With And Without

February 1, 2016





I went to a wake yesterday. It was awful...forty something, married, kids, sudden and unexpected. Too soon, too young. So very, very sad.

On the receiving line, I watched. She was strong, eloquent, beautiful, the epitome of class, all the while suffering through an unimaginable pain. People said they were sorry. They said they'd be there to help out and console. They said they understood, as they clasped the hand of their partner and moved on down the line.

And I thought, no they don't. They couldn't possibly.

But I do.

I watched my mother walk that awful path. A former model and actress, waif thin at forty eight years old, with short, bleach blonde hair, greeting people in a black cowl neck dress and gold jewelry in that exact same room more that thirty years ago. Thank you for coming, it means a lot, embracing, weeping, promises of companionship from friends and neighbors. Reading mass cards and flower tags, she watched them file out in pairs and then went home alone to an empty bed, cold toes, two young children and a business not built for a woman to run.

Yet she did. She had no choice.

It was one foot in front of the other into uncharted territory while her girlfriends continued to shop, lunch, cook, clean and cuddle.

She never married again. She dated once or twice, but nothing compared to what she'd lost and so she stayed single. Forever. The promises of eternal friendship faded rather quickly. Good intentions were always there, but life was different now. Most of her girlfriends were housewives. She was a working woman. Friday nights the girls gossiped in one room while the boys played poker in the other and Saturday was date night. Being a fifth wheel was no fun and no fun to watch across the table. Conversations were measured. Her tablemates worried about being too happy. She worried about being too sad. Eventually the invites stopped coming.

I sometimes wondered if she was more upset or more relieved.

Making new friends wasn't so easy either though. Aquaintances who had been divorced didn't share the same pain. Loneliness yes, but it was different being torn apart suddenly, when neither party wanted to be separated. Her heart ached and she had been gutted. It was so obvious, that even at twelve, I understood that if it were not for us, she would've crawled into the ground next to him.

And while people felt bad for her, they expressed the most sorrow for us. Those poor kids growing up without a father. I get it. I was that kid and I missed my dad terribly. My whole world collapsed the day he died, but as I grew, the reality of her situation sunk in. She had lost her partner, her best friend, her dinner companion, her travel buddy, her lover, her soulmate.

Children grow up and into a life of their own. They go off to college, get married, move away and leave you alone with your partner.

Or without.

And that's all I could think about from the moment I heard the news.

Her.

Without.

And I understood.



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109 comments:

  1. There is a 20 year age gap between me and my husband. Most likely I will outlive him. Sometimes that thought keeps me awake at night.

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    1. I think about it often, too, even though we are the same age. I guess I think about it a lot because of my mom's situation.

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  2. Beautiful, heart-felt post. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am so glad it touched you in some way.

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  3. Kim,

    I am so sorry, still after all this time, that the pain and memories are so raw. Your Dad was a great man and I have fond memories of him. Your mom has always been a strong and amazing person. She did an wonderful job raising all of you. She brought out the best in everyone, especially my mom! My mom turned into a whole different person as soon as we pulled into your driveway. You're entire family has always been so close, I am sure that was, and still is, a great support system for her, although as you said it is still not the same. I wish you peace and happy memories and am sure with your understanding that you will be a great support for your friend. Take care. xoxo Jen

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    1. Thank you, Jen. You always say just the right thing. Love you. xoxox

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  4. Kim, I don't even know what to say. You'll be there for your friend in ways that no one else will be able to. I too have a friend who just lost her husband, our friend, two months ago. It wasn't sudden or unexpected but still it was too soon. Maybe you could continue your thought process and write about ways that we really can help. I've sent cards and texts to my friend because she's in another state...went to see her a month ago...but it's all inadequate.

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    1. I am sorry to hear about your friend’s loss, Stacey. That’s an idea, to continue my thoughts…I am not sure where exactly I would start. I think that the most valuable thing to my mom were the friends who didn’t change their behavior around her. The ones who stuck around, who made time for her and who listened to her when she was down. It’s hard to be around someone who is lonely and unhappy, but they just let her talk and share feel validated. Sounds like you’re doing that now. :)

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    2. Being a widow, I can say that your cards and texts to your friend are priceless. Keep sending love anyway you can, and just be there for her.

