And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

October 7, 2011

Another Year

Filed under: goodbye — Mark @ 2:42 pm

As another year passes by Michele, just want let you know I miss you more and more …maybe because I’m aging!!!

As long as I live you will never be forgotten…. Miss our phone conversations, but I still talk to you all the time.

By the way, your homeplace just up the road, was damaged in a freak tornado we had here a few months ago (big pines fell into the roof and also blew out the windows), it has since been repaired, of course, it doesn’t look the same..nothing really does….everything changes with time!! WE WON’T GO THERE!

I will say, so long for now.

miss and love you,

Aunt Betty

October 10, 2006

Remembering You

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 4:57 pm


Remembering you today and still wishing we’d had more time to become better friends.

With Love,
Aunt Betty

July 25, 2006

Nine Years

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 10:49 pm

On July 26, 1997, Michele and I were married in a ceremony we wrote for ourselves. It was simple and direct, filled with words that had importance to both of us. While, at the time, we could hardly afford even the minimal ceremony and reception we had, it was important to us to share our vows in front of family and friends. Ceremony is significant because of its public, shared nature.

Together we traveled thousands of miles, lived in four states, weathered hurricanes, and survived financial disaster. We struggled with heath issues and found peace in a shared spiritual belief. She helped me to see the man I can be, and I believe I helped her to see she was worthy of love. That she is gone from my life forever still astounds me. I know it won’t be a fully year for another two and a half months, but I feel like I’ll be one tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my first anniversary alone. I’m like a newborn, only I’ve been born into a strange world that doesn’t always make sense and isn’t always gentle. Like children must learn to walk and talk for themselves, I must learn to prosper and grow in this new life, this new world where I find myself. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.

I miss you so very much Michele. You will always live in my heart and in my memories. I love you and always will.

Come live with me and be my love…

July 13, 2006

Nine Months

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:09 pm

It has been nine months since Michele died. At times now it seems like forever, at other times I can still see the images in my mind from the day she died. On the whole I think I am doing better. I’ve started a new martial art, begun watching what I eat a little more carefully, and joined a gym. All three of these activities are taking care of me right now. In a month or six I may be headed in a different direction, but for now I feel good about what I am doing for myself.

I’ve also started to thinking about life after Michele more. I’m of two minds about moving on from her, in fact I almost feel like two people at times. The man who was her husband, friend, lover, and companion for nearly ten years doesn’t want to move on or even think about the future. It is as if I were stuck in time, waiting for her to return, waiting for this all to be just a very bad dream. In my head I know this isn’t a dream, that I’m not going to wake up; but in my heart I still hope.

Another part of me is ready to start the next phase of my life. I no longer have good coping skills for being unattached. I function better when I have a partner, a companion, a confidant with which to share life’s triumphs and tragedies. I’ve started taking some very careful, measured steps in the direction of a new relationship. I know that Michele would want me to let myself have good in the rest of my life.

During the ten years of our love affair we shared our ideas and dreams for the future. Things as small as movies we wanted to see, to trips around the world, to the type of house we wanted, and where it would be located. Upon her death all of those things died too. My future became a blank, empty space with no landmarks or familiar reference points to guide me. Like a child lost in the dark I alternated between rush round and round in circles and standing still hoping for a light. By adding some new activities to my life I’ve set a direction, by thinking about new relationships I’ve raise the line of my sight to the stars off in the distance. I will go on from here, I will have new relationships and new adventures.

My love for Michele will never end. She will always be a radiant constellation in the night sky of my life. No matter where I go, or who I am ultimately with, she will always be there to guide me, and in the comfort of my heart, love me.

June 15, 2006

I Miss Michele

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:56 am

I miss Michele with an intensity that is sometimes frightening. She was my anchor in a stormy world, and a guide through troubled times. I want so badly at times to pick up my cell phone, press and hold her speed dial button, and hear her beautiful voice saying, “Hello Sweetie” in my ear. She would sense that I was having a hard time today and would draw me out so I could release my frustration, fear, or upset.

Now all I can do is talk to her memory and listen with my heart for the increasingly faint echos of her love. I used to tell her that before she came into my life that I lived in darkness and shadow; that she was the sunshine that allowed me to bloom and grow. My skies are cloudy once again, and darkness is falling.

I miss Michele.

June 10, 2006

On This Day

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 10:42 pm

Dear Michele,

On this day (the tenth) in October you took your own life, ending one part of your journey, and setting us apart on this physical plane of existence. I won’t deny that it has been hard for me to get through the minutes, hours, and days, for it has been very hard in some ways. I miss being able to talk to you. I miss the healing power of your touch on my body. I feel lonely and isolated much of the time.

Lately I’ve been struggling with how to move forward into the next stage of my life. I don’t believe that I am ready for a new relationship yet. Every time I start to imagine what it would be like I either feel like I am betraying you or I start to list all the things that made you special and think it’ll never work since no one else can be you. Still I do think about it and wonder. For so long I had a clear idea of what the rest of my life was going to be, at least the broad strokes. Now I have a blank canvas and a bunch of gloomy colors.

I can’t remember if I told you previously or not that I have an idea about what to do with your ashes. I’m going to spread them at some of your favorite places: Big Sur, Multnomah Falls, Garden of the Gods, and your special rock. It pleases me to think that a part of you will always be at the places you loved the most.

I miss you so much
I lov eyou always

May 8, 2006

Thirty Weeks

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 8:51 am

It has been thirty weeks since Michele died; two-hundred and ten days. At times it seems like she was never here and at times it seems like she was here just yesterday. There are still moments in my life when I expect to see her or hear her voice calling me. Sometimes in my dreams I imagine I hear her talking to me, only the message is lost when I wake up.

