Grief Is …

Grief is ….

Grief is that feeling where nothing is flat. There are mountains and rocks and mud, and giant pieces of glass. There is fire and lightning and floods, and you are walking in it without any shoes on. In the dark.

Grief is scolding hot and chilled to the bone. It gets in your nails and leaves you unwhole.

Grief is that thing where you walk into a room, and you have no idea why. You are searching for answers in a puzzle that has all the wrong shapes, and can never be completed. It is losing your keys and finding them in the oven. Or watching 5 episodes of the same show on TV without ever knowing it. It is laughing a half-assed chuckle. It is pretending. Acting. Putting on a brave face to get through the day, the moment, the conversation. Grief has no focus. No time. No purpose.

Grief is being jealous of your own brother because he gets to have two kids with his wife. Envious of your own parents because they get to be married to the same person for 45 years and counting. Walking into a nursing home to visit an elderly relative, and walking out wondering what your husband would have been like at the age of 50. 65. 74. 83.

Grief is that migraine that pounds at your head and screams in your ear while you sleep. Grief is the monster that keeps you from sleeping. The illness that steals your reason. Your life.

Grief is in your eyeballs, in your knees, in your feet. It’s in your hips and your fingers. Grief lays in your stomach and churns. Grief is a pain in your arms. It’s heavy, like carrying sandbags on your shoulders. Everyday. Every second. Grief hurts every inch of your body. All the time. Always.


Grief Is …

Seeing a cop or a paramedic and feeling the urge to rest your head in their chest, because their uniforms look just like your husband’s.

Going to the grocery store and avoiding the aisles with his favorite cereal, root beer, and sandwiches.

Sitting in the car 20 seconds after the light has turned green, not even noticing the impatient horns behind you. Beeping. Yelling. Judging.

Grief steals all the things, the moments, that you once loved, and turns them into a sad and awful reminder. The holidays. The family-gatherings. His birthday. Yours. Why should I eat cake and get presents and celebrate life when he doesn’t get to have one? Grief makes things that were once joyful and fun – horrible and sad. Cringeworthy. Grief means not being able to bear seeing all the families with their Christmas trees and dinners and laughter and tradiitions. Grief makes you want to run far away before the New Year’s Eve countdown gets to one. Grief leaves you inside an empty box. Alone. Confused. Angry.


Grief is the bear in the woods, waiting to pounce. Its a jumbled sentence. It’s 150 emotions trapped inside a tiny room. Fighting.

Grief is a silent Hell. Nobody could ever understand. Nobody could ever feel your pain. Nobody gets you. Grief is lonely. Isolating. Sick.

Grief is nausea. Hysteria. Anxiety wrapped in panic. Fearing what comes next. Fearing right now.

Grief is looking at a sunrise and wondering if he can see it too. Grief makes you question. Makes you doubt. Leaves you unsure and unsafe.


Grief Is …

Blasting your favorite song on the radio and singing out loud, then seconds later, sobbing uncontrollably for no apparent reason.

Leaving the party early. Feeling alone in a crowded room. Feeling suffocated when you are alone. Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere.

Eating your take-out dinner at 10pm, sitting in your bed, because it’s too depressing to cook and then eat alone at the table. Eating in shame.


Grief doesn’t leave. It’s that weird annoying uncle who tells the same story over and over again, everyday, every year, on Thanksgiving. Grief is repetitive. Grief is repetitive. Grief is repetitive. Grief is a pimple that won’t ever pop. It’s a sadness that lives inside you. Grief is feeding yourself poison – everyday. Standing still, but feeling seasick. Overthinking, but incoherant. An ocean filled with dirt. Music that pierces your eardrum. Grief is the sky inside of your throat. Trapped. Scared. Waiting to be free.

Grief makes you ugly and mean and cold. It’s that thing that won’t let you go. Won’t let you move forward. The elevator with no floors. The escalator that doesn’t stop. A board game played for eternity. A merry-go-round forever. Grief is that friend that won’t take a hint. It sleeps on your couch and doesn’t pay rent. It’s a scream and a whisper. A push and a pull. A stab and a dull.


Grief is guilt. So much guilt. Guilt for bad thoughts. Good thoughts. Guilt for feeling joy. Guilt for existing, while he lies there dead.

Grief has no logic. No sense. No soul.


This is my grief. You get your own. They are the same, but not at all. Grief does not share. It is selfish and rude. It makes you loathe anyone who feels happiness. And then you loathe yourself for that feeling. Grief does not go. It stays. It changes. It shifts. It hurts and it pains and it stomps and cries and punches. It ebbs and it flows. It calms, and then pours. There is no start. No finish. No middle. It’s just there, forever. Like breathing. If you get through the storm, and if you survive, you might emerge someone new. Someone changed.

Darker. Evolved. Different. Awake.


Grief is an endless loop. A book with no last page. A vacumn that leaves all the shit behind.

Grief is nothing. It is everything. It is selfish and all-consuming. It is grey and vague and cloudy.

Grief is a circle, and you are inside. Going ’round. And around. and around. Keep going around.

Don’t fight it.

Just roll.

I Don’t Need Anything. Except This …

One of my very favorite comedy films of all-time has always been The Jerk. As I continue to pack, lift, go through piles, clean, organize, fill boxes and bags, and generally prepare to move out of the apartment my husband and I shared our life in for 7 years, I feel a little bit like Steve Martin’s character, Navin, as he left his mansion and his lovely wife Marie (Burnadette Peters.) My dad and I used to quote this scene constantly when I was a kid, and I can still watch it a hundred times and it always makes me laugh:

Navin R. Johnson: Well I’m gonna go then! And I don’t need any of this. I don’t need anything. Except this.
[picks up an ashtray]
Navin R. Johnson: I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray… And this paddle game. – The ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need… And this remote control. – The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need… And these matches. – The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball… And this lamp. – The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that’s all I need. I don’t need one other thing, not one… I need this. – The paddle game and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I’m some kind of a jerk or something! – And this. That’s all I need.
[walking outside]
Navin R. Johnson: The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair.
Navin R. Johnson: [outside now] And I don’t need one other thing, except my dog.
[Shithead growls at him]
Navin R. Johnson: I don’t need my dog.

I don’t need anything else. Except this ….

About 13 months ago, I lost my husband when he had a sudden heart-attack. Four days later, I was staring at him in a casket, delivering a Eulogy I wrote, and getting in our car and driving home, alone. A week after that, the foreclosure went through on the home that my parents shared their life and their marriage in for 45 years. The home that my brother and I grew up in. The only home I had ever known. That same week, I had to sell my husband’s car, because at 14 years old with 145,000 miles on it and always in the shop for repairs, it was no longer a safe option for me.

