Cowardly “Friends”

People on social media are always passing around these stories about very old, married couples, who die within days of one another, at the age of 92 or something, because they simply could not live without the other person for one more second. “Isn’t that so beautiful?”, they ooohhh and aaahhhh. “She died, and then he couldn’t bear to be without her for even 48 hours, so he died too. It’s so sweet!” And yes, it is sweet.

However, why do people go all wacky for these stories about people they don’t even know, yet whenever I express how difficult it is to live my life without my husband on this earth with me; or say that, yes, I still miss him and love him and always will, and that I will move forward but never move “on”, and I will carry him in my heart and find ways to honor him because he is a part of me forever – some people get all uncomfortable and creeped out. Really? So if you’re 90 years old and about to die, then it’s sweet and wonderful and amazing. But if the love of your life is taken from you by sudden death when you are 39 and in the beginning years of your marriage, somehow it is strange that you would still be in love with this person who you were planning on spending your life with??? No. I’m sorry. I don’t buy it.

I am getting really tired of being constantly judged by people who have absolutely no clue what it is to lose your partner – no idea of the road I travel. Earlier today, some coward posted an anonymous comment on my comedy You Tube channel, calling me “sad” and “pathetic” because I’m “in love with someone who isn’t even alive anymore” and “still haven’t moved on from this.” They wrote, among other things, that it is really “unfortunate” what happened to me, but that “we all have problems” and I am “making this the focal point” of my life. They also said that they found it “tacky” that I would “use my husband’s death” to write a book and to “get material for comedy sets.” Yeah. It’s a damn good thing he died. Now I finally have some good jokes! Is this idiot serious?

Here is the best part: this person, who wrote these vile and nasty and off-base comments, claimed to be “a friend” who is “just looking out for me and concerned, and posting anonymously so you won’t be upset with me.” Right. Because why on earth would I ever be upset that someone would accuse me of using my husband’s death for some sort of – I don’t even know – gain? Honestly, it hurts and stabs my heart just to type that thought. This person’s comments on my page left me a bit shaky, and completely speechless. I just don’t get it. I truly don’t. I don’t get how a person can be so judgmental of a path they have never walked. I don’t understand why someone would go out of their way to write this to me – to hurt me on purpose that way. Why? What is the point?

The thing that baffles me the most, though, is how anyone can find the idea of loving someone until forever, to be sad and pathetic. I will love my husband forever. And if there is such a thing as longer than forever, I will love him then too. I will also do my best to create a life for myself and to live that life – a life that has been severely altered and changed by his death. The fact that I will love my husband beyond the end of time – is not sad. It is goddamn beautiful. It is beautiful to take something as horrible and painful as a death, and with it, carve out pieces of comedy and joy and raw truth and life and hope. I mean – truly – what is more meaningful and beautiful than that?

Tell me; should I leave my husband and our love and the life we had on a dusty shelf somewhere, pretending it never existed, because that makes YOU more comfortable? No. That is not happening. I choose to take the love with me. The person has died, yes. Our love will not die. Not ever. I get to carry the love with me. All of it. It is mine and it lives forever, echoing in each breathe. And when I die too – even when I die – the love that I have for my husband and the love that he has for me – will live on, even then. With love, there is no death. Only more love.

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10 thoughts on “Cowardly “Friends”

  1. Kelley, you have to do what is best for you. People who have different ideas or opinions are often critical of what they don’t understand. People like to be right so this anonymous person might feel justified in correcting you.

    Death affects everyone differently. If Robert dropped dead tomorrow I would miss him & mourn him like crazy, but I’d probably be looking for a new husband after a year. It doesn.t mean I don’t love him & appreciate the past 10 years we’ve had. It means to me that chapter in life would close & a new adventure begins.

    Stay strong. Life your life the way you need to in order to be sane. And don’t let weirdos on the internet get to you. Anyone who will talk crap behind your back but not to your face is not a friend….nor do they even deserve recognition.

