She aches just like a woman, but she breaks just like a little girl.

It’s not his birthday. It’s not the anniversary of his death. Today is just a regular day that I’m missing Kerry again.

When it first happened, I was in denial. It didn’t feel real. It seemed like an awful thing that happened that was going to go away.

Afterwards, I didn’t want anyone to see me sad. When people offered to talk to me about it, I declined. I needed to be bright and cheery, and I couldn’t be that happy, strong person that I needed to be if I talked about what it felt like to lose him.

Then, I didn’t feel like anyone around me was sad enough. I couldn’t understand why the world didn’t crumble when mine did. I couldn’t understand how everyone could just go about their lives as though this hugely important piece of the universe wasn’t missing. How could everyone just keep living if he was gone?

For months, I think I stopped feeling almost entirely. His birthday came on October 30th, and I thought about writing something, and then I felt silly. The anniversary of his death came on February 14th. I saw a friend post something about it. I’d seen people do this kind of thing before: post something online to remember someone who passed on. Passed on, even that phrase is weird. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. If I said something, I thought, no one will really get it. I thought no one fell apart like I did.

I’m sure I was wrong.

Kerry was hilarious. He was passionate. He was loyal. He was crazy, in a loving kind of way. He taught me so much.
He taught me compassion and understanding.
He taught me about friendship, about family.
He taught me about pregnant burritos.
He taught me “za is not a word.”
He taught me “DENY, DENY, DENY.”
He was just there. He was always there. That’s what killed me. No one could live up to that.

I’ve said this one million times before, but it’s the only way I can think to express how important he was to me: I didn’t have my mother. I didn’t have my father. I didn’t have a support network. I didn’t have a safety net. I only had Kerry, and then he was gone.

And then I think: how selfish of me. He lost his life, and yet I feel like I’m dying because I lost… his life.

I didn’t know how to deal.

There was a point after he died that I tried to think of the things I didn’t like about him, as though it would make it easier to lose him. Some way to honor someone, huh?

I didn’t know how to feel.

I never wanted to crumble. Sometimes I still feel that way. The crazy thing about grief, I’ve learned, or at least in my experience, is that – unlike any other kind of pain – it doesn’t get easier with time; it gets harder. More time passes, and he’s still gone. That doesn’t go away or stop.

I don’t really know how to transition here, so I’m just going to post a couple of adorable pictures of my baby in a bowtie.

whatta supermodel.

For a little while, I thought Max might come on February 14th – the anniversary of Kerry’s death. He ended up coming into the world on 01.30 — and Kerry’s birthday was 10.30 — very Scrabbly of him to jumble the numbers like that, huh? So there’s the connection I was looking for.


One thought on “She aches just like a woman, but she breaks just like a little girl.

  1. My Dear Jess,

    It isn’t selfish of you to feel like a part of you died when he did, and I’m sure (even though I didn’t know him) that he would tell you the same thing. Our emotional reactions when someone we love, especially when they were not only a central part of our lives but also the embodiment of everything we never had that we should have, are so strong because they mattered to us.

    You know how you lived growing up. You know all the things that a mother and father should have provided and all the ways they should have treated you and loved you and cherished you – simply because you are Jessica, and for that reason alone you are worth it. You know you should have been protected and loved and nurtured and cherished and appreciated, but you weren’t.

    When we are adults and this happens to us, it’s difficult enough to handle, but you had so much withheld and done to you at a point in your life when your ability to love, trust, learn about (healthy) relationships and behavior was being molded and so profoundly impacted by those around you. So much of who were are as adults, our thinking patterns, our morals, beliefs, our behavior, the way we interact with others, how we create relationships and treat those we love, and even how we view ourselves and our own value and confidence are forged and molded when we are growing into adulthood.

    And after so long of being deprived of all these things you so needed and deserved in your life, along came Kerry. He gave you what you needed because maybe he sensed it and I’m guessing that it was just who Kerry was. His giving all these things to you created a deep bond, and it is why you have such a strong connection to him and why it was so hard to lose him and why you still in many ways mourn him today. That doesn’t make you selfish. That means you loved him, Jess. Death doesn’t sever those bonds, and it can’t have been easy losing him.

    I know it isn’t the same thing, but the only people I had growing up that understood me and accepted me as I was and made sure in a million ways that I knew they loved me were my grandparents. As they started passing away one by one, I felt a part of me die each time. It’s been over 11 years since the last of them passed, and I still cry sometimes from missing them. Everything good about me came from them. I had so much dysfunction modeled around me but they were my lifeline and they guided me and kept me safe, and I so wish you had that growing up, too.

    It’s okay to miss and mourn for someone you love, Jess. His life and presence was a part of yours.


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