing to offer that could really help you. I can only say that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I think in many other peoples, too. Your Buddy is not forgotten and will never be that. You keep him alive and bring people so much joy with your both stories.
You are far from beyond of a stick figure woman, but I understand what you mean. There are times when the negative part in us is stronger and we don’t feel precious nor makes life sense at all.
But Lisa, your life makes sense, even without the “strong package”. You’re a fighter and you’re learning to walk again right now for the second time. This is a hard lesson, but don’t forget that you are not alone. Our prayers and wishes surround you, even if you can’t feel or see them.
Your words reminded me on a song about losing someone: It’s from singer Rose (she’s french) and called “ciao bella”. Please watch the official video, unfortunately I have no link right now, because they deleted it in my country 🙁 I’m absolutely sure that it matches with your feelings and it’s worth it.
What can I say more? I still wish I could do something to make you smile, I’m feeling kind of helpless right now…. It’s not fair what has happened to you, you’re so honest and nice, you didn’t deserve that. Imagine that there’s another life after this here on earth and you’ll meet him again. There’s more than the eyes can see, a lot more and he’s connecting with you. Remember the ghost- signs – he still surrounds you and takes care for you – and so do we too. You are not alone.
A big big big hug for you!
How healing what you are writing will be for so many.
I knew I had turned a corner when I started wearing my seatbelt again. That was a milestone, I had started to care a little whether I lived or not.
Hugs and best wishes Lisa, if you ever get to Kentucky and want to spend some quality Horse Time please look me up. 🙂
What you shared with your Buddy will never leave your heart.
Yes you do feel that part of you is missing, but you still have a life ahead of you that you need to enjoy.
Find a way to experience life again and take care of your needs and work on things that will make you happy. I am glad you have found that bridge and you can start on a different chapter in your life. You have many talents, and probably some that you don’t even know that you have.
Live your life to the fullest and start a new journey. Your dear Patrick (Buddy) would want that for you.
May your days be filled with happiness for this new beginning.
Lisa i am so happy that you are starting to feel better.
Patrick would be happy too, to hear this.He always will be a part of you and it will be never change because the love both of you shared was so huge and real.
God Bless you,
When I start to read your blog I was about writing to say you how happy I am to hear about your baby steps towards a new, old Lisa-life.
Continouing reading I started to cry as I felt the losses of my life. I feel with you saying your want your Buddy back. That’s what I want so much when I think of my grandma and grandpa. Even they passed already 12 and 14 years ago, most times I can not remember them and talking about them with my parents without crying.
Hope all these kind words people answer to your blog will help you doing your baby steps. Hope you can feel the invisible helping hands around you guiding you over the bridge. You’r such a beautiful lady, I wish I could do mor for you.
A big hug from me to you . Stay strong. X X
Thank you so much for your nice blog! I want to send you my Love and a big big Hug…!!
Please have alook at the comment from Iva! I think that her words can help you a little bit!
Lisa … I`m sure your Buddy is with you .. with every step you do… !! You arn`t alone …!!!
And with every new step you do … every new adventure you will have in the future… he
is with you too and you can do this for him too.. he always wanted to see you happy …
Sending you a big big Hug …. Regine!
Red Hot Chili says
I guess if you’re able to emerge from the fog you’re able to see the light.
In your heart you know that the light is there. And yes, there are Babysteps. That’s wonderful!
One step ahead of the other. Slowly. But firmly. Good.
It is not just the love, which will never left your heart … there are so many lovely, moving, funny, deep, wonderful and bright memories which will always be with you. In your heart. But i understand your pain thinking of common moments with your husband.
I hope that one day you’re able to just smile thinking of him, that there is no more pain ……
Healing is a long long process and sometimes this process runs not as we have presented it.
May you have to break new grounds and find out what is the right way to handle it.
Blessings, Sabs 🙂
I’ve been slow to respond to your comments because, frankly, I was so moved by them. (And now, I’m getting teary-eyed again!) I am so appreciative, and grateful for your kindness, and the beauty that you so freely give. We don’t know each other very well, but it’s a pretty incredible thing when someone holds out their hand to you. What I do know is – there are some pretty amazing people that visit this site!
I just wanted you to know that it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
I hope you’re doing better, you never sounded so sad before…
You should know that we are here because we do find a pretty amazing Lady here that puts emotions so beautiful into words. Normally I do only speak for myself, but I think the others here do agree with me for this time.
And it’s hard this time to find someone who is so honest and shares the true feelings with someone else. Everyone seems to be strong and perfect, that makes me often think that something’s wrong with me. It’s important to share not only the good feelings with others, it takes away a lot of pressure to be true and showing the insecurities too. Once you start to show this its often the beginning of true talking, and that’s a good thing!
And for me it’s one of the reasons why I love this site so much. Here is someone that shares so much and I’m very grateful that you do that, it makes me proud beeing able to write here, beeing heard and having a little connection with you. Thank you for all!
Hey Tani. I think a lot of us that have lost someone tend to hide how they’re really feeling. I know I get concerned about being a “downer.” But the fact of the matter is, it’s a hard road anyway you cut it. When I wrote that blog, I was, like, ‘oh, what the hell. Let me write what I’m really feeling right now.” And sometimes, it’s a good thing to do.
Hi Tani. You are totally right when you talk about how everyone hides their feelings. I am one of those people. In my family, I am the tough one and grew up not showing emotion since that is how my family would deal with major events in our life.
