Why I’ve been hiding in plain sight.

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I’ve been hiding.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter or Facebook you’ve seen that ‘s not exactly true – I’ve been doing the brave face thing. Making the right posts when I’m supposed to, never showing my actual heartbrokenness or the fact that some days it just hurts to get out of bed.

I miss him – with every ounce of my body I miss him and when I allow myself to feel it – to let go and feel what I’ve lost it becomes unbearable. I never knew grief could be unbearable. I didn’t think there was anything I couldn’t survive. There is no way the old sports fan in me can survive this because I just don’t care that A-rod retired, or that the sports world seems to have an opinion about Gabby Douglas and where her hand should be while accepting an Olympic Gold Medal. I have fantasy drafts that I need to prep for, and an audience while small is asking – where are you?

I’m Doing The “Right” Things

I’m not sure how I’m surviving my life without my husband. Sure, I’m doing the right things – I’m dating, spending time with the kids, letting family and friends pamper me. Despite this, everything feels wrong because a large part of my life is no longer with me. And don’t give me the bullshit of “he’s always with you.” The people who say that shit, are individuals who have never had their heart ripped out of them and then are expected to be a fully functional adult. Yeah, I get to say things like that – I’m pulling out the grieving widow card.

As football season draws closer, the realness of my life without him becomes so apparent. I feel like I’m going blind despite the fact that everyone telling me that time will heal all wounds. Instead of feeling improved, I feel his absence in my life so much more than I thought possible because our marriage was at it’s best during football season. For hours at a time we would sit together talking about fantasy reports, what nonsense would cost Virginia the game this week, or how bad could the Browns truly get. I took for granted that he would always be there for the long drives to Charlottesville and back. That he would be there to show me all the right things that Virginia did during the game, and complain about the crazy finishes that seem to accompany UVa football.

Surviving is Exhausting

In the back of my mind, I always believed that I could survive if anything should happen to my marriage, that I would be strong enough to move forward. I never realized surviving is exhausting.

I took so much of my husband for granted. In so many ways that the daily reminder of James dying never, ever goes away.

This feeling, this loneliness, this being so afraid that I won’t live up to the title of single mom just seems to grow as the months move on. I’m almost afraid to write this – but I can’t keep it inside because I have to start podcasting and blogging again on this platform. I can’t keep letting this project – which James loved and supported so much – go to waste because I’m sad.

Next Steps

I have to find my place as a sports fan again. Am I crazy on my own or was it feeding off him? Can I raise my son and daughter to be an authentic fan the way their father would want it? I’ve been thinking about that a lot. The tiny humans and I are driving down to Atlanta this week, and they will be attending their first MLB game, a milestone that my husband talked about from the moment we found out that our oldest child was going to be a boy. Sexist sure, but there is something about baseball and dads and sons. Baseball has such history, tradition that it seems like it should be something that a father hands down to his children.  We thought we had time to get the kids to a game – we wanted to wait until they were old enough to appreciate going.

I realize this is ridiculous – that I am more than capable of explaining the gloriousness of the first pitch, why we stand during 7th inning stretch, and why if you get to witness a perfect game then you’ve seen a miracle.

So, I’m asking – where do I go from here? I am a woman who wants to find her love of sports again, on her terms and still honors my husband who showed me how to love games. Can I  just start producing podcasts like nothing happened? I tried that, but it was too soon my lost so raw I was in such denial because I couldn’t possibly feel the authentic pain.

I loved doing the podcast – and I need to find that joy again. I need to have a sports fan on talking about her story about why she loves sports too.

I need and want to find my way back to loving sports because they allow me to escape – but right now they only shine a bright, bold light on everything that has happened since I found my husband collapsed on our bedroom floor.

Bare with #GalPalNation, I’m fighting every day to get back to a place where sports are fun and frustrating for the right reasons.

About the author, Ramona

Single mom trying to figure out her own sports fandom on her own terms. She writes and podcasts about what it means to be a sports fan.


  1. Kathy Eckhardt on August 21, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Such a beautiful peek into you heart, Ramona. I am looking forward to reading you book.

  2. Sandy Keenan on August 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    It takes a strong person to overcome loss and continue in life. With the responsibility of raising two children. I feel your pain after losing my Son and like you have tried to hide my feelings. Recently I am attempting to understand my quiet way of dealing with the anger I hold inside of me because of his death. Actually considering seeking professional help in some way which I have always felt to be unnecessary. You need to continue these podcasts so you to can continue to heal.

    • Ramona Rice on August 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      You need to seek help – there is a support group that meets in Newport News – you need to go. You need to talk about it with someone neutral – I go to the Pastoral Counseling Center in Newport News – and it helps so much.

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