Wednesday, February 23, 2022


This is the third post in my 'grief diaries' series where I share my experiences in coping with my husband's death.

Previous 'grief diaries':
- Grief Diaries 1
- Grief Diaries 2

The stages of grief are weird.  I always thought there were 5 stages of grief but I linked the post above with 7 stages.  Now that I'm in the thick of grief, there are probably a million stages.

I wish grief was a problem that could be solved.  Like I could do the work & just be done cycling through the stages.

For me, working through grief is like spinning a wheel & landing on whatever emotions I'll feel that day.  Just the other day, I was screaming in my car on the way home from somewhere.  The emotion came out of the blue but when it hit, it hit hard.

Even though I can't control which emotions decide to come to light, I'm trying my best to face it & move on from each event so it stings a little less the next time it comes up.

Monday, February 21, 2022


custom coordinates bracelet from Customcuff | On The Creek Blog //

My custom bracelets from Customcuff!

Tik Tok made me buy it!

After seeing a few ads for Customcuff, on Tik Tok I finally went over to the website & started browsing.  They have so many cute things!  Every order is custom made to your exact specifications.  You can put your special coordinates, words, morse code, or even handwriting on cuffs, bracelets & necklaces!

I ended up ordering a Custom Cuff Gift Set for myself & a friend.  My friend & I went to the same elementary school.  We had so many great memories there & sadly, it closed down.  To honor our childhood, I had the school coordinates printed on the cuffs.  Our elementary school was really special to us & I love that I have a visual reminder of all the good times I had there.

There are a few different color styles to choose from.  For our cuffs, I chose gold.  Honestly, I think they will look fantastic in any color.

Friday, February 18, 2022


2022 Garden Plans | On The Creek Blog //

My garden plans for 2022!

(Note:  This post contains affiliate links)

Gardening is one of my absolute favorite things to do but this year will be bittersweet.  James helped with the garden so much.  I know I will be constantly thinking about him this year while I'm doing all the garden things.

For past 2 years, we did large gardens.  The 2020 garden did so well.  It was our best garden ever.  We tried again last year but it was a disaster.  We were just beginning our cancer journey in June right after we put the garden in.  Things were neglected & then, after a series of floods, the garden was pretty much over with.

I have a different plan for the 2022 garden.  Because I have the greenhouse now, I want to move the garden closer to that.  I'm also going back to raised garden beds.  I don't think I'll have the time & energy to do a big garden this year.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


This is the second post in my 'grief diaries' series where I share my experience in coping with my husband's death.

Leaving the hospital after James's death will probably be the most surreal experience of my life.  

James died at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, which is an absolutely huge hospital.  It is quite a walk to get to inpatient rooms.  On the lower level of the hospital are areas where testing is done & also the cafeteria.  There are many different little places to walk through on the way out & people are everywhere, going to & from different areas.

James was actually admitted to the hospital on the Sunday morning before he died.  By the time he was admitted, it was around 3am.  My dad was with me when we decided to go home & sleep for a few hours.  Because it was so early in the morning, there was no one at all on the way out.  It was eerie & peaceful at the same time.

Monday, February 14, 2022

My first Valentine's Day as a widow | On The Creek Blog //

The first Valentine's Day without my husband.

This is my first Valentine's Day without James.

I wasn't even going to post today because there is already so much grief over here & today adds on even more grief.  I thought I would be okay but my son brought home a special Valentine's Day card for me on Friday.

On the outside it looks happy, but the message inside is a clear reminder of our loss:

You are a great mom.  I still wish James was here but we can still have a good Valentine's Day.

I wish James was here too.  As a family we pull it together on most days but the sadness is always just under the surface.  We're two months into this thing & still have a lot of healing to do.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022


The Grief Diaries | On The Creek Blog //
This is the first post in my 'grief diaries' series where I share my experience in coping with my husband's death.

Other 'Grief Diaries' posts
Grief Diaries 2
- Grief Diaries 3
Grief Diaries 4

This grief journey has been nothing but weird.

I was talking about my grief with a friend & he said something that has really been helping me.  It was basically that you can't let grief consume you.  You have to unpack it in small doses & then put it away.  You can't stay in the darkness forever.

I try to live like this.  There are times where I slip up & find myself screaming & crying on the floor, absolutely consumed in my grief.  There are times where I feel so bad for being happy.  Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to be happy knowing that my husband didn't get the chance to live more of his life.

Then I take a step back & realize getting older is guaranteed to no one & we'll never know when it will be our time to leave.  I can still mourn what could have been but nothing will ever change what happened.

On the Creek blog is proud to be a part of the T&J Maintenance family - turning houses into homes.