And so there I was, just a year ago, sitting in Don’s Pontiac Grand Prix – his baby – in my parent’s driveway, sobbing, trying to feel him one last time as I desperately wrapped my fingers around the steering wheel like claws, trying to somehow bring him back through his love for his precious car. I walked into my parent’s house, which was technically no longer their house, stood in the emptiness, and just cried. Waves of emotion bombarded me and my heart sunk into my chest as I closed that door one last time. Something had ended. Life had been stolen. There were things I could never get back. It wasn’t fair.

Mom and Dad’s home for 45 years

Fast-forward to this week. It’s happening all over again. Don has been dead for a year now, and I’m saying goodbye to the only home we have ever known as a couple. We never lived anywhere else together. We never got to own a home, or have kids, or reach our goals. We weren’t there yet. It was only the beginning – until it was the end. Our life was here, in this crappy, dusty, tiny apartment. We had dreams. We had a future planned. We also had no money, no savings, and no idea when we would be able to get out of New Jersey like Don wanted to so badly. And in 10 days, I will be leaving, alone. And let me tell you – it hurts like hell to go.

Moving is a goddamn nightmare. Moving while grieving is a hellish nightmare. Moving out of New Jersey is an impossible, hellish, awful, terrible, evil nightmare. After all this time, I am finally starting to see why my husband hated this state so much. “It’s a pain in the ass to do the simplest thing here”, he used to say. “They are ass-backwards, and things that should be easy, you gotta break your damn back to accomplish. Why is EVERYTHING so difficult here?” He never understood why you couldn’t miss your exit, and just turn around. Or why you had to pay money to simply park your car in a space. Or why they never fixed the potholes that would ruin his car. He could never grasp the concept of the jughandle, the mafia-mentality, or “The Jersey Shore” obsession. “The beaches here suck”, he would say. The bike and golf clubs that he used all year long in Florida – stayed in our storage closet here, barely used. The lifestyle was different. He didnt like how everybody was on top of each other here. It’s always crowded. Filthy. Old. Moving from Florida to here, his car insurance doubled. HIs rent doubled. There were so many more expenses here than what he was used to. It was stressful just to live. He was always working his ass off, yet we never got ahead. He loved NYC, and he loved me. He knew I needed to be here, so this is where we were. But he really hated New Jersey. I used to take that personally. Now, after jumping through hoops trying to move the hell out of here, I truly understand.

Don’s Entertainment Center. Before my Dad took it apart …

The place I am moving into comes complete with a roommate. It also comes with a beautiful king-sized bed, dressers, nightstands, couches, desk, and everything else you can think of. It is furnished, and so I cannot take much with me. Because of this, for the past month, Ive been trying to figure out ways to get rid of my bed, 2 sofas, Entertainment Center, kitchen table, coffee table, and annoyingly large dresser. I put them on Craigslist. Freecycle. I even made posters and put them up in our building, and then walked them into the mom and pop stores all over our neighborhood. The items were all listed as being FREE, provided you come get them and carry them out of here yourself. Good luck finding a parking spot. It’ll never happen. And if by some miracle it does occur and you park within a mile of the place without issue, have fun trying to fit the ginormous items through the small doorways, and down the 3 flights of stairs. Nobody showed up. Nobody wanted my things. For FREE! Okay. Fine, assholes. I will donate them. Surely a woman’s shelter or The Salvation Army would be honored to have these items, right? Wrong. Turns out the Salvation Army only has one guy available to pick up donated items, and he isn’t free until mid-September. The shelter doesn’t take any items from families who have cats, due to possible allergies. (Seriously?) Well, Kelley, you may say- why not just leave the furniture on your curb? Surely someone will come and pick it up! Not in good ‘ole New Jersey! In my neighborhood, you are not allowed to leave any large items or furniture in the basement or on the street. If you do, you will be fined. And then killed. The town will come and pick up your items for you, but only on Tuesdays between the hours of 12:45pm – 1:17pm, and only on partly cloudy days, and only if it’s not raining. Or sunny. Or hot. Or cold. And they wont come up the steps to your apartment to get the items. They will only pick them up on the curb. Oh, and they will only pick up 3 items at a time. Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of dumb-ass racket are you people running anyway? How is this convenient or logical in any way whatsoever? And what the hell am I going to do with all my crap??? Eventually, I had to let my friends know that I needed help. And when I did that, they came running, and the process of getting rid of my things began. So did my extreme emotions.

Our apartment living room

First up, our good friend and Don’s long-time EMS partner on the ambulance Meg showed up and tore apart the two sofas. She literally took box-cutters and a mallot, and destroyed the damn things. Don would have really appreciated that, and found it awesome. Me? It was really weird watching the couches that we bought right after our wedding, the couches he always sat on when he strummed his guitars – being turned into sawdust. “They are just things”, Meg reminded me. And she was right. I just have to constantly remind myself of that. Meanwhile, I took the mallot to the dresser, and showed it who was boss. Two 7-hour days later and our lungs filled with dust, we had accomplished something. We had bonded in our violent destruction of innocent objects. We were one. (Okay, that last part is ridiculous. It’s late and I’m just tired. We weren’t one.)

Meg scares the crap out of our couch

Next, my friend John came over and helped me go through Don’s hallway closet, a project that, if I had done by myself, would have left me frozen by intense emotion at the discovery of each new item found. With him there, I was able to control that, continue, and talk about it with him instead of crying in a corner alone.

Lady Gaga’s got nothin’ on John

Today was the biggest project of all. Two gay men, a married guy driving a church-owned box-truck, and a widow – all working together as the weirdest moving company ever, to get all the pieces of junk that was once my furniture out of the apartment and into some dumpster somewhere. In preparation for all of my friends arrival, I woke up this morning and moved what I could into the living room so they would have easy access to it all. Then, I stopped. Looked around. Another empty room. Just like last year, standing in my parent’s house. Once again, it all hit me. The flood gates opened up, and I broke down. An hour later, I cried again, this time while talking to Rebecca on the phone about the details of today. That time, I was overcome with gratefulness. Thankful for the many ways friends like her have helped me. So I cried.

 Just hours later, my crew arrived, and we were eating the pizza I ordered, and drinking the soda and bottled water I provided them – a tiny thank you for all they were doing for me. And then we got to work. Bobby, Jay, Ben, and me. Slowly removing the pieces of my life into a truck donated by Ben and his wife Rebecca’s church. It was messy. It was funny. It was strange.

