Prince Died and I Can’t Tell You Because You are Dead Too

When the person you thought you would spend your whole life with is dead, there’s this weird thing that happens each and every time a person of fame or celebrity dies. It kind of goes something like this:

“Holy Shit! Prince died! I have to tell Don, he LOVED Prince! Oh, shit. I can’t tell Don that Prince is dead, because Don is dead too. Well, FUCK!!!!! ”

It is an odd feeling to crave and long to share the death of someone else, with your husband, but then realize over and over, that you can’t, because he is also dead. And then you start to wonder weird things, like, does he already know that Prince is dead? Maybe he knew way before I did. Maybe his Purple energy showed up somewhere nearby my husband’s energy and their energy hung out together. I don’t know if I believe all this stuff people say about them “playing guitars together in Heaven”, or anything like that – it just seems rather silly. But I do know that energy exists forever – it cannot be destroyed and it cannot end – so if we are made up of energy, and energy lives on and on, then Don is energy, and he is somewhere. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I know that on some level, it helps me to keep going when I tell myself that.

So maybe Prince and his genius mind and musical talents have somehow met up with Don and his passion for all things guitar. Maybe their souls are chatting, if souls can do such things. Actually, I know souls can do such things, because Don’s soul has chatted with me many times. So who the hell knows what goes on after we die? I do not pretend to know such things. I just know that whenever someone dies here on earth, I always long to tell my husband. To share in the experience of processing their death, together. And each and every time it happens, it always feels weird to me that I can’t share it with him. There are so many weird things about loving someone who is dead. This is one of the weirdest.

Also, the way that we, as a people, treat a celebrity or icon’s death, is so very strangely different than the way we treat a civilian death. I always LOVE what immediately happens when an artist of some kind dies – people start collectively sharing every single thing that artist has ever done. They share it on social media, from their phones, their computers, posting links to all of the massive talent everywhere and anywhere, sharing it with the world. Eventually, people find long lost clips of this artist, and they share those too. Longtime fans of this person bask in the memories of their talent, while newer and younger people become fans for the very first time. This artist is remembered in the healthiest and most beautiful way possible – by sharing the legacy of what they left behind. It is in this way, that a true artist never dies. They live on for generations, through their albums, movies, videos, dance routines, songwriting, epic guitar shredding, and whatever else. This is a beautiful thing that people do. Sharing with the universe, and keeping these people alive forever.

So why on earth do people NOT allow us to do this same thing with people we love who have died, people who are literally a piece of our very soul? Why is it that it’s perfectly acceptable and normal and celebrated, to share the work of famous people who have died, and share their legacy – but when a widowed person shares a photo or a memory or anything at all about their spouse – they are told to “move on”, or made to feel as if they should put those pictures away. They are shamed into thinking that remembering and honoring the person who was their very heart, is somehow wrong and unhealthy, and that they must not be grieving properly if they can’t let them go by now. There have been so many times where I have shared a photo or a memory or even written a blog post about my dear husband, and some person who knows next to nothing about losing a spouse and knows nothing about my life, feels the need to condemn me or give their baseless opinion about how “unhealthy” it is to be sharing that stuff. Really? Is it unhealthy to love your person forever into eternity? Is it unhealthy to make damn sure they are never forgotten by the world at large? Is it unhealthy to live your own life in honor of theirs, and in honor of the love you will always and forever share? I don’t think so. I think it’s goddamn beautiful.

We, as a society, should be embarrassed at the ways in which we make people who are grieving feel. If you have shared video links of Prince or David Bowie or anyone else famous who touched your soul and recently died, yet you are uncomfortable or judgmental toward someone who shares pieces of the person they lost who died – you should be rethinking your behaviors. Everyone leaves behind a legacy. The ones who are famous just get seen on a larger level. But everyone is a legacy to someone. Just because a person isn’t known to the world, doesn’t mean that perhaps they were someone else’s world. And that person wants to share them with the universe, so that their soul stays alive forever. When the people we love die, that is all we have – our memories, and that eternal soul connection. Our relationship with that person continues on a soul level, and that literally means everything to us. Don’t ever take that away from someone.

Keep sharing the people you love who died.
Share them with the world, and NEVER be ashamed.

RIP Prince – legend of guitar, innovation, and beautiful lyrics.

“I feel like Im looking for my soul,
like a poor man looking for gold.”

“When the day turns into
the last day of all time,
I can say I hope you are
in these arms of mine.

And when the night falls
before that day,
I will cry.

I will cry tears of joy
cuz after you,
all one can do,
is die.”

“In this life,
Things are much harder than in the after world.
In this life,
You’re on your own.
And if the elevator tries to bring you down,
Go crazy, punch a higher floor.”

– PRINCE

(COMMENTS ARE SO WELCOME AND APPRECIATED)

Longer

This isn’t going to be some brilliant, profound, incredible blog post.
It’s not going to win any writing awards.
Sorry.

