Monday, September 14, 2009

September 15, 2009 Judgement Day

There is something I want you all to understand.

This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Yes it is all about me because Art was my husband and one hell of a partner. If you have lost your job, it is the worst thing that has ever happened to you! I can only pray it is the worst thing that will ever happen to the kids.

Grief has no time line or rhythm or reason. You dip in and out, weave and sway, stop and go. There will be moments when I am grateful again and there will be moments again when I am full of rage.

Anger is one of the stages of this grief. One does not pass through a stage and then is done with it, one weaves in and out of them as well. Read Kubler-Ross’s book and you’ll see.

There is never a moment I don’t “get on with my life.” I do it every single moment of every single day, that’s how many times I think of him. I do it waking up in my bed and glancing over to see if maybe Art will be there. I do it in every breath I take, plan I make, decision I decide. It has gotten easier but easier in a sense that I am only caring one ton, instead of two. Every friggin’ day that I wake up and put my feet on the floor is a triumph because I am getting on with my life!

Right now, in this moment I am angry and herein lies the conundrum….if I lie and show gratitude when I don’t feel it, happiness when it is a far reach for me then I am not being true to my process. And believe it or not, it’s great that you read but I do this for myself. Art knew that, in fact he's the one who pointed it out to me. The writing and posting helps me with my process.

No one said it would be easy to read about or that you, the reader would like it. But this is MY blog and MY process. And you read partly, I suspect, because you want to see what this is all about. And yet when I show my honest feelings, however ugly, many of you are appalled and find them disgusting. Rage is part of it. There is no judgment on it, it just is. The rage is in my widow’s group and it is part of every widow I have spoken with from 90 year old and the 23 year old. They warned me about posting, said that others would not understand. They were right.

The comments kept telling me I should feel gratitude, as if I had never written about it. It makes me laugh because you and I have such short memories, that's what spin doctors bank on! Read back to my trip to Maine or to some of the earlier posts, there is gratitude there. This is not gratitude here right now, but that will change. When and where I don’t know but I know that nothing is permanent, not your life or mine, not gratitude or anger.

And exactly how am I to show this gratitude? What would you the reader have me do? What would make you think I am grateful enough? Is a thank you in person, a thank you note, or would you prefer I cry over what you have done for me. I have said thank and felt like many of you do when you say “I’m sorry,” to a grieving person, that it just isn’t enough, that I can’t possible express how much a small gesture means to me or to the kids. How do you know I haven't been grateful? You don't. I have written notes, sent texts and made phone calls. Many people squirm with the acknowledgment and the gratitude I show them. There is not a day that goes by that I do not say thank you to someone for their help, not a damn day! It may not be aimed at you, or perhaps you were not in a place to receive it?

Grieving alters the chemicals in a person's brain. To hold me to "normal" expectetations is like asking a ...well don't hold your breath! I am on drugs, my brain is a mess.

What I write is about my grief, that is all I know. Call it narcissistic, but it is MY GRIEF!!!! When and, if you are ever in my place your reaction may be different, it may be the same.

It is easy to look on, and I do mean on, someone else’s life and to say “you should….,” to pick out the holes and tell them what they can do to make it better. I know, I was a queen of You Shoulds. And now I know there is no should. It’s not up to me, the voyeur from the outside, to tell anyone how to do anything. It is completely 100% up to the person going through the process. I can only listen, ask for clarity and give feedbackWHEN I AM ASKED (still working on that last one) but that is all.

It's not easy to say “Wow, I don’t like the way that made me feel. I don’t get you. And I’d like to think I wouldn’t act in the same manner, but I cannot judge you cause I KNOW NOT!”

I cannot promise you I will be nicer in the future. I cannot promise you will never read anything here that you will make you uncomfortable. I cannot promise you I will even keep blogging. If you are looking for that, they I strongly suggest you look somewhere else.

I am not the first to write about widowhood, and I will not be the last. All of us have told our truths. And that is what you will find here, my truth. Call it want you want, narcissistic, selfish whatever, but it is my truth. If you don’t like it, please don’t read it anymore. Move on and tell yourself you are better off for it, you may be.

Your life is too short and precious to be bothered by my words.