When we found an empty trash bin outside and Jay came up with the idea to “borrow” it for a few minutes so that we could use it to put all the many loose pieces of wood from our couches and Entertainment Center and dresser that had been hacked to pieces the days before, I suggested that may be considered stealing by our neighbors. Then Bobby came up with an Ad slogan for our new fake Moving Company:

“Need movers? Have no values? Call us!  We are! We have no conscience – Right or wrong, we  get the job done!”

Ben and Jay pack away the pieces of my past …

Later, when we removed our mattress and bed frame, we discovered Don’s gun in a case underneath the bed. This wasn’t a surprise to me, as I recall him telling me he had brought it up here from Florida. It sat under our bed for 7 years, never coming out of it’s case. Don was in the Air Force, and he enjoyed skeet shooting – even won some trophies for it in competitions. So, it was some sort of skeet-shooting rifle. When I told the men that I wanted to open the case and look and see the gun inside, again we started creating fake future newspaper headlines:

 “Widow Accidentally Shoots Herself with Dead Husband’s Gun. Gay Friends Watch in Horror.”

 Or my favorite:

“Young Widow Found Dead After Gay Friend Accidentally Mistakes Gun for Microphone. Local Church Held Liable.”

 (Not to worry. Later in the day, I phoned the local police station and informed them of the situation and that I found my deceased husband’s gun while packing. An officer came over and made the gun go bye-bye.)

Questionable Morals ….

Today I cried. Today I laughed. Today my friends were amazing, as they have been throughout this neverending nightmare of losing my wonderful husband. Today I stood in our living room, and saw my never-reached future and my bittersweet past. I saw the things that we bought together and used together and lived in together – carted away. You would think that the emptyness of the rooms would make the place seem more impersonal. It didn’t. It just made me sad. Made me think about 10 days from now, when I close that door forever, when I walk out of here for the last time, and how I won’t be with my husband when I do that. None of our things made it out alive. Our couches. Dresser. Tables. All the small and big things we owned together – gone. Cut up and thrown into a truck.

 The only thing that made it – the only thing that is coming with me – is his chair. His silly, stupid, dumb, horrible, wonderful chair. I made fun of it all the time. He loved his chair. He brought it with him from Florida. His La-Z-boy chair. The chair he napped with the cats in. The chair he took care of me in for a week when I threw out my back. The chair I sat in the first time I flew out to Florida to visit him, when we were dating long-distance. I sat in his chair, and his cat Isabelle jumped right into my lap. Don smiled and said: “She loves you. She doesn’t usually do that. She loves you, Boo.” It’s the chair that I called ugly on more than one occasion. And now, as if Im being punished for mocking it so openly, I am left with it.

Bobby, me, and the lone, remaining chair …

As I leave this apartment and move into this new one, I am 40 years old and I am starting my life all over again. I am left with no husband. No money. No health insurance. No security. No safety net. No plan. What if my new roommate hates me? What if he regrets letting me live there? What if he dies like Don did? Then where will I live? What if my cats freak out and hate it there and he kicks us out? What if I get sick and cant pay my bills? What if I lose my job? What if I can’t think of any more panicky questions? What if ….

And so, as I attempt to fall asleep tonight in my husband’s favorite, lame chair that is now my lame chair – I am reminded again of that classic scene in The Jerk. And when I leave here in a week and a half, I will need to remind myself that, like Navin, I don’t need the Entertainment Center. Or the dresser. I don’t need our couches. I don’t need anything.

Except this chair. This chair … and my kitties. And I don’t need anything else. Not one other thing.

I do need friends. I need my friends. So this chair, my cats, and my friends .. and that’s all I need ever. And I dont need one other thing.

But as I close the doors on New Jersey and open them to New York and to this new part of my life, I’ll tell you a secret. And the secret is this:


I’m terrified.


No Christians or Gays Were Harmed During This Move …

(Thank you to Rebecca, Ben, and Powerhouse Christian Church for the use of this wonderfully perfect truck today. And thank you to all of my great friends, who always come running whenever I ask. I just need to remember to ask. I love you.)

Caitlin is Gone

This morning, I was jolted awake by the most frightening dream. It was not scary in the typical fearful ways that dreams can be scary. There were no monsters or fires or people chasing me. It wasn’t even about Don this time. Except it was. He was not in the dream, but it centered around his death. It was about change, and how much I fear it. It was about being terrified of things and people disappearing – people I love, people I count on. Maybe it was also about me feeling guilty anytime I ask for help from others. I don’t know. Having a tough time figuring this one out totally. It was off the charts weird and mean. It was also incredibly hilarious and bizarre, and although I am able to analyze some of it pretty well, I’d love it if my readers would attempt the rest for me in the comments. Most of my dreams seem to quickly leave my mind an hour or so after I have them, so because I just woke up from this one, Im going to write it out here exactly as I remember it happening. It felt incredibly real, as most of my Don-related dreams do these days. When I woke up from it, I was actually gasping for air a little bit. I was very confused. Here is the dream in all it’s terrible, hysterical reality:

It is Monday, which is my grief counselor day, and the dream begins with me getting off the bus in Manhattan and then walking the couple of blocks to my appointment. It’s a sunny day, extremely windy, hot as hell, and I’m rushing. There was traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel, so the bus was running late. I turn the corner and pass the Starbucks that is there, (in the sea of other Starbucks within a 4 block radius), except it’s not a Starbucks anymore. It’s a McDonald’s. What on earth??? Why the hell … I have no time to react to this baffling turn of events, and I run the rest of the way to my counselor’s high-rise. The usual leathery-faced older man who is worn out by life and announces and buzzes me in – is now replaced by an older leathery-faced woman. She grunts at me angrily as she lets me through the front entrance. During my elevator ride up, I anticipate all the things I want to talk about with Caitlin today. It’s been another exhausting week and I need this safe place to explode and vent without judgement or fear. I get off the elevator and walk down the long hallway, expecting my counselor to be standing in her doorway, with the door held open for me, in that welcoming way that she always does. That doesn’t happen. I reach the door and nobody is there. That’s strange. I guess I will knock. Still nothing. I get out my cell phone to call her and let her know I have arrived, when the door opens suddenly.

