The Saddest Day

Today is the saddest day of my life.
Let me explain.
Yes, my husband’s completely sudden and shocking death happened on July 13, 2011.
That was the worst day of my life.
That was the day that changed every single thing about my world forever.
It changed the very way I breathe air.
It took my life and split it into two seperate lives – before and after.
July 13th was the absolute worst day of my life.

But this day is the saddest.
I don’t know if this will be true forever,
or if in time,
things will change,
as grief-related things often do.
I don’t know.
But right now, here, in this moment – today is the saddest day of my life.


It is October 27th. My wedding day.
The happiest day of my life.
The day that every person in our combined world,
came to New York to that beautiful venue on the water,
to witness our love and dance and eat delicious gourmet food,
and to laugh and laugh and laugh.
Every wedding picture I see of us,
we are laughing.
Smiling.
So very much in love.
With each other.
With our life.
On that day,
I sat inside of every single moment and took it in.
I knew how special and priceless it all was.
I knew.
Which is why it hurts so much today.
This day.
The saddest day of my life.
Because Now,
when I think about that day,
I think about those moments,
and I think about my husband,
Alive,
laughing,
breathing,
dancing,
saying to me at the top of the Bridal suite stairs,
“We did it, Boo!”

I think about watching as our Best Man and Maid of Honor signed that wedding license.
I think about the vows we wrote for each other.
I think about how, at age 35, I had finally found my person,
and how ecstatic and calm I was, to be with him forever.
Then I think about how forever was only 4 and a half years.
How we never bought a home together,
how we never had a family together,
how he was robbed out of his forever, and I was robbed of mine,
and handed a brand new life that I didnt want and had no idea how to live.

I think about what marriage is and what it represents,
and how safe I felt about getting old, or getting sick, or facing hardships in life,
knowing that I had made the absolute only and right choice in a husband.
Then I think about the word husband,
how much I loved saying it.
How I cant say it anymore, but say it anyway.
Husband.

I think about how incredibly hurtful it is to see and witness other people having Anniversaries
and vacations
and retirements
and children
and grandchildren
new jobs
and new homes
and holidays
and innocent laughter
and ease at the knowing that they think they know,
about their own safe and happy futures.


So far, in this awful grief catastrophe (I refuse to call it a journey),
I have done quite well with feeling my emotions.
So far, I get them out and when I want to cry or it just happens randomly, I let it happen.
I write everything down and I sit inside of the massive pain until it passes.
Until next time.
Because I know that doing so will help me heal.

But not with this. Not my wedding.
So far, my wedding and Christmas are the two things I cannot handle.
Just cant get a grasp on them.
Perhaps it is because they are forever linked.
Christmas was always my favorite day of the year.
My husband knew this, so he proposed on December 18th,
underneath the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
The fall was always my favorite time of year,
so we had a Christmas-themed wedding, in October.
The happiest day of my life.
Today.
The saddest day.

Even the very thought of thinking about Christmas and how I will deal with it this year,
sends me into panic and anxiety and hurt.
The first year my parents and I ran away to Foxwoods Casino,
pretending it wasnt Christmas at all.
Last year, I stayed in NYC and saw Les Miserable at the movies with my friend Bobby.
This year maybe I will hop on a plane to Saturn, or the moon, or Hollywood.
Anyplace where reality doesn’t exist.

And my wedding day. Just typing it or talking about it or thinking about it makes me sob.
Still. After 2 years and 3 months.
The hurt over my wedding day is not any less intense.
This whole week leading up to it, I have had this inner-sadness,
just sitting there, like a heavy meal,
making me uncomfortable and void of purpose.
Walking around with that much sadness feels awful.

Even my subconscious knows the deep sadness.
The denial and the pain.
My heart knew that I just could not go there.
Not yet.
Not now.
Not today.
It knew, because last night I had a dream.
The dream was not about my wedding day.
It was about the day he died.
The dreams details are not important,
because they are too sad and too complicated,
to fit on this page.
But it was the kind of dream,
where you wake up and think how great it feels,
to wake up from that dream horror,
and then you remember,
that you are awake and living,
in this new horror.

What is important,
about this dream,
is this:
My brain and my heart would rather take me back
to the pain of my husband’s death
than to the pain of our wedding day,
and all that it represents.
All that is gone.
Just gone.

Because today
is the saddest day.
Today,
on the day I walked down the aisle,
to meet my life partner,
in what I thought I knew
was forever,
I will instead,
walk down the sand,
in the bay,
across the street from where we married,
and visit his ashes that were sprinkled there,
and think about everything that this day means,
and everything that is gone,
and sob.

