Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009 Thank God.....

Tonight...I taught my kids to drink,

how to do stupid things, like try to fit into a fridge,


and the art of revalry,

and how to take bad photos. (But not naked ones!)




Tonight, we entered 2010 (Eatern Standard Time)

together, intact, a new family.

THANK GOD THIS YEAR IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Fucking New Year
(and I mean it)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009 It's Working


All this blogging.

All this thinking and pondering

and screaming

and crying

and ranting
and joying

and blaming
and elating

and sorrow

It's all working.

I got some devastating financial news two days ago.

Just devastating.

And it knocked me off my feet. And I cried and screamed and got pissed off and thought of
how to seek revenge.

And then I got calm.

And then angry

And then grateful

And then I panicked

And then I laughed.

Cause now I am free to be exactly who I am.

The money would have made me feel beholden.

Now I see the truth.

I am beholden to no one.

I have survived his death.

I have survived his idiocy (or the insurance company's idiocy) of lack of life insurance.

I will survive this latest blow.

It will be scary.

It will be empowering.

It will make me rise.

It will make me fall to the floor wishing it to suck me up.

I'm still pissed.

Gonna be for awhile.

But this time, I know all of this stuff I am feeling

Will pass

And I will keep finding my light over and over again

And keep moving forward.

Big changes to the blog in 2010.

Big changes to my life in 2010.

I am grateful 2009 is ending.

What a fucking year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 28, 2009 Family

much of his extended family gathered at the house tonight
all of his siblings
one set of aunt and uncle
two cousins
all of their children

there was a sense of ease, of kindness, of caring I had not felt when he was alive.

I don't know if it was them or if it was me or it was all of us.

what I do know is that I love his family.
what I was reminded of is they are my family too.

----
My mom is here
sitting late night talking with her
i realize that this grief will leave a mark on me
i am surprised i hadn't thought about that before

my brain has shifted, changed, morphed
it will never function the same way it had before he died

so stupid
but I'm really, really sad about that
somehow to me
it signifies
my
own
mortality

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009 Miracles


December 25, 2009

Shared tears in the morning with my mother-in-law.
Sudden tears at the table.
Lonely tears at night.

Joy and laughter in between.

Merry Christmas, Sweetheart.
You were here and we all missed you.

------
December 26, 2009

From a song from the movie, Prince Caspian. I have heard it many times before.
Tonight I HEARD it.

i've got the memories
always inside of me
but i can't go back
back to how it was

i will leave now
i've come too far
no I can't go back
back to how it was

oooooooooo
oooooooooo
oooooooooo
i'm moving forward

so every day starts
with a magic spark
i've got my hopes high
with a second start
we are miracles
every breath is magic

so you give yourself away
with your miracle heart
ya just to be alive
is a magic art
we are miracles
every breath is magic

relief over misery
i've seen the enemy
and I won't go back
back to how it was

and I got my heart set
on what happens next
i've got my eyes wide
it's not over yet
we are miracles
and we are not alone

so every day starts with a magic spark
i've got my hopes high with a second start
we are miracles
every breath is magic

----

every breath is magic
his was
but I can't go back
second chances arrive every day

I'm so looking forward to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009 Our Christmas Eve

We sat in church tonight, the kids scattered with relatives.

Ezra with Art's oldest cousin, Langston with his oldest cousins.

Pallas just two people away, sitting next to Nana.

As the church sang Silent Night, I cried. I missed hearing him sing next to me, the deep reverberations coming from his chest. I missed holding his hand.

I missed our family, the old family, the one where all our kids had to sit with us. I didn't have the energy to make them sit with me. I sensed they needed to find comfort in making it different than the last time we were in that church, together.

As soon as I finish this post, I will put the Christmas gifts out.

Last year we...well I did it, as he sat on the couch. The cancer already ravishing his body, making him weak. And to think, we didn't know it.

Our tradition was to put the gifts out over a bottle of wine, crackers and cheese and Christmas music.

We'd eat the cookies and he'd take a sip of the milk.

