Sunday, March 27, 2022


While I’m not going to get into the why and the how, I will tell you that I’m solo again. Once more, it’s just me. I am single. 

It didn’t happen yesterday; I’ve been working with this for months now, so I’m not morose or scared. I’m just one, plodding forward. It’s not my first rodeo in a space like this. This time is different though, as I’ve known from the start that I’m strong. I didn’t have to live though this experience to discover that I’m made of tough stuff. 

Jason and I were together for about four and a half years. We lived together for two of them. At the end there was heartbreak. Heartbreak didn’t end me before; it won’t kill me now. That’s a thing that experience has taught me. (That makes me sound old, which, well, I am.)

So let’s take stock on the learning front—

I’ve said for years that going through my divorce taught me that I am awesome and going through losing Jim taught me that other people are awesome. What did this recent significant breakup teach me? Or rather, what am I choosing to learn here? 

Well, I don’t have anything on that. I don’t yet know what my takeaways are. 

However, here’s what I’m up to otherwise:

• I got a puppy. She’s nine months old now. She’s a scruffy Cairn terrier. (Not pronounced “Karen.” Instead, it’s pronounced how it’s spelled.) Her name is Birdie, and she’s sturdy and spicy. She is me. 

• I teach a lot of yoga. Duh. Public classes and private sessions. All of it at Yoga Pod. I love it. I love Yoga Pod. I adore my students. I love teaching. It’s pretty pedestrian to so love your job as a yoga teacher, but I so love my job as a yoga teacher. All of the public classes are heated except for one each week that is a myofacscial release class. In that class we accomplish self massage by rolling around on balls. We make lots of jokes about rolling around on balls and releasing one’s self. 

• I am in training to be a benefit auctioneer. You read that right.

• I’m doing French lessons again. It could be going better than it is. Like, if I did my homework, I’d be verging on crushing it. 

• I’m baking lots. I am eating what I bake. I am subsequently hating myself for eating what I baked. Status quo there. 

• Also: I hike. I do pilates. I am suddenly into whole body cryotherapy. I indoor rock climb. I walk Birdie less often than I ought to.

Aha! So here’s the lesson, the what-I’ve-learned from this recent breakup: no matter who I’m with or not with, I am still me. I learn things. I love things. I keep doing what I love. I learn about new new stuff to love. I add to me. Me is consistent. And thing of all things: I really like me. I think of my many flaws as “areas of opportunity.” I think of my brain as a tool to use, my body as an instrument for pleasure and presence, and I make my life about gathering—gathering experiences and the best people, which I do very successfully. 

So you could say that after another bout of misfortune I relearned what I already knew: guys, I’m lucky.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020


In her adult years, my little dog weighed as much as eight pounds and as little as four and a half pounds. You could tell though that she was really feeling herself when her number hit about five and a half.

Sophelia Clarice was a highly inbred Yorkshire terrier from Fallon, Nevada, and she passed away on March 10, 2020. Lil' Girl was nearly 14 years old. 

I think it was Planet Earth’s inhabitants' collective misfortune over the last months that got in my way of writing an obituary for my dog. I haven’t been too busy. I haven’t been debilitatingly sad. It’s just seemed like the death of an animal wasn’t nearly as significant as everything else going on. Yet it’s been bugging me that I haven’t made any kind of a big deal out of the death of someone who was so important to me for such a large portion of my life. 

Her favorite things were stuffed squeak toys, baby carrots, popcorn, and gorging from any garbage can she could get a larger dog to tip over for her. 

She saw Megan through some tough times—most traumatically, the divorce from the unfaithful first husband and the sudden death of her second husband. “Saw her through” in that Sophie was around, expecting to be fed and given attention. She wasn’t one of those selfless dogs you’ve heard about, the ones who lay by your side when you’re sick, or would die on the grave of their master. Sophie was selfish and independent. In that, she was Megan’s ideal canine counterpart. 

When Megan gained weight, Sophie gained weight. When Megan lost weight, Sophie lost weight. She had attitude, preferences, and ideas, and was about as irritating as any living creature could be. 

It was Soph’s notions and individuality that prompted Megan to give up meat back in 2007. “If dogs can have little thoughts and proclivities, why wouldn’t a cow?” Megan said, “I can’t eat things that I think think.” A tiny dog’s desire to lay in a specific pile of laundry saved the lives of cows and chickens, fish and pigs, and turned Megan into a right hassle to feed. 

Sophie's spirit and attitude made her enjoyable and infuriating. Without Soph around, the world is down one rad little dog.  

In the end, I kind of hated her. She developed an annoying reverse sneeze that no vet could figure out, despite the buckets of money I threw at the problem. That spontaneous and then never-ending sneezing stole my sleep. It stole Jason’s sleep. Jason never knew cool, fun Sophelia. He only knew her as a monumental pain in the ass. I mourn that loss specifically—I wish my boyfriend had known my dog when she didn't suck. And though I was relieved on both hers and my behalves when it was time for her to go, each and every day I miss my teeny beast. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Quarantine by numbers—Since March 17th I have baked roughly 250 cookies, a couple dozen cupcakes, five bundt cakes, and six loaves of bread. I’ve consumed over 3,000 ounces of Diet Dr. Pepper, turned 38, washed my hair all of eight times, and demonstrated about 65 yoga classes.