      FlowerLady

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  5. Having lost my husband suddenly I felt your post was very eloquent and spot on!

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    1. I'm so sorry, for your loss, MaryLou. I wasn't sure if I should share this one or not. Now I am glad that I did. Thank you.

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  6. What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry that you lost your dad (and that your mom lost her husband) at such a young age. My mom was 58 when my dad passed away over 17 years ago and my father-in-law was only in his early 50's when his wife (my MIL) passed away. Not as young as your mom in either case, but seeing what they both went through was awful. Your post also hit home for me as I read it, because a childhood friend of mine passed away this weekend - he was 53 and I heard his wife (understandably) is having a very hard time. I thought of her as I read your post.

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    1. So much sadness, so much loss, Melanie and I feel deeply for all affected. My mom used to say that this world was built for pairs. I think she's right.

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  7. So beautifully written. Your friend will appreciate what you've said at some point as, I'm sure, your mother does.

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  8. I don't have the words . . .
    I lived this personally at the same age as your mom . . .
    Our daughter 13, our son, 16 . . .
    Shock raised through me as I read your words . . .
    I felt a rush come over me . . .
    wanting to help
    wanting to hug, hold your mom, you, Suzie, Scott, me . . .
    Feeling the scream of
    No, No, No . . .

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    1. Oh Lynne. I am so sorry if I have brought you back to a painful place. I was so hesitant to publish this one for this exact reason, but something compelled me to do so. This one wrote itself...

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  9. Kim, what a heart-felt post. I have no doubt it will impact many lives. Thank you for expressing the deepest emotions of loss. Caring definitely comes from the heart and I am sure you were able to comfort your friend like no other because you understood her loss. Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. I appreciate your very, very kind words.

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  10. Kim, thank you for writing this post and than you for supporting and loving your friend. I know that you will make a difference in her life going forward.

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    1. I hope that my words will comfort her somehow, someday...

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  11. Kim, Beautifully written. I understand how difficult it is for the spouse whose partner dies too soon, and the children who are left behind. Your mom, despite her pain, did something right as she raised a smart, warm, talented woman who is raising intelligent, beautiful and talented girls!
    Tracy S.

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    1. Thank you, Tracy. She did the best she could and the older I got the more apparent that became. There is no manual for any of this. That's for sure.

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  12. What a touching and thoughtful posting.

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    1. Thank you, Karenann. I appreciate the time you took to let me know it touched you.

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  13. Beautifully written, Kim. Your friend is very fortunate to have your support, and we, your readers are quite honored, as well.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I really prefer to write about hearts and flowers, but there was no suppressing this one.

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  14. A really beautiful post, Kim. I have lost a son, and that was so hard, but I can't even imagine losing my husband, my best friend. I guess it is something we all have to think about in time. But, because of losing our son, it made me realize we are much stronger than we think. Judy

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    1. Judy, my heart hurts for you, as I read your words. I am so, so sorry. I do think we are stronger than we think. I guess sometimes, we just have to be. Hugs to you my friend.

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  15. I almost didn't want to read this post once I saw those first few lines because it is a huge fear, isn't it? To lose a loved one suddenly or any way. It was so beautifully written that I had to go on till the end. I know somewhat about that loss as I watched my mother lose my father when he was only 35, the age my daughter is now! I was only 10 when he died so, like you, I never knew what it was to have a father through all the ups and downs of life. There must be a reason for that.

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    1. Ah AnnMarie, I am so terribly sorry that you have walked this path, as well. And your poor mother, so young. I think about it often, I guess because that it how I grew up, so I totally understand your reluctance to read the post. I felt the same way when I wrote it. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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  16. Oh Kim what a heart-rending beautiful piece and a tribute to your mama.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. You have just made putting pen to paper completely worth it today. xo

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  17. Kim,
    Thoughtfully and beautifully written, touches my soul.
    The life altering sting of death.
    Your grace, care, goodness and love will comfort your friend-she is blessed to have you in her life.
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you, Jemma. I appreciate your kind words.

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  18. Thank you for this beautifully written post. I am sorry for the loss you and your mother both suffered.

    This post touched my heart deeply, as I'm a widow of three years now. My dear husband was about to turn 65 when he went to his heavenly home. I'm about to turn 67 in March. While the grief isn't as raw as it was in the beginning, there are still times when I break down into a mess of tears and heartbreak.

