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First Year Anniversary

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Greetings to one and all,

My name is Turquoise, I am 60 yrs old, a retired horse trainer from the State of Washington.

My beloved, precious husband, Michael, made his journey home, June 20, 2005, 10:40 PM, after a devastating, decimating, bravely fought, 3 yr battle with stomach cancer. We shared our married life for 35 yrs, 3 mo, 11 days. Had no children and neither of us had any family. We were each other's family. We had bumps, curves and potholes in our life but the clear spirit of the pure synchronicity we shared, blessed us with the crystal clarity to love deeply, freely and beyond eternity. Yes, I lost my spiritual soul mate, my kindred spirit......the love of my life.....whose face was my moon, his smile my sun, his eyes my stars. He will always be a part of me and my life. I will never, ever forget him nor our devotion to each other and our shared love. But, I choose to be happy, again. My life will never be the same as the one I shared with Michael. I choose to create a new life that will make Michael proud of me. By creating a new life, the essence of Michael's beautiful spirit will live on THROUGH me.

I am deeply & humbly grateful my darling is free of the pain and damage of cancer and chemo. He is now whole, beautiful, healed, free and joyful. I know he is laughing and running and shining with the brilliancy of the beauty of his true spirit. And yet, if you see me weep, worry not, it is merely the expression of the human part of me clearing out any particles remaining from the agony of loss. By doing so, it makes room for multitudes more of loving memories to fill in the opening spaces. I always pray to hold my grief lightly so that it's lifting is easy and swift.

Today, I am in the 11th month, 26th day of my grief journey. In five days, it will be the one year anniversary of Michael's Crossing Over. Immediately after Michael made his journey home, I made a conscious choice to heal the pain of loss. I searched hard for positive, forward-moving guidance. Tried 11 different support groups, to no avail. I desired only support for healing and NOT the enabling of perennial suffering. I did not want to become a bitter, hand-wringing, whimpering caricature of my former self, living life dragging grief around like a ball and chain. I knew, even at the earliest stage of loss, I did, indeed, have a choice of whether or not to allow anger and destructive behaviors to be a part of my grief.

With the tenacity of a badger, I forged on, telling myself daily, hourly and even moment to moment, that I knew, without a shadow of doubt, I would make it through the fires of this great adversity, intact, and become even stronger. I wrote out this and other affirmations and read them to myself a minimum of four times/day. I read a total of 75 books. I scoured the internet. I called.........I faxed whomever I could to seek guidance and healing. I finally found the Grief Recovery Institute, located a qualified GRI trained counselor and embarked on gifting myself with the tools of recovery.

I totally believe and accept grief is not a life sentence. It is, though, the vehicle to move me through the transition from being Michael’s wife to being Karen, newly single, healing, beautiful and loved by Michael. Although grief arrived uninvited, I had the free will to choose how long grief’s tentacles were able to clutch at my being.

My healing recovery can only be activated in the moment of the present. I cannot exist in the past. Mourning ended when I realized strengths could be brought from the past to help create my new life in the present. The mourning of Michael ceased the instant I accepted living once again. My focus shifted from loss, pain & devastation to the concentration on the new life being created. The loss, pain and devastation has become added strengths by being absorbed into my healing.

Yes, I miss Michael and I do have a moment of sadness now and then. Michael will always be a part of me. For, he is the warm glow of love that will forever reside in the intertwining of our spirits. But, our beautiful relationship is now of the ethereal form, woven into the golden tapestry of the fibers of my heart, soul and essential being. A sweet melancholy has replaced the sharp, gnawing pain in the core of my soul.

I strive to remember that what is a burden on one day will be a gift on another. So, with the grace of my strong Faith, I hold on tight when the ride of recovery gets a little bumpy, knowing that the new life I am creating will become all it is needed to "BE."

I choose to remember with love and not grief. By accepting Michael's precious freedom, I have become whole. Grief has given my life a different meaning, new depths and new horizons. Grief is not bad. Grief is not good. Grief-just-IS!!


~Aug 11, 1944 ~ June 20, 2005~

Viet Nam Veteran

Stationed in Vung Tau, ‘66 & ‘67

Served with the 41st Signal Battalion

Company D

To my precious, beloved Michael,

Today, June 20, 2005, is our one year anniversary of your crossing over to the Spirit World. You have given me the greatest love I have ever known. Death did not tear us apart....for we are much closer now than even when we shared this earthly plane together.

The presence of your love fills my moments of missing you with the serenity of gentle acceptance. The Light from within you taught my soul the graceful lessons of Eternal Love. Thank you, my darling, for the priceless gift of this miracle.

Michael, I have absolutely no regrets nor guilt. If I changed one miniscule nanosecond of the 12,876 days we were blessed to share, it would cause a chain reaction of missed beauty.

I believe, with every fiber of my being, you will always be as close as my next breath. Time and space cannot not separate us. With the deepest abiding love, I accept our new relationship. I vow to live my life in a Good Way to honor our precious love and your beloved memory. This is not “goodbye” Michael, but simply “hello” to each of our new lives. As a truth to hold close, we will love each other beyond eternity.

Dearest, Darling Michael, go with God. I release you into the arms of our eternal Father. Be happy, baby, and keep my love with you!






On June 20, 2006, I have a reservation at our favorite restaurant. I shall have our favorite selection and will celebrate two very important things...........a one-in-a-million love shared between Michael and I.........and, moving on with my life. It shall be a delicious, momentous, healing event that I shall enjoy to the nth degree!!! In lighting a beautiful candle, I salute Michael, the love of my life.

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Your post was beautiful, welcome to this site, we need your uplifting spirit, your words brought me new hope that I can find happiness again.

I too had a wonderful married life for 46 years and my self pity of asking myself how can I go on without him after all those years together has prolonged my grief now at 20 months without him.

I will read your post again and again to give me strength.

Thank You


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I agree, my grief is still raw at 10 weeks, but this gives me hope that I too will find happyness again, Karen will always be a part of me, I know she wants me to be happy. Your name being Karen also I thin is more than just coinsedence, it is almost like it is a message from my wife saying "move on be happy, because I am in a better place and will be here waiting when the job God has for you in this life is over."

Thank you Turquoise, for your wonderful post.

God Bless


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Good morning, Grace and Derek,

I humbly thank you for your kind words. It does my old heart good to know that my healing, in some small way, touched your lives.

I use a quote from the French poet, Anais Nin, to further express my grief process.

"The day came when the risk to remain tight inside a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

I fervently wish good grief and good healing for you. ~Karen~

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Turquoise,

Your post was beautiful, I just celebrated my dad's first anniversary and what I did was to go to the nearest park and I read a peom and released a balloon for my dad... I did the same for my mom in April of 2006.. Dad's first anniversary was August of 2006.. I hope this helps and I will keep you in my prayers... Take care and God Bless You Shelley

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