Lisa, this blog helps me to know that when you have lost someone close to you that it is ok to feel emotional about the loss for sometime, and I can share my feelings with others.
I lost my mother in Feb 2009, and on the anniversary of her death it is always difficult for me. This blog did help me get through that time and with Mother’s day happenning in May, I will again need some support.
Lisa, thank you for being honest with your feelings and sharing with us your emotional journey.
Hugs to all.
Thank to you, dear Lisa, for all that you share, and everything you do.
With love, a big hug 🙂
Red Hot Chili says
this blog is a wonderful place …. with so much love and comfort …. thank you Lisa, for share so much with us!
Angela Spokes says
No fancy words, no ‘pick me up’ lines or quotes. Just compassion plain an simple. I read your book. The Epilogue I imagine was harder than hard but you ‘dropped’ everything and your authentic self SHONE through. You being you, just as it has always been and your beloved smiling down on you always.
Ingrid M says
Hi Lisa- Once again your words have touched my heart. In my personal pain, I know the really sad, really awful days, make the really good days that much better. And then eventually there are more and more really good days. Hang in, you are loved.
You got it!
Your blogs are really inspiring, thank you! I am amazed by your strength , your words and such insight. You are giving me strength about life and the meaning of it. I always wonder sometimes why are we here? On bad days when life is tough, I have to muster up the strength to keep going.
Even though I have never met you, I am so glad that you are writing your blogs and sharing your journey. When I heard about Patricks passing my Heart ached for you. I just thought how can you go on after losing your best friend after so many years, I’m so glad that you are finding a glimmer of light even though he must always be on your mind. It is such a spiritual journey for you. I know what you mean about faith and hope. Sometimes it goes and you give up a little but then it comes back.
I look forward to reading many more of your blogs and our inspiring words. I think you are such a special person to be able to chat to others, reach out and inspire even though you are coping with such loss. I can see now what a good wife you were to Patrick and why he only had eyes for you. He was lucky to have you.
Here’s a link for the song “Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill. The first time I listened to this song, was the same moment I realized just how much I loved my husband (this was when we were just friends) and how much he meant and still means to me. The second the song ended the phone rang, and it was him. Isn’t that wild? I never believed in true love, or destiny until he came into my life. This song made me think of you and how strong your love is for Patrick and how he still loves and will always love you. I’m fighting back tears as I listen to the song and write this because it’s both sad and beautiful. Take care Lisa.
All my love,
I am sincerely happy to read this hopeful words. I’m impressed by your courage, really.
Patrick have built this bridge just for you .The sky’s clearing now and you can see it . I think other bridges and skywalks are ready for you : all the beautiful places Patrick wants to show you – share with you. Perhaps a new way to learn about him.
Go Lisa! we are not far.
Je vous embrasse.
you summed it up perfectly. the beautiful words, and wisdom in your growth after “buddy. it was truly moving. no matter how small the steps seem, it is that growth that the beautiful person inside will emerge.
MaryKaye Mackulin says
I can relate to these words more than you may ever know… Faith, slowly returning – you know why – because of this great organization I chose to be a part of…. And I KNOW you get that. After spending this past weekend in Chicago, IL with The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – I now have a new strength that I didn’t know I would ever have again. Seeing Ed’s name on that big giant screen at the reception dinner made me realize why I fight, why I will continue to fight, and why I absolutely MUST keep my faith.
I too miss my earthly soul-mate and exact ying to my yang… I count the days till I can cross over and become whole again.
Hang tough Lisa – I am sure like so many people I met this past weekend – you are stronger than you even remotely know.
With Love to someone who fights the fight………. MK……… and always, always my Sweet EJD
Joan Klinger says
my daughter asked my why I read all of the depressing things I read right now, or search you tube for sad songs etc etc.
I am losing my husband of 39 years to brain cancer, I’ve been saying goodbye for the past 7 months and time is short. It helps me to know that I am not alone in my pain and grief. I am strong in my faith and I take strength in God’s promise that we will be together again. However for those of us left behind for a time, it is still painful.
We are strength in numbers, feel my hugs across the miles.
Joan, that is so true, there is ‘strength in numbers’. You are not alone. Thinking of you and your husband. Feel my hugs to you.
Lindsay Luckadoo says
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Joan!
I have tears in my eyes reading that Lisa. Just remember Buddy has got your back he’s by your side every single day and every step you take, you just can’t see him.. But he’s there.
Margaret (Scotland, UK) says
I have just finished reading your book. Without a doubt your book was written from the heart and I felt so much emotion coming through. It made me cry, it made me laugh, but more importantly it has given me courage to face up to things in my life. Your devotion and care to Patrick was incredible and I really do hope you feel so utterly proud of yourself – you are an amazing woman.
My Mother is caring for my Father at home – its been heartbreaking to watch the slow decline with my Father, but also watching my Mother nurse the man she has been married to for 46 years slip away bit by bit each day – its breaking my heart.
Life is so horribly unfair at times.
I wish you so much happiness for your future. I know you are a strong woman and you are getting stronger each day. The way you dealt with everything was so dignified and I am sure your family and friends are so proud of you.
As a family we have sad times ahead but when i read a story like yours it really does inspire me.
Just finished typing this and I have tears streaming down my face but also feel a sense of relief to “talk” about things.
All the very best to you Lisa x
i love this blog lisa
I cant imagine you with anyone else either.