    One day we will be together again, until then, I wish to age gracefully, growing closer to God every step of the way. He is my strength.

    To all of you reading this post by Kim, and you know of any widows, send them love, sit quietly with them if that's needed, GIVE HUGS, you can't imagine how important those are, and how 'touch' is so missed by the one we love.

    From my heart ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss, Lorraine. As one of the commenters said the grief may lessen but it never really goes away. And yes, hugs, my mom loved the hugs. She missed that contact so much. Luckily, we are a huggy bunch and grandchildren are easy to squeeze. Thank you so much for weighing in and sharing your story.

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  19. sitting here stunned. your perception is truth. simple. earth shaking.
    we've talked before. so you know i lost my dad at 17. the marine 14.
    i wastched my own mother go through that... and she never married again either.
    she died 9 years after he did of lung cancer. they said it was a nine year old tumor.
    little did i know i was to walk the same path of young widowhood. he died at 43. i wss 33. and you've read the posts. you know. the over used phrase... soul mate.
    but that's just what he was.

    i'm one of those forever single.
    and it's so comfortable now that my memories of him are far and enough to sustain me.
    it was those early years. and that physical hole. that emptiness. the strange and awful separation from others. the separation that's because of their fear. and when they see you they're reminded it could happen to them. it's strange. but real. it's a strange private club. the dues are hard.
    the emptiness that you speak of so perfectly here. you KNOW. and it's the knowing that warms our hearts for those of us who've been through it.

    i wish i could tell her what she can't believe right now. that old adage...
    "time heals." people say foolish things like that to young widows.
    but the truth is. life does go on. and the hole does close. and you dare to find happiness again. but when the hole is huge... you don't want to hear that.
    thank you for this post my girl. XOXO♥

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    1. Oh Tammy. Every time you recount a story of your husband or your life now, I think of my mom. So many similarities. And you're right about the fear. It's almost as if people think it's contagious or they don't want to entertain such awful possibilities and so they avoid...and that hurts. There is loss and then further loss. I would love to print out your comment and send it along to her...but perhaps not yet. Thank you for commenting, Tammy. Your insight is valuable to many I am sure.

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  20. Kim, your words touched my heart. Your friend is blessed to have you in her life. I believe in many ways, we travel a journey for the experience we may need to help another along the way. It's a sad thought, but something good has to come from the grief and the helplessness of this time that can happen to us all. Life is held by a thin thread! xo

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    1. I hope that there is something good that comes from our pain. I kind of have to believe it…thanks for commenting, Celestina Marie. It means a lot.

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  21. Life is not fair, is it? My mom died when she was 49 and left my dad behind. He remarried a few years later but he was never as happy. All we can do is just cherish the time we have with loved ones because we never know when it will be taken away. Beautifully written.

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    1. Thank you, Mary...and good advice...cherish.

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  22. Deeply touching post so well written. The kind that makes me want to stay speechless so I don't degrade its value. I only comment to tell you, I read it and it mattered and that you highlighted every small but powerful aspect of the sorrow.

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  23. You are such a beautiful writer, Kim, and also a beautiful soul. I think often inner beauty comes from such loss, and with it empathy for your fellow humans. I feel terribly for both your loss and your friend's, and thank you for this reminder to cherish those around us for we do not know how long we have with them.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. I appreciate your kind words.

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  24. My friend, Sharon... the one I invited for Christmas Eve dinner and the one in the pictures from New Year's Eve... lost her husband in a car crash a year and a half ago.

    It was the same at the funeral. Lots of promises and none of them sticking. The sad part is she always thanks me for being her friend and I always tell her she doesn't need to because I love her. Then she tears up. Sharon is a tough broad, so it makes it even harder to see her do that, but we hug and then laugh and then move on, because it's how I get her through it. But I know she's lonely and there's nothing I can do about that when she goes to bed at night.

    I don't blame the people that went out of her life, but I've seen how hard it is on her and in that sense I know what you mean. I'll say a prayer for your friend.

    And hugs to you sweet friend. It could't have been any easier for you to lose your dad, although in a different way.

    love to you,
    rue

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    1. You are a great friend, Rue. Sticking isn't always easy and lots of people don't and not just in cases like this...divorce, break ups, scandal. Sometimes, when the going gets uncomfortable people jump ship. It makes the ones that hang in worth their weight in gold. xo

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  25. Tears in my eyes!

