Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't Pity Me

Hi All,

Well it has been a long time since I've posted anything on the blog and I must say that I am sorry.  As you might expect I have been busy as of late.  Mom is back at home, the kids are in school, work is in full swing (boy how work is in full swing!!) and we are doing well.

I've been struggling through the mundane details of life.  Cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and ironing my own work shirts.  Have to say that I hate all the above, Katie and I had a pretty good deal going.  She would stay at home taking care of the mundane details and crafting I would do the shopping, cooking, and go to work so we could pay the bills.  All that seemed to work out pretty well...

Now on to the heart of the matter, as of late I've been noticing a strange trend.  Those that I don't have daily contact with seem to interact with me in a different manner than I would expect.  I've come to notice that it is an almost universal reaction to seeing me.  From the nurses from the infusion center that I have crossed paths with, parents of kids that my boys play with, people who know my story but don't really know me, and the list goes on.  The first reaction is to tilt your head to the side and utter a "ahhhh it is good to see you", "are you doing OK?" all of which is done in a sympathetic and caring way.  This is genrally followed by "it must be so hard"...

Well, yes it is hard and yes it is good to see you too, but I don't want to be the one that people tilt their heads to and say "Ahhhh".  I know that I have suffered a terrible loss and not a minute goes by that I don't think of Katie and what the boys I and are missing, but then I always think of what Katie and I talked about.  When I was holding her crying about what we both knew was coming.  Promising her that I would go on, that I would be happy, that I would take care of our boys, that I would honor her memory.

So don't tilt your head and say "Ahhhh", just walk right up and say Isn't it a great day to be alive and wouldn't it be great if Katie was here to share it with us!!  Her wish was that the boys and I could be happy and I am doing my best to always have a smile and make sure that the boys know how much Katie and I love them and I refuse to give in to sadness and depression!!!

Take care,
Kevin

43 comments:

THE HOOSIER STAMPER said...

Yes, go on with your lives and be happy ... like you said Katie wanted that for you and the boys! Nothing will ever take her place... and that's o.k. Yes, it's a great day to be alive! Katie lives in those precious boys and you will always see her in them, isn't it wonderful!
Be happy, and live your life to the fullest! You will know what is right for you and the boys, just take it one day at a time...and...I don't like laundry and all that stuff either.... :O) Have a great day!!!! Leah Ann

Michelle said...

Hi Kevin

Great to hear from you!

I think what you say is so true. I know it felt like a very long time for me before people actually started to have "normal" conversations with me after my husband died.

I am so happy to hear that you are all doing well.

Michelle :o)

GlitteryKatie said...

Well said Kevin-people tend not to know how to react to the bereaved!
Sorry to hear about the cleaning- I HATE it too- would much rather be doing crafting!!Love to you and the boys!!

Erica said...

Thanks for checking in with us. You will see Katie in each of your sons and yourself as well. So will other people. I hope people don't shy away from mentioning this to you and your sons. I know that this is something that will also fill you with joy. It will make for beautiful days. Oh, BTW, it's a rare person who actually likes the mundane stuff.

Joan B said...

great post!

Wendy said...

I am so pleased you and the boys are doing well, you are all a credit to Katies memory and those words are very well said.
Take care of yourself and your boys
xxxx

Sheri said...

Kevin, you are amazing. Lots of men (people) would have crumbled under the strain. I always learn from you and will certainly keep this in mind as I encounter people who have lost a loved one. I am so happy to hear that you are managing and that you and the boys are as happy as can be expected. I am sure it is so much healthier for the boys this way instead of a pity party daily. Knowing that Katie is still part of your lives but in a different way is so important. You are my hero

Ted said...

Kevin, Katie is fortunate to have you as the father of her sons. :) You're a good man.
With regards to the "Ahh.." I think people just aren't sure what to say. It's human nature for us to want to ease pain of others. Empathy.
But you've given me food for thought most definitely. Your update is greatly appreciated. God bless you and the boys always. :)

Cassie said...

Amen, Kevin! Live your life, because you and Katie both know that THAT is what she would have wanted. I'm still praying for you all :)

Whimcees said...

