When Death Comes Knocking…

I have to apologize to those of you who have become accustomed to my snarky and somewhat sarcastic writing style, because this won’t be like that… I can’t even bring myself to apologize for not writing for so long, can’t bring myself to say things like life got in the way, because that isn’t what happened… Yes, my family and I were living life, but we were doing so much more than that… We were making memories with a loved one and we were preparing for death.

Nine months ago, my friend, the father of my children and at one time in life, my husband called me to tell me there were some concerns about an illness he just couldn’t seem to shake. There would be tests to evaluate these concerns further, but doctors were sure it was one of three things and they were all serious. I can’t remember if it was a few days or a few weeks, but the news came back- it was the most serious of all the possibilities: colon cancer. Less than one month later, we would be told that it was stage 4 and it was aggressive. (But truthfully, we didn’t need a doctor to tell us either of those things.)

Two months after finding out, we made the decision to tell the kids… I wish I had told him then, “thank you for trusting me with this”, but I didn’t. I just dutifully made sure all of the kids were gathered at his home at the appointed time. I will never forget that day…

By the time, graduations would roll around, two months later, you could see the horrible effects of cancer already taking its toll on him, but he soldiered on. He made a point to attend graduation ceremonies, watch another child in a horse show, and take two more children home with him for a weekend.

As a member of several online genealogy groups, I have often read or heard stories of people who have been unable to write the death date on someone’s profile on their respective trees. Of course I sympathized, however, I didn’t quite understand. To me it was just a date, just more information to add to a tree, more clues to a puzzle, if you will.

But then November fourth happened…

Folded-American-Flag

I didn’t immediately reach for my genealogy materials or look at my tree and I surely couldn’t write an end date. Eventually, I would try- and still be unable to complete this task… (I was finally able to do it last night, but it was hard and I went back several times and erased that info, because even though we’ve buried him, my brain screams that this isn’t the end.

Life and death happen. I think we, as family historians and genealogists and lovers of history, know and understand this, especially from the perspective of our collective jobs or hobbies, but it is a completely different road to travel when it is close to us; when it is personal.

I didn’t really have an outlet and I needed a release and so I wrote…

When Death Comes Knocking

When death comes knocking,

It is a slow progression

that makes you think and want to believe

that it isn’t real and it isn’t happening… right now

When death comes knocking,

It’s seeing a hospice letter posted on the fridge,

hung by magnets that should be hanging pictures made by exhuberant babies

and post cards from far away places

When death comes knocking,

It is wearing a winter hat on a warm breezy May day, because

you are always cold

and you’ve forgotten what it means to be warm

When death comes knocking,

It’s not being able to eat-

not even knowing what the desire to chew, swallow and repeat even is anymore.

When death comes knocking,

It is a ‘fuck cancer’ shirt on chemo day,

echoed by a rallying cry from friends and family to kick cancer’s ass

When death comes knocking,

it is a phone call at 2:30 in the morning,

a sucker punch to the gut- taking all the breath from your body

and a howl of grief mixd with an unproportionate amount of hurt

When death comes knocking,

it is your son crying big fat ugly tears,

as he sees you for the last time

and begins to understand what everyone meant when they said,

“he won’t look the same”

When death comes knocking,

it’s children standing before a crowd, reading letters of love

and grandmothers breakingdown

the baby looking at you; trying to get to you and wake you up

When death comes knocking,

it is emotions you don’t quite know what to do with

and attitudes you aren’t sure how to relinquish

Whewn death comes knocking,

it is not a peaceful walk into the sunset;

it is good Christian girls questioning, WHY GOD???

When death comes knocking,

it is a resounding FUCK YOU CANCER!

 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for allowing me to use this blog as an outlet fro releasing and dealing with my grief. I appreciate these things greatly. Often times, grief is lessened and made easier to cope with, when others share stories or advice… Other than things like, ‘life goes on’, ‘just take it one day at a time’ or some other equally offensive and useless words to my logical thinking self, what have you all done to get over/past/through personal grief?

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14 comments

  1. Laurie Velett · November 17

    I am so sorry. When death came knocking for me, it was a knockout punch sending me to my knees, screaming NO, and feeling the physical pain of a broken heart. I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Firelands · November 18

    I am very sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cindyseaton69 · November 18

    Kim, you just subscribed to my site so I came here to read your blog. I am so very sorry your dear husband passed away! I can’t imagine the pain you must be going through right now. My husbands family has lost many loved ones to cancer, it’s so very sad. My brand new daughter in law Jazmin is only twenty and has stage four ACC cancer. Cancer is a terrible disease. Your poem was beautiful, writing is so good for the soul. I hope you keep writing so your heart can slowly recover from the heartache death causes. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dvn ms kmz time travel · November 18

      Thanks for those words of wisdom. Just to be clear, though, he was my former husband… I learned a lot about being and not being a good wife with him, but alas, we were both very young and just not ready to be married… However, I am lucky and fortunate to have loved him as my husband, hated him as my enemy and loved him as one of my dearest friends… God was/is so good to us in this way, isn’t he? I will be praying for your daughter-in-love, for healing and strength and for you all, as well… Thank you, again for stopping by and allowing me to unload some of my grief… I hope you will come back again and go on some real time traveling adventures with me into the past…

      Like

      • cindyseaton69 · November 18

        That’s amazing that you and your ex-husband became friends in the end. What a beautiful picture of love, I’m sure your children will love you forever for your unselfish actions.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy Meder-Dempsey · November 18

    Although the post is about your family’s loss and grief, something else shines through. You were able to get past all the negative things we hear when people separate and divorce. You and your ex-husband have taught your children an important lesson in love. Sending good thoughts your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dvn ms kmz time travel · November 18

      It was definitely a long time in the making, but it was more than worth it (even if it didn’t look that way, while we were going through it).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy · November 20

    I am so sorry for your loss and for your children’s loss. I hope you all find strength together and in your memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carefreespiritfairy · November 20

    I am so sorry for your loss. That is very sad and hard to deal with. But together with your family and friends I hope you all find strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Who’s Sitting at Your Table? | dvn ms kmz time travel

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