"Mommy, tell me about my Daddy please."

She looked at me with her big blue eyes, and she didn't falter.

It was the evening of her eleventh birthday, and the first time in eight years she had ever asked me to sit down and tell her about her Father. We talk about him often; he comes up in conversation, we talk about his likes and dislikes, his personality, and his life.

This time was different.

She was focused, serious, and so curious about a man she didn't get to spend enough time getting to know.

I sat down on the side of her bed, and I said;

"Oh baby, he was incredible. He was the kind, gentle, charismatic, funny, and larger than life. He loved you and your brother more than words can say."

Her eyes filled up with tears.

"That's what I figured,...

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Tomorrow I send my babies back to school....again.

It's an exciting night for homes across the country, as kids prepare for a new year and parents trust their chosen school and teachers to help guide their children for a few hours each day. Outfits are laid out by the bed; school supplies purchased, and anticipation looms for both kids and their parents.

For many, however, it's a night of mixed emotions as the duality of life beyond loss cuts deeply and the solo parents, tackle another year of doing it alone, without the person who was meant to help raise and shape their children.

For the family, the parents, the children, living beyond the death of a parent, the hardship, grief, and challenges don't end at the funeral or after the first ye...

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He was one of the most important parts of my life for more than fifteen years.

We traveled, we explored, we lived and loved.

He made me his wife, and I made him my husband.

We welcome two beautiful kids into the world, built a house and lived our dream.

He held my hand when I cried, and he kissed me softly every morning.

It wasn't just him, it was us, and it was supposed to be forever.

It wasn't.

In fact, he was gone too young and with so much to live for.

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Nearly three years ago I married my now husband Keith and added two amazing kids to my life. Keith, of course, added two kids to his life as well and we became a blended family of six. It's complicated, as any mixed situation can be, with widowhood and divorce, but we opted to make the most of it and combine our families. We are like a modern day Brady Bunch, and two weeks of every month we have six and two weeks we only have four. My kids, due to widowhood are always with us and we split custody with his kid's mom. Keith and I moved two miles from their mom and most days we do this blending thing pretty well, although we are far from perfect.

For the first two years, I pushed the "family" thing and figured the more we could show the kids...

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The past few days I spent in my old town, just a few doors down from the house we lived in when he died. This was also the house we brought our babies home to after their birth and the house he loved and adored. I sold that house about a year after his passing, it seemed too much, and I needed to live with less so I could live more.

My trip back to my old stomping ground included spending a few nights at one of my best friends homes, who happens to have the same floorplan of that old house. My kids and I walked into my girlfriend's house, gave them hugs and then we went and talked in the kitchen/living room. The fantastic kitchen was why we had picked that layout and his favorite part of the home. We laughed about a few things as we caug...

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Please just stop.

A few weeks after my late husband passed away was my first preview into the competitive world of, whats worse, death or divorce? and it made me infuriated. Here I was, a newly grieving widow, dealing with the end of life stuff, shock, two tiny children and tons of grief and someone said to me:

Now you know how I felt when so-in-so left.

I was tongue tied.

I will be very honest. That sentence pissed me off in ways I could not put into words. My one and three-year-old children WOULD NEVER SEE THEIR DAD AGAIN, EVER so how in the heck could she compare my husbands death to their divorce?

The rumblings continued from family and friends.

I heard stupid comments like:

At least he died loving you.


At least you dont have to s...

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Welcome to widowhood.

I’m giving you fair warning this journey will be perhaps the crappiest you ever endure.

This journey is difficult regardless of your kind of loss. It may have come as a shock; it may have been expected, regardless of your circumstances, it is beyond painful. No words do the pain any justice. You will be horrifically lonely in a large crowd of people who love you. You will change as a person – you will never be the same.

There are the obvious pitfalls of grieving; sadness, mood swings, deep despair, exhaustion, hopelessness and so much more. These are the things people talk about most often. These are the written about factors, the social norm and the expected.

I’m here today to fill you in on the less ...

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This post was written in 2014 by Keith, Michelle's fiance just a few weeks before their marriage.

In a few days, I will be marrying my beautiful fiancee, Michelle. She will become my wife, but I am not so sure I will be the only man she thinks about for the rest of her life. In fact, I am pretty sure she will also be thinking about another guy because she is a widow.

When we first started talking and before we met, I had no idea she was widowed.

I just thought that she was this beautiful, caring, brilliant, sexy person whom I had so much in common with and wanted to be with more and more. We talked about traveling, hiking, our kids, living healthy, being adventurous, and so much more that made me fall in love with her from our first ...

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Occasionally I write a blog that makes people mad. I guess this blog might anger some and stir up strange feelings in others. That's okay. I'm not always going to say what you want to hear but maybe, just perhaps, I am saying something you NEED to hear.

I share a lot on social media, and that vulnerability has been helpful for many, but sometimes it seems to cause resentment in others. I often hear how "lucky" I am to be able to do what I do, or travel as I have, or be remarried after the loss of my late husband. It comes from having a big social media following, and it's part of the process.

Just like many of you, I follow people on social media that I respect, appreciate, and learn from, and many of them have had similar "luck" like me....

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Welcome to one of the days of the year where many feel the duality of life's happiest and hardest moments in the deepest of ways. Mother's Day is celebrated as a day to value mom's around the world and honor all that they are, but for many men and women, it is a double edge sword of broken moments.

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