Thursday, December 27, 2007

P.S. I Love You, Spamalot and Happy Holidays

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog! I’m delighted that you’re interested in continuing this journey with me.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with who I am, please visit my young widows and widowers website (link on the left) and read my story, then come on back and continue reading the blog. I'll be waiting!

The holidays were nice. The kids and I enjoyed the Sunday before Christmas with my brothers, sister-in-law, mom, nieces and nephew. On Christmas Day, it was just the kids and my mom and me. Every year, I always make sure I keep Jeff’s name and memory alive and I do that several ways. First, to celebrate her 15th birthday and at her request, my daughter Nicole and I went to see Spamalot on Broadway (funny show!). The interesting this is that Jeff loved Monty Python and tried for years to get me to watch it. He must be laughing at me now knowing how much I liked the musical. On the way to the show, we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and lit a candle for Jeff (and others in our life who have passed).

We also made a few donations in his memory. On Christmas Day, I gave Nicole a charm bracelet with two charms to start – one was her initial and the other was a cowboy boot. Jeff wore cowboy boots almost all the time and we still have his cowboy boots, even though we’ve given away his other clothes years ago. To Samantha, our baby who is now 10 years old, I gave her an angel necklace. This was a little way that Samantha can know that Daddy is always with her. My son has Jeff’s artwork hanging in his bedroom, so he can look at that all the time and remember. We also went to the cemetery, hung a wreath and brought a (fake) poinsettia plant (the real flowers keep being eaten by the local animals).

The kids are getting big. This year they used their allowances to chip in and get me an Ipod! Okay, maybe they had selfish reasons for doing so. The rule when I opened it was, "Mom stop borrowing ours for the gym now, okay?!" Haha! I get it.

I also went to see P.S. I Love You, and if you’ve seen the trailer you’re probably wondering ‘why would I want to see that?’ After all, Hilary Swank plays Holly Kennedy who is devastated when her husband Gerry (played by the very cute Gerard Butler) falls unexpectedly ill and dies. Holly was a planner – she didn’t like to jump 10 steps ahead without a plan on how to get there. But when Gerry dies, he leaves her letters that he wrote before he died and they come to her through very unique ways. They force her to step out of her comfort zone, but one of the key aspects of the movie is the question: “As romantic as this is, is it keeping Holly in the past?”

I don’t think it matters if you’re a widow or widower or not, this movie is sweet and sad and will make you cry. For those newer in their grief, it may affect you more. The movie gives hope and shows a side of widows that people need to see. While some of her friends and family say it’s time to move on (a week after Gerry has died, Hello!!!???), we see how Holly stays in her apartment, doesn’t eat, then eats the wrong foods, doesn’t clean up or take care of herself. Although I showered early on, I was victim of the grief diet and lost 15 pounds in the first month (sorry, I put them back on) and I ate the wrong foods. Cleaning up my house wasn’t that important to me, although it wasn’t the pigsty shown in the movie either.

My point is this – I loved the movie. I laughed, I cried, I looked at the messages that Gerry left as hints about how I can improve my own life. I also now have a big crush on Jeffrey Dean Morgan (see him!) who played William in the film – but that should be the subject of another blog. LOL.

So, how did you handle this holiday season? What did you do to honor your loved one? And, if you saw the movie, let me know what you thought.

For this blog, I will be answering letters and doing interviews and giving prizes away that will put a little fun back in your life and give you support along the way. I’m excited about this. Let me know what you think!

Until next time, remember you may be young,
but you’re not alone.



Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas. I have been reading your emails for quite some time now.
I never bought into the time heals all wounds thing but it really does.
This past Thanksgiving was 5 yrs for us. The first year was spent in a dark room with a bottle of Early Times(thats what Stacey drank) second year i came out of the dark room but still had the bottle... this year was number 5 and we had my 9 yr olds birthday on 11/18 which was the day Sta past on. so time does heal all wounds. I still cry daily and talk to her and look at her ring every morning before leaving the house but you still have his boots so I guess we all have our things. too bad they arent around to share them. Just cuz they died doesnt mean we have to too, Thank you for helping me get through the rough times

Audrey said...

