New Years Crash

(written late-night on New Years Day.) Ever since that calendar started to read 2015 about 24 hours or so ago, I have been feeling a little bit down. I keep forgetting that New Years Eve and New Years Day make me incredibly sad. I don’t know why I keep forgetting this, but I do. Each year since my husband’s death, the sadness surrounding New Years always seems to come out of nowhere and surprise me. So here I am again. Sad. Alone. Down.

Last night, for New Years Eve, I spent it all by myself in my apartment in New York. I actually didn’t mind this at first. I had just returned the day before from 10 days in Massachusetts staying with my parents for Christmas, and although I had a really nice time this year overall, I am emotionally exhausted and needed to be alone and just doing nothing. So it was fine. Until it wasn’t. Until about 10 minutes before midnight. Until I put on that stupid Ryan Seacrest / Dick Clark Rockin Eve crap and saw tourists in the streets kissing each other happily and giggling with silly glasses and party hats on their heads. I sat there stone-faced as the countdown began, and then turned the TV off before it got to the number one. I didn’t want to hear anymore of it. No more counting of things. No more acknowledging more years that my husband doesn’t get to live in. So I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. At all. I had one of those nights where the ache of missing him just wouldn’t go away, and absolutely nothing helped or made me feel better. I laid there trying to focus, really focus, on his face and his blue eyes or the way he held my hand lying in bed, and he would start lightly humming out of nowhere. I tried to concentrate on the tiniest molecule of specifics about him – all those things that made him him that were starting to feel so far away. I tried to keep remembering and remembering, so that I would never ever forget. But in the end, I stayed awake until 5 a.m. in the morning, tossing and turning, crying and not crying, remembering and not remembering. It was just one of those nights.

Today I got up late, because I am off work for the next couple weeks until the spring semester of teaching starts back up, and I wandered aimlessly around my apartment, trying like hell to find myself in the foggy air. I felt so tired, so drained from the holidays and from feeling joy for the first time in 3.5 years during Christmas. Yes, joy is joy – but joy is tiring. And in the land of grief, massive joy is usually followed up by a massive crash.

So I crashed. And I felt the missing of him some more, and I let myself sit around and feel the sad. I can’t force it away – this I have learned. It will be there until it no longer needs to be there, so I feel it and let it be there. Tonight, two very close friends of mine came over to my apartment and we ordered pizzas and I had snacks and drinks out. They are a couple, and we have been good friends for about 15 years now. In 12 days exactly, they are packing up their life and moving to California. They are both from New York and have lived here most of their lives, and they have always wanted to try things out west and see what it’s like. So, earlier tonight, we hung out and said our goodbyes. This will most likely be the last time I see them before they head west, and the last time I see them in who knows how long after that. I am extremely sad about them leaving. Not only because I will miss them like mad, but because they are Don’s friends too, and it feels like just another piece of the puzzle of “that life” that is moving further away from my vision. It feels like saying goodbye to another piece of my husband, and I don’t want to say goodbye. I don’t want to.

New Years is supposed to be all about new beginnings and resolutions and new goals and hopes for the future. And maybe in a few days, I will be able to see it that way. But right now, right this very minute, the only thing I can see is that another whole year has ended without my husband in it. Another year went by that he doesn’t get to breathe or experience life or grow or laugh or be a dad or realize his potential as a human being on this earth. Another whole year is gone, and thats 12 whole months added to the distance from me to him. Yes, time marches on. Life continues. The earth keeps spinning. The years go by and change each December 31st. I need to accept that. But I refuse to be part of the countdown that celebrates more time away from my husband, and the life I knew.

I will be okay again in a few days. But right now, I just need to crash.

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6 thoughts on “New Years Crash

  1. Kelly,
    I woke this morning feeling much the same way as you. Three times I’ve been widowed starting at age 34 and the last time just a little over a year ago. Yes, the ecstatic joy that comes on us widows from time to time is followed by unbearable anguish which is followed by silliness, a bit of black humor and joy again. Up and down, up and down, and up again. On we go…

    We know more about what living is all about than the rest of humanity, don’t we? You know he is with you though you are the only one that is breathing. He is breath, all breath now, all air, all light, all joy and he is with you now 100%, all the time, through it all.

    Endure. Your song will return. The song of life will fill you once more, Kelly. You are now Don-Kelly or Kelly-Don, inseparable in life and death. Forever together. And when your next husband appears, for he will appear, he will love you, Kelly-Don. And then you will be three. I know these things and I affirm it is true for you as it is true for me.

    With love

    • Catherine, what a beautiful sentiment you have given me, and I do believe that. He is all things. I always say “he is everywhere, and he is nowhere.” Thats how it feels most days. I cannot even fathom going through this hell THREE TIMES. You are one brave and incredible person to have the attitude you do. Thank you so much for reading and for replying with a bit of your own story. xoxo …

      • Sigh. Yeah, three times is the pits. What an understatement!

        Can you believe that some people’s reaction is to laugh. One single woman said to me, “You must feel like a black widow.” Her thoughtless cruelty shocked me. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that but it still shocked me. I looked at her tear-stained face because she had just gone through a relationship break-up.

        “No,” I answered, “quite the contrary. Now I have become an angel, an angel living here on earth.”

        We widows walk in two worlds. Two worlds, yet we are firmly here on earth, painfully aware of being here in the body, of continuing on living life on earth. We know we are capable of love, that we have been loved, and that we love being in love. We are as different as night and day from most people we meet. We widows embody love. We know what love is. We know it more now than we did even when our spouses were alive. These truths make us more alive than most everyone else. The contrast between life before and life after, the knowledge of life and death, gives us appreciation of what it means to be alive, the pain and the joy of it.

        Most people shut out pain. In doing so they also shut out joy. Both states are fleeting.

        As widows we don’t have the ability to shut out pain. Our alone-ness is different from the ‘normal’ single life. We know love. We didn’t fail at love. If our spouses didn’t die we’d still be with them. And so we are still with them in our hearts. Because of that we’re strong. Strong enough to be weak and sorrowful at times. Strong enough to experience all life has to offer. Strong enough to live for two. Strong enough to love again. Love is all there is, Kelly. Love, laughter, sorrow, joy. And live again.

        • I agree with you 100%. Its a process getting there emotionally, but I absolutely agree.
          I have always said that about pain and joy. They live together like siblings, and I am not afraid or ashamed to feel pain the same way I feel joy.
          And I hope to love again one day. Im not ready right now, but some day.

  2. Kelley, I have enjoyed reading your thoughts. You are so funny and creative.

    Your Don sounds amazing! He was very successful in showing you how love is suppose to feel. I think he was perfect for you. Not only you, many others would have cherished a love like that. How did you get to be the lucky one? Maybe it wasn’t luck at all. Maybe it was because you are just as amazing as Don was and he recognized it. I can see how you may be hesitant to try and fill his shoes. Winning the lottery probably seems more likely.
    Although the two of you together were “amazing”. I think you are amazing all on your own. And I am sad to think that you may choose to never share your amazing self with someone knew.


    • Thank you Jeanne. But i didnt say I would NEVER share myself with someone else. Im just not ready for that right now. It may change in a year or two, who knows. But right now, that is not my focus, as Im still processing through all my feelings and working on other things. But thank you so much for the compliment. nobody will EVER be Don – but if there should be someone else, they will be uniquely THEM, and we will have something totally seperate and unique to whatever we have together. Thanks so much for reading Jeanne. I really do appreciate everyone who read these :)

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