    When we were 11 years old, my best friend's father died unexpectedly. Her mother never remarried. And, at 16, another dear friend's father died. Reading this today, I look back at the events differently.

    Recently, both girls friends told me that I am the only one of their friends who knew their father. They like that I have fun memories of them.

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    1. That must be very special for them, Carol, to have someone with whom they can share memories all these years later...

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  26. So lovely and sad. I didn't lose anyone until after I was an adult. Of course it was painful but not like the wife or child in your story and in your life. Life can be really hard. Sometimes I don't know how we make it.

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  27. Oh Kim, I know this must have been hard to write. My heart aches for you and your mom and everything you went through at such a young age. That must have been incredibly painful to attend the wake, but I'm sure it was appreciated. Sometimes I get frustrated with all the new technology we have at our fingertips, but it really does make it so easy to send someone a quick text to let them know you're thinking of them, or to send them a funny email to cheer them up. Without smart phones, we probably wouldn't take the time to do those things. I know people have done the smallest things for me in the past and it meant the world to me at the time. Everyone likes to know someone is thinking of them, I guess. Sending you a big ol' virtual hug today! xoxo

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    1. Thanks for the hug, Lisa. I agree about technology. While any form of outreach is so lovely, it does make the other small personal gestures even more meaningful.

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  28. Your post has once again touched a place deep in my heart. Grief is a partner that once it visits, it doesn't ever leave, although as time passes, it does ease. But you are right... once things change, they are never the same. You wrote about this subject with a depth and knowing only of one who has been there. Losing your soulmate, a child, a parent... deep holes in the heart indeed. Loneliness is a terrible companion and merciless in the darkness. Praying for you Kim, that you can be a special friend to this dear heart who has suddenly been plunged into the cloud of grief and a life that will never be the same again. There is a comfort that comes with someone who does understand, and your presence, and love will be a bolster to her.

    Your writing about this touched me deeply, and inspired me to be the kind of friend who is there long after the cards have been put away and flowers faded. Thank you Kim. May the Lord continue to bless you my friend!

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    1. You have spoken so many poignant truths here regarding grief, loss and loneliness. I remember that my mom hated the nights the most. The dark did somehow make everything worse. Thank you of for the kind words of comfort, too. They really do mean a lot.

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  29. The older I get the more I feel this way about my husband...I so do not want to ever live without him. We just MUST go at the same time. Honestly, it's one of my greatest fears, to have to live without him.

    My dad died in 1984 & my mother in 2006, 22 yrs without him. She did marry again...& divorce, twice. She compared everyone to him & finally realised she would never be happy with anyone else.

    I think losing a father gets easier as we age but losing a partner would get harder as time passes. (I too lost my dad when I was young)

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    1. Thoughts swirl around in my head, too, Jenny. Especially at times like this...

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  30. Beautifully written. You know, Kim, that I've lived through this. I do understand. I know how it feels to lose a spouse. I'm so thankful for the friends who did stick by me. Invitations to go out for a meal or see a movie, or go for a walk in the park. Someone at work sent through interoffice mail "secret friend" cards of encouragement for several months. Just sweet little cards they made. To this day I don't know who that was, but just knowing someone cared enough to do that made a big difference in my life. As I type this I'm reflecting on that time and recalling so many things people did for me. Many of them were folks from my church. Such sweet people. I was very fortunate, very blessed. I know that now more than ever. I think people often don't know what to do, how to help, what to say. There's nothing more precious than a gentle hug and a listening ear. And to hear the words, "I'm praying for you." Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I know that you understand this all too well, Nancy. I am so glad that you had a wonderful group of people who reached out to comfort you and that you have a found “with” again, my friend. xoxo

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  31. Dear Sweet Kim ... such a sad, but beautiful post. As I read through the comments above, there are so many who have gone through heartbreaking times. I am so sorry for you and for each one. I too have gone through difficult times. My Daddy died when he was 59 and my Mama a few years later at the age of 60. During that time, I felt as if I was the only one that this had ever happened to. After reading this and putting much thought into all that you have shared here, I want to try so hard to love deeper and truly listen to and hear what others are saying to me, not just go through the motions of "acting" like I am paying attention. We are none promised tomorrow, so I want to make the most of each and every moment. Thank you for sharing and love and hugs to you my sweet friend. We never know what others are going through, so why not be kind to those that we love as well as those who may cross our path. Warmest Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. I think we all get complacent on a day to day basis, Teri. It's hard to be in the moment at all time and it's hard to constantly thing of the impermanence of life. It's a struggle for me, but times like this do make me want to enjoy every moment. Hugs to you.