Take this truth or leave it. But unless you have walked in my shoes, none of you has the right to judge me. Not a single one of you.


  1. Kim, even those who have walked a mile in your shoes (and I am right now at 8 months, so a little further along than you), we still do NOT have the right to judge you. Because this is about your grief. We may have lots in common in our thoughts, feelings and behaviour even, but not all of it will be the same. As you say, it is what it is! There is no right way or wrong way. There is only your way.

    I don't know if you were given the same advice as I was by my counsellor ... which was to blog/journal and use it as an emotion dump, to chart progress. I have since found that blogging has helped me to make some sense of what I am going through (the feelings ... the process). It has helped me connect with other widows and widowers with whom I can sanity-check, and as you will know that is a necessity some (or most) days. I certainly don't blog to get sympathy (as someone apparently said behind my back ... and yes that hurt me). I don't blog hoping to get a book deal. I don't blog because I am self-obsessed. I blog because I truly have lost my world and don't want to be here anymore and Kim will know how serious I mean that. I blog because I need to vocalize what has happened, my fears, my pain. It is an outlet. It helps to heal me slowly.

    If you are not touched by the flames of grief as we have been, then please have the decency to keep your pathetic comments to yourselves, or at least not be a coward and post anonymously.

  2. Awesome. You go girl! I am so glad you are standing tall and speaking your truth!

  3. Anonymous7:54 AM

    I love your posts and I love how they have pushed some buttons. I am reminded by what a woman said to me on my bike trip across country. We asked random strangers to open their backyards/homes to us for a place to stay. She said, "you're two angels helping others deal with their trust issues." Even though I know you don't mean to and this blogging is for you, I think you are an angel in disguise helping others deal with their own issues around grief, entitlement, loss, reaching out. Your honesty and straight-forwardness has clearly hit a mark for some folks and maybe they'll take a look inside their own walls. I know every time I read, I ponder and think of what needs changes in my own life..


  4. I love your posts because they are honest. I read them because you don't hide your feelings, good or not so good. I admire you because you carry on despite the rage and grief. I thank you because you allow us to witness the grace that flows from these acts of courage.

    ~ Genie

  5. I have not lost a husband. For starters I have walked an unconventional path and never had one! I have lost two parents and understand how complicated the grieving process is. But still I have not lost a husband, partner, love of my life.

    It is never possible for anyone to truly understand an experience until they have had it themselves and even then we are all unique in these situations.

    I say %$#@ to the people that judge you. Any significant loss is a type of pain that no one should ever judge. You are allowed to be angry, depressed, giddy a little cuckoo and if you weren't it would most likely mean you did not really live and love.

    There are plenty of us out here that are not judging you but are feeling your loss.

    Hang in there.

  6. Kim, what a perfect response.

    Remember that you're not the first widow who's had this kind of pushback, you just got (lucky you!) to hear about it. I'm sure many members of my community felt I had received plenty and was not grateful and anyway, I married a man 20 years older than me, what did I expect?

    Two years after Gavin died, a friend said to me: "I wish we had done more. I feel like I failed you." And I was able to say, "You did fail me. Everyone failed me, all my friends. Part of it was that I needed to ask for more help, you couldn't know. But it's okay now. We all did the best we could and the world looks much, much better now."

    You're on a ridiculously difficult road as a widow with young kids. You're doing a great job, even providing a reasonable, truthful response to hurtful crazy comments.

    By telling our stories, we will make it easier for someone else, I'm sure of it.



  7. Anonymous12:51 PM

    More stuff about making out with guys who knew Art.

  8. Anonymous2:12 PM

    But you and Art were headed for divorce. You told us so.

  9. Hard to figure:
    why someone would take the time
    to read (daily)
    someone else's blog,
    and then complain
    because they didn't like
    what they were reading????


  10. Anonymous4:56 PM

    To the last 3 Anonymous Poster- I am sure it is only one person-- you cowardly Bitch or bastard-- obviouly you are hell bent on hurting Kim and you should know that her armour of friends is stronger than any wise ass comment you can make-- What kind of human being are you- who raised you and please remember- Karma is a bitch ! Go away and leave Kim alone.