It’s rad working at a yoga studio where our owners have their shit together. Of late, I feel like the primary beneficiary of their energy and efforts. The virtual yoga set up Mike and Angie figured out for Yoga Pod Reno has made the last ten or eleven weeks—we’ve all lost count, right?—honestly great, not just a suitable consolation or a little something that could tide me over ’til things are “normal,” but a routine that’s left me a certain amount of bummed out that our exclusively virtual yoga schedule is over. After months of quarantine closure, the Pod reopened at half capacity today, and come tomorrow, Sunday, at 4:30PM, I’ll be back to teaching some hot, in-person group yoga. I’m brimming with equal parts excitement and, surprisingly, sorrow.

I didn’t know I could so deeply miss a group of adults so much as I’ve missed seeing my students, but I also never considered that I would find such pleasure in sitting on a little cushion, hunched behind a microphone, staring at a gallery view of my Zoom yogis, telling them how to maneuver their bodies. I didn’t expect to not mind being the demo student on screen for other teachers’ virtual classes.

Already, I miss what felt like private yoga sessions with some of the best yoga instructors Reno has to offer–

  • During this era of demonstrating for Zoom classes, I took my first Heather Deriso class. I’ve already signed up for her in-person Flow 1 this upcoming Wednesday, because I know I’ll miss her thoughtful and playful teaching.
  • In instructing Mitch, taking from Mitch, and demonstrating six feet away from Mitch, I saw more Mitchell Fink over the last two months than in the last two years. Already, I miss Mitch. I miss most giving Mitch a hard time.
  • How many of Angie’s hundreds of students would eagerly surrender a finger or toe to attend as many “private” classes from her as I’ve had the privilege to take during quarantine time? All of them. They all would.
  • I didn’t have to take a break from my beloved Saturday morning [Hot] Vin Fusion classes with Shanell since I got to be one of her demo bodies every week.
  • I’ve been missing Karen Perisho’s Flow 2 since she gave up Thursday nights months ago, but during Yoga Pod’s virtual period, I got to have her kick my ass every Saturday at noon. My butt will miss her terribly.
  • Whenever we could, Jason and I used to take Sabrina’s Friday night Happy Hour class. I didn’t have to give that up. I got to dance solo in Sabrina’s flowly flows. Her perky playlists cushioned the blow of falling out of balance postures on screen for all to witness.

My life has been rife with times when I’ve felt sheepish about the surplus of my good fortune. Here’s another. Lots of people have been struggling and sacrificing during the last few months, but because I work with competent people at a shiny, pro yoga studio, and our members have continued to support The Pod, I didn’t only get to stick with a great deal of my normal life, I experienced enhancement.

I sound like an earnest drag, but this profusion of gratitude sapped my wit and customary snark. So I’m just thankful.

It was on March 17th that Yoga Pod closed. Jason and I finally—finally!—closed on our new house on March 30th. He’s worked from home. We’ve packed, moved, unpacked, and organized. Jason got his old house ready for listing. And because I chose the right man as partner, we’re not only still speaking after all that, we’re, like, still in love. Phew.

I miss things—mostly privileged things. I miss dinners out. I miss the option of visiting family. We missed a trip to New York. I miss gathering my friends. I miss facials. I missed hairapy with my Hannah; I had a spell there where my roots were longer than I can stick out my tongue. I miss being able to watch people’s mouths move while they talk instead of just seeing a mask. Yes, I’ve missed normal, but I’d be an asshole ingrate not to see my good fortune during a time where I didn’t anticipate productivity or expect growth anywhere but my hips and thighs. Lucky me, I not only have wider hips and thicker thighs as expected but also a stronger yoga practice, an even healthier relationship with my guy, and the opportunity to sweat with my team again come Sunday. I find myself too lucky not to at least throw some effort at summoning patience as I wait for what we miss.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


I didn’t do a great job cutting his left hamstrings from the bone. Once I reflected back tissue deep enough and could tell which nerve was his sciatic, I did okay separating it from the surrounding musculature. While I think I totally screwed up reflecting back his quadriceps muscles, I did decent work on his IT band.

I think when I told my people that I was going to a cadaver dissection as part of my yoga teacher continuing education, they didn’t realize I would be doing the cutting myself, not just watching someone else expose our parts or viewing an already-dissected body. Instead, three hours into arriving at the dissection lab in Boulder, Colorado, I was one of 30 lab gear-clad yoga teachers handed a scalpel and hemostat and told to begin reflecting back the skin.

Eight of us stood around a metal table, tools raised, looking at each other across our assigned cadaver, a man we decided to call Bruce, whispering, “So, we just, like, start? . . . Anywhere? . . . We just, uh, cut now? How?” 

Familiar with the hesitation, the lab director reiterated to his room of stalled yogis, “Cut only as deep as the sharpened edge of your scalpel and reflect back to the hypodermis.”

Right. Okay. Hypodermis. Which is what, again? 

Team Bruce. Last day, after our last dissection. 
I made my first cut down the outside of Bruce’s right shoulder. 

Back in 2017, when I first heard other Yoga Medicine teachers talking about their cadaver lab experience, I had to physically extricate myself from the conversation. One gal told us that her cadaver “still had nail polish on.” It was too personal. I was only a year past Jim’s death and the idea of seeing a dead body when I hadn’t been able to see his before burial was too much to consider. Two years after that conversation I still wasn’t sure I was ready, but my desire to know firsthand what’s inside us eclipsed the nerves I had about the possibility of an embarrassing public demonstration of grief.

I did cry. But it was quiet. I don’t even know if it was related to Jim. I mean, yeah, probably it was, but I can’t pinpoint what was I thinking specifically as we went around the lab and met each of the five anonymous cadavers for the first time. Suddenly it got hard for me to swallow. Tears blurred my vision and slid under my protective eyewear, dripping onto the collar of my lab coat.

