Surprise! I’m autistic.
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
3w ago
A highly edited form of this ran online on Insider.com today. Here it is with a lot more context that they edited out… When my friend Jenn came out to me, the morning after she came out to her husband (now ex-husband), the reaction in my head was “are you sure?” I didn’t say that out loud, thank God, because a woman like Jenn, raised in strict conservative Christianity, doesn’t tell her husband that she’s queer and upend their suburban life with four kids unless she. is. sure. I’ve been thinking about Jenn a lot lately. Because I’m expecting some forms of “are you sure?” from people who have o ..read more
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Counting years...
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
6M ago
January 1 doesn’t mark the beginning of each new year, not for me. July 19, 2019 ended that year, that era, that lifetime. The next day, July 20, marked the new year and new life before us, one in which our children had no father and I found myself cloaked with a new word: widow. Every year now, July 19 is my December 31 and July 20 is January 1.  The ending of another year we survived without him. The beginning of another year we’ll have to. His beach trip bag is stuffed in the back of our closet, unpacked. A small laundry bag of dirty clothes rest next to it, and I still can’t wash the ..read more
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And so it goes…
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
7M ago
I’m single again. I’m the one who ended it, and while I’m not offering the details, I’m hopeful the end of our relationship sparks the beginning of growth in some needed ways for both of us. I will share that this was sudden, so my feelings are all over the place. And? I still call this success. I learned that I still have the capacity to feel feelings I thought would be dormant forever after Lee’s death. I learned new feelings are possible, ones I’ve never felt before but that emerge in relationship. I learned that I can hold my own wellness as a priority and walk away, albeit painfully, once ..read more
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I have some news. [Deep breath. Inhale…]
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
9M ago
I’m dating. (Exhale.) It is even fair to say this: I have a boyfriend. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is vulnerable (with me, at least). He is truly the best kind of person. He is a good human. (In case you don’t know the significance of this statement, Lee always said “be a good human,” or sometimes to the kids “is that being a good human?” It’s a sort of code by which I live my life and teach my kids to live theirs. “Be a good human” is their version of the WWJD? bracelets of my teenage years.) Will this relationship be forever like Lee was? I don’t know. And I’m letting myself not kn ..read more
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My friend’s plagiarism hurts me and my book.
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
1y ago
Living Brave, my first book, comes out July 6. In it, I mix memoir and self help and a bit of humor to share my story of surviving in the after, primarily after my husband’s tragic death at the beach but also the aftermath of chronic illness diagnoses and childhood sex trafficking and hate from those who disagree with faith and political shifts and more. My book is deeply personal. And, as I found out Friday, June 25, it includes a plagiarized poem. No, I didn’t plagiarize anything. Every chapter of the book begins with a poem I wrote. Those are all mine. But, nestled in between the introducti ..read more
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SNEAK PEEK plus "ugh she's promoting her book"
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
1y ago
Want to read the intro and first chapter of LIVING BRAVE? Well, you’re in luck… HERE YOU GO!!! I’m a brand new author. July 6, 2021 is the delivery date for LIVING BRAVE, my book baby. I wrote this book in the first year following Lee’s death, and I’m both proud of it and terrified/excited (terricited?) for all of you to have it in your hands! …or on your e-reader or audio book platform because it releases in those formats as well on July 6… I’m also feeling the weight of the need for success and sales and whatnot. When I signed the contract for this book, it was going to be supplemental incom ..read more
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Never-ending pain
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
3y ago
I know why it’s called a broken heart. No, it’s not just the metaphor of the heart as the center of feeling. When grief is deep and relentless, you feel literal pain in your chest. I felt it all the time in the beginning. Now it comes and goes, never offering warning before it pounces. Somehow grief feels like both a predator and a friend, a thief and a companion. That’s fitting, I suppose, because grief is all about the both/and realities. I can both laugh about silly Christmas memories and hate that he will never be present in new ones. I’m glad I’m back in a liturgical tradition of faith ..read more
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Breathe. Eat. Show up.
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
3y ago
I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m writing again, I’m pitching stories, I’m crafting words again. But I don’t know what to say here, except that I’m still breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. photo by Amy Paulson Photography After I emailed her from a dark procedure room where a social worker had stashed a recliner for me to rest on that horrible night, a friend replied, “Deep breaths and make sure you are eating something.” Those words are still guiding me today ..read more
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What I said at my husband's funeral
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
3y ago
Lee and I met in New Orleans over New Years when I was 18 and he was 19, both of us freshmen in college, me at UNC and him at NC State. I tried to set him up with my friend Katherine, because she saw him first and that meant dibs, and I’ve never been more grateful for a failure than I am for my failure to be a matchmaker for the two of them. We fell hard and fast for each other in a matter of days, and right before we kissed at midnight, we made the New Years resolution that once we were back at school, we would try to make this thing work ..read more
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Dingle, party of 7
my blog - Shannon Dingle
by Shannon Dingle
3y ago
My partner, my love, and my home died Friday, July 19, after a freak accident. Lee was playing in the waves at the beach with three of our kids Thursday, July 18, and an intense wave hit him just right to slam his head into the sand, break his neck, and make his throat swell so much his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long to recover. Some heroes - including our kids - tried to save him, but it wouldn’t have mattered what they did. His body couldn’t recover from the initial injury. We met when I was 18 and he was 19, and we’ve been together ever since. I wasn’t supposed to be saying goodb ..read more
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