A flamboyantly gay man who is minimum 85 years old  and looks like an aging Tim Gunn looks at me, then says insincerely: “Can I help you?” He is wearing a wool beige sweater with a hot pink scarf. It is August and 95 degrees. “Well, are you going to come in, or are you going to stand there like a fool?” I walk in. I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but my need to find out keeps me moving forward. Maybe my counselor hired this odd, rude man as her receptionist. “Wait here. The therapist will be with you in a few minutes. You may sit in this chair or that chair, but never that big one. There is bottled water on the table. The cost is $5 per beverage. Your timed session begins now. Toodles!” He flings his scarf around his rooster neck, sets a loud kitchen timer for one hour, and then exits the room, slowly disappearing. I have no idea where he goes.

I feel sick. Something is off, but I stay anyway. The comfy, large marshmellow-y chair that I always sit in is now off-limits to me, apparently. As is the water, which I now have to pay for? What’s up with that shit? And therapist? No. Caitlin is not a therapist. She is a grief-counselor. Why is he calling her a therapist? I begrudgingly choose the hard, tiny, uncomfortable chair, and squeeze my fat ass into it somehow. I look like an overstuffed sausage, it is boiling hot in the normally comfortable, friendly room, and I suddenly want to run away. The loud kitchen timer makes me nervous. It is larger than a normal one and looms over me, watching me like a creepy owl. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock …….

A few minutes go by and I’m now sweating. The clicking of heels gets closer and someone enters the room. The someone is not Caitlin. She is a brunette with medium-long, straight hair and glasses. She has a cold, dark face. She wears a business suit and black pumps. She looks to be about my age. She sits directly across from me and glares at me with suspicious eyes. She is not Caitlin and I hate her. She opens a drawer and pushes a button. A hidden cabinet opens, and a flash of light appears. A spotlight. There is a spotlight on me. I can barely see, it is so bright. She picks up a clipboard and a pen and begins to take notes. She is writing furiously. What the fuck is she writing? We haven’t even said anything yet! She speaks and doesn’t look at me.

“So last time you were here, you mentioned your mother, Fran?” She taps her pen on her clipboard. The kitchen timer gets louder. Her breathing gets louder. She crosses her legs and squints at me. Her squint is an accusation against me. She despises me. She is everything I loathe about therapy.

“Fran is my grandmother, not my mother. And I never mentioned her. I’m sorry, but who are you??? And where the hell is Caitlin?”

“I am Kathleen. Caitlin is gone. You need to start accepting that.”

Start accepting it? It JUST happened! Where is she?”

“That is irrelevant.” She turns the spotlight so that it is directly in my eye.

“Actually, it’s pretty much the only thing that IS relevant right now. Can you please get that light out of my eyes?” The normally warm environment is now frozen, and I am being interrogated.

“She had more important people to tend to. More important things to do. She no longer felt the need to spend her time discussing your loss, so she asked me to replace her. You will be seeing me now. It’s really important that you not dwell on the past. She is not here. Accept it. Move on.” She takes out a pack of cigarettes out of nowhere and lights one up. Cigarettes? Seriously? Could this bitch be any more of a cliche?

“But this makes no sense. Why would Caitlin give up her job? She loves her job. And why wouldn’t she tell me? She would never do this to me. She wouldn’t just disappear like this.” My face feels hot and I can feel the tears welling up. It is four-thousand degrees in that room, but Kathleen’s veiny hand is ice-cold on her cigarette.

“People disappear. Don disappeared. He left you. Get a grip, Kelley. You are wasting session time talking about this. The clock is ticking. I did not want to go down this road with you, but if you insist, I will tell you. Caitlin did not give up her work. She gave up you. She doesn’t hate her work. She hates you. She took her practice and moved it to Wyoming.”

Wyoming??? She hates Wyoming!” This cannot be happening.

“No. As I said, she hates you. Her exact words to me were: ‘I would rather live in Wyoming than be forced to sit and listen to that woman’s whining for one more hour. I find her story tiresome and annoying, and life is too short for that kind of nonsense. Please do not give her my contact information, and good luck to you in trying to find some relevance in her insipid grieving.”

“Insipid? No. Caitlin would never say that. She doesn’t even talk like that. She is amazing. You’re a bitch.” Now I’m crying and I grab the kleenex box behind me. There is a lock on it, with a sign that reads: “Kleenex: $2 per sheet.” I throw it across the room and cry into my hands.

The bitch is unphased. She picks up the kitchen timer and moves the time forward by ten minutes. There are now 35 minutes remaining in this mindfuck horror show. She removes her glasses, takes a drag off her cigarette, and says calmly: “I do not allow profanity in my office, and crying is for infants. Learn how to grieve properly. Your husband would be ashamed by this embarassing display. You are acting like a child. I will tell you this one more time – with feeling. Your husband is gone. Caitlin is gone. And if you keep acting in this manner, everyone in your life will be gone. Your counselor asked me to take over, and because that is Kathleen’s job, that is what Kathleen will do.” The fact that she just referred to herself in the third-person, twice, is the catalyst that makes me get up and get the fuck out of there.

I stand up out of the horrible chair. “Well, no offense, but you suck at your job. You are the worst person I’ve ever met and there is no way in hell you have a license to practice anything. I can get through this much better without you, than with you. I’m leaving.” I walk toward the door. I can’t get out of this place fast enough. I still don’t know where the hell Caitlin is, but I don’t believe for one second that she is in Wyoming, that she hates me, or that she would abandon me and send this mess of a human-being in her place. The door won’t open. “Try again”, the bitch says. “There’s someone on the other side.” I open the door, and my brother walks in. He is stumbling, is wearing his Red Sox hat and sweatshirt, and has blood-shot eyes. He is drunk.

“David? What the hell are you doing here?” I have never been more confused in my entire life. He goes over to Kathleen and takes one of her cigarettes and lights it up. He smokes in my face rudely as he talks: “I live here now. In NYC. I fuckin’ hate this place but I had to move here because you’re so needy with all your grieving bullshit and all the constant help you need from everyone. I had to sell my house and truck. Jen left me and moved to Wyoming, and I had to give my kids away cuz I couldn’t afford them anymore. I gave them to The Salvation Army. I started smoking again and I drink again too. I go to the bars just to take away the stress of having to hear abour your stupid grief all the time. I’m tired of hearing about Don. Even Don is sick of hearing about Don. You should just shut up already and leave it alone. My life sucks now, and to top it all off, I’m stuck here with a bunch of stupid Yankee fans. Thanks a lot.” He puts his cigarette out on the floor, stomps on it, and then walks into the other room and disappears. Kathleen laughs. “I’m charging you for that cigarette”, she says. “Get the door.”

