Friday, January 2, 2015

The widow resolves

I know they are artificial markers of time but, wow, Hanukah, Christmas and New Year's were hard. I know there is no natural rhythm for these holidays (though the solstice they border is there, the stories created to honor the dark) but the cultural weight and personal rhythm is huge.

This New Year's Eve and Day was the first in my adult life where I went to bed and woke alone. It was hard, as so much is. I survived i,t as I have survived so much. There were moments of light, as there so often are.

In years past Kevin and I would see in the New Year either by performing together or by staying home and enjoying each other's company. For years I would start the new year with a list of goals and strategies. It helped me move forward in my life and gave me a rough roadmap. I didn't make resolutions because that seemed too vague. This year moving forward feels off. Every step I take forward feels like a step further away from Kevin. I know, there are a lot of things that can be said here. Kevin is always with me so I'm not moving away from him. I need to move on in my life. Living fully is a way to honor him. Blah, blah, blah. I know these things are true. I also know they make the accumulation of time between Kevin and No Kevin no easier. I know I must continue my life and I will. Those of you who know me in person know stagnation isn't something I relish. Those of you who know me only through this blog, I hope, see someone finding her way slowly through the murk. But still... time is an unavoidable beast and the events that highlight it are hard.

I still have my list of goals because I want to move forward in my life's work (anyone want to hire a storyteller, coach, writer, communications consultant? Let's talk!) which feels key to moving forward in my whole life, but more general resolutions feel as though they may be a gentler way of living this year in a year when I need gentleness.

For 2015:
  1. I resolve to keep remembering.
  2. I resolve to keep living as best I can. Sometimes that means watching too much tv. Other times it means more.
  3. I resolve to forgive myself for mistakes made, for things forgotten, for rediscovering the world and myself.
  4. I resolve to allow in the light, play, laughter, hugs.
  5. I resolve to honor the tears and pain as they come.
  6. I resolve to keep breathing.
The bereaved lose more than a person. They lose more than a relationship. They lose a lens to the world, a way to solve problems, a loving mirror, a hoped-for future. The loss of Kevin is far more than the loss of my husband/friend/lover/work partner/companion/complimentary force. It is the loss of my understanding of myself and my place in the world. Yet I am still here. So let me be here with kindness to myself and others. I am still here. I am, at least in this moment, resolved.

(c)2015 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Shade, I'm sorry you didn't leave your comment up. Hugs.

  2. They also lose those parts of themselves- as well as those facets of their common friends- which only the absent loved one brought out.

    1. A point I think I owe (yet again) to C.S. Lewis- though I cannot seem to find the quote just now; and I think it was in the context of discussing "ordinary" friendship- not the loss of one's soulmate and life partner. Though I suspect it still applies, in either case.

    2. Aha. Here we are: From 'The Four Loves' (C.S. Lewis)

      [1st sentence Lewis is quoting or paraphrasing someone else]
      ...if, of three friends (A, B, and C), A should die, then B loses not only A but “A’s part in C,” while C loses not only A but “A’s part in B.” In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him “to myself” now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald. Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, “Here comes one who will augment our loves.” For in this love “to divide is not to take away.”

  3. Laura, I'm 99.9% sure I have the right person, but I offer this URL to be sure.!topic/alt.callahans/c1el2vqRn5g If this was you, you taught me how to live, to love, and to grieve. I wish I could give that gift back to you. I wish I had your words. I have never forgotten that day. Thank you, so much.

    1. Wow, thank you! Yes, this is me. I'm honored. Telling me the story made a difference is huge; losing Kevin, I have lost the voice that most effectively pushes against my demons, so this helps. This helps.
      Please send me an email, I'd love to catch up. Is your old email still valid? lauraATlaurapackerDOTcom.

  4. Laura, your resolve is inspiring. It is an act of will simply to think of these things. It is enough to just list them. You are always doing enough. (((xo)))


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