Spending my birthday this year without her was very difficult. Most of the day was spent driving home from Illinois, and combined with my overall exhaustion level, it made for a very difficult afternoon and evening. I cried quite a bit, and had a good, if tearful at times, conversation with L. She took the time to call me yesterday morning to sing me ‘Happy Birthday’ on my voice mail. It was very sweet and touched me deeply.

Even thought this posting starts off with a count of the days I’ve stopped keeping track. Now I have to look at a calendar and add up the weeks. On the one had I am glad that I am no longer obsessing about the number of days or weeks. On the other hand I do feel like I am letting her (or me) down by not keeping track. I realize that part of grief is letting go of how things were and accepting how this are. Not counting every single day is a part of the letting go process for me.

Michele will always be a part of me and my life. Even if she were alive today I would be setting aside some parts of me and discovering new parts. That some of what I am setting aside now are tightly involved with her isn’t good or bad, it’s just the truth. Life goes on and one, with or without us.

April 27, 2006

Special Days Are Hard

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:11 pm

Dear Michele,

I am discovering that while all days are hard, those that had special significance to us are especially tough. It’s not really surprising, but they are difficult just the same. Big holidays are bad, but my approaching birthday is even harder. You always made me feel so special and important on “my” day each year. Already I am missing the anticipation of whatever special thing you would have or do for me. I am determined, however, to do something for me in honor of my day. To let it quietly slip past would be too much like the introverted and isolated Mark you met all those years ago. I am afraid at times of reverting to that Mark, and so I take pains to not regress.

My thinking is to invite K & K to join me at Peachtree for dinner. I haven’t been since the last time we went (remember the live jazz?) and I want to go. Going without you is just to hard, but I like both Ks, and I know you did too. It seems fitting somehow. I am planning on going to the arboretum this weekend. I imagine the flowers will all be in bloom, and I think I’ll feel connected to you as a result.

I know you can’t give me a present this year, so I am giving myself one for you. I am resolving to live and have a life rather than to whither away and pine alone. I know you don’t want me to just mope and become reclusive, and I suspect you’d find a way to come back and kick my butt if I did. So your present to me this year is dinner out at Peachtreee, and an afternoon in the flowers and flowering trees of the arboretum.

I lov eyou Tinkerbell

April 11, 2006

Half A Year

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 6:45 am

Dear Sweetie,

This past Monday marked the twenty-sixth week since you died. Half a year. An eternity. It feels like forever since you went away and yet I can still think you are going to be there when I get home, or will call me just to tell me that you love me. The painful images of your death are still present in my memory, but I am more and more able to see other images of you. Knowing about state trait memory I work hard and recreating some contexts that we shared just so I can imagine the touch of your hand in mine, or the smell of your hair. Missing you is so very hard.

Over the weekend I went to Chicago for Jim’s wedding. You would have thoroughly liked the ceremony as well as the church. It was a place of true acceptance, understanding, and love. I could feel your approval as the event unfolded and it was hard not to breakdown and cry since I wanted so badly to share the experience with you. Afterwards I did say to Jim that you would have approved and he replied that he knew that. I know you and he only met a couple of times but you are both people one gets to know immediately.

Your love and guidance has helped me in the past few weeks as I prepare myself for my mother’s death. He treatments appear not to be slowing the spread of the cancer. No one knows how long she has remaining, so, with your wise words echoing in my ears, I have talked to mom and said what I needed to say. On this last visit we held each other and cried a bit together.

The next big milestone for me will be my birthday in May. I haven’t quite decided what to do or not do yet. The timing is such that I may be going to Decatur to see mom again, and I suppose letting her share one last birthday with her son would be a good thing. However I chose to spend that weekend it will be difficult as I won’t have you there making me feel special the way you always did.

I lov eyou Tinkerbell
I miss you everyday
I am sorry for all the things we didn’t have time for
I am proud of loving you completely and fully in the moments we had
I will always be in lov with eyou

March 26, 2006

So Very Lonely

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:43 pm

Dear Sweetie,

I am so very lonely. Not having you here with me is incredibly hard. Weekends crawl by and are excruciating to endure. As much as I hate to admit this I actually look forward to Monday morning and the return to work as it frees me from the prison of isolation I feel over the weekend. I try to plan this during the wee to do on the weekend to fill the time. However, I almost never have the energy to follow through, instead I sit and stare and wish things were different. I know that I am depressed and I really don’t care. Some days, like last Sunday, I am motivated and able to shop, cook meals, and generally get along like a normal person. Other days, like yesterday, I end up silently screaming inside my self with nothing to do and hours to go before I can seek the release of sleep.

Even writing this down is extremely hard. I just want to delete it because no one cares about the misery that I live every day. Seeing me and acknowledging what I am going through means that they would have to acknowledge their own misery and their own loss, and no one wants to be reminded of things which are depressing. I do write it down and save it, however, because maybe some day I won’t be here in this wasteland of despair, and these notes will remind me of what it was like to lose my best friend, lover, companion, soul mate, and partner.

Today I broke down and cried because I felt that you had died because of me. That it was my fault we had to move so many times, that it was my fault we had so much debt and trouble with money. If I had only done a better job of managing things we might never have had to leave Portland, we might never have had that awful year in South Carolina, or we might still have the beautiful home in Illinois. I am so sorry My Love that I screwed everything up time and again. For whatever part my actions played in your decision to die, I am sorry. I know that were you here now you would tell me that I am not that powerful. That you participated in everything that brought us to Kansas and to your death. You would forgive me for my faults, real and imagined. The problem is learning to forgive myself.

I miss you //\\
I lov eyou dearly
I adored you completely
I believed in you totally
I am still in lov with eyou

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