  2. It wasn’t me! Ha!
    Seriously…Great piece, loved this. Your love for Don is inspiring and beautiful. Death doesn’t end love.

  3. I read this yesterday and it made me really mad. I read it again and I’m still mad. You have and continue to do wonderful things in your grief. You are finding your healing, although of course you will never truly heal from your loss. You are honoring Don and your life together. And you get to decide how and for how long you do that. You’ve earned that right. Every tear you have shed earns you that right.

  4. Hi KelleyLynn, I think this post is a masterpiece! I remember a time when I mentioned the word alchemy in a message to you. For those who don’t remember what alchemy is, it’s the metaphorical process of turning lead into gold. This is what you are doing from my perspective. You are taking death, loss and extreme emotional pain and turing it into golden comedic material and a book that will teach and support others while bringing laughter too. You did it again in this piece. You took the judgements and pain of another person and sent it out to all of us with wisdom, insight and skill. It has been clear to me that throughout this experience of Don dying that you would trade it all in to have Don back here alive and with you. As you become more successful you’ ll have to handle more people throwing their own pain at you in the form of judgements, anger, spite, envy etc. I was recently reminded by the suicide of my mother’s friend that it’s often people who are in pain themselves who judge and hurt others.These people have not yet learned how to be alchemists for themselves in their own lives.

  5. Wow, I’m really sorry you got such an evil, idiotic comment. The person could have saved themselves a lot of energy by simply writing “I’m a cowardly dumb ass who doesn’t know how to feel.” Same thing, really. With all of the things I’ve dealt with in the past four years, I have to say I’m not surprised. We live in a culture that has mistakenly labeled the easy slovenly acts of denial and emotional disconnection with ourselves as “strengths” that they are far from.

    You’ve done grief nothing but well and admirably from the beginning, Kelley. I’m sorry you have to do it at all. And I know you will do nothing less than continue to stick to your emotional guns and be true to yourself. Everyone DOES NOT have problems that entail trauma and loss and losing the love of their life in mid life, so people can be friggen NICE to those who do. There now.

    I have no respect for those who hold such opinions but who don’t have the balls to identify themselves. On the off chance you ever find out who made that comment, tell that SARAH CHAMBERLIN thinks they are a DUMB ASS.

  6. My opinion shouldn’t mean a thing because its how you feel that matters- but I will tell you that I think anyway you can work through your grief, whether it be comedy, writing, etc, is a good thing. From what I have read, Don supported all of this- why wouldn’t you continue to do all of this now? And I think those stories of old couples dying hours apart will always get to me too- yes, its lovely. And a beautiful love story for them-but I had to remind my dad the other day that those stories tend to upset us young widows. He didn’t get it. Oh well.

  7. Wow Kelley, I hope the insensitive “friend” who wrote these comments also reads your reply. I think you explained it so well. The fifth paragraph says it all. It is a blessing to have loved someone so much that you will always miss them, but it’s also a curse. Bitter-sweet!

    A lot of us don’t post to your pages/posts very often because we just don’t know how to reply someone who is comfortable sharing such deeply raw emotions. I’m a very private person and find it difficult to open myself up the way you do; not judging, just stating a fact. Maybe your anonymous “friend” is a more private person too and just didn’t know how to express themselves properly. (No it was NOT me, lol)

    I believe you have a gift and your book is going to help so many people work through their own grief. The fact that you can be grieving and also keep your sense of humor is a testament to your strength of character. IMHO, the best comedy is that which is taken from life experiences; it helps us to take a close look at ourselves and teaches us to laugh at our own weaknesses. Keep up the good work. I think “Shep” would be proud of you.

  8. Stumbled upon this and enjoyed the read. Thank you.

    There might be a certain sense of truth regarding the ‘making it the focal point of your life’ part; it might not be a bull’s eye hit, but it could be there roundabouts. Of course, what that person probably do not get is that it is your inspiration and strength. I don’t know how to really explain it in words, so I will just leave this here: When a person has no idea how to love who they really are, they will never know what it’s like to form meaningful relationships with others.

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