Saturday, March 26, 2011

The New Road

some where on the I-5 in CA heading south

862 miles

14 hours in the car

in two days
Less actually, because we left at 
1:00 pm on Friday
 and got back tonight (Saturday) at 7:00 pm.

It started with a casual comment.
"Hey, you guys wanna go to Sacramento to the State Championship Basketball games for the boys and the girls varsity teams?" I asked my kids on Tuesday.

"Sure." came their reply, unaware of the weight their casualness carried. 

The plan?
Drive to San Francisco, (387 miles) stay over night with Art's cousin.
Get up early the next morning and drive to Sacramento (91 miles).
Watch two basketball games, then drive home (384 miles).

The motivation is simple and clear.
It would be fun and
I think I can do it.

862 miles in 30 hours.

Crazy talk.

Overwhelming talk.

Why-didn't-someone-talk-me-out-of-it? talk.

Only this time, I notice, I'm on a new road.

It's unfamiliar.

It makes me grin.

The road is called SPONTANEITY!

 And I’m diggin' its slickness, its sense of adventure, its well-what-the-heckness, its I-can-handle-an-unplanned-event confidence.

Two years ago, I could not have done this.
Last year I could not have done this.
4 months ago, I could not have done this.
Today, I smirk.
I did it.

Spontaneity powers my grin.

Forgiveness powers my spontaneity. 

Death powers the forgiveness.

Because after his death,

after the grief lifts for longer and longer periods of time,
I see that …

kill me
(although I was sure it would).

I notice that...
I didn’t
to death
(although I tried).

I realize that...
the next day
showing up
(although I doubted it would come again).

I grasp that ...
life went on,

I have faced loss,
excruciating loss
I’m still hear.

Did you hear me???????


Nothing will be as hard as those moments.


In the realization comes freedom.

Spontaneity is my new road and I’m driving it, baby, on cruise control because
to hell

On Thursday, a friend texted me and asked
“Do you want to go see Lady Gaga on Monday? VIP seats!”

As if I need VIP seats as an incentive.


  1. Kim - your email put a smile on my face! So much resonates here I can barely write it. Last week I was finishing the book I am writing about the journey. The final page was about the grief and in between each paragraph I wrote . . . and I did not die, like I thought I would.

    This is the power of this site. That when you think you are so alone that you might die of grief you come here and listen and hear these powerful words

    "And I'm still here!"

    For those in the early stages of grief the profound knowledge that someone else has experienced this death and they have not just survived but thrived is life altering. Thank you to all the Widow's Voice bloggers for your depth and honesty, you are helping a host of people who need a space and a community where what we are feeling can be talked about in all of the facets.

    As an end note - a good friend of mine emailed me last night and said - I know. . . this might seem crazy but do you want to go to Vegas in July? I was pondering this burst of spontaneity that surged in me, the need to prove I can. That I am not going to die.

    And - here was your entry.
    So - my answer - Hell, yes! A new road awaits and I am going to take it because there is no turning back now.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. I LOVE this post, Kim. Absolutely love it. Grief changes us so many ways. Some aren't the way we would like, but others .... others are pretty good. And spontaneity is great!
    Enjoy Gaga .... AND the VIP seats!!! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing!

    Linda Della Donna

  4. I remember the summer after Eddie died I took a road trip, just me and me girl. It was the first time I had driven by myself with no help and realizing, "I DID IT!" I felt every bit of the words you just wrote. Thank you for that :)

  5. Thanks for sharing. It rings true for me as well. My husband died early last year and then I worked myself out of a job - yes a job elimination. When I found out when my last day of work would be I decided to head to the carribean. I didn't know which island, but knew I needed time to myself to recover and recoup and find my new life. I DID IT! I can actually travel and do things on my own. First time ever. It gave me the strength to go on!

  6. Jackie, I agree with you I too am more spontaneous than before and take more risks. I think it is because we feel the worst thing that could happen to us has happened and we survived! I also find myself laughing at things a lot more than I did before.