We'd laugh and giggle and he'd shush me, which made us laugh harder. We'd kiss.

I miss him, I miss what we were. All the good things we were together.

And in the next moment, I am ready to move on. Feeling well equipped to enter another relationship. Well equipped because of him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 21 - 22, 2009 Daffodils and Phone Calls


I am like the daffodils that are blooming in my back yard (yes they bloom 2x a year in LA. I thankfully bloom more often.)

I crumble, letting the dirt and cold beat down on my brightness, making me floppy and weak, causing me to brown and shrivel. I go within too tired to care anymore. It is there I find the sustenance, the nutrients, all that I need to continue, to grow, to nourish me back into myself, brighter than before.

This is his gift to me. My transformation over and over and over again, until the pattern is so ingrained that I am not afraid of the floppy weakness but welcome it.
----

I managed to get us all on two different flights.
I have developed a healthy fear of flying. Perhaps it is because I have experience with the randomness of death.
We all arrived in Maine.
Our luggage did too.

That is all that matters.

----
December 22, 2009

Kids and snow. It's a great invention.

Snow pants, jackets and snow boots rank up there with the invention of the computer. Convenient, annoying sometimes, but worth the effort.

There is an old fashion phone at my in-laws. You know the kind that has a cord connecting the receiver to the phone.

"I should call Art." I think.

I reach for it and then withdrew my had as if the phone might burn me.

My longing for him is no longer uncomfortable or awkward, it's just present. It lasts for 3 moments then dissippates like my breath

outside

in the cold.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009 F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R.

False Evidence Appear Real

Fuck Everything And Run


Last night, FEAR came and sat by me. It said "Ya know. You can't do this all."

and

"You are gonna fuck up and forget something major."

and

"You are not organized enough."

And

"No one cares about you. No one has time for you."

And

"By the way....did I tell you you look fat and you can't write?"

Last night, I beleived F.E.A.R.

My shoulders knotted.

I felt shrunken, invisible, inept and hopeless.

So I

FEAWTB (Fucked Everthing And Went To Bed)

Fear can only lie next to me till I fall asleep.

Today

Next to me in bed, in place of FEAR, were Pallas and Ezra.

Snoring away. FEAR no where to be seen.

I got out of bed, looked at my list and.....

LAUGHED! (You were wrong fear)

And

Shook my head (Silly girl, you know FEAR lies)

And

Sighed (Functioning without him leads me farther and farther from him.)

And

Laughed again.

I think I'm gonna call a friend to see if they want to have a spot of tea and a muffin because

I'm NOT fat and

I CAN write!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009 I'm Sorry, What?

Tip Number Gazillion and 12

Offer to help the person prepare to travel. Now this said person may smile at you and say "No thanks. I think I will be ok." In which case smile back and tell this person:

"I am on call if you need me."

and also say

"Yes I am busy too, but I would like to help you for two hours."

Don't forget to call this person a day before they are to leave and say

"What can I do for you?"

Because this person is really stressed out and will forget what you said. She also will not call you because she knows you are busy with the holidays too.

This person will stupidly not reach out for help.

----

I am in over my head.

There is laundry to do.
Presents (for mykids only) to buy.
Present sorting to do -- finding the gifts I brought for them earlier this year, sort them into piles and see if someone has more than they need.
Food to buy for the trip.
A food plan before the trip -- neither the kids nor I can eat all our meals on the road. We've tried and the result is pissed off, cranky kids (and parents). Bringing our own food for just one meal averts this.
Travel toys to get.
Packing to do, which requires my that I use limited brain power to consider really cold weather, which means I have to remember what it feels like and then consider how one stays warm in that kind of weather.
MAKE A RESERVATION FOR A RIDE TO THE AIRPORT!
Lists. I have lists. And they include
take out the garbage
lock the windows
tell neighbors we will be out of town.
and
and


And then there is the no sleeping aspect. Been burning the candle at both ends. Problem is it's like a speed buring candle.

