Sunday, June 26, 2011


Time is passing so quickly still. Today it is two months since my Tom left. There is so much I miss about him. There is so much I still can't feel. There is still so much I don't understand about this thing called grieving.

Grieving requires the present moment, quiet, smells, sounds, phrases, memories, stillness and bravery. I can feel grief begin to take residence in my soul. It sits down and starts to spread itself about. It begins in a corner and then kind of works itself along my walls. So far I haven't been brave enough to let it get too comfortable. When it starts to feel too heavy I quickly busy myself with some task or involve myself with some person. There is still to much to do to let this thing take hold. I admit I am afraid of it. I know I can not run from it forever. I just need a little more time to complete the list of things I have to do. Thank you notes, meetings with lawyers, tracking down necessary documents, figuring out what I should be looking for for Tom's Business Tax Return. There isn't time for this just yet.

I am afraid of being immobilized. Me, the energizer Bunny. What will I do? What if grief won't move out? What if it stays as my companion? Every time I have to remove his name from an account, or call to cancel a charge or notify yet one more business of Tom's death, I feel like I am erasing him bit by bit. I do not want my memories to be erased too. I want to always be able to see his smile. I want to remember the feel of his hand on mine. I want to be able to smell his scent. Time has a way of erasing these memories as well.

The photos at left capture what we had. These were taken in Gwinn, MI on the day Evelyn
was baptized. We posed for the first shot but the second was captured as we laughed in our familiar way. The last one is just a peck, a reminder of the bond that held us.

These are the things I miss the most. The years of togetherness and the sharing of our lives. How lucky we were.

Until next time.....Always, Kathleen
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three Little Words

Did I tell you the last words Tom said to me where, "I love you". How many people get the chance to say their goodbyes the way we did. I'm not certain we really understood that it was our final goodbye, but nonetheless it was.

These are some photos of sunsets he's been sending me. It can be the bleakest of days and then at about 8:30 p.m. I go to the balcony and there he is. Shining all this beauty at me, calling hello to me, whispering "I love you."

The morning I flew back from Florida to Michigan, the kids and I stopped for brunch. On the wall above our table was the photo you see below. An artist snapped a photo using scrabble letters. I looked up, saw it, and could hear Tom. I said, "I want to buy that," but it was already sold. My daughter-in-law Becka contacted the artist and she and David bought it and gave it to me for my 65th birthday . It was a month later and I'd forgotten all about it. What a great surprise! It had therapeutic powers as well. It induced some much needed crying that I have difficulty generating myself. So now, everyday I get to see those words I heard.

I'm still having trouble sleeping. I awake two to three times a night. This morning I tossed for an hour and then fell back to sleep. I had the best dream about Tom. At the end, we were sitting in one of his older cars, he was dressed in a suit and his Burberry raincoat, I was dressed up. He put his arm around me, pulled me to him and kissed me just the way he used to. He was healthy, no Parkinson's, he was "my Tom". I woke up and felt so happy that he had been so near, that it had felt so real. It gave me that old feeling I used to have with him before Parkinson's.....that feeling of safety, of being cared for. It felt
like he was telling me that yes indeed, all is well.

Until next time........Always, Kathleen
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Tip of the Iceberg

There are no pictures to describe where I am right now. I don't think I even have words to describe this place. The tip of the iceberg says it the best I think.

I am in Chicago with my best friend Kathy McDonald. Her Mother Nell died peacefully yesterday just short of her 104th birthday. I am so glad I could be with her for this time. We came on Tuesday knowing Nell was declining. We decided on Wednesday night to extend our stay. We knew if we didn't we would just be turning around and coming back soon.

We have all been wondering for a long time what Nell's purpose for still being here could possibly be. But one by one different people who have been in her life shared their thoughts. Then yesterday morning standing at her bedside I felt her gift to me. Tears for Tom. Almost the first one's I've been able to shed since that first week he died. Now they weren't profuse(as mine never are), but nonetheless they were there and they were real.

Late this afternoon I began feeling a heaviness in my heart. That feeling of anxiety that frequents me when I am hurting or afraid. Today's feeling are from hurting. Tears still won't come but I'm beginning to feel the sadness I've expected all along. It sat down right on my lap and I knew I just needed to be by myself. Kathy sensed my need, and she may have it herself, so she is off for a drive and I'm in our room. I am trying to feel a little more so I can cry a little more. I feel raw. I am missing that comfortable space Tom and I shared. I miss my Tom.

This is the tip of the iceberg. I want to keep my eyes open, my senses sharpened so I don't miss what's underneath that tip. I want to go around it and absorb it, but please God, don't let me crash into it. Tom, you help me navigate this course, just like you did on the road. I love you.

Until next always, Kathleen