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


Handcrafted Valentine's card from my son, a beacon of love in grief. | on the creek blog //

Hey Besties, A Valentine's Day Unlike Any Other 🌹✨

Valentine's Day at "On the Creek" has always been a special blend of love, laughter, and those little moments that make life so sweet. But this year, the day has a different tone, a quiet echo in a home where laughter once filled every nook.

I had convinced myself I wouldn't share today, thinking, "Haven't we navigated enough grief?" But then, life, with its unexpected ways of weaving love into our days, brought me a surprise. With all the innocence and love a heart can hold, Braxton crafted a Valentine that was a beacon of light in our haze of sadness. "You are a great mom," he wrote, etching into words our shared wish for James to be with us, yet reminding me, "We can still have a good Valentine's Day."

Handcrafted Valentine's card from my son, a beacon of love in grief. | on the creek blog //

It's in these moments, isn't it, that we find the courage to face the day, to see beyond our loss, and cherish the love that remains?

Our journey through grief is still fresh, a path we're navigating with tender steps. Each day is a delicate dance of holding together and letting go, finding our way through the memories and moments James left imprinted on our hearts.

Valentine's Days past were sprinkled with the joy of impromptu staycations, those sweet, simple times that now feel like treasures from another life. James had this way of making ordinary days extraordinary, and oh, how I miss those surprises, those shared smiles that said, "We're in this beautiful life together."

Peering through the window of social media today, I saw snapshots of happiness, of couples celebrating their love, and I felt a whisper of envy amidst my smile for them. It's a reminder of the complexity of grief—how it intertwines with our joy for others while echoing the void in our hearts.

Handcrafted Valentine's card from my son, a beacon of love in grief. | on the creek blog //

Yet, in this space, "On the Creek," where we've shared so much of our journey, I find solace in knowing that while the shape of happiness may change, its essence remains. We're learning, day by day, to weave new patterns of joy and love into the fabric of our lives. The path forward is uncharted, marked by the certainty that while nothing will ever be quite the same, the potential for new beginnings, for moments of unexpected happiness, is always there, waiting just around the bend.

So, here's to the love that endures, to the strength we find in each other, and to the hope that whispers softly, promising that even amid change, our hearts can find a way to sing again. 🕊️💖

Until we meet again on these pages, keep holding onto love, besties. It's our bridge over the waters of grief, leading us toward tomorrow's sunshine.

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.

the grief diaries | on the creek blog //

I try to live like this.  There are times when I slip up & find myself screaming & crying on the floor, absolutely consumed in my grief.  There are times when 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.

I know this grief will be with me forever, no matter how much happiness enters my life.  I have the rest of my life to go over my grief, so it doesn't feel all that bad to take it in small parts.  There is so much to unpack in the 7-month whirlwind of James's cancer diagnosis & death.  I can't expect to be over it in a short time.

the grief diaries | on the creek blog //

It's so strange to be so happy & so sad at the same time.  I'm learning to take in the happiness instead of bringing up the fact that James isn't here to see it.  One of the things I've learned through this experience is that life is so short.  Everyone deserves nothing but happiness.  I won't care about the little things when it is my time to leave this earth.  I'm going to care about the ones I loved & the ones that loved me.

I have a long journey ahead, but I'm slowly letting some light enter my life.

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