In Memory of Kay

We Must Be Still and Still Moving.

DECEMBER 26, 2010

~~“We Must Be Still and Still Moving.

Into another intensity.  For a further union,

A deeper communion.  Through the dark cold

And empty desolation.  The wave cry,  The

Wind cry, the vast waters of petrel and the porpoise.

In my End is my Beginning.” — TS ELIOT

Day 1 It’s been 6 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day.  It’s been a lifetime, a helltime, a time of numbness,  deadness, wretchedness, darkness, and nothingness.

I’ve come to the realization that God dulls the mind or we would die, die, die from the bottomless pain that enters our invisible core;  this core that I never knew existed.

… Until now.

Yes, we would die.  And death it seems, would be a relief to those who mourn.   I understand completely now what Shakespeare meant when he wrote this:

“To die: to sleep…No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks.”

Day 2 When will it stop:  This throbbing like a toothache; This grief like an incessant, maddening shade that follows me around from place to place.   I can’t seem to get away from it.  I can’t escape from its sharp claws that hurt me.

Day 3 I’ve always loved YOU God.  Even through this.  Even through this journey you are bringing me through, this unfathomable, insidious, dark  journey;  this crossing over that seems to be killing me.

Attraversiamo is  heartbreaking.

Should I be getting better?  Should I be accepting this?  Should I behave as if my life is ordinary, extraordinary,  worthy of taking another breath?  Should I release her?

The psychologist said if I still feel like this is 6 months that I may need something more….  How the hell does he know?  Has he lost his best friend, his soul mate, his blood of his blood, his heart of his heart, his soul of his soul?

I’m just wondering how one can dictate when one’s grief should end.

They are all bastards, bastards, bastards.

Because it never ends once it has been born.

Day 4 Tia and I made Christmas Cookies with mom.  : Sugar cookies, Ritz peanut butter cookies, Mexican wedding cookies,  Chocolate chip cookies,  and Almond something or other cookies.

We melted, stirred, cracked eggs, poured vanilla, measured salt and flour and sugar.

A new kind of Therapy.

We giggled about Tia trying to organized everything, running around like a mad woman with a dishcloth wiping up dough and splattered flour.   We laughed because she scolded me for using a hot pad to clean up the counter and then finding it afterwards in the soapy dishwater.

That’s where my mind has been…inside soapy dishwater.

We cried because Kay wasn’t there.  We cried and cried because none of us had the chance to say goodbye or declare:   I LOVE YOU, I love you, I love you.  The murderer made that choice for us.  He killed her before we had the chance to utter those words

One.  More. Time.

She knows.  She knows.

Day 5 Rummaging through Christmas cards, ornaments, bows, and nutcrackers.

The scent of cinnamon.  The scent of Kay’s gingerbread men.  The scent of the past.

I can’t dig too deep or I may find something that triggers me again, makes me drop to my knees again, makes me splash to the ground again.

Again.  Again.       Stay the hell away from me.

Day 6 There must be something wrong with me.  The outside world is pulling me in one direction and the inside world is pulling me in another direction.

The outside is uncomfortable with my pain.  Some people ignore me.  Some people have not acknowledged my darkest days.    The air is heavy.  The  elephant in the room is enormous.

One needs to hide their mourning.  One needs to intermingle if needed.  One needs to behave rational, sane, intact, normal………like some idiot that has been healed, cured, whatever.

I figured this out quickly.


My first year not having it.  I couldn’t do it…. couldn’t allow those beautiful memoires of Kay to flood in, flood in.

Her standing at my front door with her hair curled so divinely….her standing in her lush red coat draping at her ankles…. her holding her bowls of salad, oysters, and baked beans….. her smiling her massive pink shiny smile.

Still surrounded by family:  Mom, Dad, Kay’s  boys, Alan, Leta, Faith, Alex, Andy, Dave, cats, dogs….

Love.  Love.  Love.         I wanted to drown inside of it.

I was happy.   I was happy.

It still wasn’t enough…

The best days of my life.        Love love love you, K.  Always.  Always.  Forever.