It was three days before I cried again. “Come see her brain,” one of my tablemates said, “They took out Elsie’s brain.” I released my scalpel and hemostat next to Bruce’s ankle joint I was scraping at and made for for the next table. Split up the middle and set out flat like a butterfly lay what was Elsie’s everything: ideas, memories, fears, decisions. Seeing the substance of who this woman had been overwhelmed me. There she was, an organ dissolving on stainless steel.

When not fixed in preserving chemicals, the brain liquifies quickly upon its release from the skull. The bodies we worked on were unfixed, un-treated, chemical-free. We took them out of the freezers in the morning and, a little lighter from the stuff we’d removed during the day, wrapped them in plastic and returned them to their personal freezers before leaving for the evening.

Yes, they still had faces and we left them uncovered. We didn’t have their real names, medical histories or personal details, but Vivian’s nails had been painted recently. Elsie had scoliosis. Bruce had false teeth and only remnants of a thyroid. Grace had mysterious sutures up her stomach and three pins in her left hip. None of the woman still had their uteruses.

When they donated their bodies, these people gave us consent to slide under their first layer, cut past their muscles, remove their organs, expose their joints, and see that though we all have the same things under our skin, we are unique. It’s not just our thoughts or diets or upbringings that make us distinct; it’s the shape our of pelvis and how that affects the movement of our legs. It’s the adhesions between our lungs and ribs, the thickness of our psoas muscles, and the ratio of our tibias to femurs.

As a yoga teacher, that reinforces what I know about the uniqueness of my students, and it informs the way I teach to try to help students individualize their physical yoga practices. As a human being it reminds me that we are all made of layers, firmly stuck layers of self, set in a shell we didn’t choose. We are meat. We all hurt. We all heal. We never return to being the exact same thing we once were; constantly, we’re new. And while it’s work—often exhausting work—scraping back someone’s layers to find what’s next in your discovery of who they are, as it turns out, I know that it's work worth the effort.

Friday, September 20, 2019


The other day a fellow yoga teacher looking for coverage during her maternity leave asked if I was interested in picking up more classes. Though grateful for her offer, I turned it down. I recently realized that I’m right at the perfect number of classes to avoid reaching empathy fatigue.

I want to be there for my yoga students. When a student tells me she has stage IV cancer, I want to be there for it. When another asks me why his wrists are bothering him in the poses where they really shouldn’t be bothering him, I want to be there for it. I want to be there when a student asks how he can stop hating Warrior 3. I want my best insides to be available when a student starts crying about his recently passed mom or another one tears up about her divorce. I’ve learned that yoga students expect their teachers to hear them and respond. And I want to. Many times—many, many—I have been on the receiving end of that kind of yoga student/teacher relationship. It left an enduring impact. Physically, time-wise, and mentally, I could teach more classes, but if I took on more right now my ability to give a damn about my students in the way I want to would suffer.

A couple weeks ago one of my regular students brought her husband to hot class. I’m always a smidge fretful when I get a new student in those hot, hot, sweaty, hot, humid, hot classes. They’re hard; “extreme” might even be a proper descriptor. It can happen that the heat and mirror-fog scares neophytes off their sweaty mats. So a couple days later, I asked my student if her husband and I were still friends, if I’d see him back at class. She assured me I would, “He said he could tell that you really cared.”

I do! I really do care! I care about my students’ experience in my class. I care about how their other yoga classes go. I care about the actives they do. Because I believe so strongly that what goes down on our mats can serve to upgrade our many other hours, I care about the things that happen to them outside the studio walls that end up influencing their time on their mats.

However, if I teach too many classes, I don’t have the energy for the empathy I need in order to be the yoga teacher I try so hard to be.

Hold my Diet Dr. Pepper. 
Is it, like, the fall air or a post-summer slowness that leads to verging-on-irritatingly-self-indulgent introspection? Or do I just have a little more time on my hands of late?

I moved in with Jason while we wait for our house to be complete. (When will that be, Megan? Don’t ask—makes me tetchy.) That gifted me two hours less of drive time every day. It’s fewer audiobooks—which: bummer—but it’s more time for doing and thinking things. That’s nice, but it’s nicest being with Jason more. The more of him I get, the more I want.

But this here’s huntin’ season, Dead Reader. That means something to me now. For obvious reasons I eschew the term “hunting widow,” but dude, fauna starts rutting or whatever the hell it’s called, and these animal murderers are straight gonzo. I was never going to end up with some casual, shoot-from-the-truck rifle hunter. No, no—evidently lazy doesn’t turn me on. Instead the man I love disappears into the Canadian bush for two weeks to emerge with nearly-gone toenails, distended ankles, alarmingly bruised thighs, and a massive dead mountain goat. Mercifully, my pride on his behalf serves to significantly offset the nuisance of missing his handsome face and pleasing bod.

For his next feat Jason heads to some Inuit territory with his trusty bow and broadheads to end the life of an unsuspecting musk ox. This go ‘round however, I’ll be gone too. While he carves up a prehistoric cow, I’m going to go carve up human beings in effort to get a better handle on what’s inside my students. That’s not a cryptic figure of speech. I’m making for Yoga Medicine’s cadaver dissection lab. It’s the latest step in my efforts to get the best grip on human anatomy so I can be better at teaching yoga. It sounds extreme, right? It feels extreme. Somehow though, that exactly fits.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Kiera kindly subbed my Sunday and Monday classes a few weeks ago. When I got back, more than one student asked me, “Really? Disneyland? Kiera said you were at Disneyland, and that doesn’t seem like your thing.” It so is not.

