Last Friday our local Kona Hospice hosted their annual Circle of Remembrance event at Hulihe'e Palace. I didn't go last year; I think it was all just too raw for me then, but this year I felt myself drawn there. I've been taking part in their grief counseling services for over a year now which is free for spouse and child loss. We are incredibly lucky to have that, especially knowing how many people have a hard time finding and affording good therapy. The program here is wonderful and the people are extraordinary. I can't say where I would be now without it.
Hulihe'e Palace was built in 1838 as a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty, and in 1927 the Daughters of Hawaii restored the building and converted it into a museum. When Mike and I first visited Kona in Christmas of 2000 we were both thrilled by the history and gorgeous scenery. As I checked in I couldn't help thinking of the tour we'd taken of the place together and how many times he and I had walked the sidewalks outside. My sense of nostalgia was palpable as I walked around to the lawn in back on the edge of the ocean.
Do you ever have those moments, where you can't really explain why or how, but you just know that the person you lost whom you loved most, is nearby, or in the room with you? It is more of a feeling really - rather than something that can be analyzed or broken down. Sometimes it is inside the gust of wind that whispers by on a cold, crisp autumn day. Other times it is hiding within the melody of a beautiful song, or in someone else's laugh or smile or voice. You hear them. You see them. You feel them. There is no need to question it's reality, because it just is. It exists inside of you, and all around you, surrounding you like air that only you can breathe in.Read more
My husband and I used to have those silly magnetic letters on our kitchen refrigerator back in our New Jersey apartment, and we would leave each other cute and often ridiculous or random messages on the fridge like: "I love you Boo", or "Yankees won", or "UR cute." One of his favorite things to spell out for me in colored letters was "Don 'N Kelley" or sometimes "Don Wuvs Kelley." He could be syrupy sweet to the point of nauseating, at times, because he knew I would be rolling my eyes at the gag-inducing baby-talk and he loved to annoy me. So it was sort of his way of being sarcastically romantic.
Fast-forward to 8 months ago, when I moved out of one apartment in Queens, New York after my roommate kicked me out, and moved into another apartment in Queens, New York after finding another roommate. I walked over to the 99 cent store and got 2 packs of the magnetic letters, because spelling out little messages makes me oddly happy somehow, even though it also makes me really sad. It is the "familiar" and the "routine" of doing something and having something that we had together, and now continuing it alone.
I have plunged back into the cold, dark, hopeless place I felt buried in the first few weeks/months after Dave died. I've been struggling to eat, sleep, clean up after myself, and find comfort in anything. Everything feels like sandpaper against raw nerve endings. I can't stand to be alone. I need help. I've reached out. I've especially sought out the hugs and love of the women in my life who are best at sitting with me in my pain. They make me feel safe to let go entirely. They've saved me. And they have their own lives, so I return again and again to my own empty home to try to ease my own pain.Read more
I've had many dreams of Jeff since his death. There are a few that are terrifying renditions of the last few minutes of his life; but the vast majority centre on seeing him again in a variety of surprising locations.
I've found him on dairy farms slogging through the mud. I have glimpsed him on boats passing bridges that I stand upon. I have found him sitting at the dinner table expectant for his next meal.Read more
Written five months "post Jeff"....
My sister, Kirsten, was lending an ear the other day when I was having a hard time. I was upset about the whole lack of hope and happiness thing.Read more
gray and black hair,
reeking of booze,
wearing a shirt that
said, "vote no on yes."
A song plays. A breeze brushes past my face. A scene from a movie crosses the screen. I stand in the kitchen for no certain reason. A sunset paints itself across the horizon. Our dog sticks his head out the window. I lay silently in bed.