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  • Reply
    December 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

    love ya. Beautiful words by you and TS Eliot.. We must be still and still moving. xx elizabeth

  • Reply
    sheila packa
    December 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

    may the darkness hold a seed of hope
    bless you and your family

  • Reply
    December 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I’m sorry for all the pain you’re feeling this first Christmas without your sister. I wish someone had answers to the questions you’re asking. All I can say is that you are affecting people. I know I am touched by your suffering and hope my prayers and wishes for your comfort will somehow reach you and your family. Please keep struggling and writing. Xo

  • Reply
    December 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    My year of “firsts” without my brother didn’t end with the 365 days following his death. Sure, there was the first day, the first Halloween, the first birthday of his, the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and then, the first anniversary of his death. One would think that after that, things would be a breeze. . .but it’s not. There will always be “firsts.” The first wedding after his death, the first birth of a child, the first new puppy, the first . . .everything. It took me a long time to get to a place where I stopped 1) feeling surprised at how I felt about anything after his death and 2) expecting to ever feel normal. Sometimes, I would surprise myself by not feeling “enough” pain during a certain period; then I would surprise myself by being crushed and paralyzed with pain long after anyone who hasn’t experienced this would’ve expected it to pass. Not now and not ever will you NOT miss your sister. Ten years from now, things will feel “different” than they feel now, but you won’t miss your sister any LESS. Well, you may, but in my experience, this has not been the case. In the past ten years, I’ve moved along – but never through and never over – my brother’s passing. I will always love him and it will always hurt that he is not with me.
    You feel how you feel about your sister’s death and do not trouble yourself with other people’s opinion – not well-meaning friends and not your well-intentioned, but foolish psychologist (“. . .if I still feel like this is 6 months that I may need something more,” is piss poor directive from a psych. I will not apologize for my opinion about that. Putting a time limit on someone’s grief, when *everyone’s* grief is different, is horse crap.) Trouble yourself only with the love and pain you feel. It doesn’t go away, but the burden of feeling that pain becomes less burdensome as it morphs into your being. I hate to tell you that things will get “easier,” because that isn’t the word. Things get. . .well, eventually, you just adapt to living with the loss. Love, love, love you bunches. PLEASE keep sharing your thoughts on EVERYTHING. I love to read you, lady. xoxo

  • Reply
    Barbra Streisand – 7 minutes of wisdom and warmth « cosmopolla
    December 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    […] would like to dedicate this post to Kim, who lost her beloved sister for 6 months ago as a little thought on her way out of the darkness of […]

  • Reply
    December 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Dear Kim,
    don’t think about what people are saying, what psychologists are saying – or whoever else – about you and your pain – and its ‘timing’. Do not think about elephants and the heavy air. It does not matter. YOU matter – KAY matters – and it is obvious that you need to be honest with yourself in your own pain, with your own feelings, you need your own conditions, your own rules to be able to to continue living with it. And to ever have the slight chance to accept the unacceptable and to cure the incurable. Kay lives in you and your memories – it may be in itself a good reason to live your life, laugh and cry, love and scream, read and write, pray and count, bake and eat…
    After my father died in May this year as a result of a very quick and terminal cancer, the only possible way I could find to comfort my mother and myself was to imagine him being sad because of our sadness and mourning. He would like us to go further, to survive it and live again – even if our lives will never be the same after he passed.
    I think Kay would be very proud of you and very happy for the love you have for her. For celebrating her life in this way. I think also it would be painful for her to see you mourning and suffering. Maybe this is the way you may explain to yourself your way out of the darkness of your mourning, it is just a proposal…
    I dedicated to you my recent blog post ( , hoping that it may become a ray in your darkness. And I will be back just like your others virtual and non-virtual friends to assure you that you are not alone.
    Love, Alex

  • Reply
    Joan Macdonell
    December 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Kim, loved the photo of you, your Mom, & Kay next to the beautiful table setting. You’re all lovely …so Italian looking. What a memory! Hold close to your family is all I can say. Llife will never be the same but your parents, hubby, sons, friends…they are your rays of sunshine as you all struggle to find a path to somehow be present in this life without Kay . Your honesty is breathtaking. I always read your blogs but am often speechless since I don’t have your way with words. Just know we all care and love you.

  • Reply
    Kim Gagnon
    December 27, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Love you all!

  • Reply
    December 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    My Dearest Kim
    I love you so much—————– and your writings,( i look forward too.) I also miss Kay so much
    it/s hard to explain how much. I know that i will be with her some day and that helps. I also know that
    i have you and family & friends who really care.


  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Oh Kim, more beautiful words about your beautiful sister. Your words are so painful, so raw, so beautiful. Yes, you are helping people by writing this down – so much painful beauty. We all deal with grief so very differently and reading about yours helps me deal with mine. (I hope it helps you too.) And there is no time limit. Grieve away my friend, grieve away.

    Keep writing. We’ll all keep reading.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 4:35 am

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  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 9:02 am

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    January 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

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    Hello Ladies
    March 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Sending love.

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