Friday, May 30, 2014

Death and Life

There was a moment when life was just life,
 and death was a stranger I knew nothing about.

There was a fragment when weekends were just weekends,
 filled with friends and movies and dinner parties and couples hanging out together.

There was a glimpse when laughter was just laughter,
and not laughter poisoned with pain and loss.

There was a measure when I was planning the wedding for me and my husband,
and not planning my husband's funeral.

Death was something far away and distant and not real,
something that happened to people on t.v. shows,
or in movies.
Other people.
Not me.
Not us.

There was a minute when everything was right,
and then there was a second,
when it wasn't right anymore,
at 6:32 in the morning,
on a Wednesday,
when a phone rang and rang and rang,
waiting for me to answer the call that said:
"Pack your bags.
 Your love is gone,
 and you are no longer you."

I'm sorry I don't have anything more uplifting to say tonight. I really am sorry. But sometimes, I just don't. Sometimes, this is all I've got. All I've got is my longing and my begging for the yesterdays and the times when I didn't know anything at all or care about posts such as this one. I look to the sky and I look to the air, and I wonder inside and I miss all the things that never were, and all the things that never will be. But that sky is different to me now, than the sky I knew, before I knew death. I see it's darkness. I see it's light. I see it all. Now.

There will never be a time,
like the time I lived in,
before I knew too much,
about life,
to know
that it's not
just Life.

It is nothing. And everything.
It is the only thing that we have,
for sure.
The only thing that is right now.

I wish I didn't know
so much
about death.
But I do.
I do.
And because I do,
I try to always


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I too understand, I often wish for my old life where death happened to other people, where I did not know about autopsies, funerals and the like...

  3. Death really has two meanings. One was the before, and the now. So many post (they don't get it), well we didn't either in the before.
    We always knew people pass away of all ages and causes. But to the before, it was people we didn't know, or another town, etc, but never really down to earth would happen to me (us)..It did, now it is living on the other side of the fence of married life. Learning to live outside of that box of married life and making some sence of life what it is the now..

    Always keep moving and doing in the direction of life, and for me always grateful of the life I had. Granted enjoyment is much less, getting out takes more to do, but we do have a life, live it with our loss to move on..

    God Bless..

  4. Kelley, I do so understand all that you wrote. I'm right there with you. My life turned dark and empty at 3:11 a.m. on June 21, 2011, when my husband was dying of a heart attack beside me. In three weeks, it will be three years ago that a doctor walked in and said "your husband is gone." I think that in my stupor, I already knew that he was gone. As I walked into a silent ER room, I knew he was gone. Why weren't there any doctors and nurses there saving his life? Silence, there was only silence, only white walls and deathly silence as I walked in. The love of my life was gone. How could that be? He asked me the day before if I wanted to go back to Maui. Maui, the most romantic place we ever visited. Maui where we ran through the misty rain, listened to the exotic birds, smelled the flowers, and made love. When this lonely emptiness becomes too unbearable, I close my eyes and take myself back to that moment in time when all was right with our world. Yes, I do have tears in my eyes at the memory and the flood of emotions and love that my life with Rich was. My husband truly was my everything. Now, I'm left with loneliness and longing for the man I still love with all my heart. mrsmcgoo

    1. Have you ever thought of going to Maui by yourself? Would it be too hard/painful, or maybe you would feel close to him there ... a beautiful thought.

    2. Kelley, you are one of my favorite writers and such an awesome woman! Thank you for caring and for the suggestion. At this point, I know that a trip to Maui without Rich would bring more pain than I could bear. Just the thought takes my breath away. We traveled a lot in our 16 years together. I've gone nowhere in three years. We went on eight cruises. I watched a video of one of RCCL's new ships and I had to turn the video off because the tears were blurring my vision. Like you, I have good days and bad days still. When this will end, only God knows. Thank you for being there for all of us.

  5. I am sorry you are in such a painful place. Your post is beautiful and so articulate ande true.

    1. Thank you Tracey. Its so weird how one minute you can feel in such a painful place, and then the next hour or day, things shift yet again. Today I feel differently. Less sad. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow lol.

