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Working Through the Unimaginable


I don’t know how to start this post. Words continue to feel inadequate, and they’re really hard for me to put together. But I miss this space, and everything in my life that goes with it, so I’m going to try. Consider this update one tiny step towards finding my new normal.

I am… reading. Just a little bit, and mostly things that are distracting rather than difficult. I loved Leigh Bardugo’s newest book, Crooked Kingdom. Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl was charming and easy. Erika Johansen’s The Fate of the Tearling (out in late November) was an ambitious page-turner, while also being a bit of a mess. Today, I’m in the middle of Kate Racculia’s Bellweather Rhapsody and Julia Baird’s Victoria: The Queen (also a late November release). Most of my books are still in boxes, but having a more limited selection is good right now.

I am… listening. For the moment, my commute to work is 43 miles, which takes approximately 50 minutes, depending on traffic. I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books — A Torch Against the Night by Savaa Tahir, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler, and Redshirts by John Scalzi. For the last week or so, I’ve been deep-diving into You Must Remember This, a podcast on the hidden or forgotten stories of old Hollywood. Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations — I have a lot of good listening ahead.

I am… grieving. We had two memorial services for Nate, one in Wisconsin where he grew up and one in Minnesota where we most recently lived. Both were awful and good and hard and needed.

I am… talking. I’ve met twice with a therapist, something that has been one of the best things I could do. It helps to have someone who doesn’t really know me to acknowledge what has happened is awful, while also keeping me from spinning out in all directions. I leave my appointments with a mantra… Be kind to yourself. Grief takes patience. Live in the moment.

I am… working. I’ve been at my new job for about six weeks. It’s very similar to what I was doing before, and I appreciate that familiarity. But it’s also a new community, new coworkers, new ways of doing old things… some days I feel good about the newness, and other days I want to rewind and go back to the way things were two months ago.

I am… lonely. This is a new feeling. I have a wonderful network of friends and family around me who are doing everything they can to help, often more than I could ever expect, but Nate was my person. He was the person I shared my days with, the person I complained to and celebrated with, the person who opened pickle jars and helped decide what to have for dinner and split the driving and made me laugh for no reason. I miss him.

I am… grateful. I don’t think a day has gone by since Nate died that I haven’t gotten a card, email, text message, phone call, or Facebook message from friends who are both near and far. Those connections, even when they seem small, have meant the world to me and I’m profoundly thankful for them. They help me feel less lonely.

I am… writing. Speaking of being thankful… I have an enormous list of thank you cards to start writing. I’ve been putting it off for awhile because I’m still so emotionally fragile right now. But getting some of them off my list of projects will be a good thing, so I’m going to try and get started today.

Thanks for reading and commenting and holding me in your thoughts. I miss blogging, and I hope I can get back into the habit soon.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Savvy October 2, 2016, 5:22 pm

    Sweet Kim – you have been in my thoughts often these past few weeks. Sending you strength vibes and virtual hugs.

  • Shannon October 2, 2016, 5:29 pm

    Take your time, sweet, we will be here when you are ready. Hugs and prayers for peace.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) October 2, 2016, 7:21 pm

    I think of you all the time and am so sorry you’re having to go through this.

  • Kailana October 2, 2016, 7:30 pm

    It will take baby steps, but it was nice to see a post from you pop up in my reader. Thinking of you!

  • Melissa F. October 2, 2016, 9:03 pm

    These sound like all positive steps, Kim. I’m glad to hear you’re reading and talking with a professional and easing your way back to blogging. All of us are holding you close in our hearts.

  • Kristen M. October 3, 2016, 12:50 am

    My thoughts have been with you as well and I am glad to hear that you are finding small ways to move forward. You are definitely missed here.

  • Monica (monnibo) October 3, 2016, 1:51 am

    I’m glad to hear you’re finding things that help. And I’m also happy to see that perhaps blogging/writing is one of them.

    I read An Ember in Ashes and I don’t even remember it… so I’m hesitant to read A Torch Against the Night. Did you like it?

    I have been hearing so much about Crooked Kingdoms, but I’m still on the waitlist for Six of Crows at the library. Fingers crossed I get it soon!

    I had a long commute this summer and was just starting Welcome to Night Vale. Still on the fence about that one.

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf October 3, 2016, 11:08 am

    You’re on my mind a lot. Was so happy to see you on Litsy, reading and posting. A good therapist is such a blessing (I don’t throw that word around much) and I’m thankful you’ve had some good sessions with one, too. *hugs*

  • Sarah's Book Shelves October 3, 2016, 11:20 am

    Recovering from a death of a loved one is incredibly tough….but it sounds like you’re taking all the right baby steps to get yourself to a manageable place.

