Category Archives: Death of a Spouse

The Mary Mac Show | Preparing for Valentine’s Day

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 62, we look at our feelings as Valentine’s Day approaches and how to help ourselves through this special, yet melancholy, day.

Before we experienced our special loved one’s death, Valentine’s Day may have been quite joyous or not even on our radar.

If our spouse, fiance, boyfriend or girlfriend made it a special day for us, we will remember it with a longing for that again and are sad that we won’t be enjoying that again this year and, perhaps, in the future with them.

But there is no reason why we can’t not only remember the wonderful experiences we had with them, but plan something special for yourself with other friends so we aren’t so alone on this day.

Decide what would bring you happiness and call friends to meet for coffee, a drink or a meal. Toast to them, share memories and even through the tears, remember all the love they gave you.

You have a lot of love to give. Start to think about whom you’d like to share that with.

Perhaps you’ll rescue a beautiful cat or dog to be your forever fur baby.

Maybe you’ll spend time with a neighbor who is just as alone as you are.

Whatever possibilities come to you, giving love is the most precious gift you can give anyone.

Additional Notes:

Treat yourself to our beautiful Heart of Gold “I Remember” mug. Something so special for your collection.

Heart of Gold "I Remember" Mug for those grieving the death of a loved one.

Remember, a portion of all proceeds help fund The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., the first national non-profit public charity which benefits children, teens, young adults after a loved one’s death which I established many years ago.

Crisis Hotlines with outstanding counselors who are standing by to listen to your pain and help you. Excellent way to release your pain today.

Arianna Opper, D.O. offers tapping videos and soothing meditations to help you. If you’d like to explore them, please go here.

And remember to sign up for my private list below, so we can always stay in touch. Since social media is no longer reliable, please complete the form below so I can connect with you via email.

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Much Love,

Mary Mac xoxo

The Mary Mac Show | Difficult Discussions

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In this week’s episode, we speak about the Difficult Discussions that families need to have, but fail to have, surrounding end-of-life care, death and burial.

I realize this is not something that many families consciously do long before it is needed, but it is a topic that we are all more aware of this year, with the pandemic, than ever before.

Since there is a good chance that this is the first time since spring that you will be with your family to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and other year-end holidays this year, I am encouraging you to please use that time specifically as an opportunity to discuss these topics and start to think about what your older relatives may want for themselves when they die or become ill.

It might be your grandparents, parents, even you and your spouse.

Listen in to Episode 52 as we discuss how important it is to gather as a family this season to talk about end-of-life preferences and the best ways to carry them out.

Bless you.

xoxo

An Uncommon Valentine’s Day

avatar-heartEveryday life after losing your spouse or sweetheart can be quite difficult. But handling holidays such as Valentine’s Day can be unnerving.

We start to see the advertisements on television for roses, jewelry and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate weeks before this day. Restaurants feature special dinners for two on that evening. And when you were paired with someone you love, chances are good these ads didn’t affect you.

But they do now.

The anticipation of a significant holiday or date such as the anniversary of your loved one’s death or their birthday can bring many emotions that we might not have expected. But please know that they are natural and normal.

Most of us feel such intensity around holidays because we are sad that we can no longer enjoy the closeness, experiences and love we once shared with our honey.

Some of us also are angry that they died before us. Others of us struggle with the unfairness to the point of cloistering ourselves in an effort to never be hurt again.

But there comes a time when we consciously accept that we are still alive and if we were supposed to go first, then we would have. And since this is the way things have turned out, why not live life to the fullest.

When that turn in thinking eventually arrives, it can gloriously begin a guilt-free new life whereby you take a long deep breath and with a loving kiss planted on their picture, you decide to consider new adventures.

It doesn’t mean you don’t miss them. It doesn’t mean you will not honor their memory for your children’s sake. It only means that you are now beginning a new and perhaps a somewhat scary life where the unknown awaits.

And that is a good thing.

So on Valentine’s Day, find the right thing that will make you happy. Is it the chocolate-covered pretzels, cherries or strawberries? Shall you get that massage you have been promising yourself because you miss your husband’s touch?

Will you finally accept your buddies’ invitation for a round of golf and lunch instead of sitting in front of the television alone?

Will you decide to give a little time to someone who is hurting like you and share a candlelit dinner together with a funny movie?

Or is it, perhaps, time to give that little soul at the animal rescue shelter a new life with you?

Even if you find yourself melancholy at times, no need to be embarrassed. Those who love you know this transition has not been easy for you.

So accept that kind pat on the back or hug, accept all the well wishes of those who love and care for you and remember that your sweetheart would want you to enjoy your life. Their love for you will never die.

Holiday Grief: My Story by Michelle Enis Vasquez, San Antonio, TX

Brian and MichelleI have been widowed twice.

I put up my Christmas tree two weeks ago. On Thanksgiving, my beloved Brian will have been gone eight weeks. He died October 3, 2013.

I decided that the Christmas tree would be a memorial to him, and I got a whole bunch of purple ornaments (our favorite color) and some British ornaments, and other ornaments that reminded me of our time together.

My beloved husband, Al, died in 2007. I have ornaments from years past to honor his memory, and I added a few more this year. I also found two angels that did not look like women (hard to find) and put them close together, symbolizing my two guardian angels, Al and Brian, who are looking after me.

I turn on those lights when I wake up and keep them on until I go to bed. I need a bit of cheer at this very difficult time.

Michelle Enis Vasquez lives in San Antonio, Texas. This picture was taken on a cruise to Alaska they enjoyed just a month before his death in October, 2013. Michelle also recently baked a cake to honor her two angels.

Why Murder Never Goes Away

I can’t help but think about all the families affected today by the media reports that the Libya’s dictator, Moammar Gadhafi is dead.

All the families around the world whose lives were irreparably damaged by the commands and actions of this man will once again be thrown into the past revisiting horrific memories of sorrow and loss.

The closest to me, as fellow memories of survivors of homicide groups at the time, were the families of the Syracuse University students who were simply returning a few days before Christmas on Pan Am 103 in December, 1988. These young people had enjoyed a wonderful semester abroad and were coming home for the holiday season through New York’s JFK airport. But they never made it.

It took decades for these 270 victims’ families to get the cooperation of our own government to press for those responsible for the downing of this aircraft and it all led back to Gadhafi. And little justice was ever achieved.

Only months ago, the man supposedly responsible was released from prison because he was terminally ill. After all, we must be compassionate, now shouldn’t we?

As the news of Gadhafi’s death starts to move onto the airwaves, it will only be a few hours until the famous picture of the nose of Pan Am 103 will be up in all forms of media, thus bringing back the sad memories for these families.

I remember specifically one mother whose son was killed on Pan Am 103 and also a student at Syracuse University in upstate New York, telling me how every time she saw that picture of the plane’s nose, it pierced her heart. It brought all the pain and memories back again. It just never seemed to go away.

Well it’s been nearly 23 years since she and the other families both in the United States and those killed on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland have memorialized their loved ones.

Today, all that pain, all those memories will rush back in.

But I’d like to believe that instead, these US families and families all around the world who were affected by the orders of this ruthless killer, will finally feel some sense of justice, relief and satisfaction today, with the death of this vicious man.