It’s important to me that I live clearly. I try to be the same person all the time. I don’t want my words and actions to be misleading. I strive for transparency with my emotions and preferences. Success! Evidently. People who only know me as their yoga teacher were incredulous that I would take time off work to go to Disneyland. It made sense though when I said I was there for my mom’s 60th. People who only know me as their yoga teacher know that I adore my family, and that I’d do all the things for them.

For my birthday last year, Hilary asked my people to say nice things about me, typed up those bits, and put it all in a jar that sits on my desk. Feeling low? Read a love note. One of the many snips from my mom said that she loves that she knows that I would happily kill someone if they harmed or offended my family. 20 years ago, I would happily have killed my family. Now, if you merely look sideways at one of my nephews, I’ll slash your tires, smear your name, and eat your pets. I appreciate that my family permitted me to grow. They didn’t paint me into a box after my parent-and-sibling-scarring adolescence. Despite years of hurt, something soft in my mom and dad left me room to evolve, and—intentionally—I did. I suspect the rest of them followed that example. Or they were too young to remember the more hurtful details of my growing up.

That is how I ended up in Disneyland earlier this month. Mama Sue was turning 60 and her great dream was to go to The Happiest Place on Earth with her six adult daughters. My five little sisters and I agree that we’ve really never seen Sue happier. She mentioned more than once on the trip that when we were growing up she never let herself imagine something like this could happen. Raising her SixChix was rocky AF.

We were in the parks during the whole of America’s Spring Break, and, with great sympathy, many of our friends have asked if the ride lines were atrocious. We didn’t care. I’m not sure we really knew. We didn’t have any children with us. As a non-Disney person, I wasn’t excited to spend time there, but, Dear Reader, going anywhere at all with my family is so entertaining. I’d spend the weekend in an STD-splattered truck stop bathroom if it was with my sissies.

At one of the very few serious moments on the trip, Sue said that she was grateful to watch us with each other. “I’m not always going to be here,” she said, “and I know that when I’m gone, you’ll take care of each other.” We will. Whitney will have special relationships with each of the nieces and nephews. She’ll steal them from school to go for salad. She’ll keep them for the weekend. Caitlyn will be the unrelenting comic relief. She will lighten the mood with perpetual silliness that we will never not find hilarious. Haley will have all the asides, rushing to smooth out disagreements so relationships don’t deteriorate over stupid shit. Mally will be a locked-down, judgment-free zone to share secrets and fears. Lola will be auntie-on-the-spot. She will always make it to family events and give the best hugs when it’s time to leave. My five little sisters will do those things and more for us all. I’ll be there too, making myself useful from time to time but mostly just trying not to be underfoot.

Did we wear matching shirts? On Susie’s birthday, we sure did. (I think I was the only one kicking and screaming over that one; my sisters are better sports than I am.) Did we go to Star Wars land? Well, no, we did not, as we missed the opening by a couple months. Going on Star Tours over and over wasn’t a sufficient salve for that particular sting, so with a catch in my throat and a sink in my gut I say here: I guess we’ll have to go back.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


If it’s true that you can judge someone by the people that populate their life, I’m the most terrific person in human history. I told Jason that before I took him to meet my family he needed to be certain that he was in love with me because once he met them he’d never want to let me go. My friends and family are the good thing about me.

Today, I will have been a widow for two years, and while it was the worst happening of my life, that event served as kickoff for two years of overwhelming kindnesses.

I called my parents from the RV park where Jim’s plane went down, and they were in the car within minutes, driving the nine hours from Elk Ridge, Utah, to my house. Supportive is their norm, so at 3:30AM on August 31, they found me tear-drenched in a bed I no longer shared, and at 5:30AM, my dad accompanied me and Dustin to Victory Woodworks to meet with Jim’s employees. In my family, being available to each other is a top-down thing. I don’t know who all took their offspring, but my sissies dropped everything and rushed here too, even Mal from Denmark.

My mom says our family is kind of like the mob. When you’re in, you’re made, but if just one sister decides you’re out, a couple of us will watch everyone's kids so the others can team up to maim and off you. My first husband is an example. When I brought him into the family, everyone accepted and loved him. They supported our marriage right up until the second I informed them we were done with that cheating idiot stick. Immediate pariah. The virulence they felt and spewed at him was inevitable once they were given direction.

Just missing Whit. The Sixchix are incomplete without her.
The fam came to town again this last weekend. To ease the weight of anticipating today, I threw a big party Saturday to celebrate Jim, and my team came in full-force. At the end of the night, one of the catering staff told me, “Next year we need more vegetables. We’ve got some chicken left, but we ran out of veggies.” I laughed and told her that every other person at the party was either a yoga teacher or yoga student, and those people tend to do vegetables in a big way.

So many of the best things in my life have come by way of yoga. Yes, perspective, physical health, a marriage proposal, and a job I love, but it’s the yoga people that bowl me over. My bosses, my students, my fellow teachers—they’re my best friends.

I got Cameron from yoga. We started as students together. Now we teach together.

Three days after Jim died—and you guys, I still can’t consider this particular anecdote without crying—Cameron came over, and in part of some conversation, he mentioned that he hadn’t slept or eaten for three days. Stupid as shit and concerned for him, I asked why. He looked at me like, “Hey dummy, it’s all this.” He wasn’t messed up because he lost Jim. He was messed up because I did. Over these last two years, he’s listened when I need to talk, usually while at the gym lifting heavy things, and he’s lightened the mood in a way absolutely no one else can.