The doorbell rings. I go over and open it. This time, my parents are there, and they have aged about 20 years. They look terrible. Dad has a cane and mom walks with her spine in the shape of the letter L. “Holy Shit! What happened to you guys?” I am stunned at their appearance. “What the hell is going on???” I scream out loud at the universe. My dad sits down in the nearest chair, exhausted. Mom leans against the wall with her brittle hand. If I didn’t know it was them, I would never know it was them. Dad lets out a long sigh, and then finally speaks: “We have done so much for you. Too much. We can’t do it anymore. I got fired from my job because I had to keep coming up there to help you move out of your apartment. You have made my diabetes worse and your mother now has Alzheimer’s because of your inability to move on from this. She doesn’t even know where we are right now. She thinks I’m her father, and that we are getting ice-cream. We are quitting. We quit you. You need to sign these papers. They say that we are no longer your parents and that we no longer have to feel obligated to help you. We are resigning and moving to Wyoming.” Kathleen cackles again. Mom looks lost and plays with the spotlight. What the fuck is happening??? And what is with Wyoming???

“Do what my father says, honey. We love you, but it’s just too much. Look at what you’ve done to us. All because you refuse to live in reality. I’m going with my dad now to Kimball’s for my Black Rasberry ice-cream cone. Sign the papers, Katie. Fend for yourself. You’re all alone now. Be strong, Karen. These are the cards you were dealt. You can’t stop counting your chickens until they hatch. Life is not a rollercoaster. It’s a journey and a destination. There were two footprints in the sand. That was when Moses carried you. And I took the one less traveled by. Deal with it, Karla.”

Dad sighs again. “Come on Chris,” he says. He grabs her gently by the arm and leads her away from me. “I’m coming, Father!” she yells.

They both walk out of the room and into that weird other space that everyone keeps disappearing into …..

There is a loud, horrific noise. It sounds like an ambulance siren. The ambulance my husband drove. It gets louder and louder as I block my ears. Kathleen chuckles. “That’s the kitchen timer. I had them make it into the sound of an ambulance – just to mess with you a bit and remind you of his death some more. Funny, huh? Time’s up. Please get out of my office now. I have to relieve my bowels. Jerome will see you out.”

The flamboyantly gay older-than-dirt man that resembles Tim Gunn and his pink scarf return from thin air, and he hands me a piece of paper. “Here is your bill for this week. You’ll see it’s been broken down into sections so that your feeble brain can comprehend it. $150 for the session, $5 for the cigarette your brother smoked, $2 for the kleenex, and Kathleen added an annoyance fee of $45, because she finds you annoying in a general sort of way. So your total is $202. Kapish?” He opens the door and physically starts moving me into the hallway.

“But, I’m never coming back here again, and I can’t pay this stuff!”

“We’ll make sure that you do. I have pilates and yoga to get to, followed by my daily colonic and cleanse ritual. So – be gone with you! Toodles!” He takes his foot and literally kicks me in my rear end to push me into the buildings hallway. The door slams behind me. I walk down the long hallway, which got longer while I was inside, and push the button for the elevator. The door opens. The elevator is packed with people. There are at least 75, maybe 100 people inside. They are all crammed in together and they are talking to each other. They are everyone in my life. My parents are there. My brother. Relatives. Friends. They all keep talking. Everyone ignores me. The elevator starts going down, over 100 floors, 200 floors. 300. It is moving like a racecar at lightning speed and Im so dizzy. I start screaming out my friends and families names one by one over the loud elevator engine, praying someone will acknowledge me: “Hey!!! Sarah! Mom! Dad! David? John! Andrew! Hello??? Bobby? Why won’t anyone talk to me? Tabatha? Aunt Debbie? Caitlin!!! Oh my god! You’re here! You’re not in Wyoming! I knew it! I just had the weirdest dream … you didn’t want to see me anymore, and then nobody wanted to see me, not even my own family. Everyone was so mean, and they kept rushing me to grieve faster, and there was even a timer and a mean, horrible therapist … Hello??”

The elevator jolts to an abrupt stop. We are at street level, but it’s no longer a street, and it’s not New York City. It’s farm land and grass and trees. Its gray and ugly and drab. The large door opens. “This is our stop, everyone!” Caitlin says enthusiastically as she leads the huge pile of people out of the cramped elevator and into the land of Wyoming. I begin to follow. “No. Not you. You stay here. This is goodbye. I’m very disappointed in you. We are all very disappointed in you. I can’t help you anymore. I don’t want to. Nobody wants to. You’re hopeless.” Everybody nods in unison, and they enter into the farmland, toppling over one another like dominos. The door shuts again, and before I can move or think, the elevator goes all the way back up to the top floor. It shoots up like a cannon, and I feel like I will be sick. The door opens. Jerome is standing there in his wool sweater and hot pink scarf. He glares at me. “Well” he says, “Are you going to come in, or are you going to stand there like a fool?” I walk into the awfulness and sit in the terrible chair. Kathleen is already seated across from me, and she turns the kitchen timer dial with her veiny fingers. She shines the spotlight into my pupils – the start of her killing my soul.

She starts speaking after a long, hateful pause. “Last time you were here, you mentioned your mother, Fran?”

And so it begins. And ends.

Weird, Crazy, Beautiful Things the Widowed Do for Love

Remember that silly episode of The Brady Bunch (what episode wasn’t silly?) where Marcia, being the cute little clueless dimwit she was, writes in her secret diary about her lust and love for the mullet-haired Desi Arnaz Jr, after watching him on The Lucy Show and really digging him playing those drums? Marcia says in her diary entry, that not only is she crushing hard on the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, but that her “dream of dreams is to someday be MRS. Desi Arnaz Jr!”, and that if anyone ever found out this unbelievably shocking secret, surely she would “perish!” (Seriously. That’s what she wrote in the diary. “I’ll perish!” How can you not love this dumb show?) Well, in classic Brady form, the diary gets lost, and after a 22-minute episodic adventure in which the Brady clan jumps through ridiculous hoops to find the missing diary, Marcia reveals her secret crush to Alice, of all people. In an even more ridiculously insane twist, housekeeper Alice happens to have some connections to the Arnaz family (Really? If she knows big-time celebs like that, what the hell is she doing wasting her time cleaning Mike’s jockstraps?) So, Alice invites the lad over so that Marcia can have a mini-orgasm in front of him. Desi doesn’t make fun of our heroine’s diary entry, but instead tells her that he thinks it’s “groovy” that girls like her find him attractive. (I’ll bet it’s super groovy when he’s banging these underage giggle-geeks backstage after that intense drumming.) Then, in typical “this would never happen in a million years” Brady fashion, Desi leans over and gives Marcia a kiss on the cheek goodbye. The episode ends with Marcia touching her cheek and proclaiming in classic teenage hormonal angst: “I’ll never wash this cheek again!”

