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  • Birthday 12/22/1948

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    scottsdale, arizona
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    Kathy taught me how to love and will remain in my heart for all time. Only because of what she taught me can I love once again.
    I am Patty's biggest fan. She teaches me courage.

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    sherman house/phoenix, arizona

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    Maui Pasta Arizona made it at last

    Thank you Anne and everyone of our friends here. I wish I could describe the powerful and emotional time our three days off were. It sure has been a while since we woke up on our own without that 4 am alarm. Being in a cabin on a mountain could not have been more peaceful and rejuvenating.

    Always Aware

    They do have ways Maryann. I'm so sorry for you having lost your friend. Losses seem to come with so much more powerful an affect when we have had such a major loss in our lives. I think that every time we lose something that connects us to our departed loves we feel that loss so much more because what is gone can never be brought back. And we know that too well. Patty and I are thinking of you and even though you have come so far on your journey it still seems like a mountain yet to climb. Hang in there friend. Each day is one of growth and you are moving in the right direction. Even if we don't know which way we are heading, it has to be better than where we were.
  3. We all know that they would not want to see us live on in sorrow and despair but yes it still is the hardest thing we can do. You do it in time. One day at a time. My own evolution in grief was to discover who Kathy truly was first . Then I was able to start examining who I was. You do a lot of soul searching over the years but when you begin to focus on yourself you find your path. By my fifth year I was so content to live out the rest of my life alone for you see I would never be truly alone. I had my children and grandchildren not to mention friends I have met along my grief's journey. Friends I would never have met had she not died. Then like George you begin to find a desire to do something. You formulate new dreams. And still I took Kathy with me every step of the way. The best part is that she still travels with me. It was only when I began to live my life once more was I able to connect with Patty. We take the love we have for Kathy and Ron right along with us wherever we go and whatever we do. I for one am excited to have been able to be part of Ron's dream....the survival of Maui Pasta. In that restaurant lives testimony to both Ron and Kathy. They surround us. They are part of the whole deal and we love them still and for all of time. Let's face it. Our time on this planet is limited. What a shame to not do something when we can. Just to help offer support to a friend proves why we are better off here than not. Imagine what may come of our presence here. Perhaps we can even help to save our planet. It doesn't take much to have an effect on others. All you have to do is walk out that front door. "To strive to be a better person" is a beautiful topic and I hope this thread will become an important one here. Along with our grief and pain we can learn how to find hope. And don't worry if you cannot see it now. Time will take care of that and your love will be with you every step of the way.
  4. "I can make his death as complicated as I want to, but really it is simple. Mike died. I didn't." Staci Sulin Powerful blog she wrote Marty. Many of us can get something from this. A few years back on this site I wrote that I had had an epiphany. I realized I was no longer Steve and Kathy. I was simply just Steve. That night I knew my life was changing. The grief doesn't end but the path I took in my life changed me for the future. I could go on living even if it were to be alone. How little did I know what was yet to come.
  5. You can count on that being true Marg. It goes much deeper than one might think. No matter what Ana, we would of course be worse a person than we were. In grief your sorrow is never going to make you a better friend to others or even be able to help others when you would have done that before your loss. But time changes that. We soften in our loss and one day we find ourselves alive once more. Grief of course never leaves us but we find ourselves better than we were at first. Of the two of us, Kathy was the best. Knowing her and loving her made me a better person. She made me want to emulate her. Of anyone I ever knew, she was the person I wanted to be. After her death I slipped into old bad behavior. I drank myself to sleep most nights. I grew to hate everything around me save for our little house and everything of her in it. I knew I had to get it back I had to honor her by being a better person. (a task I found so very difficult) The song "I've Been Waiting" by Sixpence spoke to me in a very powerful way. "So I'm changing who I am Cause what I am's not good."
  6. How true Gwen. A dog is a wonderful friend and gives us unconditional love but it isn't the same. We had lost our dog Mindy before Kathy left and how I wished I had had her. I think it took me longer to realize I could still go on living but alone in that house made it seem far more empty. Yet I kept on living one day at a time, many, many days.
  7. I was reading this thread by Jillian in Loss of Spouse: Medical Assistance In Dying By Jillian, Friday at 09:44 AM in Loss of a Spouse, Partner, or Significant Other It so moved me but I wanted to write this here for it is not something easily accepted by those of us who are new to grief's journey. I want to share what happened with my wife Kathy. When we first met each other and fell in love she told me one day that she was not going to live long. I questioned her because she was in perfect health and at the time was only 38. She simply said "I just know". This upset me at the time and I hated hearing such words but I believe now that it was part of a plan much bigger than ourselves. I feared the "self fulfilled prophecy" yet I have a hard time accepting it. I still am unsure and it is far beyond my ability to comprehend it but somehow I feel there is indeed a bigger plan. She was a brave girl. Kathy had an understanding that I could not wrap my head around so when all was lost she simply said "It is what it is". She never cried or felt sorry for herself. That was my job I guess. She knew more than I did why she was here and where she was going. My new bride had a similar experience with her husband Ron for he believed his time was limited. Patty turned me on to a book "The journey of souls" by Michael Newton. In this book he describes how over a thousand of patience he had placed under hypnosis exploring life between lives in a study of several years described the same experience after they had died. You can believe in incarnation or not but I truly do. The point I want to make is how in my opinion there is a plan. My take away from the book is how we are here to learn lessons if you will. We teach, we learn, we endure hardships and loss for a reason. We also enjoy the wonder and beauty of life. It does not make my grief any easier to know that Kathy dying was a lesson I had to learn but I have a feeling it is true. Do we know when it is time to die? I believe some of us do. We can accept this or not but if we do then things start to fall into place. Things begin to make sense in a crazy emotional time. While it does not take our grief away it does help us move forward. Please feel free to share what you are learning on this grief's journey.
  8. Yes Jillian and you always will. How powerful that statement is. Kind of puts it in perspective does it not?

