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All entries tagged with “paul”

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    It was his loss, too - Jun 16th, 2017
    When we think about the grieving that happens after the death of a loved one, we often think about the suffering those left behind are left to face. And certainly, that is what’s talked about most. We talk about our pain; we talk about our changed paths; we talk about what we lost and we’ll miss out on. Because when we grieve, we’re not just grieving the loss of our loved one; we’re grieving the loss of the life we had; the life we planned. [more...]

    Toasting twelve years - May 22nd, 2017
    Yesterday was (would have been?) my 12th wedding anniversary. And much like last year, I spent the day distracting myself with my PhD before taking some time to reflect and remember my happy days as a happy wife. This year was a bit different, however, as I didn’t spend the day alone. Instead, I travelled to Falkirk in the afternoon after spending the morning in my office. [more...]

    A shattered heart, still beating - Apr 26th, 2017
    Today marks eight years since his heart stopped beating. And in that very same moment, my own heart shattered into a million pieces. Remarkably, my shattered heart still beats… though I don’t know how that is possible, as a part of me died at that same moment, too. [more...]

    With love from Zadar - Sep 24th, 2016
    I love Zadar! I really do. I arrived here last Sunday for an academic conference and I will be travelling home tomorrow. But in this one week, I fell in love with Zadar. [more...]

    Third passport firsts - Aug 27th, 2016
    I received my new American passport yesterday. But despite this being my third passport, it will also mark several passport firsts in my life. But then, each of my passports have marked important “firsts” in my life! [more...]

    Dream day - May 21st, 2016
    Eleven years ago, I entered a beautiful dream world: The dream of happily ever after with my amazing new husband. And whilst being a Mrs had never been a childhood dream, being Mrs Ryan was the answer to my dreams of being happy with my life’s course. And together, we build a wonderfully happy dream world. [more...]

    April flowers - Apr 26th, 2016
    Another year has passed since my beloved Paul died. And so, another year has been spent making the journey to lay flowers on his grave. I’d like to say that it gets easier with each passing year but it doesn’t. I’m just used to it now; I’m just (mostly) prepared for the waves of emotion that take over. [more...]

    Saving the best for last! - Sep 28th, 2015
    I ran my last Loch Ness Marathon yesterday. (Maybe.) And I accomplished a PB whilst doing it—which was totally unexpected. Even better, I am nowhere near as sore as I was the day after my first (and slowest) Loch Ness back in 2011. [more...]

    Coffee me happy - Jun 7th, 2015
    As part of my desire to create better, healthier routines for my physical and mental well-being, I decided I needed to get back into the habit of enjoying my morning routine. After all, I need something to entice me out of bed in the mornings. And since the only thing I’ve consistently done every morning for the majority of my adult life is to drink a cup of coffee, I decided that I would pin my morning routine on that. [more...]

    I laughed - May 21st, 2015
    Ten years ago today, I became Mrs Ryan. I stood there at the altar in front of God, family, and friends—with my beloved Paul beside me—and I laughed. Oh, how I laughed. [more...]

    Alarming nightmares - May 6th, 2015
    For the last six years, I have experienced a wide variety of what I call “widow dreams”. Some are more upsetting than others, but they are rarely (and in fact, almost never!) panicked nightmares. And, for the most part, the dreams don’t impact my overall sleep patterns. [more...]

    Between sleep and awake - Apr 25th, 2015
    I rolled over this morning in a sleepy haze to snuggle up to Paul, sure he would be there lying next to me. But he wasn’t there—I was merely fooled by that moment in between sleep and awake; that moment when your realities merge into a peaceful memory of what once was. [more...]

    The difference in grief - Apr 19th, 2015
    Eight years ago today, my dear friend Joe passed away. And next Sunday will mark the sixth anniversary of my beloved husband, Paul’s, death. And I am very aware of how different my emotions are for each death; for each set of memories. [more...]

    Breaking points - Apr 9th, 2015
    Life is hard these days and sometimes I wonder what my limits are. Sometimes I wonder how many more disappointments and frustrations I can manage before I reach my breaking point. And, to be completely honest, I’ve felt very close to finding out in recent weeks and months. [more...]

    A widow dating rant - Mar 28th, 2015
    I think one of the hardest things about dating as a widow(er) is the guilt that comes along with it. Worse is that some of the guilt comes from other people—and is sometimes laced with a bit of shame for good measure. And it means that the already emotionally charged act of dating is complicated by the confluence of so many negative and frightening emotions. [more...]