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  32. Kim, my goodness, this is the most heartfelt post I've ever read. With tears in my eyes I read each line feeling such sadness. But you get it, and that is what I find most comforting. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Brandi. And I'm sorry I made you cry. ;)

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  33. Loss is part of life. Not the good part, but an inevitable part that each of us must face. We can only hope we have the support of friends and family when the loss occurs.

    You may recall my father died in a crash at 59. My mother dated one person for about two years not long after he died, but broke it off and never dated again. Losing my husband is one of my biggest fears, but the odds are I will have to face it one day. It's all part of our journey in this wild ride we call life...

    xxx

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    1. And it is a wild ride...you're right about that, Doreen.

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  34. It is a beautifully sad post....my Mom died before Dad, after being divorced for many years. Then my father and sister died 10 years later. I was relieved when my Dad died since he was a cruel man, but my Mom was special and considered her my best friend. My grandma was 16 when she married her husband 40 years older, so needless to say he died before her. Mamie was her name and she was a strong woman who worked cleaning homes and doing their laundry. She never remarried not because it was good, but because it was so bad. So our Mom's were strong woman who raised us. I hope you friend will continue to have the support she needs and somehow I know you will be there for her.

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    1. I am sorry for all of your losses, Cathy. Sometimes it all just seems like too much to bear…

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  35. Hi Kim,
    I have friends who lost their son in an awful accident. He was 18. It is so difficult to know what to say. I listen and give hugs. My oldest son, who will be 16 has become close the the dad. I am proud of my son for reaching out.
    Sending a HUG to you and a prayer to your friend.
    Carla

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    1. What a sad story, Carla. Your son sounds like a super sweet guy and I am sure he has made a real difference in that dad's life.

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  36. As I read all this pain of all the comments I truly hope and hold tight to the almighty God in heaven to somehow accept his master plan and for all of us to just hold on tight!!! The end of suffering shall be upon all of us and our hearts will sing with joy and true happiness in heaven!! We will reunite with each other!! FOREVER,

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    1. I think that leaning on faith is what gets a lot of people through the really tough times, Cindy. I know it helped my mom.

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  37. Such a tender post Kim! My dad passed away when I was only 9 months old. Leaving mom with 8 children. There were 3 of us that were under the age of 4. She said we were her salvation. Just knowing that she had to care for us made her get out of bed in the morning. Otherwise she would have wanted to curl up in a ball and just die. She did remarry a wonderful man when I was 8. He really was like a father to us younger kids. Mom always said how fortunate she was to have had two wonderful men in her life time.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I know that having kids to care for was what got my mom out of bed each morning, too, Jann. I am glad that your mom was able to find happiness again. I think that’s wonderful. :)

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  38. Beautifully written, Kim, with heart and soul. My first husband passed away when I was 28, my daughter just 4 years old, so I'm well aware how life can change in a second. I was very lucky to have my incredible family living close by and some wonderful friends who never made me feel like a fifth wheel. My thoughts and prayers are with your friend right now because I know the pain she's going through too. xo

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    1. Oh Susan, I am so sorry. You were so, so young. I am glad that you had such a strong support system and I know that my friend does, too...

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  39. Kim, your heart felt compassion for your mom and your friend brought tears to my eyes. Though I walked a different path, I can say that my kids were the blessing that got me out of bed each morning too. I am so thankful for a God who is a Husband to the husbandless and a Father to the fatherless.

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    1. The kids do help, definitely. We needed care and my mom had no choice but to carry on. Thank for sharing Cecilia, not easy times, I am sure.

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  40. Yes, I get it. My father died 2 months shy of my 6th birthday leaving my mother, a 24 year old widow to raise me and my sister who is 18 months younger. I can relate to every word of your post. Profound loneliness for the partner left behind.

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    1. It's a painful reality for far too many and I am so sorry that your family suffered through it, too.