I got Jason from yoga. He was my student. Now he’s my boyfriend.

He might not appreciate my discussing this, but I want that man to get more credit than he does. Being with me is really damn hard. Yes, because of who I am, but also because of Jim. Jason makes it look easier than I know it is, and he makes it look easy for my sake. He has never pushed me to leave Jim behind, and it’s not because it’s painless or he doesn’t care. He cares a lot, and I suspect it hurts. Yet I believe that he cares more about my progress being genuine than he cares about his own comfort regarding my late husband. I think he believes in us enough to do hard things, and I think it means that for Jason our relationship can feel like a steep but pretty hike with a sharp rock in your boot. In his situation, I wouldn’t be selfless, patient, or resolute enough to deal like he does.

No one in my life forgets about Jim or our relationship. That’s important to me, but it’s becoming even more meaningful that my people encourage headway. It’s easy to pigeonhole a widow. You are a sad thing. I tell you that I want you to be happy, but glimpsing you doing well actually makes me uncomfortable, so stay sad, mmmkay? Fortunately, that hasn’t been my own experience. My people are the best ones, so they coddle me when I need it, they welcome not just Jason the person, but the concept of him as my someone, they listen to my same stories about a dead guy, and they hold Jim’s memory close, even when the memory isn’t their own. Hell, Hilary never met Jim, but on his birthday she made lemon cake, his favorite.

Who just does that type of thing? My people. I can take today, the two-year anniversary, as something to be sad about, or I can take this day to be more of what I already am: grateful. Grateful for the memories. Grateful for where I am now. Grateful for my people. Jim was cream of the crop, and from him on, I made that the only kind I keep.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


I want to paint you a picture of a man. As I’ve written him on this space, Jason hasn’t been able to be much more than the guy that bravely dates a widow. It’s wrong. That isn’t the way we live. To him, I’m not widow first, girlfriend second, and to me, I’m not Jim’s wife first, Jason’s girlfriend second. That is the chronology but not the right way to think about a relationship. Sure, our past relationships shade the one we have now, but we are us by ourselves—Jason and Megan. We’ve been together for about a year, and it occurs to me that you haven’t really met my boyfriend.

Jason is exactly what you see. He doesn’t fake or posture and is as real as one can get. His filter is faulty but that leaves him honest and plain.

I teach some hot yoga, and my classes are hard, often harder than they need to be. (Sorry. Sort of.) I’ve had lots of students suffer through my classes with pretty specific ire pointed at right their teacher. It resolves afterward, but while they’re sweating and struggling through another Warrior 3, they hate my guts. I’ve been that student a lot; I know how it feels, and we all suffer quietly. Not Jason though. He is the first student I’ve ever had flip me off in class. He’s the only student who, after I asked how his first hot class went, replied, Screw you. (But more, say, colorfully than that.) At that point, we’d only met a couple times. Evidently something in those frank and impolite exchanges worked for me, because four months later we started dating.

While he rebelled in a way that you’d think he hated hot class, that stuff’s right up Jason’s alley. He goes looking for opportunities to push his physical limits. He doesn’t hunt from a truck or go running when the sun is low. He hunts on foot in the snow and goes for a run during the hottest part of the day. He’s rugged and wants everything tougher.

That includes our relationship. I think he likes the challenge of being with me. Not the widow stuff specifically—he really just sees that as part of the Megan package—but the challenge of dealing with my quick extremes, rash decisions, and too-impassioned approach to basically all the things. I’ve asked him, “Why me? Why are you with me?” His response with the most resonance: “For a psychopath like me, you’re perfect.” I’m not easy—ahem—but in our time together, we find ease.

I may be the yoga teacher, but he schools me in stillness and how to settle down. He moves more deliberately than I do, and he is patient. I do not enjoy watching sports. I enjoy watching sports with Jason. He lets me ask as many questions as I want, and, even better, knows the answers. I mean, all the answers. It’s caused me to inquire if his day job is not, in fact, doing lawyer things, but instead immersing in obscure sports trivia.

Jason doesn’t talk as much as I want him to. Getting to know him has been a dogged excise in crafting questions that will get me his answers. I’m getting good at knowing him better but not as good as he is at knowing me. In his talking less, he listens more, and Jason’s memory is flawless. Along with that, he consistently hears more than I’m saying, treating his relationship with me a lot like scouting for big game. When looking for deer, Jason will sit and watch for hours, patiently accumulating information that often ends with an arrow through someone’s heart. He’s like that with me, too. He listens, observes, adds up, and despite what he’s learned, lets me live and still wants to be with me.

He only hunts with a bow, and that means we can work as a couple. I don’t so much respect rifle hunting. I know hunting with any weapon is hard and takes skill, but the bearing and specific skills required to kill big things with an arrow—and the shit he’s offed is huge—compels me. It requires persistence, a special patience, creativity, humility, optimism, and physical fortitude.

The truest way to describe how I feel about Jason’s physical strength is to call it hot. It’s hot. It contributes to his indisputable masculinity that I find irresistibly attractive. I like that from the breadth of his shoulders, to his growly voice, to the gray whiskers, and the way he stands, Jason perfectly fills the physical portrait of a Man. He tempers that could-be-stereotypical masculinity with an enthusiasm for apparel, a consistent yoga practice, and a tenderness for his kids that he often tries to hide and with no success at all.

Jason is a dad of just daughters. My dad has only girls. Those men are different from the ones that also have sons. They’re a bit mushier inside. I like that Jason enjoys his daughters’ individuality, and in the way he listens to me, he listens to them. Without saying so aloud, he delights in knowing his two girls as people not just charges.