And now everything is confusing. I can't focus. Their normal kid noises, the stomping, the loudness, the repetition makes me feel like I am crazy. Like I'm an autistic child who finds lights and noise unbearable.

A low lit, quiet muffled room sounds divine. There I can sort through my thoughts and my lists and make sense of it all.

My reaction to the 127 "Mom, can I _____________?" questions I get asked is slow and wobbly, like I'm thinking in Jello.

I am.

So I'm gonna bag it all.

I'm going to bed and probably will arrive in Maine missing half our stuff.

Doing the best I can. Now if only I can accept that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009 Party Party

First party tonight where I didn't feel:

like going home.

like I was like this woman who had some highly contractable disease.

weird because all of them were part of another and Iwas alone.

lonely when I got home.

It was a normal party. I had a normal time. It ended after a normal hour.

If this is what widowhood can feel like.......YA HOO!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009 A Toast

A peace settled around me this morning that muffled the noise of the day and left me smiling (except when I was trying to get the two kids out the door to pick up the third kid, so we could get the oldest kid to his concert on time) Photo above.
"It is all good." I kept thinking...and feeling. "I am exactly where I am supposed to be."
15 years ago, I was exactly where I was supposed to be too. I remember when the time came to get ready walk, I reached down for my flowers and was surprised that my hands were shaking. I remember walking down the stairs at the Blue Hill Farm Inn in Maine to the beat of an African jimbe (drum) played by a Japanese guy. My mother and father escorting me.
I remember the ceremony only from the photos. I remember my jaws hurting from smiling so much. I remember waltzing with him. I remember leaving too early, in my opinion. Let everyone go home, I wanted to stay at this party!
After I write this, I will take a glass of our favorite red wine and toast him.
I will toast to:
the deep respect we had for each other
to the crappy gifts and the pain that we caused each other.
I will toast to:
the three humans we stewarded into this life
all the bike rides and flats we changed.
I will toast to:
the fights we had
and to the growth we honored
I will toast to:
us and the day he asked me to marry him.
I will toast to:
him and the moment I watched him die.
I will toast to:
me, because it is exactly what he would want. And finally, now, I see why.
I will toast to:
his well-lived life that ended when it needed to, not when we wanted it to.
I will toast to:
my new life.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009 My Truth

I had a drink tonight with someone who reminded me to speak my truth.

The truth is today was another day.

The truth is the 8 month anniversary is nothing but a date.

The truth is I once stopped counting days. I will now stop counting months.

The truth is he was an amazing man.

The truth is he loved me more than he loved life.

The truth is I am crying with gratitude and awe.

The truth is my life is marvelous and hard and shitty and sad and frustrating and obnoxious and disappointing and humorous and stupid and gay and fun and exciting and new and adventurous.

The truth is... his death was his greatest gift to me

for

without it

I may never

have discovered

that

joy and suffering do indeed go together.


Peace, love.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 14., 2009 Bad, Bad Mom

Wake up.
Pallas sick.
Too sick for school.
Have to leave her
Have client appointment.
A high paying client appointment.
No insurance = work when I can.
I tell her what I have to do.

After I am done
I try to call.
Phone does not pick up.
Neither does answering machine.
I give myself a dope punch.
Unplugged the phone so Langston could fax something
last night.
Forgot to plug it back in.
She can't call out .... at all!

Panic fills me.
I call a friend.
"Can you go over there and make sure she is OK?
I'm on my way."
Traffic on the highway makes me really, really tense.
I want to mow down the slow driving police car.
I arrive home, my friend's car is there.
I am shoving down the sobs.

Bad, bad mom.
Bad, bad mom.

My friend laughs!
"We can discuss many ways you can become a bad mom.
This is not one of them."
I still cry.

She is right.
Pallas never tried to call.
I am doing the best I can.

We are all growing up so fast.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 13, 2009 Tired Children


I stumbled upon this photo today. I was looking for a different one.

When I saw it, I cried.

They look so worried, so sure that the world was an uneven, unbalanced place.