Hello Kevin!

I am so glad that I keep checking to see if you have posted! It is good to hear from you and know that you and the boys are doing well! They must be growing so fast - it would be great to see a current photo of them! Yes, it is great to be alive and it would be wonderful if Katie was here. I think of her so often and look back at the photos of all of you and read her posts. She was such a courageous and positive person and loved you all so very much. She loved life and her wish was for you all to continue to live happy lives after she was no longer with you.

Don't read too much into the response of others - for the most part it is genuine caring of you and the boys, not pity. Death is a sensitive subject - an uncertainty of how to communicate compassion to those who have a loss and yet remember the one who is lost. Keep on doing what you are doing - being a loving and positive parent for your three lovely children. Wishing you all everything good Kevin, I look forward to updates of you and your family!

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Marsha said...

Just thought about you the other day, so it is so good to read a post from you. Thanks.

Shazza said...

lovely to hear from you and I am glad you and the boys are doing well
x

Shazza said...

lovely to hear from you and I am glad you and the boys are doing well
x

Sue from Oregon said...

Hello Kevin! It is good to hear from you. Yes, I am probably one of those Awww... people. It is not pity on my part at all, it is my way of showing that I care and have not forgotten our lovely Katie. But that being said, a little education never hurts. I will try to bring the sunshine optimism the next time I find myself in that situation. Thank you.

Theresa said...

I have followed Katie's blog for a long time. I cried often as I read her struggles.
I do not pity you. What you have to remember is that people can not really appreciate what you are going through until they have walked in your shoes. Most people don't really know what to say, but, at least they say something. The ones that got to me were the ones who would see me coming and find something else to do so we would not have to meet face to face. And, I guess, I can understand that.

I lost my husband a few years ago. And less than 2 years later, my DD lost her husband to cancer, leaving her, a young widow with a 2year old daughter to raise alone.
People would often say "Oh, you are so strong". We were not strong. We just knew we had no other choice and we had to go on living for ourselves and for our children.
There is happiness after death. I am happy and content living on my own. I miss my husband dearly but I keep busy with things and people I love.
My daughter was lucky enough to find a second love and she and her new husband have had a baby boy to complete their family.
So, yes, people do cock their heads, but I don't think it is out of pity. I think it is out of not really knowing what else to do.

Please know that I think of you and your boys often and wish you the best of everything in life.

luvhymns said...

Thanks for "splainin" that to us!!!!! Even though I don't live near enough to meet you and go AHhhhhh, I need to know that for future reference. hugs, .B.

LaurieJ said...

Lovely to hear from you Kevin, and to hear that you and the boys are doing well. Thank you for that valuable bit of insight. It will stick with me. We're having an early spring here - fabulous, warm and sunny all week! I hope that you are experiencing the same thing. It's so renewing!

Jak Heath said...

Well Kevin all I can say is... welcome to a womans work lol! I think human nature for those around to care but I guess it can all be a bit full on.
Try tilting your head back at them and asking the same lol!
I'm not going to ask how you are doing or coping because I know you are.
I hope that bike of yours is pollished and ready to go, it will all too soon be trip time and I would love to see the photo's of it when you get back.

Kathy said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you Kevin,thanks for sharing your side of it. When we (speaking figuratively since most of us have never met you in person) do the "ahh" thing we are just wanting you to know how our hearts hurt for you, the boys and the loss you are feeling keenly.We think this is the way we should honor you and Katie's memory. But now that we know, it will be easier to be up and happy for you because that is what truly honors Katie and gives respect to her fears and wishes. I'm glad you don't want to be sad and depressed! And I'm so sorry you are having to do those things you don't like but I will say...welcome to domestic life!! LOL:)

Bonnie said...

What an inspiration. You have certainly made me rethink how I approach some one who has suffered a loss. Thanks for the heartfelt, honest post. You and the boys keep happy and keep Katie in your hearts.

IamDerby said...

