Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Will ...

The "Tired" post now has 35 comments.

The last time I got almost that many comments was on April 13, 2009. Three days before Art died.

This post read...


They told me to bring the kids in. They told me to bring the kids in. It’s over and I, I, I just ….


The hardest part about this... No wait, the right now hardest part about this is watching them grieve. My heart is in shards, little sharp deadly pieces.

Doctors and then Dr. Lill, Art’s doctor, comes in. He used the word

Finally SOMEONE used that word!

Death, even in a hospital is whispered, in euphemisms – passed, gone, left, not there. None of those words speaks the truth. My husband is going to die.


And when he does, he will be DEAD. Period.

No euphemizing that!

There will be no one to check my spelling. No one to wait for my call, saying I’m on my way home.

Oh God, I don’t want to be one of those single mothers whose kids are out of control!

There is a Sarah McGloughlin song. Only lyrics I can remember are:

"Hold on
Hold on to yourself
This is gonna hurt like hell."

She’s right. And I know I don’t know what I’m doing.

I stand at this place, knowing I must fall into the gorge. I’ll survive, it’s just right now, I don’t want to go.

Oh shit fuck, shit fuck OW_@+#*(@#*()#*)%n .

I just want to vomit.


When I read it, it's like I am reading a story
about someone else.

Only I know something the character doesn't know
that even though I did not want to move, I would.

The movement was
so imperceptibly at times
that I would
my grief was

I move at a snails pace
with my protective shell
from one side of the road to ....

I learned the trick to getting through a day was the "I wills."
I will put my feet on the floor.
I will stand up.
I will brush my teeth, or not.
I will feed the kids.
I will get dressed.
I will cry.
I may not do my hair.
I will get them to school.

And after that,
I will work.
I will call clients.
I will ask my assistant to do....
I will get my kids from school.
I will feed them dinner.
I will put them to bed.
I will put my pjs on.
I will cry.
I will go to bed.

Rising from loss requires no
Only a simply thought:
"Right now, I will...."

As I approach the two year anniversary of his death,
poke my head out of my shell
and look back,
I see where I
started so long away
where I am

I look up,
and know...

I will
keep moving.


  1. Kim, this is why I love this blog. I can always read "my life" on it- to know I am not alone, crazy and my feelings are not judged as being right or wrong. I too remember when my husband died here at my home. I felt such mixed emotions, relief he suffering was done,he never wanted anyone to be changing diapers, he was at that point. His dignity was gone. Yet, I knew to relieve him from this state- he would have to die and leave my daughters and I forever! That hurt. He was the one person I felt completely safe with, my soft place to fall! It was gone- now I am rebuilding. But it is still so damn hard!

  2. Beautiful! Thank you Kim for sharing the journey - the way to start again. Yesterday I had lunch with a beautiful friend who is awaiting surgery for breast cancer, she asked how I did it - now my husband is gone. How did I get up everyday knowing he had a terminal disease, for a year and a half and then as predicted he died. . . and she wondered now - how do I carry on. And I responded - each morning when I lay in bed and the urge to stay there, to never rise again presents itself I remember my love and I remember how desperately he wanted to keep living and I think - I am still alive, I have no right to squander my days when he is gone knowing how badly he wanted to stay. . . and then I make myself stand up.
    It is the getting up that is the hard part. The inertia is where the danger lies. I told my friend - I have desperate moments, the curl on the floor sobbing over his picture, our memories, my deep and painful longing to just see him one more time and to hear his voice. . .Sometimes it last for hours, sometimes a flash, sometimes a very dark night.
    But then - I remember - his beautiful smile, the way he bounded out of bed each day (before he got sick) energized and happy, singing in the shower and telling me about his plans for the day and I think -
    I will rise again because life is about living - the dying will come to all of us one day and its not my time.

    Being able to start the day with "I will . .." is how we survive.
    Thank you for the honesty.

