Sadness Just Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

This morning, I woke up with a brand new emotion: Anger. Yes, I have been angry since my husband’s death. I have been pissed. But this was different. I literally woke up, sat up, and felt an instant wave of violent anger. And the same way that an infant cries on instinct after waking up wanting their bottle, I broke down sobbing and wanting my husband. The sobbing became louder, and then weirder, and then it turned into cries and half-screams. It just wouldn’t stop. I wanted to punch somebody, everybody. I wanted to take away someone else’s world so that they finally get what this feels like. I wanted to burn our bed down and write all over the walls and take a knife to my wedding dress that’s been hanging in his closet – taunting me. I wanted to senselessly shatter and murder and hurt things, because my life has been shattered and hurt and murdered. “It’s not FAIR!”, I screamed like a child, and then fell forward in our bed, stomping at the mattress with my fists.

The feeling has not gone away. It is now almost 2pm, and in just a couple hours, I have to put on the “professional” face, and go out there, be funny onstage, and then be a motivational leader for my 22 Adelphi students, who will be nervous as hell tonight and looking for my support. But where’s my support? Who do I get to lean on for strength? Tonight is my stand-up comedy student’s big Comedy Show at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC. We work on their sets all semester long, tirelessly, and it all leads up to this. Their first big professional show. This is the second group of students and the second show I’ve had to do without Don. The first one was back in December, and I woke up feeling the same way I do today. Mad as hell. Crying. Overwhelmed. Right before walking out the door that day, I checked my mailbox, and the autopsy report was there. I read it on the busride into the city, and didn’t stop sobbing until minutes before the show. I had waited months for that report to show up, and it came on that day.

I am so fucking angry. I’m pissed that I pulled back the shower curtain this morning, and lying in the tub was a ginormous dead cockroach that the cats must have killed. I can’t bring myself to pick it up with a napkin and throw it away. I am so goddamn terrified of bugs and rodents and things. There are 3 lightbulbs out in my apartment. Two in the kitchen, and one in the hallway. The ceilings are so high that I cant even reach them standing on a stepstool, and Im so annoyed that my husband’s 6 foot 3 frame isn’t here to just do this shit for me. I’m sick of all the creditors calling, the lawyers, the hospital bills … I’m sick of dealing with paperwork and red tape and afteraffects of death. I’m so tired of facing the daily piles of stuff inside our apartment, and not knowing what to do with it and not caring and feeling sad and feeling beaten down by things. I am so mad that I have to avoid my living room, and that nobody comes over here anymore. Nothing happy has happened in this apartment since he died, so I immediately picture the day of his death, sitting here with my mom and about 8 friends, letting the reality of our new hell marinate. My living room is now just a death room. Its the place we all gathered when he died. I can’t even go in there without shivering. I’m tired of staring at his Ashes in a fucking Christmas tin on top of the Entertainment Center. I’m sick of thinking about what to do with the remaining ashes, I’m so over trying to be meaningful and inspirational and motivational when I just want to die. I’m sick of my bathroom being a pharmacy, filled with pills to help me sleep, stop me from thinking, stop my headaches, get rid of the intense physical aches that are everywhere, and make me feel human again. Waking up groggy or driving to work on 2 hours of sleep for an entire 10 months is really getting on my nerves.

I’m really angry that something as huge as having a life-altering experience with a Medium that makes me feel a bit of hope that maybe there is more after life than just death – does absolutely nothing to help my day to day existence here on Earth. I’m still just as alone and just as lonely as ever. I still have to life out the rest of my days without my husband. I am so annoyed that I have nowhere to put my love for him. I am so over looking at pictures and watching video clips and recalling memories; all in an effort to feel his presence again, to feel his love. None of it works. It is all a lie. He might be with me in spirit, but what the fuck does that do for me right now, when I want his opinion on this show tonight? Or when I want to lay in bed with him on a Sunday afternoon and watch a baseball game. Or feel him kissing me again. Tomorrow will be ten months since I have felt him do anything, say anything, be anything. I am so angry that I have to write this, that my life is now about this, and that nobody will ever really understand. I want to hurt something, but I know it wont help to stop me from hurting. I want to look into my husband’s eyes again. I want to know what it’s like to be together forever. Why the fuck did this happen???