I’ve just been a ball of nothing for the past few days, and I need to write, because what else can I do.
The sobbing has been non-stop. It just comes on. Then again. Then some more. Then I eat something. Or I dont. I keep forgetting to drink water. I’m having trouble getting out of bed. I’m going to work and keeping my plans and doing all the things I need to do and have to do in life that are responsibilities and obligations.

But I’m a mess.
I can’t think.
I can’t sleep.
I can’t exist.

I spent 2.5 hours yesterday staring at the wall in my bedroom. It needs new paint.
I watched way too many episodes of “My 600 Pound Life.” They are all the same. Same premise. Same ending. Same fucking doctor even. Are there NO other doctors on earth who perform gastric bypass except this one guy?

I’m at a crossroads. I feel like everything and nothing is about to happen.
I can’t explain what I mean.
Nothing makes any sense to me right now.

On Wednesday, it will be April 13th.
Four years and nine months since my husband’s sudden death.
On Wednesday, it will be April 13th.
Four years and nine months that we were married.
On Wednesday, April 13th, I will have been a widow longer than I was a wife.
This is maybe the saddest thing I have ever typed.
It feels so wrong to have to type that.
Or to have to live that.
And yet here I am.
With no choice, really,
but to try and live.
Somehow.

I’ve been trying.
And failing.
I opened myself up to the idea of living.
I thought it was going well.
But then it wasn’t.
I don’t know what to do.

I have reached the point where I no longer want to be alone.
I no longer want to be lonely.
I no longer want to sit home by myself every weekend.

I got a tiny taste of feeling something again,
spending time with someone again,
being excited about someone again.
And I loved it.
I still love it.
But it was just a taste.
It’s not the right time.
And that’s okay.
Really.
But losing my friend is not okay,
and I’m hoping that isn’t what’s happened.

I know I’m not making any sense.
Nothing makes any sense.
Except me and Don.
We made sense.
We made so much sense.
And then he was gone.
Why?

I just miss you so very, very much, my Boo.
I miss you every day.
I want to go back,
to when I didnt have to think about things such as this,
because I was someone’s wife,
and I had a beautiful husband.
And we were so happy.
But now,
soon,
I will have been a widow,
longer than my entire marriage.
I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Time to go cry again.

(As always, comments are welcome and so appreciated)

couch

Explosion

Im not sure quite how to say this without sounding all “Oprah”, but for me, this year of 2016, feels like an important year. It feels like it already is and will be an important year in my life, for many reasons. And when I type that, a small part of me gets the chills, because I really need to be more specific when I say things such as that and put them down in writing. After all, the year of 2011 felt like an important year too. It just did. Don and me would be coming up on our 5th year wedding anniversary that year, in October, and my September birthday would mark “the big 40.” I remember sometime in February or March of that year, I had a feeling, much like the feeling I’m having today – that it was going to be a big year for us. So I put up a status on Facebook that said:

“2011 is going to be a big year for me and my husband. Big things are going to happen. I can just feel it. Bring it on!”

Well, life certainly “brought it on” alright, when my beautiful husband left for work on July 13th, and never came home. I remember looking back at that status update and sobbing and cursing at myself, saying: “Dammit! Why did you write that? You should have been more specific! You should have said GOOD things are going to happen this year! Not BIG things!!!” As if somehow, what I had written controlled or set in motion my husband’s massive and sudden heart-attack. Obviously, what I wrote that day had nothing to do with what ended up happening, but it sure felt like it did. I remember being so excited that year, along with my husband, that we would be married 5 years. We were planning a special trip for that anniversary – maybe a weekend getaway somewhere new and different. Months after he died, I found his research online for romantic getaways in Cape May, Montauk, and a few other places he was looking at. He also was teasing me endlessly that year about the fact that I would be turning 40, and I was teasing him that my presents better be good. “It’s a surprise, Boo!” He would say, smiling. Yeah, well, “Surprise!!! I’m dead!”

My husband was very excited about seeing me turn 40, as he was 7 years older than me, and was always teasing me about being younger, and warning me with almost devilish excitement about all the aches and pains coming my way the minute I turned 40. “You just wait – this will be you in a few years and Im gonna just laugh and laugh and laugh,” he would say, as he got his latest prescription for contacts or reading glasses, or had another back ache, or picked up his “Just for Men” hair dye to keep the grays away. (He would kill me for telling you that, but he’s dead, so he can’t. I win. ) We were struggling big time in those early years of marriage, always working our asses off to pay bills and feeling like we could never get ahead. Don had picked up a second job at Pet Smart, on his days off from EMS. He was exhausted and worn down, but also excited about the idea of getting us out of that New Jersey apartment, maybe moving someplace a bit bigger and nicer, and putting away some money in savings to buy a new car that wasn’t always breaking down. We had many talks while lying in bed at night, about having our own family, having children, and when the best time would be to make that happen. We were at that time in our life where things weren’t YET happening for us, but they were about to. Or we wanted them to. We were trying to build a life for ourselves, and we were starting to envision what that life might look like together.