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  41. This is such a beautifully tender and sad post, Kim. We never do know what to say to those who have lost loved ones unless we have felt the exact same loss....even then, different circumstances can make the loss so different. Sometimes it's just the gentle touch of a hand on someone's shoulder or a sincere hug that means more than any words ever could.

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. I completely agree, Carol. It's the simple things, I think.

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  42. Praying for you Kim and for your friend's loss.

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  43. Indeed a beautiful post! It is sad to hear that you lost your father so early in life. Sending you a hug!!!

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    1. Thank you, Angela. I’ll take it! ;)

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  44. Kim, this is such a wonderful post. My bestie lost her hubby 2 years ago...it was tough for her and still is. My first husband was 43 when he died...we were in the middle of a divorce, but its sad just the same. There are never words that help, but just having a friend stand beside you makes all the difference in the world! Hugs sweet friend!

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    1. Friends are the key, Benita. I truly believe that. Hugs to you, too.

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  45. I am not sure if it is our age, but lately it seems that a friend or a friend of a friend is sick or has passed...it is something that I have never been able to understand, even as a child. Your mom deserves so much praise for being so strong and taking care of everyone at a time when it must have been so difficult to carry on she did. I truly admire her!
    It is true that people say all of the right things but just don't know how to follow through...when really it is just about being there, whether it's in person or on the phone just be there!
    Kimberley

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    1. I agree, Kimberely, just being there is the key!

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  46. Thank you so very much for sharing this insight. I've just turned 50. I know this is going to happen much more often in my world.

    God bless you and your mama and the lady of whom you wrote.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Thank you, Laura...and Happy Birthday! :)

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  47. I didn't know about your family Kim.... thank you for sharing this insight, we often don't think about what life must be like after a loss really, until it happens to ourselves or someone to whom we are very close to, I will keep this in mind for sure...

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    1. …and I hope you never know this sadness, Vel. xo

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  48. Gut wrenching and a flip side I never realized!

    You and Tammy J, make me appreciate my husband (my sole-mate) even more!

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    1. I am so glad that you found something that touched you, Christine. Sometimes the comments are the best part of the conversation.

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  49. A very touching and quite beautiful post. Sometimes it is good to put pen to paper (so to speak) and start writing ... I think it helps so many who read and often share this same experience.

    Thank you

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend

    All the best Jan

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    1. I hope that my words do help other, Jan. I know that writing helped me. :)

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  50. A very touching post, Kim. I'm positive that you will be there for your friend, just as you were for your mother, in a different way, in a way that inspired her to get up every morning to provide for her family, giving her strength and confidence and hope.

    Poppy

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  51. I get it too Kim - my Dad passed very suddenly ( 29 years old ) when I was five. As sad as this post was to read - it was also intricately my story.............
    Beautifully written
    xoxox

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    1. Suzan, I am sorry to hear that this was your story, as well. It was hard to write, but it seems to have touched a lot of people, so I'm glad I shared. Thanks so much for the comment. xxoxoo

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  52. Kimmie, this is such a powerful piece you've written. Your writing. The way you think. Your selflessness. Your mother. You and your siblings. You know, I think I would do what your mother had done as well. A sudden loss vs. a divorce, way different. Agreed. I think I'd be relieved if the invites stopped coming as well. I understand. xo Jen

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    1. Thank you so much, Jen. You always leave such wonderful comments. You make me think about my own posts and I love that.

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    2. Marion MeisenkothenJuly 5, 2016 at 5:20 PM

      Kim, this was such an emotional piece! In my case, it was reversed. It was my father
      who was the one left behind after 58 years together. When my mom passed away, he
      was strong outwardly to everyone around him, but he was absolutely lost when he was
      alone. He went down hill very quickly without my mom around. They had shared everything for so many years.

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    3. I am so sorry, Marion. Yes, I guess, it doesn't matter which partner is left behind, it is not easy. Heartbreaking.

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  53. Oh my goodness, I can relate to every bit of that. You watch people walk out in pairs while you are alone. Yes, I've been there, and it was the absolute worst thing I ever had to endure. People would say, "I don't know how you stand it." And I would say "I don't know how I stand it either." You have no choice.

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    1. I guess that is the real answer, Florence...you have no choice. I am sorry for your hurt, my friend, thank you for sharing.

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