    Simultaneous Grief and Love

    George that is absolutely awesome losing the weight. The best side effect is how much better you feel. It also enforces our need to stay alive. We stay alive to find reason for staying alive. I know at first I just wished death would find me. Our lives become filled with "why" questions that can never be answered. When I stopped asking the questions things began to fall into place. There just has to be a reason we stayed behind when they moved on. We honor them to keep on living, to keep on making a difference. I started to think about how Kathy would want me to because she no longer was able to enjoy this world. Perhaps I thought, she could see it through my eyes and senses. That might not be the case but what if it was? If there was just a small chance it was true then how could I let her down? I was stuck here on this planet anyway. It was worth a shot and what better way to honor her than doing something with what time I have left. I want to say thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers but Patty will be okay. Nothing is life threatening here but a balance has to be reached in her body and the doctors will figure it out. Stress may very well have played a part.

    Simultaneous Grief and Love

    Friday we spent the day in the ER because Patty was in severe distress over a stomach issue. It takes a lot to get her out of the restaurant. Years ago she had a similar situation which led to them taking out her gallbladder only to discover there was nothing wrong with it. She had kidney cancer which was then addressed. That was ten years ago so we should be on the other side of it. The Cat Scan showed nothing of concern and that was a hell of a relief because I was scared you guys. For a half an hour I was back in a place I wish I didn't have a memory of. Point is she has had a sensitive stomach ever since Maui and her blood work was off the charts recently. We will figure it out now that she is where we can get decent medical care. They have a saying in Maui that "If you have a pain, take a plane". There is a good reason for that! It was difficult being in the ER for we both have a big bag of bad memories with that one. Life is difficult sometimes but we will get through it. I have to laugh sometimes because we are both fighters and we don't know how to give up. ☺️ Next month is our first anniversary. I can hardly wrap my head around that one because time has literally flown by. One year ago we were trying to figure out how we could close down the restaurant in Maui and move it here. We were planning our being married and living apart but thankfully that was only for six weeks. So I am in awe at all that has happened in the last year. We are slowly starting to make money and all though we are not yet breaking even I know it will come next fall. My life is so interesting now because we get up at 4 am and go to the restaurant where I help her get the bread going and set things up. Then it is off to work at my own business where we spend the rest of the day apart until 4 when we both meet at home. This is our routine seven days a week and I love it. By the way, Patty works eight minutes north of our house and I work eight minutes south. Not a bad commute is it? Sometimes we pull into the driveway together. I have read on "Loss of Spouse" how some of us are struggling with dating and finding new love while some are certain that they lost the only one for them. It is a mix of emotion for sure and it brings to light some interesting feelings on my part. Every one of us is following a different path. No two grief's are the same because no two lovers are like any other. I remember how I felt a few years ago. Actually just a little over a year ago as a matter of fact and I was certain Kathy was the only one for me. I new what being married to someone who was not my soul mate felt and looked like. You start out young not even understanding what soul mate even means. Only until you find it for real that you can look back at what it wasn't . I endured that for twenty years so I think I know the difference now. I knew it when I saw Kathy for the first time. I knew what I had lost and after over two thousand five hundred days I lived with that knowledge that I was indeed soul mates with her and no one would ever change that. And no one ever shall change how I feel. Thing is I have found my soul mate again. Now I have two. I wrote something years ago when I knew beyond any doubt that I would never marry again that even if you meet someone, one of them has to take the back seat. I was wrong. I was so damn wrong! I spoke without knowledge. I assumed. And, assumption is the mother of all screw ups.You think I would have learned that by now because I know it kills pilots all the time. I wish I was more like Kathy because she looked at all the facts before she ever spoke. She tried to teach me that but she left before I learned it. I think she is still teaching me. The point is that I discovered that I could find a soul mate in Patty and still have a soul mate in Kathy. Make your own assessment but I know what I have been through. Assume nothing and you will learn more. Assumption is a door closed so tight that light cannot get in. So here I am in love with two souls or maybe three if you count Ron. Or maybe four if I count myself. I knew from the moment I first saw that painting that Patty had posted to contribute to our fund raiser that something far greater than me was at play. I struggled with that one let me tell you. So much can go through a mans mind along this journey of grief and life. I know how every day I keep learning so I keep growing in some small way.
