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rachel at phoenixfeather.net
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June 30, 2004
Family , Health , Love , Spirit

I'm sorry I haven't been writing very much. The truth is that I don't know what to write. You know that Kevin's grandmother is ill and we have been back and forth between LA quite a bit. I don't want to go into the details because Kevin has a beautiful post he is working on writing that will explain things better than I can right now. But the short of it is that things are not going well.

Amidst all of this we are quickly approaching the one year anniversary of Kevin's fathers sudden death, only a day after Kevin's birthday.

I really don't know what to do anymore. I can't stand to watch Kevin have to go through this all. I know that I have done everything I can to help him and his family. I know that just being there I have helped Kevin. But, like with all death, I feel very helpless and useless.

I find myself frustrated with many things in life right now and I have less and less desire to be around people. I was actually relieved with Ceili dancing was canceled last night because as much as I know it might have been distracting and that people there would be supportive, I still feel like its a public place and I have to be strong and have on a good face.

I'm physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted right now, and the less times I HAVE to be strong the better. Too many tears in a public place and suddenly its a scene. I was ever so grateful to spend my evening with Ali and Krissy and Ester with chocolate and alcohol and hot tub and kitchen counters no worries about being strong. Being somewhere I felt like I could cry if I wanted to and not worry about it. Being somewhere comfortable where I didn't have to be alone.

I'm not getting stuff done either. Today I will because I need to get more pictures scanned so that Kevin and I can finish the photographic slide show of Grandma Kitty. But other that stuff directly related to what MUST be done ASAP, I find myself distracted and frustrated. The house is a disaster, I only just paid the bills for June and its nearly the end of the month, and I have many many PhoenixFeather Photography tasks on my list that I haven't really started.

I know this is normal, I know this will pass. I have been through a great deal of deaths in my life. My family is young, they married young, they had kids young (compared to my family I'm an old maid at 26) and so I got to know all but 2 of my great grandparents as well as much extended family. One of my great grandmothers is still alive (I love you Grandma Judwick), but I have been through the deaths of 5 great grandparents, 1 grandparent and a few other family members. None of them are easy, some of them are harder than others. My Great Grandpa Judwick was one of my ideals and his death only a few years ago was very hard for me.

This is different. This isn't losing someone whom I loved and whom I will have fond memories of. This is watching someone I love lose the people he loves. This is watching the pain he is going through, and that his family is going through.

When Kevin's father David died last year, I think I still barely knew Kevin. I had met his father once and talked with him on the phone and heard stories. He was a very cool man, but I didn't know him that well. Kevin and I had been dating about 6 months and really weren't incredibly serious about each other. David's death was sudden, he was only 60 and the whole thing was very very hard. I say was but I shouldn't... it still IS very hard. I give Kevin lots of credit for the way he has dealt with everything. I got to know Kevin more than I had planned to then. I'm grateful that I did, but at the same time I wish it hadn't had to have happened that way.

I'm not really sure at this point where I'm going with all of this. I feel the need to explain why writing and pictures have been slow, and will continue to be since we will be going away again very soon. It will turn around and there will be things here again.

I also feel the need to write down what I'm feeling in hopes of maybe sorting it out.

Kevin's birthday is this Sunday. I haven't gotten him anything. I talk to him every day, I stand beside him, watch him, do what I can to help. I cry inside because no matter how Kevin hides it I can see what he is feeling, how he is hurting and there is nothing else I can do that I'm not already doing to help. Neither of us sleeps well lately and sometimes when I'm awake I watch him sleep. When I'm trying not to think about what is going on, I try to think about something happy, what to get him for his birthday.

Anything I get him for this birthday just seems so trivial. I wish I could give him his birthday back.


Hey Rachel. We met a bit ago during a meet up of bay area photo bloggers.


A really wonderful post. I just wanted to let you know that maybe your words mean enough at times like this. The fact that you're there for Kevin every day is better than any visit to Chuck E Cheese or the best ice cream cake (with the most chocolate chippy things) on any given birthday.

Posted by: mihow at June 30, 2004 09:52 PM

I apologize in advance for how long this response will be. There are too many things pent up in me right now so everything just comes flooding out when I let it.

You are right, and I know that he is grateful for my being there and for my love. I know he needs every bit of it.

At the same time I fight with this feeling that everyone deserves a day. One day a year that is theirs. Where others who love them make them breakfast in bed, or their favorite dinner. Where friends and family send a note or come together to celebrate.

A day when you know that people appreciate the gift of your presence in their lives. A day when they shower you with love and trinkets for the sheer purpose of lighting up your face.

Birthdays are magic, birthdays are special, birthdays are love!

Its one of those things that you feel the absence of when you want it and it isn't there. Different people see birthdays different ways but very few people don't long for some moment in time that is about them.

Kevin isn't the only one who lost his birthday this year, Carolyn his mother also had a birthday just this monday. We celebrated by taking her to dinner between visits to the hospital.

I will continue to do everything I can to help get Kevin and Carolyn and anyone else who needs me through all the grief. But separate from it all, it bothers me that Kevin doesn't get his day.

Kevin was born on the 4th of July, a day of fireworks and splendor. He grew up thinking that all the hoopla was for him.. he deserves to think that again.

Maybe we can pick a day he really likes and make it his second birthday. Or maybe we will start celebrating his half birthday. Other ideas?

Also, Kevin has posted about Grandma Kitty and the last few weeks if anyone wants to read it.

Sorry again about the long response. And thank you again to everyone out there who has been so supportive!

Posted by: rachel at July 1, 2004 01:29 AM

And I bought my boy a pretty money clip that he picked out. I'm going to have it engraved. Its not much and not nearly what he deserves, but its a start.

Posted by: rachel at July 10, 2004 12:37 AM
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