Friday, October 3, 2014


Dear Readers,

I am warning you ahead of time; this post is going to be a huge, scrambled, all over the place, chaotic, messy, unfocused clusterf**k of nothing. Or something. I don't even know. But when you're done reading it, and you say to yourself: What the hell was THAT? - Well, I told ya so.

Last week, I wrote in here from the lobby of the Marriott hotel on my 43rd birthday, at Camp Widow Toronto, the very first International Camp, and my 5th one giving my comedic presentation. Toronto was incredible. Magical. Life-affirming. Blissful. Beautiful. Addicting. Peaceful.

But now I'm back home and yes, that thing that those of us who have been to camp call "Camp Crash" is here, but it's more than that really. It's the emotions leftover from camp, but it's also that I have been wrapped up in writing this damn book about my grief and about Don and about our life together - the one that we no longer have. And I have to tell you, writing and writing and writing and writing, and then taking a break from writing in order to come over here and do more writing - is really emotionally and physically exhausting. Every single bone in my body is tired. My eyes are so tired I can barely keep them open most days. The joints in my legs and knees and feet hurt all the time. I feel so old and so out of shape, and I know that I AM very out of shape, yet I am still too lazy or too unmotivated or too something - to actually do something about it and change it. I just keep writing and writing and writing, and then the end of the day comes, and I try and sleep. Then I get up and go to work, come home, write some more. A lot of times, I sit at my computer and stare. For minutes or hours. The things I am writing about are extremely difficult, and sometimes I am going backwards in my mind and heart, in order to re-tell the story of the day we met, or the day he proposed, or the day we lay in bed talking about our dream to have our own family, or the day we talked about maybe adopting a baby or child, or the day that I woke up and he was already dead.

I have so many conflicting emotions about this book. I am thrilled that so many people are so excited about the book, which was demonstrated to me when I did my online fundraising campaign to self-publish the book, and so many people came out of everywhere to contribute and to send me private messages and emails and let me know how much my writing means to them, or how much it has helped them in some way. That makes me extremely happy, to know that this book will help someone out there feel less alone or make them laugh or cry or feel something for the first time that maybe they were afraid to feel. So there's that.

But then, there is a huge part of me that resents the book, as if it were a person with feelings and gives a crap that I resent it. But I do sometimes. Because it's a book, and it's not my husband. It will never be my husband. One afternoon, I was writing a piece for the book, and I got so frustrated and emotional about something I was writing, that I picked up a notebook and slammed it against the wall and screamed loudly to nobody: "I HATE THIS STUPID BOOK! I DON'T WANNA WRITE A BOOK ABOUT MY HUSBAND!!! I JUST WANT MY HUSBAND!!!" Then, of course, I broke down sobbing and missing him tremendously, which is what the anger was about. It is not easy to make the decision to take the pain, and create something from it. This is the choice I have made, and I make it over and over again every single day. Let the pain kill me, or create something from the pain. I've made my choice. I don't regret it. It is the only option for me. But I am really, really tired. And it is not easy.

I know some of you were probably hoping for a post today about my time in Toronto at Camp Widow. I will write that post. I promise you. It needs to be written. But I need a clearer head, and that is not today. Today my head is filled with oatmeal, and this is all I got.

Back to the book .....


  1. I used to write a few years ago and when my husband came along, there was so much more to do than sit and write. Him watching over my shoulder never helped :). I decided to write again after my husband died, to somehow talk through my emotions and try to make sense of all that I was feeling. I would sit at my computer, keep a bottle of water at my side and even before my fingers would start to type, my eyes would start tearing up. I make an attempt at it now and again but I haven't succeeded once. That document lives on my computer for a few weeks and then makes it final way to Trash.
    What you do for us Kelley, even when you think you haven't had much to say, is speak to us. I thank you for that.

  2. Hugs and thanks for sharing. It seems that this is the curse of being a creative person - the need to create and the pain of creation.��

  3. Oh how I wish I didn't understand....Sorry...

  4. My husband was killed three years ago while riding his bicycle. He went for a ride and never came home. The woman was found at fault but not charged. There were some strange events during the investigation involving the woman and an elected official who was my husband's boss. I fought hard to get questions answered and in the end got nowhere and saw how this system really works as opposed to the way we think it does. Nobody was held accountable. I had to fight my kids' schools because of attendance and was threatened with continuation schools and me being sent to the DA(how ironic). My husband's family was horrible. My sister I was close to couldn't handle it so we don't even speak anymore. My kids have had counseling and are doing well now. I did not go to counseling. At first I really was too busy with everything. But in the last year I have known I need to go. One of the things stopping me has been the fact that I don't want to go through the trauma of retelling the whole story(the above was just an overview) to anyone. There is so much sadness and hurt and anger and disgust and I don't believe in a lot of the things I used to and I don't know how to be ok and go on with any sort of life knowing what I know, so I know I need help. But I don't want to tell it in it's entirety to even one person. So my point in saying that is this: for you to go over your story as many times as is required to write a book is amazing. You have helped me every week you write here. You and Cassie lost your husband's in a similar time frame to me and I have felt my sanity saved by your writings. You two bookend my week and have helped me make it through the week. You are brave and generous to do what you are doing and will help a lot of people. I am grateful for all of your writing, including the oatmeal.

  5. Hello, writing like any other function can be exhausting... Even though it's a form therapy, u still hv to get away from it....take break from it.. Cleeeer yr head..there r days I can do nothing for the foggggg.. Lessen stimuli and I'm better... For me I hv to hv peace quiet no outside anything or my nerves r bad agan... Some days r better than others..