Love in Full Bloom

Love in Full Bloom


I’m grateful for the fresh sod in my yard, and not the cemetery.

The thought of being at the beginning of this journey without him, leaves me with an anxious feeling of hopelessness.

Still, the pain at seeing the chairs being set up for a funeral, stirs a similar sensation. My heart crushes for the ones I do not know, knowing this is only the beginning of a long journey ahead.

I visit Bill usually once a week. I sit on my side of the headstone–ironically it was also my side of the bed. My name is not engraved in my spot as I feel that since I am still alive, I should not have a name in two places. Just me.

Lately I’ve been entering the middle of the bed. It is nice. Doesn’t quite feel as if I am missing someone.

I see a quote by me from a journal entry some time ago:

I want my heart to open again like a flower in full bloom.

Fully open. Fully alive.

I notice that in the few times Bill has made an appearance in my dreams, he was smiling.

I see his expression clearly as if imprinted in my mind. Oh, and his eyes. They seem to smile too.

So should you, Josie.

Often I reference myself in third person. I heard recently that this is a form of detachment. Maybe. I have lost touch with myself somewhere along the way.

I used to be funny. I have proof found in some video footage of a skit from eight years ago–people laughed, and the laughter wasn’t a soundtrack added for emphasis either.

I laughed as I watched her perform.

Yes, she  I am funny.

I dreamt of me also. She stood in a kitchen that was not my own, with a towel in hand. The cabinets in the background where white. She smiled the kind of smile when your whole insides feel happiness.

A year later I realize:  I have white cabinets in my new home.

I can enter this dream as a reality since I am already in this space.

A close friend mentioned (with extreme caution since I am edgy when we enter this terrain) that I may be struggling with loneliness. That perhaps I could be open to whatever God has for me in the area of relationship–maybe one day He may bring someone special into my life.

Usually at this point I shut down or shut one out with a variety of reasons:

I want to be whole without another person.

I still feel married.

I don’t care if he is not here, he is still with me in my heart.

I would rather not love again, knowing what I’ve loved and lost.

Until she says something profound, actually the second time I hear this illustration in a matter of days, yet in a different context, paraphrased:

“Remember when you were pregnant with your second child and you felt incapable of loving #2 as much as you loved the first one, like it would be an impossibility? Only to realize that new love doesn’t have to take away from the other, like another compartment opens in the heart.”

Yes, I do. It’s like my heart expanded with each child–similar to the Grinch, as his heart grew three sizes that day–an impossibility by human effort. It defies all logic.

I could never imagine dating anyone for that very reason–he was my one true love, how could I love another? We made vows.

I’ve loved:

When richer, or poorer.

Sickness, and in health.

Forsaking all others, even though death did us part.

He is always a part of me.

Maybe, one day we will entertain the thought.

No sooner does this thought occur, when I enter Home Depot. I will spare the details, but let’s just say I had a chance to follow through the thought process with an active participant.

My reaction was evident–not yet.

I smile a toothless, tight-lip grin as I back my shopping cart in the opposite direction, and sprint toward the checkout, leaving sawdust in the wake.




  1. smokeysgirl on March 26, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Someday. God may bring a special someone to you someday. He knows when and if you’re ready, so trust that. It is much like loving a second child. You will never stop loving Bill, but if God sends someone else, He will also give you the capacity to love another, while never ceasing to love Bill. It’s pretty amazing. I pray that He will work in your heart and make it evident when you’ve gotten there, and that you won’t have to look for that someone, for God will already have him in your path.

    • josiebarone on March 27, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I went to your blog and read some of your journey, so they mean even more.
      I would love to read more of your story. Are you posting somewhere else? Your words have impact–they impacted me 🙂

      • smokeysgirl on March 27, 2019 at 11:36 am

        Oh, thank you! I’ve not been good about keeping up with the blog. Most of my journey was chronicled on Kent’s caring bridge page. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. But you can go to:
        I haven’t shared the link in a while, so if it doesn’t work that way, go to and search for Kent Lewis.
        I love reading your posts. They encourage me, I relate so well to them, and they encourage me to write, which is my therapy. Thank you for sharing your heart!

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