A Year of Grieving

August 19 – Today is the first anniversary of the death of my best friend, soul mate, and wife, Barb Calabrese. I called her Babe. A remarkable woman who taught me more about love than all the words I’ve read on the subject. She touched a large Twitter following, @Barb_Calabrese, reaching out in simple, love-filled ways.

My year has been a year of learning to dance with grieving. A year of learning how to live without someone whom I shared the most intimate secrets of my soul. A year of grappling with why? And, discovering I’ll never know the answer. A year of discovering I am not alone on this journey. All who have suffered a deep loss understand the grieving experience without speaking. They understand by looking into each other’s eyes. Their messages travel silently from heart to heart.

In my year of grieving, I rediscovered a deep faith in God. For unexplained reasons people I know, and strangers enter my life as messengers of love at unexpected times, times when I am low; times when sadness knocks at my door. They pick me up. Make me smile. And, encourage me. I find the strength to go on another day.

Each day, I grow stronger. Each day, I grow more optimistic. And, each day I find my path forward unfolding before me. How does it happen? I believe it is grace. I have no other explanation for it. I don’t think grieving ever ends. But I choose to dance with it.

To all my brothers and sisters who grieve over the loss of a loved one, together let’s find the strength and courage to go on. Together, let’s smile more often. Together, let’s sing joyful and happy songs. Together, let’s celebrate the gift of the life of the person we loved and love; and, together let’s not waste a moment of the wonderful gift of life you and I still share.


  1. So sorry for your loss Ray. How lucky you were also to have had that kind of love in your life. You are a very strong person. I can tell that in the short time I’ve been reading your blog.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Manuela. I am grateful for the “fairytale” life we shared. It was as if love surrounded us 24/7. I wish the same love comes your way as well. Ray

  2. I just know that Babe is watching on, reading over your shoulder as you wrote this. She will always be there Ray. To see what her favourite guy is up to, sharing his story of unconditional love. A big hug your way ❌❌

  3. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. My condolences Ray! She’ll live with you forever in your heart, your memories and your soul! I can only imagine what such loss much be like, the pain and grief, but as time moves along you’re better able to cope and focus on the joy and light and positives. Thanks for opening up and sharing such an intimate part of your life. I wish you happiness, peace and joy in abundance! Here’s to life Ray 🙂 and all that comes with it!

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