Kate’s Blog: Reflections and a Poem


By Kate Alvarez
Jan. 27

The old adage, “time heals all wounds,” doesn’t seem to apply to this situation.

In fact, with every ticking second of the clock, the pain becomes more real, and the emotions more confusing and heavier to bear.

My world gets darker as I face every milestone alone—his brother’s wedding, my sister’s wedding, friends’ birthdays, friends’ elopements, cousins’ graduations, people getting old, my dog having puppies, people traveling and celebrating, new movies and songs he would’ve loved, new projects landing on my lap, and other moments that pass me by.

The little bouts of happiness I feel are temporary. I’ve almost forgotten what pure and genuine joy feels like. Grief is constantly raining on my parade, with no chance of clear skies.

My cellphone now mocks me with its deafening silence and the hourly reminder that he will never call or text me again.

My voice feels stifled. Without the one person in this universe who I can truly talk to without apprehensions, filters, and borders, whom can I run to now? How can I rebuild my life when I’ve already set my mind and heart to spending the rest of my years with my soulmate that took almost three decades to find? How can I come to grips with the truth that he was exhaled to heaven too early and unfairly?

And no, please do not rub salt on my wounds by suggesting that I look for a replacement. We are not talking about changing your wardrobe that has gone out of season, a rebound relationship to show off to friends, nor am I concerned about a ticking biological clock and proper rites of passage. We are talking about a soulmate that most people never even find in a lifetime—the one I finally found but lost to a little-known and misunderstood disease called depression.

Even with the help of anti-depressant pills, sympathy cards, thoughtful gifts, prayers, counseling, small talk, big talk, and a surge of advice and cyber hugs, I’ve never felt so empty in my life.

"My soul is an empty carousel at sunset." -Pablo Neruda

“My soul is an empty carousel at sunset.” -Pablo Neruda

One day I will have overstayed my welcome. Sympathetic people will eventually lose interest in listening to my woes and reaching out to me, especially when I’ve finally crossed your standard timetable of mourning.

I try to look at the minuscule bright side. I write and read more now. Like a prisoner stuck in her cell for life, I have nothing but time for writing and reading. My writing seems to have improved. The number of books and articles I read has doubled compared to last year. I have more time for my beloved dogs and my hobbies.

My bedroom is more organized now. The piles of junk I swore I’d clean up one day is finally disposed of. The unsorted photos and collections are finally sorted.

And then there’s poetry—an old passion that faded away years ago is slowly resurfacing. May I share my newest one?



Eyes are windows to the soul,
So they say.

Shut my spirit

With blank cardboard.
Cut holes.
Colored paper,
Drown it with glitter.

Place a blinding twinkle
On these half-dead eyes
That lost their sparkle.

Like the blood-stained smile
That hides a clown’s frown,
Let my mask
Turn their worries around

So I may dance
And run free

You, life, are my Russian roulette.
Come dance at the masquerade with me.

-by K.A. (Jan. 19, 2013)

photos from flickr.com/photos/genuween