I am sick to death of death. I am tired of talking about it. I am sick of analyzing my own damn thoughts and my feelings and my pain. I am sick of online Widow Groups and horrible, sad stories of other people’s terrible pain. I am so fucking tired of feeling like shit every single day, and of pretending I dont feel like shit when I have to be “on.” I am sick of writing about this crap, sick of hearing my own story, sick of it playing out over and over in my heart, and sick of knowing that it can’t be any different. It takes over your life. Yes, you go forward and you don’t let the grief become you, but it literally effects every part of your life. I’m tired of being this person. I want to get on a plane and go somewhere far away where I’m not this person anymore, and where this is not my life. I’m so tired of being tired. I haven’t felt energetic since last summer. I havent been me since last July.

Do you know what it’s like to live in a world where everything you do is exactly the same as before, except your partner is just missing? I still live in our apartment. I sleep in our bed. With our pets. I still take the same drive to long Island and work at the same jobs. I’m still struggling just to get by. Living paycheck to paycheck as a couple is cute and romantic and even funny. Doing it alone is depressing and hopeless and terrifying. I still drink out of the cups he brought here, and listen to the XM radio he bought me for the car. I still do the same things I did when he was here, except now he is not here. It is a big, gaping hole that doesn’t make any goddamn sense. It is a weird, stupid, unfair universe that won’t stop spinning. I dont know how to live in this space, in this world, without my other half. None of it makes any sense to me.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day or in 7 hours, I will be making jokes again or trying to be “positive” or figuring out more ways to keep going forward and keep being who I am and keep fighting to make sure he never really dies; but right this very second; I want to put my head through a wall and then set the wall into burning, fiery flames. My husband is dead, and I’m really fucking pissed about it.


My Husband Finally Spoke To Me. He said: “Leave Bon Jovi.”

My husband and I were very similar. He believed in things that were logical. If it was reasonable, made sense, or could be proven; then it was true. He loved science, and he made me love it too whenever he would teach me something new. He was always teaching me something, because he loved to soak up information in books, by watching endless documentaries, or just by paying attention to people when they talked. We had many discussions about religion, faith, God. Fascinating topics, really. Don and I loved to talk about stuff like that while lying in bed together. We would ponder life, death, and everything in between. Neither of us really believed in the concept of Heaven or Hell, and we didn’t see The Bible as anything more than a collection of interesting and far-fetched fables written by man many, many years ago. But we both believed in the idea of “something more.” I remember during one of our bedtime talks, Don told me: “You know, if there is a God, I think our pets have the closest access. I think they have a completely different awareness than we do. I would bet anything that Autumn is talking to Isabelle and Ginger when she meows nonstop at the ceiling. Either that, or she’s clinically insane.” Isabelle was Don’s cat, his baby, that he had for years in Florida and then brought up here to live with us when he moved in. She died at 15 years old, weak and sick. Weeks later, we adopted Autumn and Ginger, two kitten sisters. We lost Ginger to an enlarged heart at only age 3. Ever since then, Autumn stares at the ceiling in our hallway for HOURS sometimes, meowing loudly like she is talking to someone. After Don died; her meowing intensified, and her ceiling chats have gotten more and more frequent. Now this is one of those things, where, if were to tell someone about my cat who sees dead people, they might want to have me institutionalized. But all I can tell you is that it’s real, and she really does this, and it’s freaky as hell. I don’t know what I believe about some things, but I know that there are often things that just can’t be explained. And after today, I’m thinking maybe Don was right. Maybe our pets do have better access to the other side. Or maybe I need to be institutionalized. It’s still up in the air.

 Going back to science, there is this: Energy. Energy does not die. This is a fact. Energy lives forever, and we are all made up of energy. So if energy never dies but stays alive forever, what happens to us when WE die? Where does that energy go? What form does it take? Are we all just pieces of the universe floating around out there? Do we become stars? Chickens? Salt shakers? Coconut-cream pies? The ocean? (Whoever became a salt-shaker in their 2nd life must have been a real douchebag.) I don’t know. None of us know. Except for the dead people, and maybe the animals. I’m not big on religion or following a bunch of rules or going to church or using “God” to tell people how to live their lives or judge others or ANY of that. I believe in Energy. I believe in a higher power of some kind. What you call that is up to you. Some people call it God. Mother Nature. Spirits. Afterlife. Angels. The Universe. It doesnt really matter. People should believe whatever it is that helps them get through the day.