    Just a widow burden - Mar 1st, 2015
    From time-to-time, I get emails from people reading my blog. And today was one of those days. It seems that a relatively new widow, Lucy, found Just Frances last week and has spent several days scouring old posts about widowhood—as well as posts from my old widowhood blog. [more...]

    Remembering Murray - Dec 20th, 2014
    Today was the funeral service for my dear friend, Murray. It was a hard day, but I am so pleased I was able to go and pay my respects to a man I had nothing but respect for. [more...]

    Birthday reunions - Nov 27th, 2014
    Today is Paul’s birthday and I am a mess. No matter how many steps I take forward, there are some moments in time that send me sliding back to the raw grief I felt in those early weeks and months. Birthdays and anniversaries are a couple of the major culprits. [more...]

    Shooing shoes - Oct 8th, 2014
    Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finally bought myself a new pair of black heels—nearly five and a half years after my last pair was purchased. I admit that this is something that should have been done a long time ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until recently. [more...]

    Ancient blogs - Jul 31st, 2014
    In preparing for a talk I’m giving next month about online reputation management, I went back and reviewed some of my old accounts. And that’s when I re-found one of my early (though short-lived) blogs. [more...]

    Exhilarating sadness - Jul 3rd, 2014
    I was so excited when I saw the Saw Doctors were on tour in Scotland. Well, Anto and Leo, at least. I was even more excited when I found a couple of friends who wanted to go with me last night. [more...]

    Nine years on - May 21st, 2014
    Nine years ago today, I stood in front of God and my family and friends to profess my love and devotion to the man I expected to spend the rest of my life with. As it turns out, we had a little less than four years before he went ahead to meet God without me. [more...]

    Inch by inch - May 18th, 2014
    I spent a wonderful day on Inchcolm Island, exploring the abbey and surrounding grounds. It was one of those happy days, despite there being a slight tug on my emotional heart strings. But I knew that would happen as the first (and last) time I was there was nearly 12 years ago with Paul. [more...]

    Stopping for the (Mel)roses - Apr 27th, 2014
    On my way to England yesterday, I made a stop at Melrose Abbey in the Scottish borders. It had been about a dozen years since my last visit but as that was part of a bus tour stopping at three abbeys in a day, I hadn’t been able to fully explore the ancient building and its grounds. [more...]

    Although the storm still rages - Apr 26th, 2014
    Today marks five years since I lost my beloved husband so suddenly; so unexpectedly. You’d think that after five years it would feel like a distant memory, but there are still days when it feels like it was only yesterday. [more...]

    Talisker 10: A random memory - Apr 24th, 2014
    I bought a bottle of Talisker 10 today, and it reminded me of the last bottle I bought exactly one year ago. It was a happy memory marking a not-happy event, and I found myself laughing about it when I remembered today, so I’ll share the story. (Are you excited?!) [more...]

    First kiss fears - Mar 18th, 2014
    It’s been nearly five years since I last kissed my husband goodnight. It’s been that long since I’ve fallen asleep in his arms; since I’ve felt completely safe and completely loved. And I miss those things so very much. [more...]

    So long, 30s! - Feb 20th, 2014
    Today is my last day of my 30s, so it seems appropriate to reflect on the decade in preparation for the start of my 40s. [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    Twelve years ago - Feb 6th, 2014
    Twelve years ago today, my friend bailed out on a day trip to St Andrews. With nothing better to do, I decided to walk up to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile instead to buy some souvenirs for my nieces and nephews back home in America. [more...]

    On the other hand - Jan 21st, 2014
    I was half-way over the Atlantic when I moved my wedding rings from my left hand to my right; I had made the decision several weeks earlier that on my return to Scotland I would make the transfer—though that didn’t make it any easier. [more...]

    Birthday celebrations - Nov 27th, 2013
    Birthdays are to be celebrated. Always. Even if that celebration is as simple as an inward smile and the reflection on happy memories of birthdays past. [more...]

    Grave digging - Sep 9th, 2013
    I went to the cemetery to see Paul today, and ended up digging away under his headstone. I hadn't really planned on that, or I'd have taken a spoon with me! [more...]