Well, Marcia, let me tell you, I can now relate. Take the typical overdramatic, makes no sense actions of a teenager in love – and multiply that by about 18 billion or eternity – and that is what you get when you lose your spouse, your life partner, your love. 

Let’s be honest. Losing anyone is horrible. It’s so hard. Whether it’s your best friend, your parent, a grandmother, your pet, or anyone that meant anything to you at all – it is an awful thing to go through. When you lose your spouse, however, there are so many unique things and feelings and emotions that go along with that loss. So many things disappear all at once. Rhythms. Your soul. Identity. A way of life. Dreams. Your future. Your past. Right now. Your best friend. The person you told everything to. Love. Want. Desire. Sex. Hugs. Security. Warmth. Marriage. Your laugh. Your purpose. Everything gets different. Breathing is different. You are you, but you are not you. Losing your life partner throws you into an endless loop of chaos, and you will do just about anything to get even a moment of it back. To feel them. To be with them. The loss is physical. Hormonal. Gutteral. You feel it everywhere, and it never goes away.

The other day, while cleaning some things in my apartment that had been neglected for the past year since he died, I came across a tiny plastic bag on the floor, stuffed into a corner. I sat down and opened it. Inside was my husband’s watch, his eyeglasses, and a wallet. Immediately, without even thinking, I started to cry. Hard. These are things that were on his person daily. They touched his body, his hands, his eyes, his wrist. And now I was touching them, and as silly and “so what?” as that sounds, it’s all I’ve got. And it made me think. It made me think about how, in regard to Don’s stuff, people keep informing me that they are just things. It made me think about all of the strange, sometimes sick, sad, and weird things I have done since his death – the items I can’t let go of, or the rituals I take part in that don’t make any sense, even to me. Like the time I sat in his favorite chair and hugged his picture and his ashes; sobbing and waiting for him to magically appear and come back home. Or the time I drove to a nearby baseball field in the middle of the night, sat on my knees in the middle of the grass, and called out his name to the sky. Or how, each and every time I am forced to drive by the hospital where he died, I look away, turn up the radio loud, and distract myself with a round of “La la la – I don’t see you!”, like a lost child playing a game in the car. Except Im not a child, and this is real.

These are real things that have happened, and that I have done, and they are brutal. I have said before that my story is your story, and that is very true. There is always someone else who relates, someone else who is hurting, someone who will be touched by your words or moved by what you say. So many other young widowed people that I have met both in person and in the internet world since this happened, have told me: “Thank you for being my voice, and for writing this. You say all the things that I want to say but don’t know how.” My story is your story, and vice versa. In going through this hardest time of my life, I still have yet to find any book, blog, or piece of writing that really tells the truth about grief. The whole ugly, hilarious, awful, difficult to read truth. The kind of truth that scares most people, and so they stay away from it. The kind of truth that exists without that plastic-covering of falseness attached to it, without judgement, without fear of what others will think. This is why I write. Not only to share my story, and our love story, but so that others out there might see themselves in the things I say. I also think it’s important to educate the non-widowed, as much as we can, on what this is really like. We are so very misunderstood. We are told to let go. Move on. Get on with things. People who haven’t been through this just don’t comprehend that those things are impossible. They don’t understand that when we made the decision to spend our lives with our soulmates, that is exactly what we thought we would get: a life. Time. Years. Decades. Nobody ever expects to lose their spouse before they’ve even had a chance to start that life together. It was not a divorce. We dont want to forget, or “put it behind us”. There is love. So much love. So we do what we can. We move forward, as changed people, and with our late spouses as a part of us now. Forever. They are in us forever.

Bianca and Eric

So with all of the above in mind and heart, this blog piece is about all the crazy, weird, beautiful, heartbreaking things that widowed people do without reason. The rituals we have, the items we hold onto, the habits we develop in our loved one’s absence, or because of it. And because my story is their story, and their story is mine; I asked my dear and brave young widowed friends to share some of the unexplainable things they have found themselves doing, as they make their way through this new life that none of us asked for. The first portion is filled with things that most of us find ourselves doing or experiencing, in various forms. There were so many people that wanted to participate with their stories, that I ended up creating a  second portion, a TOP 11 List from those that were the most unique, or a bit “out there” from the rest. You may find these stories scary, sad, strange, cringe-worthy, or even funny. You might not understand. Until one day – you will. (first names only were used in these stories, at the request of some who shared.)

In the world of weird widowhood, going to sleep is a huge issue, and something that, overnight, becomes extremely difficult. You will do just about anything to feel like you are not alone in that bed. A lot of people reported having a need to “fill” their spouse’s side of the bed. Lorie does this with pillows, stuffed animals, and even books; all piled up on her husband’s side of the bed. Evie stays on her own side, and their dog occupies her spouse’s. Pam went as far as selling her entire bedroom set, no longer being able to stomach sleeping there after her husband was killed. Casey practices a nightly ritual of wearing her husband’s boxers and favorite t-shirt, spraying a stuffed monkey he gave her with his cologne, and then sleeping cuddled up to the monkey. Judy ordered a life-like doll of her man, complete with a chip inside that has a recording of him saying to her: “I love you.” She listens to his voice on the recording, and sleeps with the doll, who is clothed in special pajamas that she bought for him.

James, Candace, and ‘Lil James

When you are in love with someone and spending your life with them, the physical part of them is so organic and palpable. When you can no longer touch them anymore, ever – you simply find other, unorthodox ways to feel them somehow. To touch something they touched, smell them, somehow feel their skin. Sue kept each and every clipping from inside her husband’s electric razor – they sit inside of a ziploc bag – as evidence that he was once alive. Carolyn keeps the ashtray full from her partner’s cigarettes – 2 years after his death. Stephen, whenever having a particularly rough day, would use his late wife Dawn’s deodorant. “I haven’t done it in awhile now,” he says. “Maybe I’m learning to cope better, or maybe I just don’t want all her deodorant to be gone. It smells like her.” Hair is often a huge source of comfort for many. Bianca refused to cut her own hair for almost 5 years after her husband Eric’s death. “I had longer hair when he was alive, and he had touched it”, she explains. In another tale involving hair, Kim tells this story: “Brian had long hair, and when he cut it all off, he kept a ponytail. At the time, all of us thought it was a bit gross. Now that he is gone, it’s the closest thing I have to his DNA. I treasure that ponytail, but I don’t let many people know that. Same for his eyeglasses. He saw the world through them.” Sandy, who picked strands of hair out of her partner Cam’s toque and kept them in an envelope on her desk, explains it like this: “It’s a weird mix of getting angry and thinking ‘how can this be all that is left?’, and becoming overly possessive and anxious about losing them or ever being without them.” She still has that envelope, 6 years later. Many, many people reported of getting some type of tattoo on their body somewhere as a memorial or remembrance of their love. My favorite of these was Wendy, who has a tattoo of R.I.P., along with the image of their marriage license, with his singature, across her back.

