Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | August 20, 2015

for my sins

I just realized today is six years since Jeff’s funeral.

And by “funeral” I mean party. That fab party was attended by Jeff’s wife and child, Jeff’s family and friends, Jeff’s pictures, Jeff’s guitar silent in its stand, Jeff’s lovely small hand crafted rosewood table decorated with a commemorative bottle of Jack, Jeff’s ratty threadbare size 13 just-barely-black Converse hightop sneakers, but not by the Big Man himself.

I prepared for that day as for any gathering, my specialty, thinking of everything. I baked up a storm, arranged huge swooping bouquets of his favorite flowers from our own yard and from our dearest friends. Dressed in finery, hugged everyone, chatted with everyone, kept it so together. Except for how I purposefully had my first glass of white wine at noon, before anyone arrived, and kept up the pace all day like it was my job. Ate none of the gorgeous, lovingly-prepared food.

Got the opportunity to stare hollow-eyed at a murky yellow August sky from a spinning lawn chair all night for my sins, murmuring to myself over and over, “He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s really dead.”

As if the events leading up to that day had not been evidence enough that this was true.

Too hollow to cry, even, which for me is saying something.

I mean, I’m fine. Nothing a little jump in the ocean and some careful consideration of my priorities won’t cure. lol.

No, really.

But man, have we been through some shit the likes of which most people can’t even imagine, or what? I think some of my people know what I am talking about.

I usually like to think about how I am a better person now than I was before this happened, and how I am packing in a lot of life: joy, beauty, love, for those who can’t. Most days this is true. I will apparently do any damn thing now to prove I am alive. I will swim in the ocean at sunset, jump in a glacial stream, lay naked in my yard watching shooting stars all night, and drink espresso at 9 pm. My dead husband can’t, but I can. So I do. I carpe the fuck out of this diem.

 carpe the fuck

But today I am sad, and it just hurts. Today I am struck by the world of pain that floats around so many of us and how very little we can do for each other except be kind. I feel like I have lately dropped the ball on kindness, even though I know it is the most important thing. Time to refocus. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle you know nothing about.



  1. I’m doing the same thing, Caroline. The tiny silver guitar with a cabochon cut emerald for a sound hole I wear around my neck is what saves me, along with the music itself, and the people who listen to me, and who I play with. I played 3 songs with a friend last Friday at his gig, and realized it was the first time I played like that with anyone but my husband for over 40 years. It felt great.


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