  11. You have a good grip on things Gwen. You do know who you are and that can happen at any stage of grief. We settle into a life , a pattern if you will that becomes a comfort zone and all we can think about or want to think about is them. I understand that and still feel the same....no, I am more in love with Kathy than I was when she left because I went through years of uncovering her life in all the drawers and storage boxes in our home.We had been married only 14 years and I did not know all of the experiences she had in life when she was young yet she had saved everything from her mom's baby book through school and every boyfriend she had or job or awards or degrees she had received. I grew to respect her more than I ever imagined. But still she was gone. Our lives of building memories was completed. I knew she was my soul mate. I adapted to this new life. I would go on in a happy, sad sort of way. Now I have it again and I still have it with Kathy. It is not easy to explain and sounds a bit hypocritical I know. But it still is what it is. I will tell all of you this. Finding another soul mate is not impossible but it still does not take away the love or the pain. You still get to die "a thousand deaths". You never lose the love of your soul mate. I think maybe if you did you would not have been soul mates after all. Yes Ana putting yourself through that again is the hard part. What I am speaking of is the risk of loss. I carry a silent fear of the same thing happening to me. I had an uncle who I truly loved. He had lost two wives and it had to have been such a hard journey for him but I know he was not afraid to live. I try and keep him in mind. I remember that when Kathy was fighting to stay alive we would be at the Mayo getting her radiation treatments when we met this couple also getting treatment for the husband's brain tumor which was inoperable. They had both met each other in that same room years earlier with their spouses getting treatment for cancer. Now there she was about to go through it all again. Life is difficult, more for some than others but the courage it takes to accept the risk is the biggest leap one can ever undertake. I knew it going into my relationship with Patty but I also was armed with the lessons I had learned long before reading "The Road Less Traveled" and in it was the chapter "Risk Of Loss". I understood that one cannot live and love without taking that risk. Had I not understood that I would never have been open to loving Kathy in the first place because divorce had all but soured me. I would offer this advice to anyone thinking about entering into another relationship. Don't go there unless you can take your lost spouse with you. The last thing you need is to lock up those feelings and not being able to share them. I read a thread on Widowed Village which is part of Souring Spirits from a man who was writing about his grief. He mentioned he had to get off the computer because his fiance was home. My head still spins over that one. My own father who had lost my mom when I was at the age that I lost Kathy married again shortly after. He lived with my step mom for as many years as he had been with my own mother yet never spoke about her. He could not share his love for my mom with his new bride. In his will he wanted me to have his ashes as he stated "To do with as Steve wishes". He knew I would spread them over the same spot that I had spread my mom's twenty eight years earlier. He just could not say it in his will with my step mom. They may have loved each other and they were dear friends who did not want to live alone but soul mates? Not the case. So we all just have to follow our own paths and hopefully remain true and honest with ourselves.
  12. Given enough time you realize what you feel and who you have become. In the earlier years of my grief I knew that I missed the tactile touch yet it came along with the love that Kathy and I shared so tactile without emotion, "ugh what a thought." I had a platonic friend that I had met who would join me for drinks and dinner occasionally but when she started to attach herself to me and it grew to touching it actually repulsed me. I saw how that hurt her feelings and yet I had to be honest. I just could not go there even though I may have missed that intimacy I had with Kathy so off I went to be more alone than ever but at least I knew I was not violating who I was. I realized that having a platonic friend of the opposite sex was for me never going to be a good idea. Yet you never know what might occur that is out of our control. I laugh about it now when I remember that the day I met Patty for the first time was the day that the book I was part of "Grief Through The Eyes Of Men" came out and in that book I stated that I was a done deal long ago and would never marry again. Kathy always said to me that if it was meant to happen, then it will happen. She spoke those words when we first became involved all those years ago. But it is true today none the less. Marty has a good recommendation in "Souring Spirits" and even though I have never been to a camp widow it has brought grieving souls together even as just friends. It hit me at first as a dating thing but it is not that way. People may get together romantically but only if it was supposed to happen. At least there you are talking with those who have had such a loss and sharing your feelings with people like that is never a bad idea. In my case I never wanted to meet someone in a romantic way. I knew no one could replace Kathy. It's hard to find new love when you have already tasted perfection. Why look further? Then why not? When I first started to have feelings for Patty I became extremely upset. I was angry and hurt. I could not understand why Kathy was pushing me away. I had already become content in living alone. I had my grandchildren and sons. I had friends and began traveling by myself certain I could live that way without losing the love I had. Two weeks of crying in anguish and conflict ended when I understood and accepted the fact that it was Kathy directing me. The connection between myself, Kathy, Patty and Ron was incredible. It became apparent that something much bigger than myself was at play. I went from never loving anyone again to telling Patty we would be married one day without ever even having kissed. She simply replied "I know". Everything just made perfect sense and I will never be able to explain this in a few simple paragraphs but Patty and I will be writing a book about our journey most likely self published when time allows. All I can say is "Never say never." for you, just as I was, may be proven wrong. I should also ad that even though this happened to me, had it not been my destiny I would have lived on quite by myself and tried to make a difference in the world I live in. When I stopped wishing I could die I started looking for why I should live. I am certain of one more thing. You can have more than one soul mate. Sometimes there can be four of you in the mix. You never know what might transpire to get you home. Bill perhaps it is not a curse after all but a hope. Life is an adventure even if accompanied by grief.