It was then. (It still is but I am trying to ease myself into that fact.)

I had been in the hospital all day with Art.

The next day I would call friends who would gather them from school and bring them to the hospital where I would tell them one at a time, "Your father is dying."

When I look back on all this grief, there is one place that I never like to touch, one place where the rawness never seems to heal.

I could not protect them from loss. Nothing has made me, or still makes me feel so small or useless or powerless. Nothing has made me question the purpose of motherhood more.

At that moment, when I told them, when I accompanied each one in to say good-bye I knew I was doing the right thing, but the pain from doing that is something I had not visited till I saw this photo.

This photo was taken 4 days before Art died. The innocence is still in their eyes.

---
I stop crying and download this photo to my phone.

It is here I remember how resilient we all are.

December 12, 2009 Silence

I hung out with some member of my bereavement group tonight.

We laughed and ate and chided each other --

And then there was this moment, when we all stopped.

It was as if the ghosts of our dead partners all came into the room at once.

Sadness entered.

Silence

Words?

Nothing could have been said.

We simultaneously sighed.

And the conversation started up again.

That space was the best part of my day. We all held it for each other, knowing that there was nothing we could say, nothing we should say, no way to fix the loss. So we didn't.

I love my group.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009 Cake in the Face


I'm breathing.

Inhale
Exhale
Inhale
Exhale

Yesterday there was cake all over my face. Today....it's still there but the benefits are sweet!

It came together today. Right when I couldnt' take anymore. Right when I didn't know how I was gonna do the next minute, right when suicide was looking good. (Do NOT be alarmed. It is a common widow thougth!) Right when I felt I had nothing left, the breath arrived.

And instead of the loss of him, I look at the 15 years of marriage we had. We were headed, I believe, for divorce. But now that fact no longer fills me with shame. I think our relationship had run it's course and I am so fucking grateful for our marriage.

So today, instead of loss, I'm oozing gratitude. It dripped from me, like sweat and what I accomplished day was sweeter, better, rounder. It was in the damn air.

In the beginning, they said the waves would come and take me down. They said they would be big and overpowering. They said in time, the waves would still come, only there would be more time inbetween them. More space to catch my breath. They, thank God for they, were right.

So there is cake on my face, all over my damn face, it's sticky and gooey and makes me look weird. But I just discovered that I can lick my lips!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009 My Version of Bursting Out In Song

Every day I wake up with the assumption that it will be a bumpless day.

It’s a desperate assumption, one that I need, one that that allows me to put me feet on the floor (even if it is in the running position) and rise into this new day. It's an assumption that Buddhists’ know to be flawed….nothing is permanent but impermance. Everything is always changing.

When I arrive at school to drop of the kids, I go to the office to find Mindy’s desk full of gifts. (Mindy is a member of my Sit-Down-and-Cry PS#1 Support team).

The student gift exchange.

I have been sucker punched. I ask in a wobbly voice “They’re due today?”

Maggie (another member of member of my Sit-Down-and-Cry PS#1 Support team) senses the tears welling behind my sunglasses, puts her hand on my arm and says “You are doing the best you can.”

I nod.

I know I am but it just doesn’t seem to be best enough.

Two kids (not my own) are depending on me to pull my shit together so they can get gifts “made” by my two kids. There is no shirking that. Or saying I can’t.

And had I not gone up to the office, had I just used the drop off line, I would have completely forgotten those two kids.

I stand there, holding my sobs down like a person giving CPR, with force and meaning and hope. I am angry and disappointed in myself.

I remember between compressions…..I am not “over” his death.

I function with my chin just above the water line.

It is better than having my nose above the water line. But it is not far enough away for me to expect “functioning” to be normal thing.

And every day I get out of bed, I expect the water line to recede. It does, but slowly. Some days, like today, it rises.

And I forget that. I forget that it can rise, quickly with the simple provocation of something I forgot.

I remember.

He has only been gone for 234 days, only 5,616 hours. Not long enough for anything to be normal.