  6. Kelly, you are so in touch with feelings we all have...sometimes stronger and harder to move away from than others. I too miss the time that will never return, when my children had their father and I had the contentment of walking beside my Rock and my great Love Jeff. Blessings to you and sending wishes for peace for this day, this moment.

  7. Kelly, your post was so very well written…from deep down in the heart. Every day I long for it to be like it use to be. Every Friday at 10am I stop and think about the Friday of Dec. 16, 2011 when my husband left here to go back to his office…and then every Friday I stop at 4:30pm and still wait for him to come home and remember that day when he never came home. We live in such a small town and where would he be? We searched all night long and into the morning, and at noon the next day he was found in a wooded area that his vehicle flew the length of a football field till it landed…black ice, they suspect, but we will never know. I too never thought I would be listening to an autopsy read to ME! Only in the movies. This is Friday #128…like others, I have all the numbers and dates that round my head every single night. I also wish I didn't know so much about death…my dad died 3 months before my husband, and I look at that as my "dress rehearsal" for what was to come. We had just had our 40th anniversary, but I was grieving for my dad and we decided to celebrate the next year…which next year never came for my husband. I miss everything possible about him…but he knew I was grateful so I am at peace with knowing that I told him almost every day. Weekends will never be the same without him….as others, the couple friends are long gone. So I also look to the sky and hope he knows all the love that was left behind and he guides us until we meet again. Hugs and Prayers. SKA

    1. It is so very, very hard. Thank you for sharing your story a little bit. Im so sorry you are having to go through that. Yes, the couple friends are long gone, mostly, and I miss them like mad. I miss being part of things in that world, and I hate not recognizing this new world that I am in. Its a damn good thing we all have each other xo.

  8. It's OK, Kelley. We understand. There is the BEFORE. Then, there is the AFTER. Here are the first and last verses of a poem I wrote trying to explain my frustration at not being able to go back to when life was fun.

    California, late 1960's, campfires and sunkissed boys,
    then bureaucrats took me away, dragged me down the road.
    No more human-warmth filled bonfires on beaches.
    Instead, suburban mansions hid emotional slums
    and I fetched grades, like bones for dogs,
    for manipulators trying to minimize history.

    I could have driven back to heaven following that road!
    I had survived all the hypocrites' various slums.
    I savored the fruition of a well-planned history.
    Ah, we would have frolicked, playful & carefree as dogs!
    I would again be basking in the glow of bonfires on beaches!
    Resting, nesting, in the arms of a man, after the cruel game's of boys.

    Chasing memories of sun-kissed boys down a fictional road,
    scrubbing myself clean on that beach of the remnants of the slums,
    lolling as contented dogs would, having restored history.
    - D. Johnson

  9. So how I feel, Miss my husband and my old life. Try to live in the moment but more painful than beautiful memories of the past. I keep moving forward to the unkown

  10. Kelley, I so look forward to your posts. I appreciate that you don't suppress what you are going through and that you share your deepest feelings with all of us. You are courageous and I thank you! Sending love to you.

    1. THank you for telling me that. It means a lot. The way that I look at writing has always been this: if youre not going to tell the absolute, brutal honest truth of things, then why write it at all? I dont really think of it as courageous - for me, its more of survival. If I didnt reach out to somewhere, to something - I might totally lose my mind. But thank you so much for letting me know you appreciate the words xo.

  11. That moment when everything changed...8:00pm, June 28, 2011. Standing there trying to make sense of what my eyes were telling my brain: my husband was crushed under a tree; he was dead; I was a widow. I knew of death but never like this. I think of all the widows/widowers I had known, but never understood what they were going through. I regret that.

    We force ourselves to move on. Step by step. It's especially hard for me because I live so far from anything. I miss companionship and fear, at my age, that...well I won't go there because this new "life" is a lot of work and hard enough. God bless us all.

  12. Wow, just wow. This is so stunningly beautiful. Esepcially the last part… I'm going to steal that part and share on Facebook. Thank you SO much for writing this one. I don't often get around to reading blog posts, but I really do try to read yours as often as possible. And you never disappoint, even when you are apologizing for having "nothing else to offer" you are offering something SO profound and honest and vulnerable and true and deep. THANK YOU.