I lost my husband last January 22. I have not yet seen the movie but I really want too, so I am glad you recomended it.
For Christmas this year I wanted to do something special. Therefore I decided to name a star in my husband's honor. Stars were always very important to my husband and I. When we first met in college we would spend hours talking under stars. Then when he joined the Army National Guard and had to spend time away from me he would tell me to look at the stars because those are the same ones he will be looking at. So I thought that was a very fitting thing to do.
I also but a solar powered candle at the cemetary just for something extra special up there.
It makes me feel a little better when I do things like this because it keeps my memory of him alive.

Sue said...

We lost my husband, 2 years ago Christmas morning, so Christmas has an extra "sting" to it. Last year we took a cruise and "ran away". This was really the first year at home per se. It was harder the few days leading up to it than the actual day(Christmas). My one daughter has built a wonderful website in tribute to her Dad. We did see the movie, cried all the way throught it and all the way home, but it was a good way to "let it out" once again. Time is truly a way to put things in perspective and move on, although at times, it seems like we take baby steps.Each and every one of us has to grieve in our own timeframe and take care of our own family's needs as best we can.

Cindy said...

Lisa~I have been on the site since Feb. 2003. I do not post as often as I would like, but I still read the emails.

I have not yet seen the movie, but really want to go.

This was my 4th Christmas without my husband (we were married 5yrs ago on 9/21/02). He passed away exactly 2wks after Chritmas Eve in 2003. Each year does get easier, however I had a little more difficult time this year. The Sun. before Christmas Eve, I found myself home alone, deciding to watch the memorial video. Of course, I cried! Usually, I can watch that & laugh as I remember some of the pictures and all of our special times. I don't know if it is the 5yr mark I am approaching that brought all of this on, feeling selfish because I haven't experienced parenting & a friend had a baby last Fri. & another due in July. I am just down & feeling robbed for both Chris & myself.

I don't remember the past 2 Christmas season's being this difficult. I do know it wasn't as bad as the first few, but it still hurts so much. I did go to the cemetery on Christmas Eve (just as I do every year) and left my artifical poinsettia, as well as leaving one at the accident site. Each year for Christmas, my sister makes a family calendar with her 3 & my brother's 2 kids pictures and types in names of birthdays & anniversary's. This was the first time my husband's birthday wasn't included as well as our anniversary. I was really hurt. Although I didn't say anything to her, I managed to have a terrible migraine set in & had to leave my parents early. I seem to be getting these more lately & I think it is caused from stress, especially during this time of year. It just struck a nerve & has been bothering me. Today I heard the song by Leanne Rimes (I believe the name of it is "Shouldn't have to be this way") that made me shed a tear. A co-worker says she always thinks of me when she hears it.

I guess my biggest thing is I don't want to be alone forever! My life was mapped out the day I was married (just as everyone's is) and 3 short months later, it was turned upside down in a matter of minutes. I have been back in the dating world and am so tired of that scene. You would think it would be much easier in your 30's instead of your 20's, but it isn't. I know Chris would want me to move on and find a new kind of love with someone, just as I would want that of him if the situation were reversed. I know I can't focus on a "man". I just feel I am to that point in my life where I want a companion to do things with, ask how his day was, etc. I know I am fine alone, as I have proved it to myself the last 5yrs. I'm just tired of it and want to be a mother someday. I will never forget my husband and will always honor him & keep his memory alive. Sometimes, I just a want a "little" break. I'm sorry if I am sounding so selfish.

kim-d said...

I am also coming to your blog from the e-mail newsletters. I'm so glad you've started this blog, as there is nowhere else--that I know of, anyway--where I can really talk about the way I'm still feeling after almost seven years. Even on my own blog; I feel funny going on too much. But, here, most if not all visitors/readers will be in the same boat, and may understand.

I guess I'm not really all that young anymore, either. I was 44 when my Bill died, but I'm now 51 so maybe I don't even still qualify as a "young" widow--but I still think I'm too young for this. And I still love him so much. People tell me I should move on, and people tell me that it is such a sad life that I have, not having anybody to love or who loves me (in a romantic/lover way). I don't like being alone, but I still love my husband. What do I do?

