And so it begins….

Welcome to She-Kept-Going.

As I work to make the stirrings of my heart come to fruition, the timing is not necessarily the best. In a nutshell, I am a fifty year old woman who has been widowed twice in ten years, and December 6, 2017 will be the one year anniversary of my second husbands passing from ALS.

Taking on the task of shaping the concept of a blog into a reality, in that same week, is probably going to be something I look back on and think, “WHAT was I thinking?”. But the truth is, the need to do this – NOW – is something I can’t fully explain and it is somehow tied to this first anniversary. It’s as if this whole concept went from, it will happen, to it must happen and it must happen before Dec. 6th.

Why? I don’t know yet. Perhaps it’s a way to not focus on this date – which has loomed before me since Dec. 7, 2016.

Perhaps it’s a way to be distracted from the Christmas Tree that stands in my den half decorated, and the mantle that doesn’t have one Christmas trimming sitting upon or attached to it. Because to decorate the mantle means I have to open up the box that has Don’s stocking inside – and I don’t want to face that task just yet.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to celebrate or decorate, I simply find that when I go to do it, the desire slips away and I find myself holding an ornament and looking at it as if I have no earthly idea what it is or where it goes. I feel spacey and disconnected from reality.

I know if I look at that ornament, really look at it, I’m going to have to look at a picture of us from our Wedding Day and read the words, “Our First Christmas 2010” and all the feelings of love, and hope for a future, and what we were supposed to experience, mingle together with the reality of a disease that took him from our lives way sooner than we expected – and with his death – also came the death of the future I thought we would have together.

Therefore putting that ornament on the tree isn’t as simple as it seems or as joyous as it used to be.

Maybe you’re thinking – put that one down and get another one – and I get that thought. It’s logical – but grief isn’t logical – and our ornaments are a series of life events and a reflection of special moments from the past. Just about any ornament I pick up has a beautiful memory from the past attached to it, and instead of smiling and reliving those moments, they becomes sand paper to my heart.

The Dalmatian ornament or the picture of the kids encircled by spray painted puzzle pieces, reminds me of their childhood, which is sweet, but it also reminds me that their father is also gone and that they will never get another Christmas morning with him.

It reminds me that as my son welcomes a daughter into his life in February and when my daughter gets married in May – Dad won’t be there.

So, decorating for Christmas, which was once a highly anticipated event, rivaled only by my birthday, now seems like more of an emotional boot camp for my heart, and perhaps, just maybe, that’s the reason beginning this blog has become a need instead of a desire.

It’s become a way of escaping the reality of what lies before me. It’s allowing me to immerse myself in something that’s bigger than me – something that has a purpose – and something that hopefully helps someone else. Someone who is facing a similar heartache at a time of year they really want to be experiencing genuine joy. Joy that’s not laced with emotional land mines every time they look at their Christmas Tree, or hear a special song, or look at the calendar.

So….that’s a window into my world and hopefully answers the question to – what’s this blog about? It’s about me, sharing my story and my thoughts and my feelings with a world of other people who just may be able to relate, and in so doing, begin to feel less alone. Especially when they are standing in front a glowing Christmas tree adorned with ornaments they love and a mantle with stockings that dangle down, waiting to be filled. They will know that there is someone else, someone they may never meet in person, who understands the emptiness and pain they are feeling, and who also wants to sing carols and decorate their house without it stabbing them in the heart. And while we may not be able to comfort one another in person, perhaps just knowing that there are other hearts aching as badly as theirs, will bring some sort of comfort to them today – and in the days to come.

To close by saying, Have a Peaceful Christmas, would be hurtful and unrealistic. So I will simply wish you days where you allow yourself to feel all your feelings and to decide what you can and can’t do. And to remind you that your sorrow and your moments of joy and laughter can all exist together. It’s not one or the other, it’s one and the other.

I know this is horrible. I know it wasn’t supposed to be this way and I know you are broken apart. I know because I get it, and unfortunately so do other’s suffering as we are.

Please find others you can talk to. Who can listen without judgement and who can simply hold space for you and your pain.

With love and understanding and from my broken and re-assembled heart to yours,


If you are a widow in the greater St Louis area, you can search GOOD GRIEF!!!! A Widow’s Journey to Healing on FB, and find a local group of those who do get it that you can connect with.

19 thoughts on “And so it begins….

  1. Can’t wait fir you to get started. The first step towards writing a book. I love yoy so much and you will help a lot of people. 🌹🎈❤️


  2. Great Berkley, can’t wait to read more. You are so awesome the way you put your thoughts in writing. I really hope it helps you heal!!


  3. Can’t wait for you to get started. The first step towards writing a book. I love you so much and you will help a lot of people. 🌹🎈❤️


  4. I’ve found beginnings to be an important part of living with endings. May this lovely new beginning make your path lighter and more hopeful. ❤


  5. Berkley, what little time we spent together with you and Don, it became clear of the love you had for one another….you very bluntly told us your story and of him and his past like no ones Business…you are a tell ii like it is kind of girl and I love that about you……but you are also very pretty and tough, why your tough as hell….and I know that you will remain strong even on the days of breakdowns…..just get up like you always do and show others your strength… you children what it takes to be strong….love you and you can call me anytime for anything….I have always thought highly of the Akers family and name they are very good Christians and people….love to you and call me anytime sister….


  6. So proud of you and excited to see how sharing your journey will comfort so many!! Good job beautiful! Greg and Don are certainly so proud as well! XOXO


  7. Congratulations on your blog; love the name! Beautiful, skilled writing! We have never met, Berkley, saw Carla’s post on LinkedIn. I even opened an account to leave this comment, that’s how moved I was by your post! Peace to you and whatever else you may be needing in the moment. Dianne


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