Grief. Love. Magic. A new road. A new life~

To My Beloved Husband

To my beloved husband, Chuck D, as we approach the 6th anniversary of your memorial service, which we held 6 months out from your death…

I know I did everything as perfectly as I could in those few short weeks between finding the cancer, our hospice time, and your death.

I know this more than I know anything else in my life.

And yet…

Doubt lingers in the corners of my mind and pops out in my most vulnerable moments, such as now. Such as everyday of living without you.

Just one doubt.

Was I at your side enough in our hospice time?  Should I have moved into that hospice room with you and not moved until I had to? Did I err in going, every so often, back to our rented condo, to sleep…even though I never slept when I was there.  Shadows of your impending death were ever on my mind. I knew I was a widow in waiting, no matter where I was. I didn’t need to hear a clock ticking away the time: my heart was more of a reminder than any clock.

I didn’t stay with you every night, and that thought has more power over me than I want it to.

There were many nights that I did, and I was there every day, but I wasn’t there every minute, even though I wanted to be.  What I wanted was to lay down beside you and never move. Hold onto you for every breath. Breathe with you and for you. Take your place in that bed, with cancer attacking my body relentlessly.

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  • commented on Widow's Roast 2018-08-28 16:12:54 -0700
    Mike…the real MIKE…I just love you for this. All of it. Because humor is a saving grace. Dark humor, even better. It’s sanity saving. Also, not only will my traveling not stop anytime soon, but it’s going to get even bigger in the next year. So…..

    You da bomb, in any case. Can I say that still, or does it date me?

  • commented on Reality 2017-11-18 18:04:50 -0800
    I wonder the same for myself, Gabe. Four years and seven months out, and I feel so damn empty. And I’m just tired. Empty and tired. I push my boundaries and comfort zones and I talk to people and do all kinds of stuff…and I feel empty, where Chuck once was, and I don’t know if that will ever change. I get it, totally. I understand. And it eases my mind to know I’m not crazy. Or, if I am, I’m in good company. Nothin’ but Love to you, from another WV writer~

  • commented on Pre-survivor's Guilt 2017-04-18 20:33:35 -0700
    Your words tear through my heart, Mike, and I get your anxiety. These times of our lives where we need to be two places at once, and can be only one place. I hope your dad holds steady while you and Sarah are gone-I know that this is so important~and I know you’re torn. No great words of wisdom to offer to you, just all the Love in the world to you and Sarah and Shelby and your folks~

  • commented on A Light In the Dark - My Tribute to Soaring Spirits International 2016-05-27 19:01:10 -0700
    Kelley…I cried reading this. And I’ll read it again, and share it, and cry again. Because yes, I was met, you were met, we are all met, exactly where we fucking are, and that is the most beautiful thing of all. Here’s to Soaring Spirits, and Michele and all of my widow brothers and sisters…every fucking one of us…standing together, wherever and everywhere we are~

  • commented on Free To Be Me 2016-03-18 15:05:40 -0700
    Sing it loud, Kelley! My sister, bless her heart…who has been wonderful and supportive and so many things, says to me every so often, when I speak of getting more involved with my widowed community, that I need to get away from the grief, find something not connected to it. As if there is anything I can do henceforth that will not be somehow shaded by Chuck’s absence, or the grief connected to his absence. I too, need my widow sisters and brothers because I don’t have to say a damn thing in explanation or defense, and for that, I am beyond grateful. And grateful, too, that I can come to this site and read what my tribe is writing and what is going on with them and feel more normal than ever. Thank you for this~

  • commented on Entering the Cave of Fears 2016-01-11 19:23:22 -0800
    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah….I think and you write exactly what I’m thinking and eloquently state exactly where I am right now, with life, with this grief. I know, when I slow down my head, that I’m in the midst, have been in the midst, of creating something…I know not what yet…but something, since Chuck died and I went on the road. I’m building a foundation for something, but in the meanwhile, mostly I too feel as if I’m just doing hit or miss and I’m trying to feel passionate about something but don’t feel passionate about anything other than staying on the road. I, too, like you and so many other widows, must find a way to be financially secure, and I will somehow, and I know it has to have something to do with this experience because after this experience, after living on the road for almost 7 years, how can I bear to return to an average, normal, life? Reading your blog this week was opportune for me, widow sister, and I thank you for writing it. I’ve been getting myself crazy with stuff and this offered me some reassurance~

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  • commented on Echo 2015-11-19 21:40:28 -0800
    Oh, God, Kelley-yes, yes, yes, to all of this! Chuck was very much my person who helped me make any kind of sense on a daily basis, never mind when the world was falling to shit. He was active duty during the First Gulf War, and civil service on 9/11, working at McGuire AFB in Jersey and I didn’t see him much during those times since he had to be at work, but I knew he was near, and the minute he put his arms around me, I was always ok. My heart goes out to you, it breaks for all of us who have to deal with the shattered silence of missing-ness. Nothing replaces the voice of our someone special, the one who made us feel special on a daily basis. Thank you for your words, for writing what is in my heart, for just being present, so that I know that there is another widow somewhere out there, who knows this agony. May you be blessed, always~

  • commented on Happy for You, In Pain for Me 2015-08-07 19:10:39 -0700
    Kelley, once again, you’ve written letters into words and words into sentences that brought me directly into the moments with you.

    Death is so hard. And life after death is, yes, harder still.

    I’m so glad you write for you, and for me and for the great big “us” that is out there in this widowed world.

    Because your words help me feel, not less alone, but “with” others. And that matters~

  • commented on Grieving the Grief Years 2015-08-04 16:00:21 -0700
    Oh, Jeez, Sarah, you nailed it down hard with this. I’m not where you are, really, but I’ve had the thought in my head that at some point even these deeply grieving years will be behind me and I panic because does that mean that Chuck will truly be just a memory in my past and that sends me into such panic that I have to stop thinking at all.

    These couple years since his death have been…continue to be…devastating and horrifying and your blog makes me wonder at how it’s possible to miss them but I expect I will. Because, as you say, these are sacred times…

  • commented on Dying 2015-07-17 17:23:12 -0700
    I swear, Kelley, that grief is really nothing more than complete insanity, don’t you think? Or at least, we end up feeling like we’re insane. I so get what you’re saying, about the anxiety, the wild imaginings, all of it. The first time I went to the gyn after Chuck died, she walked in the room and asked how I was doing and I went into meltdown. I don’t know how we get through this with any sense of normalcy left. The smallest things can loom so largely in our minds. Panic attacks were a regularly scheduled event in the first year and so after Chuck’s death, and I’ve been getting them again lately, so I carry my homeopathic remedies for grief/trauma with me. (on a side note that I just thought about, it’s weird but I find it strangely soothing to be able to take a remedy that is for trauma. Somehow it helps me not feel like I’m imagining all of this).

    Anyways, girl, I’m out here in this world and I read what you write and I know you’re there, and I’m standing with you and somehow we’ll all get the fuck through this clusterfuck. (on another side note, that’s one of my favorite military terms that Chuck taught me).

    Sending love to you always,
    alison

  • commented on Hey Bud 2015-07-07 15:04:20 -0700
    Jesus almighty, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. Like Kelly, I’m a puddle of tears. I can only hope I find someone wonderful like you someday, who will love that I’m Chuck’s widow, who will find a place in his heart for the man I love still, even as I love him. Bless you both in this next part of your lives. Your story here is the first thing that’s given me hope since Chuck’s death~

Just me, trying to figure this shit out, after the firestorm of my beloved husband's death~
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