Hey Kevin! So good to hear a little update from you. I think about Katie all the time. Its nice to know you and the boys are getting by just fine. I hope more good and happy things are coming your way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin, It was such a great surprise to receive your update this morning. It is good to know how things are going but also how you are feeling. So many have followed Katie as she faced a very rough ending of her life as we know it on earth. As a result, we are endeared to you and the boys and care very deeply for all of you. Therefore, our hearts lead, unfortunately not knowing or understanding fully your needs or your place in the healing process. It is good that you are honest in how people's comments affect you. It definetly gives me, as well as many of your readers, another perspective that we can use in the future. Once again, thank you for sharing so much with us. Just as Katie took us on her journey, you are taking us on yours, thus making us all a little wiser and more understanding. Look forward to hearing more from you and pictures...definitely pictures of all the adventures you all continue to experience. Love and Best Wishes Always, Elaine from sunny spring like NJ...just love it!

Junebugpins said...

Loved seeing you update Kevin....I have stopped to think aout you and wondered how the boys were doing...
Sounds like your doing such a great job with the boys...
and yes..ugh...I agree with you on those house hold tasks...never ending...and the cycle begins again as soon as you think your done...lol
No worries on Facebook...it can be overwhelming and even I take off some days from Facebook.
I keep it to keep up with my grown children who post pics on it...they are all in the military and we don't see them often...
It keeps us connected...
Just a ST Patty's Day surprise hearing from you...
Thank you....
and know that Katie is so very proud of you Kevin...

Grandma Nancy said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job and we are still sending love and prayers to you and the boys. I still think of Katie and always hope I will open my e-mail and see something from MY PAPER HAVEN. Yay! It was there today. I promise never to treat you with pity when I send a message! Keep up the great attitude and know that we miss her too.
Nancy

Leslie Hanna said...

It's great to hear from you with an update! And yeah, that mundane stuff really is ... blech. :)

And thanks for the feedback on the whole, "Awwww ..." thing. Two co-workers each recently lost a spouse, and I never know what to say, so I avoid the topic completely. I'm such a wimp. It's difficult for everyone, and I'm glad to hear how positive you are. Life does go on, and I'm glad you are all doing so well!

Thanks, again, for checking in, and take care!

gayle-rn said...

Hi Kevin,Thanks for letting us know how you and the boys are doing.I am glad you are carrying on as Katie would want you to.It takes time to adjust to your life w/out your partner you thought you would share your whole life with.My dad passed away when I was 5,my brother-10yrs and my sister was 10 months old.My mom was devistated-my dad had esopheagal cancer and at that time chemo had just started.My dad took 1 treatment and said no more.Anyway my mom's life changed she was now responsible for everything just like you with no spouse support.It is not easy Kevin and it takes time to accept and deal with these changes.You and your sons have wonderful memories of Katie and cherrish them always.Talk about her with people it's ok to miss her and even cry.I often think of you and the boys and continue to keep you in my prayers.The loneliness will eventually lessen and become less painful.Keep up the good work and stay strong.You have many friends on this blog and can turn to anyone here to vent. May God bless you Kevin and protect you and your boys always.
Gayle

jperr said...

Grief is so hard for people to deal with,they don't know what to say,so they seem to show pity instead of just being normal.I know it must be hard to keep things going.keep Katie's memory by living to yours and the boys highest potencial.
Thanks for the update I think of you and your boys often.
Jocelan Perry

Bobbi-Lynn said...

Thanks for taking the time to let us know how you and the boys are doing. It is hard for people to know how to react in these times, so as long as you are open in how you would like to be with others, that will help them in the future. God bless you all

Davi said...

Kevin, Good to hear you and the boys are doing well. Having to do it all can be a little trying but sounds like you have it under control. You know I think that death always makes people feel uncomfortable...afraid they may say the wrong thing or upset others so they often end up saying quip little things that really irritate more than comfort. Just realize they are not meaning to be that way they just dont know what to say.You are right we all have to go on living and you have boys to encourage and want them to grow up with healthy views and not go around feeling sorry for themselves. You are honoring her memory by living life with a smile and giving your boys the assurance of your and Katies love!! Sounds like you are doing what Katie wanted and she would be proud of the way you are handling things and thats most important:)

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

I think about you guys a lot and I'm glad to hear that you are moving forward and trying your best to be happy. I know that that's what Katie wants for you. Giant hugs!

eleftheria said...