I leave the office and head to a store. This year those kids will get gifts made by me and not my children.

I exhale, I cry, I let go.

That is truly the BEST I can do.

I have nothing else to offer.

---

7:20 PM

I have been crying for the good part of the day.

Every time I stretch, attempt to function, to work, to think, I find myself gently sobbing. Kinda like others burst out in song.

I cannot figure out why. Nothing triggered me or was it all these things triggering me?

It doesn't really matter. Since his death, I no longer need to find a reason to cry.

I have to get in the car, with the other two and pick Langston up from his science partner's hours in Beverly Hills... the hills part, like near Mulholland Drive part Beverly Hills.

If I am lucky, I will be home in an hour.

I keep putting it off.

Hoping that somehow he will miraculously appear on the doorstep.

And if he did, I wouldn't have to burst out in tears in the car....again.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

December 9, 2009 Accosted by Them


This is a glass of ice tea my possible businss venture partner drank. We discussed my work.
It is was the only time I didn't feel a sense of forboding or panic in the last four days.




There are days I am not sure I should be a mother. Days I question my, what feels like, my lack of caring, lack of nurturing. There are days I wish them gone, so I could just do what I want to do....mourn Art. There are days I want them gone. Usually on the same day I want myself gone.





Daily I am accosted by them. Barraged for food (or the wrong food), for attention (or the wrong kind of attention), for toys (or the wrong kind of toys), play dates (or the wrong kind person for play dates). There is an endless list of things they want. There are lists of issues they want me to deal with. The list starts when they get up (How come he gets The Chair, I don't like this kind of cheese on my scrambled eggs. Hey mom, we're out of milk again, what should I use instead?). And they do not end (Mom, wake up I had a nightmare. Mom wake up I don't feel well. Mom wake up, I think we're late for school, oh wait, it's Saturday.)





And in those lists and requests and demands. I miss him. Just like did in the beginning, that shallow, panicky, shake my hands, don't get close to the edge of the cliff miss. The kind sends a blood clot of doubt to C3 on my spine so that I feel paralyzed from the neck down, only I'm in the water, over my head.





I spend my day trying to avoid this panic. So instead of coming out boldly, it oozes into my life so that when someone asks "Kim, how are you going?" with the smallest gesture of concern in their voice, I open my mouth and the words come out as tears. Hot, fresh and surprising.





I don't know how I can do kids and loss at the same time. I know I do it, but I don't know how and I need to know how

so
I
can
do
it
again,
tomorrow
and the day after
and the day after that.

I want to know so that every time I feel this, I will be without the panic, the uncertainty.

So the next time I will have confidence that I am not one decision away from some sort of disaster.

I want to know so that I can do it
without missing him.

I want

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

December 8, 2009 Forty Days

Behind me is Thanksgiving at the ranch.

The day and the place he made his first call to his doctor saying he wasn't feeling well.

In front of me is month 8 and our 15 year anniversary, and the moment on the 18th when I saw my fear in his eyes that he was sick again...not knowing what kind of sick it would be.

I am in my little hole...

The dark place that breeds depression and familiar internal turmoil. The hole where I wonder why I keep going, missing his voice, seeing no purpose in Langston, Pallas and Ezra.

And

SHAZAM!!!

I am out of the hole, breathing in the winter (LA style which means no flip-flops) and making smart aleck comments to my smart aleck kids. Belly laughing, enjoying and sad that he is missing this too. Even Mr. No-Sense-of-Humor Ezra is laughing.

I can't figure this out. I feel crazy, like I should be wearing house slippers out and skirt that matches my wild, out of control hair. And then like I am a well coifed woman, striding with confidence and diligence, no stopping me.

I need to write, so I will.

Forty Days

I will post every day for Forty Days

I need to get passed these holidays, and birth into the new year fresh and new and wholer and more fragile in my own strength. I need to see what this grieving really looks like. I need to tell you how you can help, not me but others who find themselves locked in this hell.

Forty days I will expose myself knowing that after the forty, I will rise like phoenix...again.