    Articles Worth Reading

    "The sad, yet amazingly wonderful thing about grief is that it is never going to go away." "we don’t want to forget how deeply we loved them. The only way that grief will disappear is for us to forget them, and we don’t want to do this. Grief binds us to the people we loved." Wise words indeed Anne. I always felt myself embracing grief for it simply affirmed how much I love Kathy. I know I always shall so the grief is my companion. It travels with me and visits when I am still. Has it softened in time? Certainly. It doesn't take away the loss or the missing but rather comforts me in some odd way. Given enough time we settle into knowing how our lives will be. Here I stand deeply in love with Patty and yet very much in love with Kathy. It is an odyssey for sure and what I find most interesting is how my insight to death and loss has grown because of it. I have a love and best friend to talk to every night about the hurt and the missing. I could never be where I am now if I was not in a place to share our pain. Patty gives me great insight almost as if she were more along on her grief's journey than I. Perhaps she is. She is an extraordinary woman. She brings courage to the room.

    Changes I'm Making

    Anne you have always been an inspiration to us all and a mentor to me. I connect with so much you have said and feel somewhat the same yet I certainly did not feel like this just a few short years ago. Time has a way to soften our pain yet it can never remove it. Not a single day goes by that Patty and I do not feel a sad moment creep in but as Kathy always said "It is what it is". I always hated that phrase. It was "not a good answer", but I think I get it now. It is as simple as it can be. It fits when there is no alternative. We think we can change things but sometimes they just can't be changed. So I think you are a true optimist dear lady. You found a way to make some good of the worst of things and there is nothing worse than losing your soul mate. Thank you always for being there when we need a little inspiration

    If Only Tears Could Bring You back

    "The tears fall still helplessly on the ground as they always did and always shall Never to end for the sorrow of your leaving will be with me with me for the rest of my days on earth. I will find joy among the sadness but still the tears will come. I accept that.....that I shall live this life with joy found in new love while the tears still come." Stephen Hochhaus Kathy ..True Love can never die just because you did. If there is one thing I have learned over the last eight years is that death causes grief and grief stays with us no matter how long we live. I have never been happier than I am today. I have found love so powerful that I never believed it possible. I am reminded of a mentor who helped save me when I was at my lowest. She told me from her eighteen years of grieving that you will always have the tears. They will always come yet with less frequency but come they will. Those land mines called triggers which were carefully laid by two loving souls will be there waiting to hit and that is just fine for they represent a love so important, so important that it will never die. They remind us to celebrate the lives of the beautiful angels that they are. I pick my self up and I go on with my day .... just as I have for all these years. Good song Robin. Thanks for sharing it.