His heart is good. His skin is thick. He’s handsome. He’s sarcastic and too irreverent. He’s canny and sharp. He wants to make me happy. He ought to know he does.

There. You’ve met my Jason.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


I am 15 pounds heavier than I was four years ago today. I acquired five pounds of happy, five pounds of sad, and five pounds of muscles.

The five pounds of happy came from being in love with Jim. You know, too much fun and you find yourself wondering why these jeans feel a little bit different. Then you’re honest with yourself and come to terms with the truth that all the carefree dessert eating that came from being in love with being in love translated to five more on the scale and thighs that are even more resistant to your efforts to slide them into bottoms that don’t have at least 3% elastane.

The five pounds of sad came after Jim died. It was all ice cream. It started with ice cream—when Jim’s mom called and told me there was a plane crash to go investigate, I’d just finished my second Drumstick in. a. row.—and it continued with ice cream: me nestled in the corner of the couch, crying, watching The Great British Bake Show over and over and over, routinely wandering over to the ice cream drawer for another Haagen-Dazs something while my supportive mom looked on.

The five pounds of muscle is Cameron’s fault. He let me come to the gym with him to help me be less pathetic and lump-like. And now we do it all the time. We whimper on the floor while doing weighted bridges to build muscle I don’t want that make jeans almost out of the question.

Why would I know exactly what I weighed exactly four years ago? Four years ago today I married Jim. I had a goal wedding weight, and I hit it exactly. So I remember that. And when it comes to considering May 15th, I think I might be focusing on that weight information in order to not so much focus on the fact that it is my wedding anniversary with a man I loved who has been dead coming up on two years in August.

Two years.

You’re so weirded out by that, huh? “I can’t believe it’s been almost two years, Megan!” is what you just thought. I feel you. It’s weird as hell.

So what’s it like nearly two years in?

Normal. It’s like this, not a single day goes by that I don’t think of Jim many times throughout the day. It happens when I see his photos in the house, and, yes, when I see his clothes still in the closet, with coordinating socks that I clipped to his shirts so that he wouldn’t have to put in effort to match stuff and wouldn’t come downstairs in the morning in pink argyle socks with a maroon plaid shirt. That happened, and I love it so much. I love so much that when he sat down at the counter and I saw how his ensemble “matched,” and said, “Oh, nope. Gotta go change,” he was humble enough to go do it. He knew clothes weren’t his thing, but he didn’t want to look like an idiot. He trusted me. Even though taking off his shoes and putting them back on was one of his most hated things—the primary reason he got pre-check at the airport was so that he wouldn’t have to untie and retie his Ugg chukka boots—he went back upstairs to change his socks. I still can’t figure out why he didn’t just change the shirt.

I think of memories like that. I remember his preferences. I try to trust like he did. I try to only care about the stuff that matters. And I do sad things like listen to a sweet message from my sister and think, “I gotta save that for when she dies soon so I have it to remember her at her best.” I’m ruined. But maybe in a goodish way.

A close-to-you death kind of screws you up like that. I make mental notes about people that go something like, “Oh I have to write that down so that I have that memory when they die soon.” And when I leave my house, I make sure it's put together in such a way that it won't be too bad for my family to clean out my closet if I die while I'm gone. I make sure the impression I leave is an accurate one: I'm tidy but weird. I think about death often, and I’m not at all scared of it anymore. 

Constantly, and I really mean constantly, I think of how my widowhood must affect my boyfriend. Hopefully it’s less over time, and I think it is, but I know he knows that my last marriage isn’t like the first one where I felt relief with termination. My last marriage ended on a helluva high note. I know Jason knows that I’m solidly in love with him, and not just for now, but I also know that he knows I was in love with Jim. How do I, how do we, navigate that? Me: probably inelegantly. Jason: ever like a champ.

Jim and I weren’t together long enough for our wedding anniversary to sting too hard. This would have been our fourth. I imagine that May 15 will eventually fizzle to a pang of loss rather than a punch in the chest. It’s the actual anniversary of his death that I see as The Big Date that I can’t turn away from.

For now though, at this anniversary, I’m grumpy, not really a pleasure to deal with, fatigued, and just ready for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Yoga Pod, one of the studios where I teach, has been using February do an 18-classes-in-28-days challenge. When I told Jason that in the 19 days it took him to take 18 classes, I took only three, he responded, “But how many did you teach?”

“Well, 30.”

Thirty. I wasn’t kidding. I even counted afterward to make sure. I’m grateful that I spent a decade taking a bunch of yoga before I decided to learn to teach, because right now I ain’t got time to take shit. I need more yoga. Teaching doesn’t count. I’m working through it.

This story serves two purposes. I’m bragging on behalf of Jason ‘cause there’s no way he’ll do it himself, and I’m explaining why I haven’t blogged in more than four months. I’ve been busy. And, well, also, I’ve been unsure of how to write about where I’m at or even figure that out for myself.

When I think of using metaphors, I think of ‘em being helpful in explaining things to someone else so that they can better understand what I’m feeling or trying to say. Lately, however, I’ve been using metaphors to try to explain my own feelings to myself.

Here’s one: After a person goes through significant weight loss, it sometimes happens that they don’t get new clothes right away. Their old clothes clearly don’t fit, but instead of getting new stuff to wear, they punch another hole in an old belt and cinch it tighter. It seems they’re accustomed to their old clothes and unaccustomed to a body that doesn’t fill those clothes. So they linger in an awkward stage of in-between, not wanting to be big enough to fill the old clothes and unsure of how to shed the extra material to embrace a different body.

