My body remembers vividly where I was and who I was with when I found out. I remember every breath I took on the drive home, just to get me there. I remember the phone calls I made. I remember the feelings of not knowing how to deal. I remember crying all night. I remember not believing it . And I remember being alone. Alone knowing I was never going to hear your voice again..I remember crying quietly because I didn't want to be heard, and my friend Frankie telling me it was okay to be loud. I remember we cried on the phone for an hour. That was what got me through that night. I remember thinking this is not real, it can't be happening. The very next day I called your cell phone just so I could hear your voice.
I remember laying in bed for weeks. Only getting up when I really had to. I remember how my children didn't understand what was happening with me. I didn't fully understand what was happening to me.
Grief. I have never felt grief like that. Interesting how grief brings up every traumatic thing that has ever happened in your life. Bed was all I wanted. I felt paralyzed and sometimes fear in my body. For the first couple of months while George would go away on 3 day training, I slept with an ax under my pillow. I was totally safe, but I really had it in my head that it was possible that anything could happen. To think all the women out there that are in the same position that Kathy was in. Just breaks my heart. Her murder turned me inside out and made me feel crazy. This sort of thing changes you forever.
Grieving should never be done alone. It really takes a community to hold it. Some people like to do it alone. I really want to believe that to be true, maybe it is depending on the person, but I believe that what comes up for grief, is dirty, deep, dark, sad, vulnerable...and many many people really don't' know how to deal with someone who is grieving. So they just stay away.
Grieving someone's death is like giving birth in my experience. As soon as everyone heard the news of her death everyone was sending me messages, asking questions making phone calls. I was overwhelmed. I didn't respond to hardly any of them because i was in shock. None of it was landing on me. I was detached, and deeply affected.
With birth the emotions are the opposite. I was high. I was elated and not grounded. Everyone wants to see and meet the baby. Hold the baby, change the baby, do something with the baby..tending to the mother is a whole other story and subject in and of it self. I will not get into that. Then everyone leaves and it is you and this little creature that just came out of your body. Learning how to be, a new you, this new being...and everyone is gone. You are happy, ecstatic. But then motherhood sets in I would say 6 weeks into it. And you are alone. Doing it all alone. Then isolation sets in.
With grieving and Kathy's death, it felt similar. About 3 weeks into it the sadness turned into grief. It was me and this creature-ME. My body was shutting down, but needing to stay on. My insides were exposed on the outside. My stories were being thrown all over the place. And I was trying to pick them all up so no one would see them, not even I wanted to see them. I was lost and there was no one. It was very scary. Fear set into my body. I did have a long distance friend who called me once a week to check in. There wasn't any judgment of where I was, how long it was taking. It was really helpful. I love my Pamela. I was living one year here, so local community with the exception of Pauline(I am forever grateful for her), wasn't really comfortably with in reach. Grief just feels like the loneliest emotion to go through..I send love to everyone who experiences it.
One of my favorite moments with Kathy was when she or I would come over, and it was always cuddle time. We would make sure the kids were set. Then we would sneak away, lay in bed and cuddle and talk and process and laugh and cry. When was the last time you cuddled with a friend? It really is a true gift to be that vulnerable, to take that kind of risk in being loved fully, and to love that deeply. She was a very lovable person. It was easy. She loved me well. I miss her so much. I always will.
The first time we met in 2008
Kathy and Ashley visited us in MA 2011
My birthday 2010