What gets me through the day right now is a hell of a lot different than it was 10 months ago, when my husband was still alive and here on Earth. Ten months ago, If someone had said to me that they were going to see a Medium, I probably would have said: “Oh. That’s nice.” Then I would go home and think to myself how that person must have lost their mind, or question how the hell anyone can fall for that kind of garbage. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Just like I never gave a second thought to the fact that I could hold or hug my husband anytime I wanted to. I could eat dinner with him, see a movie with him, be intimate with him, feel loved by him. The instant all of that was stripped from me, everything changed. Forever. I changed. First his love changed me, and then his death changed me again. Ten months ago, I never would have considered a session with a Medium. I would have laughed at it, mocked it, and put my cynical spin on it. But it’s amazing what you will do when you are faced with the harsh reality that you your husband is never again coming home. One thing I will say about religious people and those who believe in God, is that they seem to have an easier time accepting death. Think about it. If you really believed that your loved ones go to “a better place” or that it was part of some Devine Plan, (neither of which I believe to be true at all), that’s a lot more comforting of a thought than what someone like me believes; which is that nothing at all happens after we die, and that there is no reason for anything except for the reasons WE make of things, what WE do with our lives here on Earth. To me, this is it. I am open to the idea that maybe there is some sort of “life” in another form after we die, but I don’t know exactly what that is or what it means. If we all become rocks or blades of grass, what the hell kind of future is that to look forward to? Am I supposed to be excited about that? If I see Don again one day, will we both be blades of grass? Will some drunk father kill us with his lawnmower wheel? What will become of us? Nobody knows.

After months of talking to other young widowed friends on Facebook, most of whom had “felt” their late spouses presence in many ways since their death, I started to feel really sad because I haven’t had any experiences at all where I felt like Don is “with me” still. A good friend of mine had gone to see this Medium / Psychic / Healer several times, and she swore by the woman’s accuracy and realness. So, after over-analyzing it to death and panicking, because that’s what I do best, I finally made an appointment, or a “session” with this woman. It was for today, and it was a phone session. I was told by people to talk to my husband out loud before the session, to let him know that I need for him to come through for me. I have never felt like such a jackass in my entire life, but I took out our wedding picture, put on his wedding ring over mine, and started talking to him as if he were right here. I asked him to please help me believe that he is somehow still here with me. No, that doesn’t make any of the pain go away or make me miss him any less intensely, but at least I would have some confirmation that maybe I can still have some sort of different type of connection with my husband, forever. That at the very least, I would always have that.

When I picked up the phone to call her, I couldn’t stop shaking. I had a similar feeling the very first time I met Don in person, after we had been talking online for over a year. I thought my heart would literally fall out, and then the instant I saw him, it was as if I had known him my whole life. Something similar happened on this call. I was so nervous and the feeling of not having a clue how this works or what to expect started to overwhelm me. Then she introduced herself, explained a bit about what she does and how she “reaches” over to the other side and talks to spirits, then asked me a few mundane questions about the weather and things, just to start picking up on the energy through my voice. What happened next I will type below, pretty much word for word, or as much as I can remember. It is a dialogue like nothing I have ever experienced before, and I’m still a bit in shock over the whole thing, still processing it. I will type out the actual dialogue that occured, and then underneath certain exchanges, I will put my inner-monologue reaction to what she was saying to me in bold. Let me also just make clear that this woman knew absolutely nothing about me when this phone call began. The only thing she knew was my first name to make the appointment. She didnt know that my husband died, how old I was, how old he was, none of it. Here we go …

Her: Okay Kelley. Several people are starting to come through that all want to talk to you or are here for a reason. Im getting a father or a fatherly figure. But your dad – he is still alive, correct?

Me: Yes, he is alive.

Her: Is it your father-in-law? He is an older man, like 70’s or 80’s, and he is standing on a golf-course or near a golf-course.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! This was moment one where chills went up my spine. Don’s father lived on a golf-course, and had a heart-attack and died on a golf-course. How could she possibly know that?

Me: That must be my father in law then, but I never met him, and my husband and him were not close.

Her: That doesnt matter, that you’ve never met him. He is here to bring me to someone else who wants to talk to you. Sometimes when the loss is recent, the spirit doesnt know how to move in this world yet, so someone else “goes to get them” so they can speak with you and be reached.