Emotionally, I’ve been feeling like that. Grief was weight, as physical a weight as I’ve ever felt dropping onto my little soul, but it weighs less now; its mass is more manageable. Grief is even a companion that educates me and often morphs into gratitude. I’m trying to find the guts to let myself have a new wardrobe that fits rather than remaining in the garb of a different set of feelings.

That transition involves guilt. It involves fear. I don’t know if I’ll ever lose the guilt associated with forward movement after losing Jim. I do know that getting mired in guilt is counterproductive. Immobility doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t serve me or anyone I love. And I think my fear in embracing a life less grief-laden has to do with the unknown. I know what sad feels like, and while it may not be pleasant, I still know it, and that’s not scary.

Here’s the thing though: sad doesn’t fit anymore. Perhaps by way of all that yoga junk, I’m getting better at living where I’m at. Where I am right now, is—quite honestly—happy. I blame Jason.

I love having a someone to care for. I didn’t always. The evolution of my love life—cheated on in a mediocre marriage, divorced, in love, married again, happy, widowed, dating again, in love, happy—has happened so fast (all in under 5 years) that it’s easy to remember my feelings during each phase and compare them to other sections. I blew my first marriage. I wasn’t good at it because I didn’t care. That apathy contributed to a union that was weak enough to fracture. And thank heaven. It led me to Jim. Since I’d so recently reaped the fruits of dispassion in a marriage, and I hate failing, I decided that with Jim I was going to crush wifehood. I did. It made me crazy happy. Jim felt loved. I felt loved. We were in love. It was work, but it was work that we liked doing.

Then that work came to an abrupt end. I lost my one someone to serve. Well, damn. So that was just another phase?

But then . . . But then . . . Jason. Handsome, intelligent, observant, understanding, coarse Jason. Falling in love with him was unavoidable. We match. Thank heaven again. I get to have a someone to love and do for and care for, which, as I’ve already discovered, can’t help but bring me joy.

Each taste of joy is unique. The happiness I experience now does have a bit of a frantic undercurrent. There are moments where I feel like Jason and I have to do all the things and have all the experiences right now because he might die. It’s morbid, but it’s the baggage I bring. When I don’t hear from him for a while I start fretting. I know statistics say that my boyfriend isn’t going to die so soon after I’ve lost my husband, but statistics were supposedly on my side when Jim’s best friend died four months before him; that should have ensured that Jim was around for a long time. Best friends don’t die from such different causes so close together. Oh, but yes they do. Thus my unreasonable freak outs when Jason doesn’t text me back immediately because I assume he’s dead actually verge on reasonable. So that part sucks.

I’ve been concerned that I’m wrapping myself up in another person and so the happiness I feel can’t be authentic. I’ve worried about that a lot. Could it be that my infatuation with Jim left me sadder at his death than I’d have been if I’d loved him less? Maybe. But I’ll take the weight of the pain I’ve experienced for what I enjoyed with Jim. Is it bad though? Is finding so much contentment and happiness in a relationship with another human dangerous or wrong? Again, maybe. But unfortunately, that’s living.

Living well can be messy and doesn’t come without risk. I’m knee-deep in risk here and wading in deeper, because I love being in love with Jason, and he is worth every bit of care and attention I can give him. So much more, even.

Okay, but am I making myself into someone whose only satisfaction derives from obsession with someone else? Those people are irritating. No, I’m not that. I know that I can experience joy in giving my all to love and intimacy, so I am, and I’m still me. I like me. I irritate me. I get disappointed with me. I also know me. I’m tough, multifaceted, oriented toward improvement, and bright. My efforts to craft a killer relationship with Jason amplify those traits I’m proud of, making me a better me and giving Jason the best Megan I can muster. So I chuck myself headlong into the experience, knowing as well as anyone that there is risk for pain and the size of the pain could be amplified by the size of the love. Oh well. Worth it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


His name is Jason. My mom asked me what I like about him. “He is handsome. He likes me. He teaches me things. He is handsome. He laughs loud. He’s smarter than me. But perhaps most of all, I like how he handles my struggle. He respects Jim. He helps me.” That says so much about who Jason is. A badass, really. Again, tell me what kind of a person does it take to be able date a mourning widow and to endure the spontaneous tears and fond reminiscence of another man and not only power through that but be a comfort? 

It takes nothing short of remarkable.

I never intended to date. I’ve said that a lot. I meant it every time. But had I set out to do so I wouldn’t have thought out the necessity of the man being someone who couldn’t merely handle hearing about Jim, but would ask questions about him and our family, take care of me when I go low, and tell me that he knows that the mourning isn’t going to stop, that it’s part of who I am, and he wants to be with me anyhow. Perhaps even because of it all. Because all of this further toughened me, and I guess that’s kind of appealing. (To a total lunatic.)

Who in the world would want to sign on for this? I’ve said I’m great—I even kind of mostly meant it—but could I possibly be that great? Even though he’s not shy about telling me why I’m a catch, I’m still baffled about why Jason wants anything to do with me. This. Isn’t. Easy. And it's weird.

A bit ago, I told a mutual friend that I’m seeing Jason. She knew Jim and me as a couple as well. At the time I was really struggling with being okay with dating. Was I dishonoring Jim’s memory? My friend’s response was comforting, “If Jim could have hand-picked anyone for you, it would have been Jason.”