    Marriage odds - May 21st, 2013
    Eight years ago, I stood at the altar of St John the Baptist Catholic Church and professed my love and dedication to the man who taught me what love was. It was a blessed day filled with joy and laughter and one that I will always remember with happiness. [more...]

    Four years - Apr 26th, 2013
    Life is so very different without Paul and these past four years have been a rollercoaster ride that I never could have imagined. Without Paul, the sad times are sadder, the hard times are harder, and the lonely times are lonelier. [more...]

    Running with music - Mar 15th, 2013
    There was an interesting piece in The Guardian’s Running Blog yesterday about running with music. The post offered insights from two runners—a pro-music runner and a no-music runner—and it got me thinking about how my own stance has changed over the years. (Just as the no-music runner’s did, only in reverse.) [more...]

    They are family - Mar 2nd, 2013
    The day before my husband’s funeral, my eldest brother-in-law informed me that I was family and that Paul’s death didn’t change that. He let me know that I will always be part of the family—even if I remarry. The rest of my in-laws agreed and reassured me that I am, in fact, part of the family. [more...]

    Nearly 40 - Feb 21st, 2013
    Today is my 39th birthday. It seems silly to care or to mark the day at all. But it’s my birthday, so I can’t help but take note. [more...]

    Random fate - Feb 5th, 2013
    On Wednesday, February 6, 2002, I was meant to go to St Andrews for the day. Only the friend I was meant to travel with was ill, so I decided to wander around The Royal Mile looking for souvenirs for my family back home in America. [more...]

    My Martini intervention - Jan 9th, 2013
    You may know by now that I'm a big fan of Martinis. It's not that I'm a big drinker; I just like my RyanCentric Martinis a bit. So much so that I've composed an ode in their honour. [more...]

    To date, or not to date? - Jan 3rd, 2013
    One week before Paul died, we had a conversation about our futures, should one of us die—a conversation sparked because it was the anniversary of my very dear friend’s death. And it seemed that Paul and I both agreed: We would want the surviving partner to carry on and live life; to be happy; to date or re-marry. Not the week after the funeral, obviously, but eventually. [more...]

    Survived - Dec 26th, 2012
    I managed to survive Christmas alone. I won’t lie and say that it was easy. In fact, it was so very hard. My broken heart ached all day long as I watched my Facebook feed fill up with photos of happy families and statuses about the perfect gift from the perfect spouse. [more...]

    To the birthday boy - Nov 27th, 2012
    Another year, another birthday. Only he’s still not here to celebrate. My Paul would be 51 years old today, but instead he will forever be 47. It’s a day of hurt and sadness for me and I find myself missing Paul more than ever when his birthday comes around. [more...]

    The master - Nov 23rd, 2012
    The day you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Today is the day that I completed one of my life goals. Yes, today is the day that I graduated—with distinction!—from the University of Stirling with a Master of Letters in Media and Culture. [more...]

    New leaves - Nov 20th, 2012
    Graduation is on Friday and I’m really [dreading] looking forward to it. Oops, did you catch that error? [more...]

    Packing up - Sep 10th, 2012
    I alluded to a big step toward a happier future the other day, but also said I wouldn’t share the big(ish) news just yet. Only I’ve changed my mind because I realised that the little steps needed for the big step are a bit more stressful than I thought, and writing about my stresses often helps to ease my mind. [more...]

    The dating game - Aug 27th, 2012
    Sometimes I think about dating. Only it’s a confusing topic for me. Not the dating part; I know how to do that. It’s more the mental and emotional part that has me uncertain. And not uncertain in an ‘Am I ready?’ way; uncertain in an ‘I am a mad woman’ way. [more...]

    That dissertation? Done. - Aug 20th, 2012
    First, an apology for my absence the last week. I’ve had some Website glitches and had to enlist the help of some amazing friends who are fluent in Web Geek (I am merely conversational at best). Anyhow, the site is still under observation and I may be absent again—but I will tell you all about that later. [more...]

    We Forgot the Tripod - Jul 29th, 2012
    No tripod? No problem! When there’s no one around to snap a picture, and you want to capture that “Kodak Moment” you get some pretty funny memories! [more...]

    The cruelty of random memories - Jul 14th, 2012
    There is something ever-so-cruel about random memories. OK, not always. In fact, most of the time random memories are happy moments. But sometimes, like today, they’re just reminders of a future that was stolen from me. [more...]

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