I live each breath inside of your death                                                                             Each second                                                                                                                   Each moment                                                                                                                     Each step …

And sometimes my life peeks out from your death,                                               Begging for some attention                                                                                           Wanting to smell the wildflowers, or look at the moon in the sky

And most times your death attacks my life                                                                     Pushing it down in the water until it can no longer breathe                                       And it drowns.

Your death has weapons that I cannot fight                                                         Weapons that appear from nowhere:

 Panic                                                                                                                                Fear                                                                                                                                    Anxiety                                                                                                                            Heartache                                                                                                                            Pain                                                                                                                                          Hurt                                                                                                                                Numbness                                                                                                                      Depression                                                                                                                        Memories                                                                                                                        Moments                                                                                                                                  Time                                                                                                                                  The past                                                                                                                           The future                                                                                                                               Now

 Sometimes I think I may have won the fight                                                                    or won this round                                                                                                              Joy or laughter or times with friends will feel, for a few seconds, good.                      And then it comes …

The paralyzing grief                                                                                                        The terrifying shift from living to shaking in a dark corner                                              The heart palpitations or the mind ache or the sudden sobbing fits                                They come                                                                                                                            They always come

And sometimes I’m too exhausted to stop them                                                                 And sometimes I just don’t care to stop them                                                                     But most times I cannot stop them

For they march in like enemy soldiers                                                               Overtaking me                                                                                                       Barricading me                                                                                                           Locking me inside of myself                                                                                           Leaving me naked and open and scared

And then they come back again, the grief monsters                                                   Except they don’t really ever come at all                                                                       Because they never actually left

But sometimes they trick me into thinking they have left                                          And I attempt to live my life                                                                                                Smiling                                                                                                                              Achieving something                                                                                                Finding beauty somewhere

And it is at that very moment when I have heard the most beautiful piece of music or felt the crisp cool air in my lungs or tasted the most delicious fruit, that they force themselves on me and rape me with their cruelty and their existence …

They are vultures. Grief vultures, and they grab and they take and they pull and they poke and they push and they spit and they find me in the night and punch me in the eyes hard, then kick and beat and choke me until my cough goes silent.

And just like the most stereotypical abusive boyfriend, they show up the next day with flowers, telling me they love me and everything is going to be okay. 


But it’s not okay.                                                                                                                     It is never okay.                                                                                                               Because grief is never leaving.                                                                                           The monsters are never gone.

Somehow,                                                                                                                       Impossibly,                                                                                                                             Grief is my new husband                                                                                                 And the vows will last forever                                                                                               As I live inside of your death                                                                                                  Inside this War                                                                                                                       This constant, vicious war                                                                                                     Living my life with a Monster.




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9 thoughts on “Monsters

  1. Hey Kelley, very powerful words sweetie. I pray everyday that the monster will not stay forever. I know without a doubt that Don would not want that life for you. Keep writing!! You make such a profound difference to so many. Xoxo.

  2. Kelley Lynn: Your words are so raw, emotional and heartbreaking. I’m so sorry that you go through this daily. No one would know what you are going through unless they’ve been thru something similar. I just pray that you have more bright spots and the grief vultures let go of you eventually.

  3. Thanks again for sharing your truth. I am always amazed, because you’re still abel to go through this day by day. I don’t know that I would have the strength to carry on as you have.

  4. This brought tears to my eyes. I felt every word down to my core. You always do such a great job of expressing the loss of control and overwhelming pain that sweeps you up and away with it. Hugs.

  5. I was talking with my mom the other day about how I can finally interact with my 9 month old nephew without getting upset just seeing him. I can actually smile and care and want to see him smile at me. She said it was because my days are getting easier and the grief is lessening with time. The loss of my husband 30 year old husband to an accident has not gotten easier in the 1 year 2 months and 17 days since I haven’t seen him (I used a calculator on Google. I used to have an app for that but decided I didn’t need it since one day without him is too much, I don’t need to count them). The jealousy I feel towards my brother who has everything I was supposed to have has gotten easier to handle. I had a miscarriage 18 days before I lost my husband. Our child was to be born a few weeks after my nephew, and that is why it is/was so hard to even see a picture of him. I was told the grief you feel is as deep as the love was between us. Unfortunately that means that it’s never going to get easier.

    All that to say, that I love the poem. I’ve shared your site with my friends and family telling them if they want to know exactly how I’m feeling go here. The days leading up to the funeral, all I could say was “This sucks.” It certainly didn’t express the extent of suckage that losing what we’ve lost really feels like, but it felt great to say multiple times over.

    • Martyna,
      Thank you so much for sharing my blog with others, and for sharing your story here with me. Im so so sorry about the loss of your husband AND your beautiful baby, and can absolutely see why you would feel the way you do. I also have a 4 yr old nephew and my brother has the family that Don and I never got to have, so while I didnt lose a baby, I did lose the dreams we had and the plans to have one , and I deal with the fact that Ill never be a mom and I grieve that too. It sucks. And sometimes thats really all you can say about it. But its been 2 years for me, and only in the past few months have I REALLY started to enjoy time with my neice and nephew. Before that, it just hurt too much whenever I saw them, so I get that …

  6. I’m reminded that there is pain in art. You are such a beautiful writer. I’ve never lost a spouse, but I do know a little of grief. Losing a dad at 10, momma when I was 28, and my 2 brothers 4/18/12 and fathers day this year. Death is a cruel mother trucker.

  7. Once again, Kelley, I feel as if you are a kindred spirit…And I cannot Thank You enough for the emotions your words help me to connect with. Just like Martyna above, I too have begun sharing your blogs with family & friends telling them that you have transferred every feeling, every undescribable emotion that has become part of my being, my ” existence” as I now call it (because the term life means to me you have to live…I love your references to the present as your “after” life.) Into understandable words, poetry. I cry a deluge of tears while reading anything you write, mixed with sharing a much needed laugh with your witty sarcasm and a sigh of release due to your refreshing honesty. I am only on day 42 of this unwanted journey, 6 weeks today.

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