    My thoughts are with you.

  • Jenn Lawrence October 3, 2016, 11:40 am

    It’s so good to “see” you! My heart broke for you when I saw the news and I’ve been thinking of you since then. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself, doing the things you need/should do to get through this. There are so many people from all over the world wishing you the best! THE very best thing about the blogging community!

  • Marie October 3, 2016, 11:48 am

    Love and hugs to you. We’re all right here with you.

  • Jeanne October 3, 2016, 11:50 am

    Glad to hear how you’re doing, and especially glad to see you’re writing again.

  • Serena October 3, 2016, 12:21 pm

    I cannot imagine how hard this is for you, but I think of you often. I send you hugs anytime I see you post and will continue to do so. I wish there was more I could do. Grief is a tough business

  • Shannon DeVinny October 3, 2016, 12:30 pm

    Dear Kim-
    Reading your post makes my heart hurt for you. I read the parts about Nate bing “your person” I can relate to that. Something as simple as a pickle jar was “his job” and how finding a new normal is something we all avoid at all costs so I can truly feel the sadness in your words… I do know that the Kim I remember was strong and fisty and funny… I’m sure all the things the ones you love see and love as well, don’t loose those things in finding a “new normal” Praying for you daily and want you know even from a far… hugs and smiles are headed your way!

  • Michelle October 3, 2016, 12:40 pm

    You have not left my thoughts since I heard the news. I cannot pretend to know what you are going through right now, but I do know you are loved by many and we all wish we could take away your pain. At least, I know I do. It sounds like you are surviving, and that is about all anyone can wish of you right now. Many, many hugs from me and know you are always in my thoughts!

  • Leslie Lindberg October 3, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Beautifully written Kim. I am glad you are taking care of yourself and being patient with the process.

    Some things just take time… I’m happy to read an update on your life. I’m always here to lend an ear, or just to hang out.

  • Meg October 3, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I think of you all the time, Kim, and am sending positive thoughts your way. Reading for escape takes on a new meaning in grief, and those audiobooks all sound great. If I were closer, I would bring muffins and coffee and a listening ear. Extending those things to you virtually all the same. <3

  • Jenny @ Reading the End October 3, 2016, 8:09 pm

    Sending love, Kim. I know that anyone who might have done something to merit a thank-you note isn’t waiting around for one. I hope you’re being infinity patient and kind to yourself. We’re all in your corner, my lovely friend.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading October 3, 2016, 8:31 pm

    I’m sure sitting down to post this was wrapped in a ton of conflicting emotions, but I’m so glad to see you here, especially if it’s a space that makes you feel better. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be without your person – I think we all know exactly what you’re talking about when you describe that feeling. But so much of what you’ve written here shows me how strong you are. I’m sending all the good, positive thoughts I can and hope you have all the time you need.

  • Beth F October 3, 2016, 9:07 pm

    I have never stopped thinking about you and sending good healing thoughts your way.

  • Jennygirl October 8, 2016, 11:25 am

    I’m and out of blogging and still trying to decide whether to give it a go or not. Your blog, although I’m a lurker, has always been an inspiration to me. If and when you come back, no worries either way. You do for you.

    thanks for the podcast recommendation. I LOVE old Hollywood.

  • sassymonkey October 9, 2016, 7:34 am

    You’ve been in my thoughts.

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey October 9, 2016, 7:20 pm

    Let me know if there’s anything someone who’s not there in person can help with. We’re all here for you.

  • Heather October 10, 2016, 10:47 am

    Kim, not a day goes by since I heard news of Nate’s passing that I don’t think of you. I hug my loved ones more often and forgive more easily – your experience has allowed me to be more aware of my blessings. I am so deeply sorry for loss – I cannot imagine that pain you are going through and I hope that you are able to find peace and move through this phase of life. I hope we hear from you again soon. Please take care of yourself.

  • Heather October 12, 2016, 11:25 am

    Baby steps are important. Remember that we are all here for anything you need or anytime you need someone to vent to.

  • iliana October 12, 2016, 4:20 pm

    It’s so good to see a post from you. Sending you hugs!

  • Lisa October 15, 2016, 9:19 pm

    Your paragraph about being lonely is wonderful – those of us who haven’t walked in your shoes may be able to at least imagine that hole in your life but we can’t begin to imagine how missing a person permeates every aspect of your life, big and small. I am so sorry for your loss and am keeping you in my prayers.

  • susan October 25, 2016, 4:15 pm

    Take your time. Sounds like you are making the right small steps. I hope the therapist might continue to help you. I’m sure things will be empty for a long while, but know that people are out there for you, and care about you.

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