Around the Corner

On July 12th, 2011, during another ordinary day in my previous life, I could have never in a zillion years predicted or seen coming that only hours later, my husband would leave for work and never return again. I could NOT have foreseen that he would be sitting at the computer desk in our bedroom one minute, and the next minute I would be waking up to a ringing phone, then rushing in a cab to the E.R. to find out that he was dead.

And for those first few months and even year or two after that horrific day, I could not have predicted that I would be able to take my intense and excruciating pain, and create from it a play, a stand-up comedy act presented to other widowed people, a blog, and now a book. I would have never ever known , had you asked me just 8 months ago even, that I would be using this pain and grief to become a grief coach and walk others through their hurt – staying beside them and crawling them through the processing of deep emotions and eventual healing. Had you asked me back then, I would have told you that I would feel this horrific and dark pain forever until the end of time, and that there would never ever be a day where I could see or feel or experience joy again. I truly believed that my life was over. I truly felt that the pain of losing Don and our life and everything inside it – would kill me. I thought that I would surely die from the pain, because how can anyone live in that kind of pain forever?

I didn’t die. I kept feeling the pain and I kept sitting inside the pain, and each time that happened, I was a little bit less terrified of it, because I knew that I had felt it before, and that I didn’t die from it. I knew that I would feel absolutely awful for however long this particular grief-trigger would last, but that it would not, in fact, kill me. I focused on the “right now.” I focused on making it through the next 5 minutes. The next hour. The next day. Getting through a full class at work. Making it the whole class without making an excuse to run to the bathroom and burst into tears.

Thinking too far ahead terrified me. It was too overwhelming. “Stay in the now. Breathe. In and out. Get up tomorrow and try again.” These are things I would repeat to myself. Many nights, I would get in my car, drive out to a random field, and just scream my head off. Or cry like an animal. I would sit in my car and just yell at the top of my lungs. I would beat the shit out of the walls, or throw things across the room in my apartment. I would scream to my husband late at night, alone, out loud: “Where the f**k are you?!! I need you! Why is this happening? How can you be here and then just GONE??! What the fuck???” None of it brought him back, and none of my questions were ever answered. They never will be. But I needed to exhaust myself asking them, over and over and over, until I didn’t much feel like it anymore.

It will never be okay with me that he died. It will never be okay with me that I don’t get to have that life anymore. But I’m here. I breathe air. I will live every second with fire and determination and passion, because my husband does not have that choice. I will live because he doesn’t get to. I will fight for my Joy. I will battle the pain and sit inside of the sad, so that I can feel the unbelievable happy that comes after. There is light. There is Joy. There is life. Had you asked me that a year or two ago, I would have said otherwise. I was in tremendous pain all the time, but something deep inside of me whispered: “Keep going. Keep getting up. Keep trying.” And I did. And you should too.

You can’t always see or feel what is coming – you can’t always know what is only a week or a month or two away. Stick around. Stay tuned. It’s life. Messy, chaotic, insane, devastating, beautiful, tragic, precious Life. I know so many people right now who are currently sitting inside of the most horrible darkness. I wish I could carry you out. I wish I could fast-forward you through the pain. But it doesn’t work that way. So instead, I tell you this:

When you’re sitting inside of the darkness -stop. Listen. Like a song that you can just barely hear, it is there. Hope. The tiniest glimmer of hope. When you feel ready to see it, to hear it, to feel it , it is there. Hope. There is Hope around the corner …

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

3 thoughts on “Around the Corner

  1. Oh Kelley Lynn.., you have done some great grief work! Every word describes what I have felt this past year and I now know going into the darkness is what will bring me out to the light and the hope and joy that has to be waiting for me. You rock and are an inspiration!!

  2. I have not come to this blog for a very long time, I scrolled down until I saw a familiar article and it was dated from March… The last time I posted a comment was even longer ago, probably 6 months.
    I came into a weird phase when I was kind of okay, not that I stopped wishing every second for my old life back but in the way I wasn’t so much waiting for the current one to be over. And somewhat I just couldn’t come and read your blog. It was like I was trying to escape all the pain and horror, and was afraid I could read something that could make everything come back up to the surface again. But at the same time another reason I wouldn’t come and read was I was saving it for an emergency. I didn’t want to waste the help and strength – to keep on going – reading you can give me on a day I wasn’t feeling so bad, and have nothing to read when I really do. Like I was a couple of minutes ago. Today I did a garage sale with Mik’s sister in law (who is one of my best friends, that’s how Mik and I met and that’s why he often used to say we were meant to meet anyway). And I truly felt like I felt worse now that I did a year ago barely 2 months after his death. Even the weather sucked, it was cold and rainy while last year was cool and shiny. Lately everything has sucked, I failed my driving license for the second time, so I’m still stuck with my parents who are nice but do more harm than good. Last month my mother harassed me for an entire morning to make me sort a cardboard full of Mik’s stuff that’s been sitting in the house because my bedroom couldn’t take any more, and when I said I couldn’t and wouldn’t she snapped back ‘but these are all INSIGNIFICANT stuff !” (2 weeks after my boyfriend died I woke up with the house empty, and then she called and said “I left for vacation at the beach, please go and have lunch with you’re brother I just had him on the phone he’s really depressed” Note: my brother lives 2h30 away by public transport.)
    Anyway, back to the point, I’m sorry I just feel like if I don’t vent a little bit I’m going to explode… Recently everything has been tough, and then 10days ago I sprained my knee in a random collision with my dog (a mutual love at first time, I had all the reasons not to take her but didn’t manage not to, have never regretted…!), and I guess the pain + the tiredness + the cold and the rain… When I came home I just lost it and started alternating between a flow of tears and I guess what you called ‘cry like an animal’. My dog crossed the room to come put her head on my knees and lick my eyes but that didn’t made me stop like it usually does. So, joker, I came to your blog.

    Oh, but I scrolled down really fast just so I get to the first article I knew I had not read yet. And it was just so perfect for now… Thank you, really. We have never met in person and probably unfortunately never will since there is an ocean between us, but when you read this please know in the South of France there was a 26 year old girl sitting in a lot of darkness, who is now standing up to cook dinner.

    PS: I’m glad I scrolled down past a lot of articles. I know I have many more jokers for later.

    PPS: I apologize in advance for the English mistakes and all the typos, I keep typing ‘to’ instead of ‘you’, I tried to correct but I probably forgot a bunch, and I’m sure there are more in the same vein…

    • Wow. Thank YOU for sharing all of this with me. You have no idea what it means to me when people let me know that my words have somehow meant something to them, or affected them in some way. Im so sorry you are dealing with so many people who dont understand and who dont have compassion. You can vent here anytime, or find me on Facebook under Kelley Lynn and feel free to friend me there as well. We can never have too many other people in our lives who “get it”, even if they are oceans away.

Leave a Reply