At Christmas, we honor Bill by doing Christmas the same way we always have--and we share fun and funny stories of him. His ashes are buried in a National Cemetary as he was a Vietnam Veteran, so we have a wreath, and I make donations in his memory to several organizations that are linked to cancer.

I DO sometimes still feel so alone, as I don't know anyone else in my situation, so I really appreciate this!

So far, all I've talked about is the bad part. The good part is this--I can now think of him and talk about him and all of the fun things we used to do and laugh and smile at all of the fun memories. It no longer makes me sad...usually. I have "moved on" in some ways--it's not like I'm sitting at home doing nothing; in fact, nobody even knows how much I still miss him. So it's not like NO progress has been made. However, I will be going to see "P.S. I Love You" by myself rather than with somebody who would be uncomfortable with my tears...cause I know there will be some. But I HAVE to see it...

Thank you for this, Lisa...and thank you for those who already commented, so I didn't feel funny writing my stuff.

anneray said...

I read the book of PS: I Love You a few months after Raymond passed away. It was hard to read at first as feelings were still raw. Yet i managed to finish the book and am delighted i did and even more so now that it's been made into a movie. So far there isn't any contemporary movie dealing with young widow/widower's grief that i know of (i could be wrong here). So knowing there's this movie made has given me hope that those who have not gone through grieving as young widows/widowers could understand us better after watching the movie.Sometimes some things about grief just could not be describe to another person who has never been through it. I can't wait to see the movie. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie! It was great! The soundtract is awesome too and I am now reading the book.

I think the insight into the behavior, the grief, and other feelings is remarkable! My in-laws wanted me to give them my husband's cremains to bury where they eventually plan to be burried. I refused. I hope they see this movie!

Lisa Iannucci said...

Thank you all for sharing your stories on this site. I hope everyone will do this more. It's a great place to find out that you're not alone and that others feel the same way you do.


cjedwards5 said...

Lisa~I was finally able to go see the movie P.S. I Love You last weekend. It is something that I think not only friends/families of young widows/widowers should see, but anyone! Even though there were differences, this was my life when Chris died. I could see myself in that movie and what I was doing right after, up to a year after his death. Some close friends have told me that they thought of me right away when they saw or heard the previews. Chris was 29 when he died & I wasn't quite 28. I know I will be purchasing that DVD when it comes out.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if I could get some advice from friend passed away this Oct and left a husband and 4 children. I had been closer to her in the past then I was the last couple of years and I had been freinds with them as a couple and as a family.

I all of a sudden realized one day how attracted I am to her husband and how I just want to care for him and the children. I have never been married and have no children of my own. I find myself feeling guilty for feeling this way, yet wanting so much for him to know how I feel, but knowing he needs his time to grieve and heal. Yet, I know that men seem to find another partner faster and I don't want him to be looking elsewhere, without knowing how I feel. I love the children and I know I will never take her place and I don't want too, I never could. She was amazing. I just have this overwhelming need inside of me to care for them, all of them and too loe them.

What do I do? Where do I start? Is this wrong?

stargirl said...

I saw P.s. i love you and after seeing it,
had to read the book., enclosed are quotes ....

SUCH an amazing book, and even better movie...

"you made my life, but im just a chapter in yours."

"The thing is, if we are all alone, then we are all together in that too."

"She just seemed to be passing time while she waited for something else. She was tired of just existing, she wanted to live."

"..and just because he is dead doesnt mean i have to stop living too."

"p.s. i love you holly, and i know you love me. You dont need my belongings to remember me by, you dont need to keep them as proof that i existed or still exist in your mind."

"some people go through life searching and never find their soul mates. They never do. You and i did, we just happened to have them for a shorter period of time, its sad, but it is life."

"God leads you to it, and takes you through it."

"when she was alive she had lived through him, and now he was dead and she was still living through him."

"She had been given a wonderful gift life. Sometimes in was cruelly taken away too soon, but it was what you did with it that counted, not how long it lasted."

"in the meantime, she would just live."