I just finished my first Camp Widow and I'm on my way back to Arizona to see our oldest son get married. As soon as Camp finished, I hopped in PinkMagic and headed north to the Panhandle and turned west. All of which is to say...I haven't even begun to filter through the experience of meeting so many beautiful people, men and women who are traveling this widowed road.
There is too much to write about, too many impressions, too much emotion, too much of pretty much everything and I need to focus on driving, so I am.Read more
Well here I am at Camp Widow in beautiful Tampa. Today I attended round table discussions on 'being widowed by suicide', 'being widowed without the chance to have children' and 'signs and synchronicity'. I met some wonderful, inspiring people and told my story a couple of times. And I didn't cry once.
Not sure what I want to write about tonight, but I will begin by telling you where I am. Lobby of Marriott hotel, Tampa, Florida. Attending and presenting my comedic performance for the 6th time at Camp Widow. All of the camp events officially begin in the morning, but Ive been here since yesterday afternoon, and have already reconnected with old friends and met a few new ones. Us widowed people find each other pretty easily. Just look for the nearest bar.Read more
Grief illiteracy has been on my mind quite a bit in the last couple weeks. Even if you don't know that term, you'll know what I mean when I tell you about my face-to-face with it. And you'll nod your head and say to yourself (or to the room in general)....oh, yes....
I keep a personal blog in addition to writing for Widows Voice, and I have for years. It began as a way to chronicle my and my husband's travels. After his death it became, and remains, about the most difficult of travels; alone and without the man I love next to me.
As I write this, I'm sitting in a plane, flying from Los Angeles to New York. I'm back in the USA for Camp Widow East next weekend and decided to make a holiday off it, fulfilling a life-long dream of visiting the Big Apple.
I'm almost in Tampa for Camp Widow, arriving early from Arizona. This has been a long road trip for me, and taxing in a different way from my previous travels, emotionally. Perhaps it's the knowing that this really will be for me, as so many have assured me, a life-changing weekend. This grief is exhausting and I want it to shift for me but at the same time, being honest, I suppose deep in there somewhere is fear also. Fear that it will be so life-changing for me that I won't recognize myself afterwards. Not that I recognize myself now. All I know is that I'm not the woman I was with Chuck. Everything else is up for grabs.Read more
Tonight, I just wanted to be me.
Sometimes, I just want to be me.
But, not this version of me. Old me. The me that existed before July 13, 2011. The me that had a sick but random and giddy sense of humor. The me that laughed with abandon, and laughed often. The me that was easygoing and fun and carefree, sarcastic and crazy and youthful. The me that had only been through the deaths of my grandparents, uncles, and a few family friends and acquaintances, which , although very hard, isn't even on the same playing field as husband. The me that knew what it was like to go to a funeral, and then go home - affected by the death for a few hours or days or weeks, but able to live my life much in the same way as I did before. That me.
There is no getting around the silence. It's tangible and fraught with emotions. We can dress it up however we wish, but the silence that consumes every corner after our beloveds die is, almost, as palpable as their presence once was.
I'm on the road again, headed to Camp Widow in Tampa, driving PinkMagic. My intention is to stay primarily at military family camps for overnights along the way. I feel more secure on base, and I feel closer to Chuck. Today was my first day of travel, with a late start from Phoenix after running into difficulty with the lights on my trailer. I didn't get far; I'm at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. Quite frankly, everything is so emotional, and Chuck and I had always wanted to come here, so I decided to call an early day.
Well so far, 2015 is not going as planned, as I came down with a yucky head cold on New Years Day and have spent the past few days in bed, wishing Dan were here to fuss over me.Read more
It is 12:40 a.m. east coast time, on Friday, September 26th, and I am writing this blog piece from the Marriott hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada. I am here for Camp Widow, getting set to give my comedy presentation for the 5th time in a row. Sitting in the lobby where the Wi-fi is free on my laptop, exhausted after an almost 12 hour train ride from NYC into Toronto, followed by a lovely dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with some of my widowed friends. And then, of course, in classic Kelley fashion - I was just about to snuggle up under my covers in the comfy Marriott bed, when I suddenly out of nowhere remembered: "SHIT!!! I HAVE TO WRITE THE BLOG!!!" So, down the elevator I went, to the Wi-fi hot spot area in the lobby, and here I sit, with no real idea what to say.Read more