That life never happened. Don never got to tease me even once about turning 40, because he died while I was still 39. We didn’t get to take our anniversary trip, because we missed the 5 year mark of marriage by 3 short months. Instead, he died well before any of our dreams could be realized, or even begin, really. I was left with that shitty car that always broke down, a crappy Jersey apartment rental, no savings, no life insurance, loss of health insurance (was covered under his), and absolutely no clue how I was supposed to keep going – keep living – keep breathing. In one traumatic second, my world went from one of hopes and possibilities, to “what the fuck am I supposed to do with THIS???”

Now, here I am again, with those two big and important milestone dates coming up and staring me in the face. This July 13th will be the 5-year mark of my husband’s death, and it is also the first one that falls on a Wednesday, which is the day that he died. The 5-year mark, to me, just feels like a huge deal. I cant articulate exactly why, but it does. It feels that way in my soul, in my heart, in my mind. It feels like it’s going to affect me in a different way, a new way, than any of the past death anniversaries. This is neither a positive or negative thing – it’s just a thing.

This year’s wedding anniversary also feels like a very big deal to me. It would have been our 10th wedding anniversary, this coming October. Ten years. It stings everywhere inside, even just to type it. The fact that we didn’t even get HALF of a decade, never mind a decade, will always hurt with a pain that is difficult to describe. The tears are forming as I type this, for the loss of our future that never was.

Lastly, this year, on April 13th, to be exact, marks the year that I will have been widowed, longer than I was married. My fingers want to run away from the keyboard as I type that sentence. It pains me inside every cell to say that and to BE that, but that is what it is. On April 13th, which also will fall on a Wednesday, I will officially be a widow for longer than I was a wife. Holy shit.

It feels like 2016 is a year for my soul. A year for my soul to think with new eyes, to see with new eyes. All of these milestones and dates on the calendar, they make me incredibly sad and they feel like a big deal to me. But they also feel like the most important reason ever to live in color, find some fucking joy, and go after the things I truly want. Right now, its only April 1st, and already, this year has provided so many new and exciting things for me. I filmed a movie in Los Angeles. I presented in my 9th Camp Widow event. I had my first “anything” since my husbands death – my first real feelings for someone that isn’t him -after over 4 years of not being able to feel anything other than nausea at the thought of “someone else.” The best part is, I’m ready for these feelings to be there. There is zero guilt or weird thoughts about that. It’s a complicated situation, yes, and I’m still not quite sure what it will turn out to be or how it will play out, but it feels really good and really nice, and it feels like something that Don would absolutely want for me. This year, I have really started to feel what it means to have joy and pain in the same breath. I have started to understand that whole “bittersweet” thing, and what it means with life after loss. This year, it has been cemented in my soul, that we only get one life. And yes, I’m going to love and grieve my husband forever, but I’m also going to honor our love and his short life, by living mine at volume 11.

In February of 2005, that man moved mountains so that he could be with me. He moved his entire life into a Pensky moving truck, and left Florida to come live in New Jersey. (I will never forget his self-written wedding vows to me. He said: “My love for you defies all logic. After all, who moves to New Jersey? On purpose?” He was so proud of the huge laugh that one got from the crowd.) And not only that, but he met me during a time when I was nowhere near ready for a relationship. I had been through a trauma, and I was filled with anxiety, fear, and self-loathing. But he waited. That man spent THREE YEARS talking on the phone and computer with me, without meeting in person, because that is what I was comfortable with at that time.

And then, when I was finally ready, we met. And we fell in love. But it was slow, and for him, it must have been painstakingly slow. I have always seen these actions as huge sacrifices on his part. All the waiting on his end, and then moving his life for me, for us. But now, all these years later, and being in a personal situation myself that is eerily similar – I understand. It is as if I can see through the lense of Don’s eyes now. For him, these things weren’t a sacrifice. I mean, they WERE, of course, and they took great patience and great hardships and change. But he never saw it as a sacrifice. Not really. For him, it was simple. It was this is what needs to be done if there is any chance of us being together. If he hadnt have thought in that way, and if he hadnt have been courageous enough and beautiful enough to be the one to offer to move his life, then we would have never had the 4 years and 9 months of marriage that we had. In so many ways, he gave us the life we had together.

Thank you, Don. For loving me. For showing me how to truly live again, and for putting me on the path I am on right now. Thank you for always remaining beside me, and for giving me sign after sign that you really, actually haven’t gone anywhere at all. I love you so much, and I will never stop. And Im going to take that love, and with it, create more love. Isn’t that the whole point of this thing called life? To love and to connect as much as we possibly can, and to create something beautiful out of the amazing love foundation that you left with me. Out of love comes love, and nothing means much of anything without Love.

This feels like an important year. A year of GOOD things filling in my soul. I’m still terrified about what’s going to happen next, and I still fear losing everything all over again, and I still long for that life I had. But I think all of that will always be true. There will never come a day where I DON”T feel all of those things. Yes – things will always be complicated in this “after”-loss world. Things will never quite make sense. That is just how it is from now on – and how it’s going to be. It’s going to be one big, giant cluster-fuck of massively beautiful chaos. And I’m so ready for the explosion.

(I welcome your amazing comments, as always!!! Anyone passed the 5 year mark who can tell me if it felt “different” in some big way? Im curious.)