  3. Started my morning with tears as I read this post. I remember so vividly the word "die" not being said in the hospital. I heard "anoxic brain damage", "vegetative state", even had a neurologist pick his arm up, lift it in the air, drop it with a thud and say "this is all there is". Can you imagine that kind of callous, crappy behavior from a doctor? A doctor I was looking to for some hope? Had one of many meltdowns and kicked him out of the room. Only a few hours before, he was alive, he drove to the hospital bitching the whole way about having to stay overnight. I joked him out of it and called him a big baby - boo hoo. Nobody wanted to say "he is going to die". They said things like "removing life support", "passing", "peace", and "rest".

    Then they turned their eyes away - would not meet my eyes as I'm sure the pain was evident and unbearable even for those who were callous.

    I will also get up each day because as was said above, to honor his memory. He left me a letter with his final papers that beautifully told me that if I was reading it, he was dead and I had to go on. For me, for my children, and for him.

    So, I will get up, I will brush my teeth (most days) and I will function until the time comes that I don't have to force myself to do these things. It sucks. Bad. But I WILL do it.

    Thanks for the honesty, the tears are good, they cleanse me.

  4. Kim I have been without my wonderful husband,Dick for 5 and I am still saying the "the I wills"...I have had friends(as they consider themselves)to just get over the past..that it is just plain nonsense to keep liveing in the past...He passed away the 22nd of the 11th of Dec was our 13th wedding anniversary...there are so many reminders of him in the the rest of the year...This year I tried harder than I have ever tried to say the "I will"but by the time Christmas came I was exhausted from trying...I have lost many friends that just don't understand..they think I should be out living it up and possibly a man in my life...Am I really stuck in a rot that I should be pulling myself out of...I miss him and I know before he passed he told me to go on with my life,but it is so hard to do...I would love to have everyone who wants to send me some of their opinions......I will really keep trying to go on...BUT I WILL DO IT !!!!!!!

  5. I, too, am approaching two years without my husband. I can't believe it's been that long. I don't remember the time passing by. I think I have been mentally saying "I will..." without evening knowing it. I have simply put my head down and done whatever was at the top of the to-do list. I recently looked up and realized how far I'd come. I know I have even longer to go, but right here, right now, I feel like I have come so far. Thank you for this blog. It's one of the things that keeps me going.

  6. Watching my young, strong, virile husband fade away in front of my eyes over the course of 6 months, and then finally witnessing him take his last breath was unfair, a cruel twist of nature, and the hardest thing I've done and hope to never have to deal with again.

    It takes a lot of determination to keep moving.

    Dave died almost 9 months ago. We had a personal blog for family & friends to log his journey shortly after diagnosis. As of yet I am unable to bring myself to go back and reread it. I live it every day. It seems like cruel and unusual punishment to try to read it.

    Good for you though, for reviewing the past.

    Anonymous #2 - I love this.
    "I will rise again because life is about living - the dying will come to all of us one day and its not my time."

  7. Wow, you described my life. How do you start anew when you've loved this man for 46yrs? We met at age 16 and 17. We were always together and didn't have couple friends. I was 62 when he became ill and was told his cancer was terminal. So I retired to care for him. He lived for 6 mo. He too had such a zest for life and did not want to die. He missed out on retirement and grandchildren. So tragic. So now I'm empty nest, a widow, and retired. My job was so stressful, that I couldn't go back to it. It has been brutal. But how do you make a new life when you don't even want to leave the house and all your good friends are from your job and work full time, and your sons live far away in different states, and you have no family nearby? I guess I put all my eggs in one basket, him, and now the basket is empty. And everyone has advice: join a church, volunteer, etc etc. So everyday i take care of my house chores-alone-snowblow the driveway when it snows, do all the jobs, and read, listen to radio, watch TV, do errands, lots of time on computer, but I am so lonely, and I just don't know how to make a new, satisfying life for me, so I just put one foot in front of the other and live one day at a time. Winter is the worst time here in the frigid north--inside so much. I don't want to waste my life, but it is so hard to make a new life. Its been 2 1/2 half yrs since he died, and I miss him so much. Thanks for listening, I'm shedding lots of tears writing this, and I know this is a safe place to do so. And tears are healing. It seems that the more time that passes, and the protective shock and denial wears away, the more I realize the enormity of my loss, then the sadness bubbles to the surface. Now I'm all alone in retirement, and OMG that sucks. We'd planned to spend winters in Arizona. I don't know how to do that alone. I mean I could figure it out, but that doesn't sound like fun alone. And maybe I will someday, but today its just one day at a time. Blessings to all.