Being happy and living your life is the best way to honor Katie s memory Kevin. Take care

Anonymous said...

Kevin, thank you so much for the advice. My brother died suddenly of a heart attack shortly after Katie had passed away. My sister-in-law was, of course, devastated. Your description of how people treat you after the death of someone important in your life is right on the money. People are afraid of upsetting the bereaved person and they end up doing it anyway with their "it must be so hard" comments.

Donna Wilson
Saskatchewan, Canada

jengd said...

I have to say that I would almost definitely greet you like so many others have and that I'm glad to hear what your preferred greeting would be. It makes perfect sense, I just never thought of it that way. I can completely commiserate about the housework. Simply put, UCK! Glad to hear everyone's doing so well. Thank you for taking time out to update all of us. Best, jen

Emily said...

i'm glad u still update us how you guys are doing, Your awesome! I'm sure somewhere Katie is saying that too!!!

Emily Painter-Davis said...

Amen!
I wouldn't want pity either. It's that old saying "Lead Me, Follow Me, or GET OUT OF MY WAY!"

When I had a big loss, I wanted to keep moving... Maybe I'm weird, but I'm ok with it.

I am all late reading this. But I want you to know I had no doubt you would honor Katie by doing well. And I believe you are all doing well.

Thanks for the update.
Love from Texas.
Em

p.s. - ya'll need to come to Texas. Get your RODEO on! hahaha...

Kathy Mc said...

What a nice surprise to open up Katie's blog today and see your post. You hit the nail right on the head with the "ahh" moments. People just don't know what to say or how to react. It's so refreshing to read that you are remaining as positive as possible, especially for the boys. It's also important to be that way for you to remain healthy and strong. You've certainly got a full plate, but after being such a great caregiver for Katie, I know you can do it. Hang in there, Kevin!

Sharli Schaitberger said...

My Goodness Kevin - well said! I am guilty as charged and I think you from the bottom of my heart for making me re-examine my real feelings behind the kind of greetings and pity you have been experiencing. Thank you. Perhaps you have saved someone else from having to suffer my pity. I'll focus on sharing my joy instead.

Hugs!

Dinahsoar said...

I love your attitude and the way you are dealing with your loss. Your boys will benefit greatly from your determination that you, and they, honor Katie in this way. God bless you. I barely knew Katie and I often think to myself "I can't believe she is gone'. She touched many hearts. As she soldiered on she inspired us to do the same.

ribenaruby said...

Hi Kevin, thinking of you all today, so glad i stopped by to read your lovely post. Wishing you all the best. Ruby

Kathy O said...

Wise Man--I'm so grateful you were allowed those times to talk to Katie and plan for all your futures. Thank you for writing this post. I will greet grieving family members differently because of these words.
You know, I too had cancer-and housework just doesn't look so important any more--as long as the health department won't close me down and my kiddo and hubby are happy--I'm good.
I only knew Katie by blog, never got to send her a card, just an email and comment or two, but am so grateful for her life and her love for you guys. Be well and happy and hug those boys every day.

FibreJunky said...

Thank you for checking in. Your strength amazes me. You're right, of course. Sometimes it's so hard to let go of the sadness and just live. Thank you for reminding me to do just that.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,
It is so nice to see your posts. We look forward to your updates and reading what occupies the days of Katie's boys (all four of you).
Make sure you get the boys helping you with the mundane...they can't learn the mundane too early (there is NO nice way to say that chores need to be done...ha ha). They'll appreciate knowing how to take care of themselves when they're older.
Spring is finally here and I hope you and the boys are able to get outside and enjoy the weather.

Whimcees said...

Hello Kevin!

Wishing you and the boys a Happy Easter! I think of you often and hope that you are all well and enjoying life together. Take care - I keep you all in my prayers.

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

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