Kim and Brian

One thing I have noticed amongst almost everyone I have spoken to is the almost subconscious habit of developing odd rituals after losing your love. There are so many types of these habits and rituals. Some of them are things people do over and over, and others are what I like to call “ways to stop time.” What they have in common is that they most likely only make sense to the person doing them. Sometimes they give us comfort, and other times they are just something that we feel we must do or not do – and we don’t know why. Grant drives 4 miles out of his way daily, so that he doesn’t pass their favorite restaurant, and the last place they went to together the night she died. “She gave me a pair of BSU Bronco boxers for Christmas. I won’t ever wear them again. They are a keepsake now.” He also texts her at the end of each day, to tell her goodnight and that he loves her. Becky’s husband rode a motorcycle. She didn’t. But after his death, she felt compelled to get her motorcycle license, keep his bike, and learned to ride it herself. Beth can’t stop purchasing all the items that he used to buy – Tide, Downy Softener, Lever 2000. Abagail no longer eats ketchup, because her husband found it disgusting. Patty keeps the package she bought of his favorite cookies (he only ate 3) inside the refrigerator to this day. Ashley cant turn off her husband’s phone after 13 months. Darleen no longer buys Fruit Loops cereal, because her husband ate them constantly during the last few weeks of his life. Jennifer, after 3 years, keeps Jim’s half full bottle of Coke that he left in the fridge. Ilene no longer eats the Black and White Italian Cookies that she used to share with her husband. “I would split it down the middle and give him the chocolate while I had the vanilla. Now, if they serve them at a party, I can’t eat them. Who would I give the chocolate part to, now that he’s gone?” Jon has a habit of mentally preparing himself for specific situations. “Everytime I get in the car, I mentally prepare myself to argue over who will drive, me or her? Or when something good happens, like I get a bonus at work, I prepare mentally the conversation where I would tell my wife.” James practices the ritual of driving down the country road where his wife Candace is buried in the cemetary, sitting in his car and talking to her, telling her how much he loves her. “I haven’t let go of anything that belonged to her.” He goes on. “I have the baby clothes she bought for Little James that he has long since grown out of, the asthma inhalers that failed her miserably the day she left us, even the rocking chair that she was sitting in when she took her last breath. People tell me I should donate her things, but I can’t. They are not mine to give away.” Lastly, Tom continues to sleep in the bedding that his wife Lisa died in. He also finds himself decorating their home “in manners that I think she would find appealing, but when left to my own devices, I would not choose.”

Darleen and Ken

Those are some of the more “common” things that people experience. The remaining stories and examples were the ones that I found to be a tad more on the truly unconventional side, or “unique” in some way. I sincerely hope that if you have gotten this far in reading and you are still alert, that you will try not to judge us too harshly by these things we do. I hope people can maybe understand that our actions come from deep love, fear, and an urgency and need to make sense out of something that will never make sense. I put these stories out here, not to pass judgement on anyone, but to educate others on what this life is like for us, and to point out how truly brave every one of my new widowed brothers and sisters really are – each and every time they get up and try again. I honestly believe that.

Beth and Dustin

 Those of you familiar with my past blogs and writing pieces know that, unlike most lists which follow a TOP 10 structure, my lists are always in honor of my husband’s favorite movie: This Is Spinal Tap. So, in the words of Nigel Tufnel: “These go to eleven.”

 11. First up on our list comes from Anne, who lost Will suddenly to an aneurism. “I was away on a trip, and Will was at our home. When he died, nobody was around except our dog, who was with him. I find myself pleading with her to tell me if he was in pain, or if he cried out, if he was scared. Of course I know she can’t answer me, but I can’t help myself.”

10. “The clock radio on Glenn’s side of the bed had somehow lost power when he was very sick. I have left it this way. It has blinked the wrong time for 2 years now, and I cant bring myself to re-set it to the correct time. I have no idea why.” This comes from Molly, and it’s another perfect example of wanting to freeze time. Something tells me that somehow, even though it’s in no way logical, keeping that clock blinking tricks Molly into thinking that her husband is still alive. He was alive when it was blinking. If she changes it, he is really gone. Although, I have no idea how on earth she puts up with that constant blinking. That would make me NUTS!

Molly and Glenn

9. This one breaks my heart a little. It comes from Sara, and she talks about the day he died. “While at the hospital, I sent a friend to get his ring from the E.R. I put it on my necklace, without ever washing his blood off, and it’s stayed there ever since. When I travel anywhere, I have to take some of his ashes with me. Always. If I don’t, I feel like I’m leaving him behind.”

8. The next story is from Gina, and she writes: “My family had a tradition. We used to play games while sitting out in the pretty garden area of our home. Just me, him, and our two children. UNO was a favorite. I can no longer play UNO. Whenever some poor soul asks me to play that game, I well up with tears instantly as they sit there looking at me totally confused.”


7. Tied for number seven are two food-related tales. Food is often a huge issue for people dealing with this kind of loss. The first comes from Tereece, who still has the last candy bar her husband was eating just a few hours before he died. “It’s all yucky now, but I still have it.” Jo tells this story about her typical lunch: “Ant was a great cook. The day before he died, he had made me lunch, but I never got the chance to eat it because we were so busy. I left it in the freezer at work. It was spaghetti. Today, it is still in the freezer, 19 months later. My co-workers don’t dare touch it, because they know the significance of it, and I can’t even begin to think about ever taking it out of there. Is that crazy enough for you?” Yes.

6. Sometimes, unexplainably, the most brutal things can also be the most comforting. As is the case with Sylinda, who, 3 years after his death, still has her husband’s blood-soaked clothese that he died in, sealed inside a large plastic bag. “Every couple of months or so, I take them out, lay them on the bed, and cry on top of them.”