  8. I want to comment to Pam and anon above. I am 16 months out. If there is one thing I have learned (with the help of my grief therapist) is DO NOT pay attention to what other people say. If they have not walked this walk, they have NO idea what they are talking about. I struggled with it at first but now have no guilt, emotions attached or problems with saying "NO" to people who keep bugging me to go out, meet someone else, etc. These people generally have their own agenda, they want someone available to out with them whenever they want, they are NOT thinking of you. I am dealing by doing things in my own time and on my own terms, and if other people can't handle it, too bad. These are the same people who constantly asked me "how are you doing it" when I took care of my husband for six years and also told me they could never do what I did. If you are staying home all of the time and don't feel like doing anything else, it simply means you have not reached the place of healing that you need to start doing it. It will all come in time. I have spoken to numerous widows who have told me they didn't do much of anything for five or six years after their loss, and that is perfectly OK. I don't tell my closest friends how to raise their kids, handle their pain in the ass husbands, etc. and I would not dream of telling someone how to handle their grief. There is no road map for this, plus most of us who witnessed demise and death likely have been touched by post traumatic stress disorder, which heightens our anxiety and radar. TAKE ALL THE TIME YOU NEED!!! Sorry this is long but I really want to get it across to everyone that this is YOUR loss and YOUR life and people are crossing your boundaries big time with their advice. Blessings to all of you!

  9. I must agree with the long post. NO one has the right to tell you when the time is right for you, the same way we do not have the right to judge other widows who progress faster! The hell with those people, they just do not get how you world is turned up side down! Also, I love the person who said, I get up because my husband wanted so much to live and I am so I have no right to squander it!

  10. I love all these comments. Thank you for sharing your stories with all of us. This is truly a magical place.

    I find some days the "I wills" are easier than others. On days the days they "I wills" are hard, they just are. No judgment. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was "Be gentle with yourself." At times when I feel his loss deeply, when the "I wills" are exhausting, I remember "be gentle." I hope you will too. For me, my grief won't be over till I take my last breath, but if I am gentle with myself, move at MY pace, then I will not only survive it but I will learn to live with joy in it as well.

  11. My friend, you are amazing (I will refrain from using the term "strong"!).
    But then, damn it, we are ALL amazing. Whether we are 24 days out or 24 years out. We are here .... And that, in and of itself, is amazing. Especially when you take into account how very much most of us did NOT want to be here. How hard some of us really considered taking drastic action to NOT be here.
    I am blessed. Because I know so very many amazing people, like you, Kim ..... And because I am freakin' amazing, too!
    Thank you, Kim, for writing .... again .... what we feel.
    I love you.
    Very much.

  12. This blog is a very special place for all of us. Tomorrow will be one year for me. It is almost unthinkable that I have survived one full year without the man I loved so very much. But as you said Kim "I will" became my daily bible. And I also began to say "I won't" let other people judge me, criticize me or try to dictate what I shouldn't and shouldn't do. The responses above say exactly as I feel. Live, learn, experience, heal at your own pace. Mornings are absolutely the toughest time, but once I engage the "I will" get moving, everything seems to be a tad easier. Special thoughts, hugs and prayers for all of us.

    Thank you so very much Kim.

  13. Thank You "long anonymous" for your response to me. It was just what I needed to hear. And I think I am in PTSD, because I watched my really healthy husband's body be devastated by cancer and watched him lose his life to cancer all over just 6 mo. Thank you Kim for stimulating my sharing by your honesty. Blessings. This site has helped me so much. I come here everyday.

  14. Kim and Everyone,

    Thank you for your wonderful words and sharing. Last year on March 11 my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We lost him a month later on April 15th. I now "only parent" my 2 kids and start most days with I will and You Can. Thanks for giving me more courage.

  15. Hello Everyone,
    Thank you so much for your openness and honesty, especially Kim. I don't know how I would get through the day without this site.
    Hearing how others are putting one foot in front of the other definitely helps. I lost my husband of 35 years 5 months ago and it's hard to want to go on without him.
    Thank you again for giving me hope.