Goes to GET THEM? How does that work exactly? “Don!!! Your wife’s on the phone from Earth! She wants to talk to you!” This is WILD!!!

Her: You lost someone recently, correct? Within the past year?

Me: Correct. Almost 10 months ago.

Her: It was sudden. It was traumatic. They died all of a sudden, very quickly. They werent sick or anything. Was it your husband?

Me: Yes.

Her: Okay. I have him here. His father is standing next to him. There is also a small woman, very fragile and frail looking, very tiny. She is also old and standing with him.

Me: That is his mother. She died a couple years ago.

Her: She is here with him. They are together.

Oh, he must LOOOVE that! She was a total pain in the ass his whole life and he ran away from her – now he is stuck with her for eternity!

Her: Okay there is someone else. It’s someone’s grandmother ..yours, correct? On your mom’s side of the family. Did she pass away?

Me: Yes. (I start crying. This is just so weird.)

Her: Its okay. She wants to tell you that she knows how hard this has been on you, losing him, and that she is sending you a big hug and food. She also says that she thought your husband was an amazing person and she really loved him.

Her: Okay there are some things your husband wants you to know. He says the reason you havent felt close to him is because he had a lot of trouble “crossing over” to the other side. His crossing over was peaceful, and it was quick, and there was no pain, but when he got here, he was confused, and he was just as shocked as you were that his life had ended. He felt lost on the other side. There were 3 angels that helped him, and one was his dad and mom. Im also getting a strong male figure, someone young, either a brother or a best friend maybe?

Me: He had a half-brother that died young. He didnt know him though.

Her: He knows him now. They were all Angels for him and helped him cross over. The sibling, the brother, also had a peaceful crossing. Your husband also wants you to know that he is so sorry there was no chance for you to say goodbye to each other, and he wants you to know how much he loved you and will always love you, and appreciated you, and was so grateful for you in his life. He is also saying that every single thing you did since his death , he approves of and he is happy with. He said he could not have ever done a better job himself. The way you have conducted yourself has been amazing. He is proud of you.

He is proud of me. He always used to tell me that. ALWAYS. To hear it again, even if its coming from a 3rd party, is just so beyond meaningful to me. Now I really cannot stop crying.

Her: You didnt have children together, but he says the reason for his death was heart related and it came from his dad’s side of the family, not his mom’s, and that his father’s father had it too, and if you had a son together, he would have also had it. He says it was just one of those things, and that you couldnt have done anything to save him. He wants you to stop blaming yourself. He said “cut it out. you gave me everything and I was happy. Im sorry if I didnt tell you that enough.” He really wants you to know how much he loved you. (pause) Now Im picking up on some pets around him too. Getting a very strong large cat vibe or small dog. Did you have pets together?

Me: Yes. A few. Two that died and two are here now with me.

Her: The ones there with you are sort of tiger-or-multi-colored right? A boy and a girl? And there are two girls here with him ….

Isabelle and Ginger. Sure, this woman could have googled me and then read my blog which pretty much tells the entire story in detail of Don and me and our life. Dont think I havent thought of that. I AM the greatest cynic alive. But the way she was saying all of this stuff, it really FELT like it was coming from a genuine place, and also felt like it was coming to her AS she was saying it. Plus, there were SO many tiny details that there is just no way she could have known. At this point in the conversation, Im a sobbing mess and just listening with wonder and in awe of this whole thing, quite frankly. It is a lot to process and take in. Some stranger is on the phone, whom I have NEVER met, and she is talking to my dead husband!!! WHAT???

Her: The female cat that is with you, she likes to sit in high places or meow or talk in high places? When she does that, he is near you. He hasnt been here long enough yet to know how to reach you and thats why you havent felt his presence a lot, but you will soon. But pay attention to your pets, because they have access we dont to the spirit world. (This is getting out of this world weird now. That is the EXACT same thing that Don said to me while lying in bed that night, about our pets having access to God and life beyond. AAAHHHH!!!!!!)Your other cat, the male one, he scratches some sort of case that belonged to your husband. An instrument or something. (WTF? How could anyone know this? This is SO random of a thing to know. Okay. This woman is clearly on a different plane and it’s scaring me. Everything that I thought I believed or didn’t believe is now being questioned with this one statement about a guitar case. And then my logical side kicks in, my inner-cynic, and I think: “Nah. There MUST be some explanation.”)