5. Sheila reports this: “I have his shoes in a bag in our living room, which I brought home from the hospital over 4 years ago. I know what’s in the bag, so when a cleaner came over and took them out, I screamed at her to go get the bag out of the trash, put the shoes back in it, and never touch them again.”

4. Molly provides us with number four with this simple gem: “I have a picture of him by my bathroom sink, and a heart-shaped rock. The rock has to point to his picture so he knows I love him. Are you scared of me yet?” Nope. Not even close.

3. Tammy kept all of her husband’s clothes that he had on the day before he died. “I came home the night he died and threw laundry everywhere to make sure I got every piece he had on. (they were dirty) I still have the clothes they cut off him and his workboots, and I keep both right by my bed. Strange, but they were the last items touching his body before he died. I take them out and smell them, hoping that his scent is still there.”

 2. “You want wacky? He periodically visits and has sex with me. Please don’t use my name on that one.” Well, anonymous, all I can say to that is: “WOW!” I would really like to know how that works. Actually – no – I wouldn’t. (no picture available of this act. Thank God.)

Kelley and Don

 1. Okay, this is my damn list, so the last bizarre grief ritual belongs to me. Not only because this is my blog, but also because I truly feel that what I am about to describe here is completely, without a doubt, 1000%, off-my-rocker INSANE. The fact that I am revealing this information to the world at large, or the hundred or so people that might read my blog, probably qualifies me for the nuthouse. Oh well. At least if I went there, the following behavior would appear normal. Here we go. Please don’t judge me …

Don and I got married in October of 2006. Since then, my wedding gown has been hanging on the inside door of Don’s closet in our apartment. Quite frankly, we had no idea what to do with the damn thing, and It felt wrong and weird to throw it out. So it just sat there. Then, eventually, it got knocked down and ended up on the floor of the closet, and sat there. When he died last July, I kept opening his closet door, staring down at the gown, then closing the door again. In March, I wrote a play about losing my husband and the grief process, and performed it in The Networks One-Act Festival in NYC. At the start of the play, a DVD played of Don giving his personal written wedding vows to me during our ceremony. One night sometime in April, when I was feeling particularly depressed and “woe is me”-like, I took out the DVD of our wedding video, and paused it at our vows. I then went to my computer, and printed up the written vows I had written to my husband, and the ones he wrote for me. No longer thinking like a human being, I then sprinted to the closet, got my wedding gown off the floor, and revealed it from it’s garment bag and hanger. Next; I stripped down to my undies in my living room, and stepped into the crumbled and ignored dress, sewn especially for me and our Christmas-themed wedding. Running to the other closet, I located the silvery, sparkley shoes that I wore on that amazing day, and put them on; the whole time feeling like a lunatic. I didn’t care. With written vows in hand, I pushed PLAY on our wedding ceremony, and said my vows out loud along with the DVD-version of myself. The TV version of me was looking longingly into his eyes, and I stood here in our apartment, looking and searching into his eyes, with tears streaming down mine. Trying to re-create the happiest, best day of my life – under the saddest of realities. When it came time for Don to read his vows to me, I stared into the TV screen and listened intently. No other noise existed. Time had stopped, and Don was professing his love to me again, promising to be “the husband you have always dreamed of, for the rest of my life.” I heard his voice, 8 months gone, and it sounded hollow to me. Different. Far away. I listened harder. Got lost in his blue eyes. Tried to feel my elation through the screen. Got married again. And then, in my crumpled up wedding gown, I jumped into his favorite La-Z-Boy chair, as I had many times before, and just cried.

So there you have it. A whole bunch of odd, sad, hard to wrap-your-head-around stories, from a bunch of hurting souls. Go ahead and throw me in the loony-bin. Throw the rest of these guys in too, while you’re at it. Or – take a few seconds and try to understand the depths of this kind of loss, and what it does to a person, how it shapes them into something else entirely. Try to comprehend what it means to lose the very air that you breathe, the life that you had, the heart that you shared. And then go home to your wife, your husband, your girfriend or boyfriend, your fiance, or whomever it is that you love, and put your arms around them and love them with a vengeance. Because you just never know when you might find yourself re-enacting your own wedding day in a crumbled up wedding gown and a DVD-recording of your now dead husband. So please excuse me while I go and put on my brand new straight-jacket. I have an appointment at the funny farm, and I’ve got a bunch of weird death rituals I need to do before I leave. Ta-ta.

Tell Me

Tell me.
If I stare at your picture long enough, will it bring you back to life?
If I sit in place and beg real hard, can I still be your wife?
Im packing you up with tape and pain. I dont want to go. I feel insane.
My head is shouting. I dont know why. I think Ive forgotten when to cry.
Dont want to move forward. Cant stand to look back.
Just leave me on the railroad track.
People keep pushing. They get in my way.
I dream that you’re here. But you never stay.
Everything feels so far away.
Its Sunday. Its Thursday. Means nothing to me.
Time is an asshole. I’ll never be free.
I slide your Ashes through my hand.
Noone could ever understand.
I sit in your chair. Grip you tight.
Trying like hell to feel the light.
Nothing I do will make it right.
Tell me.
How do you hold a ghost in your bed?
Forever alive. Except you are dead.
When will I learn to live in this space?
No longer able to see your face.
I wish I could hide. I wish I could run.
I’m tired of looking into the sun.
I’m wounded. I’m broke. I’m made of glass.
I feel like I’m falling. Strong my ass.
I talk to myself and think that it’s you.
The lunatic widow inside of the zoo.
Hurting and limping. Pretending its fine.
When will my laugh ever be mine?
 Tell me.
How many years is this going to last?
When does our future become our past?
Missing my marriage. Missing my love.
Don’t want a soul or an Angel above.
There are no signs in the wings of a dove.
So Tell me.
Just tell me.
Please tell me how you are here, then gone.
Tell me the words to this horrible song.
Tell me the nurses and doctors were wrong.
Tell me our lives weren’t torn apart.
Tell me you never collapsed from your heart.
Please tell me how Im supposed to start.
I want you to tell me that this isn’t real.
I need you to kiss me. I want you to feel.
I hate that you got the raw end of the deal.
So leave me by the railroad track.
Id give up my life so you can come back.
This really all ends with a heart attack? 
Please fucking tell me how to go on.
Im tired and hopeless and life feels so long.
What are the words to this horrible song?
Because you died, I’ve been dead all along.
Why should I care, when my love is gone?
Tell me.