He is a yoga student. Obviously that’s how we met. (Like I was going to meet someone any other way.) Jason is also a bowhunter. My boyfriend kills big shit and does it well. I’m a vegetarian. He likes whiskey. I’m a teetotaler. When it comes to the outside stuff, the stuff that doesn’t matter (say, meat vs. no meat, alcohol vs. none, and elective interaction with the outdoors vs. an outright aversion to Outside), we have no business working as a couple. When it comes to the inside stuff, the stuff that matters (values, respect, fun, support, and attraction), he’s given me a companionship that results in stuff I didn’t know I could have again: respite, contentment, and even something like—gasp!—Happy. 

I never asked what I did to deserve Jim dying. I don’t think that way. I have thought plenty about people I wish would have died instead of him, but I don’t remember asking, “Why me?” It just never seemed productive. I have asked what in the world could I have done to deserve having Jim at all. How could I have been so lucky to be his wife and enjoy the amazing life we had together? And now here, despite the horror of incredible love lost, I again find myself in good fortune. 

Truthfully, I’ve been in good fortune this whole time. I’ve known it too. I’ve said so. The amount of support my friends and family give me is more than I’ve known what to do with. They love me. They love the kids. They loved Jim. Of course, love him still. But for there to be someone new in my life giving me support purely on the merit of who I am now, not for who I was before Jim died or out of love for my late husband, is the kind of good fortune I don’t really know how to react to. 

So I’m not going to try to understand it. I don’t have the brain power for that. More significantly, it could be that I don’t need to understand; I just maybe need to enjoy and be enjoyed. I’m unendingly appreciative of—and astonished about, really—Jason’s fortitude regarding the shit I’m in. He eases the heaviness. I get to be comfortable about letting myself keep grieving, and I get to enjoy the privilege of a singular someone to go out with, to stay in with, to try new things with, and to just sit. I might think Jason’s crazy. I might even routinely try to talk him out of being with me. But mights aside, I know I’m again—I’m still—lucky.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Imagine dating a woman who often cries about missing another man. What type of a person does it take to be able to endure that, let alone console when it happens? I have to say that kind of respect, resilience, and patience is really compelling. But I hate the idea of putting someone that extraordinary through the struggle of being with me.

However, I’ve realized that Jim taught me how to be a great partner. I wasn’t interested in developing that skill in my first marriage. I didn’t care enough to do the work, and I didn’t love my first husband in a way that compelled me to learn to love deeper through service. But I loved Jim. I love him. I wanted to make him feel as loved as he deserved. I wanted to be the kind of partner to him that he was to me. And I did it. I’m proud of how well I loved him. I learned how to be one hell of a wife.

So I have to ask myself, did I learn how to be a partner that’s worth someone putting up with the massive trial of dating a mourning widow?

You can’t just wait that out forever, you know. When will I not be mourning? Oh, that’s easy—Never. I won’t ever not miss Jim. I won’t ever fall out of love. Our halt happened at a high point, and really that has a disturbing beauty to it. There weren’t dirty secrets or regrets or loose ends. There was just life lived all the way and more happiness than I thought a single soul could bear. So it leaves me in love forever.

Which, though incredible, isn’t enough.

Dustin got married last month and I traveled to the wedding solo. As I walked through the Reno airport I thought over and over, “Alone . . . I’m alone . . . This is bullshit.” Alone just isn’t fair. How could I—how could anyone—expect me to be stuck all by myself? Like I’ve said before, I can do that. I’m good at alone. But for it to be a forced solitude? Therein lies the bullshit. I’m independent by upbringing and preference. I’m alone by way of horrid circumstance. I fret and fret that Jim’s friends and family will hate me and cut me off if there is another man in my life. I feel like they might think that I don’t miss Jim or honor his memory. That would be wrong. He is always there. He will always be there. It doesn’t matter who I see or who I’m with, Jim is part of me. I love his kids completely, and they’ve become part of me too.

My late husband improved me in way that would be unfair to keep to myself. Jim hated wasted potential and skill. Would he want me to waste me? I’ve come to a place where I’m certain he wouldn’t. Is it dishonorable to take the skills I got from loving Jim and apply them to a new relationship? I’ve struggled with that a lot. But I know the answer’s no.

“Jim would want you to be happy.” Yes. I believe it. He would want that for all his people in the way that suits us each best. But I also don’t know if full-tilt happy is even in me anymore. I can laugh loud. I can be useful. But it all ends up colored with despair or concern. I’m either dealing with the drench of sorrow, or I’m worried that if I don’t look the right amount of sad the other people who love Jim will think I’ve moved on.

That’s not a thing though. I can’t move on. That means leaving him behind, which I will never do. Yet I can move forward and take steps where he comes with me. Those steps forward involve a lot of walking into the dark without a light. So I think as I take those tottery steps I’d like to be allowed a strong hand to hold.

You're looking at my left-side ribs. Tattoo's real and the only one I have. It wasn't even a week after Jim died that I knew I wanted it and getting the thing was how I celebrated our anniversary in May. 
Being with me isn’t an easy task that’s for sure. It wasn’t easy for Jim—think “smart, beautiful, and difficult”— and it’s worse since he’s gone, but I’d like to think I’m worthy of a shot and worth all that effort. Okay, I actually have it on good authority that I am. Giving another guy a try in my current state is weird. I certainly didn’t set out to do it, but I stumbled onto a terrific something—a someone—and experiencing care and laughter and a sense of light in this kind of relationship is an astounding relief. I’ve tried on a new pair of shoes, and while I’m gonna be wobbly as hell maybe forever, it feels so nice not to have to be barefoot.s