Me: Yes. He played guitar, and your’e talking about Sammy. I have one of Don’s guitars that I kept and it’s in the case against the wall in our bedroom. Sammy always goes up to it and tries to use it as a scratching post.

Her: He is doing that because he feels him nearby that case, cats are better at dogs at picking up energy forces. But your husband says to please make him stop doing that, he’s ruining the case. (Now Im laughing, because that is exactly something Don would say. He took SUCH good care of his things and was very particular about them being touched, moved, or fooled around with. This is INSANITY!)

Her: He is telling me that he feels badly that he couldnt leave you with anything when he died. He says that was just the way it was and that you didnt have much financially. The spirits can sense and see things that we cant, and he is telling me that you will not struggle for much longer, and you will be very successful. Are you a writer? Have you written plays?

Me: I wrote a short play after he died and performed it, and yes, Im a writer.

Her: He said that something you wrote or are writing will become a book, and that the book will be very successful for you. He also is saying something about you facilitating large groups of people. Something in your future that will be part of your success , it has to do with you either talking or lecturing or something in larger arenas, venues. Im seeing humor.

Me: Im a stand up comedian, is that what you’re seeing?

Her: It could be that, yes, but its going to be more than that. He is telling you to keep going, keep doing what you love, it is going to become something bigger. He sees lots of traveling and speaking or comedy engagements. He says you are just beginning to get recognized and that you will be known by many soon, and that these speaking engagements will be inspirational. Something inspirational and humorous. He is saying that he believes in you and he thinks you have amazing talent. He says you have the talent of a Gilda Radner or a Tina Fey. He said you are going to live to be an old lady and be known like Betty White. He said Betty White.

Trippy. Don loved Betty White like crazy, and I love Tina Fey like crazy, and he always compared me to Gilda or said I reminded him of her and her “unique” presence and talent that is like nobody else. It is so strange that she would choose those 3 people as examples when she really could have said just about anyone.

Her: Have you gained weight, or had weight issues? He is coming through saying to “please stop” with the hating yourself over your weight. He says you need to understand that you are so so beautiful inside and out, and stop beating yourself up. He says he knows you are so sad and you are grieving and will be for a long time, and he understands. He misses you too. But he wants you to keep doing what you love. He says he will do as much as he can to protect you and keep you safe. He is asking about the female in your life that has helped you. Is there a female recently that came to you or you came to her, who has helped you emotionally?

Me: I think you mean my grief counselor.

Her: She is either a friend or yes, a counselor or teacher. He brought you together. He wants you to know that he is taking care of you and still learning how to communicate with you, but he will always find ways to take care of you. He says this is why you trust her so much, because he brought her to you.

OH.MY.GOD. So it’s not my imagination that she seemed really “special” or like a gift in some way. That is also why I feel closer to him when I see her, because he chose her for me.

Her: Okay he is saying something about baseball and that he wants to watch the games. Put the games on, he says. He says for you to wear his shirt and go back to Yankee Stadium. He says for you to know that he is at peace and he is okay, and that you will be okay one day too. He says that you were the love of his life, and that he will never stop loving you or taking care of you. He also says he is glad you are leaving … Bon Jovi? Something about the band Bon Jovi and you finally leaving… does that mean anything to you?

Me: (laughing) Yes. He hated Bon Jovi, and he hated New Jersey, and hated everything New Jersey, which is where we lived and I live now. Bon Jovi is a private joke between us, because I would always call him and blast “Livin On a Prayer” whenever it came on, and he would say: “Are you done now?” and then hang up. I think he is saying he is happy Im finally leaving New Jersey and moving back to New York.

So that was my very first Medium experience. You might think I’m a lunatic or that I need to be put away for believing some of this stuff, but let me tell you, I didn’t believe ANY of it before today, or before my husband died. So please don’t judge me too harshly, for when you never get to see or talk to your husband ever again, you will do just about anything to be able to feel his presence, even for a half hour. I don’t know how to explain what happened today during that phone call. The things she said … the details … knowing nothing at all about my life and then being so accurate in that way. There was more to it, but I left some of it private, because a few things she said are too personal to share with the world. But after years of being so sure of myself in thinking that nothing at all happens after we die, I can tell you one thing I do know for sure, and that is this: I don’t know shit.