Last year, on this saddest day …

It shouldnt be happening,
and it isn’t fair.
But here I go anyway,
off to be with myself,
and my husband.
And Im still calling him my husband.
My beautiful, wonderful, perfect for me, loving, husband.
My dead husband.

And today is the saddest day.

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18 thoughts on “The Saddest Day

  1. I empathize with you Kelley, I am a widower myself & it has been 4 years since my wife’s passing. We were married for just a little over 20 years. You will make it.

  2. Dad and I will be thinking of you and Don today more than other days because of the happiness it brought to both of you and us because he made you so happy. As you visit Don at your favorite place today, I know somehow you will be comforted by him.
    We love you, Mom and Pop

  3. You are in my thoughts today. I have no words to express my gratitude to you for keeping on writing… through the pain.. You are my hero.

  4. You and I share this day for different reasons. Today is our oldest daughters birthday. Like you, it was a beginning for us. A wonderful new chapter in our lives together, full of all the hopes and dreams that love brings. I’ll be thinking of you and Don today, as I will of Mike and I, as I always due. Be well and my deepest wishes for your heart to remember without sorrow how special today is.

  5. It’s only four months for me but I died that day too. I will never eel whole again…unless you’ve walked in a widows shoes no one has a clue…….crying is good try to let it out…lots people here rooting for you…….hugs

  6. Dear Kelley, I understand this. Wish I didn’t. As I was reading this I thought of all of the people at the wedding. The Good buddies and dutiful relatives that have to be there. When you look at the people in the group assembled there for you, you will notice a lady who is alone. She is smiling, she does not dance, she goes unnoticed. She is a widow. She is me. She is all of us. At times I feel so alone. I do not want to be her, but I am her. Today at Church no one acknowledged me. I am okay on this road and refuse to whine and moan, but having had a wonderful rich life, and have it become this sad life is hard to bear. I bury myself in work. I have a family that needs and depends on me. I would like to marry again, but no one looks at me so I quietly stuff all these feelings in their proper box called grief. You will get through this day and other days and knowing your spirit, which is lively and intense, you will kick this grief sonsabitchs ass. Maybe not today, That is okay, it is coming soon. You are no one to mess with, girl. You are going to rise up singing. You never give up, not on your dream, your vision, and I know Don is so proud of you.

  7. Your writing is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My heart hurts knowing the sorrow and loss you are feeling. ((hugs))

  8. I felt that pang in my stomach when you said you loved the word husband. I remember every year when I bought Mike a card for whatever reason, how I loved the word “husband” on the card. How proud I felt. Only another widow can know what that feels like.

  9. I am trying to compose something here for you to let you know how I truly feel your pain….words….words….so inadequate….except for HUSBAND …..oh how I loved being able to say that word like you did….DO….peace and love to you this saddest day…..Jan

  10. Oh Kelley, I am not even 5 months into this, but I am so glad you are sharing with all of us. Your writing is beautiful, raw and powerful. It is amazing. That you can write almost exactly what I am feeling, as I lost my husband suddenly too. He was FINE, then he was dead. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing your beautiful, powerful work.

  11. Thank you for sharing this Kelley. Your writing always makes me see and I am so sorry you have to live this. Thinking Of you. <3

  12. Kelley, earlier today on October 28th I filled out the box that said leave a reply, and filled in the details below, and then clicked on post comment, but I don’t see my comment. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. So let me give it another try.

    I just wanted you to know that your bottle with the beautiful message was found by my twin brother on Tappan Beach today, Oct. 28th 2013, a day after you put it in the water. I told him I would reply to you, as he is uncomfortable using the computer.

    My brother and his wife were walking along the beach and came across your bottle. He lives in Sea Cliff and I live in Houston. I try to get to Sea Cliff every year, as it is so beautiful. I was there this year from September 24th to October 10th, and was in fact enjoying clams on the half shell with my twin brother and niece on our 73rd birthday, which was on September 25th at the “?” shack at Tappan Beach.

    During my stay, my friends and I used the Sans Souci parking lot to turn our car around. You had a beautiful wedding venue. I have been admiring it for years. One of my dear friends daughters was married there.

    At any rate I want you to know that when my brother read your message over the phone we both got teary eyed.

    Kelley, I wish you life’s best. Although I don’t know you, I am proud that you somehow have the courage to muster the strength to put one foot in front of the other every day. You are clearly talented and have a lot to give to this world.

    My brother told his daughter about your message. She is exactly your age and lives in Sea Cliff. She was touched by your message, as we all were, and his going to drop you a little note. Her name is Nancy Cuite.

    Fondly,
    Lois Alker

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