Saturday, August 20, 2016


Maine, (M.A Reilly, 2011)

All morning I have been waiting for that unsettled-sick stomach feeling to arrive.  Imagine if you somehow swallowed a large pit, like the size of an ostrich egg that filled your stomach to stretching. Now add the acid normally used to digest food and that would just about capture the feeling. It's a feeling of terror, of strident fear, but here's the catch today there is no need for fear. A year ago that was not the case. Fear swamped me and for good reason. Rob had been diagnosed with cancer. 

Today, though, that diagnosis is no longer real and I can be happy. Yes, Rob has died. And that sorrow stays with me, but the fear need not remain, nor do I have to wait for it. 

I have dreaded today and I realize it is always up to me to determine what I make of it. My husband would want me and his son to be happy. I want us each to be happy. In a few hours we'll be at the beach. Yes, we will miss Rob, but that too does not need to be tinged only with sorrow. 

A friend tells the story after her partner died a friend shook her and said, "You didn't die." Those are words to remember, to live by. 

Live brilliantly, Rob told me. 
The first word is live. 


  1. what a beautiful growth step. From all that I have read in following your writings Mary Ann this next process seems like something Rob would have encouraged. I am intrigued to continue to follow your writings as you continue with him in your heart.

    1. Thanks Jolie. I am learning a lot from my son. I see now that there is no sense in adding grief. Live well as we can.

  2. Today, I was at the beach also. For most of the day, the sun was shining brightly. Vivid colors danced on the waves, reflections of the sun. Children played in the waves, boats sailed on and families relaxed in the sand. But suddenly, clouds covered the sun, blocking its brilliant rays. While the brightness of the afternoon sun faded away, it looked as if this is how the day would end -dim and dark; a storm on the way. I could not see the sun and no longer felt its warm rays upon my shoulders. Time to go, I thought. The wind picked up and more clouds covered the sky, turning a once brilliant summer day into a sky of despair.

    I began to gather my things, disappointed in the way the day had turned out. As I made my way to my car, a tiny sliver of sun began to shine through the clouds. It was then that I remembered that the sun is always there, even if we can’t see it or feel it when we want. Brilliant rays may be blocked by the clouds sometimes, but they are always there.
    Brilliantly is the second word.

    When the time is right, the clouds will part, and you will find your way, the way to live brilliantly.

    - Heidi

    1. Wow Heidi, such a cathartic experience. Today I'm just pleased to live. I think you're right. The brilliantly will arrive as it arrives. Thanks.


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