I read a quote today that totally smacked me on the head and made me go, “Hmm…”. Thought I would share it in case someone else unknowingly needs this today as much as I did.
“Happiness grows in direct proportion to your acceptance and in inverse proportion to your expectations . . . This is what I have today. Now, I didn’t have a choice about this, but I have a million other choices I can make today. I can choose where I go. I can choose how I feel about where I go . . . If I make those choices well, I’m going to be a happy person.” -Michael J. Fox
Some nights, sitting here alone after the hum of the day has quietened, I still just can’t believe it.
It’s like, for a split second, my mind reaches out of the comfortable numbness in which I function day to day and actually touches on the reality of what has happened. And in those seconds, terror grips my heart and steals my breath away and makes me sick, all at the same time. It’s like waking from a deep, deep sleep and not knowing where you are, whose life you are living. I feel confused, and scared, and completely baffled at how you can be gone. Not just gone, but dead. That word grips me in these moments…dead. D-e-a-d. Buried in the ground less than two miles away. I’ll never understand how someone who was so larger than life, so full of spirit, so influential and important to so many people, someone who was my and my son’s entire world, could be here one second and gone the next, without a minute’s warning. Dead is something that other people are, not you. Not until we are old and gray and our kids have had kids and we are yelling at invisible squirrels from our front porch rocking chairs. How could this have happened to you? We didn’t even get to have the last six months of your life together…
A discussion this morning amongst fellow widows over on Supa Freshwidow‘s facebook group WidVille brought up a special song that I feel is time to share.
Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My (Out of the Blue)” is one of those songs that will forever hold a spot in my heart. My throat constricts when I hear those opening notes, yet I want to listen to it. I want to hear it and remember the good, yet I turn it off because my mind goes to the bad.
“Hey Hey My My” was one of my husband’s favorite songs. He loved to listen to it, to jam out and sing while driving his new truck or to play it while he was climbing boulders at our favorite spot by the creek. It was one of his favorites to play on the guitar, he had perfected it and gently played it for our then-3-month-old son in his darkened nursery as I rocked him to sleep the night before he flew away for deployment…the last night he ever spent with him.
When I was planning his funeral arrangements, it only seemed fitting that this song be played. It kept haunting me, lingering in my mind, yet I almost forgot the music. Thank you to a special friend for remembering to bring it, because the day would not have been the same without Neil Young. For those few minutes, as the song played strongly, the military ceremony went out the window and it was all about my husband’s soul, his spirit, and his love for music. His brother and his closest friends carried him out of the chapel to this song, as we all listened to the haunting yet comforting lyrics… “The king is gone but he’s not forgotten…my my hey hey, rock and roll is here to stay…”
At the time, all I was thinking was how much this song meant to him, how much it represented a huge part of him. Only later did I realize just how fitting the song really is…kind of amazing, in a heartwrenching way, to think about, and yet another odd aligning of everything that will forever baffle me.
I’m sharing this song and it’s meaning for the first time today. I feel like putting this out there will help keep my husband’s spirit and essence alive, for it truly embodies an important piece of him. And I vow to listen to this song more — without tears for the bad, but with smiles for all the good.
Neil Young — “My My Hey Hey” (the acoustic version to it’s counterpart, “Hey Hey My My”)
Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.
Out of the blue
and into the black
They give you this,
but you pay for that
And once you’re gone,
you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue
and into the black.
The king is gone
but he’s not forgotten
Is this the story
of a Johnny Rotten
It’s better to burn out
than to fade away
The king is gone
but he’s not forgotten.
My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
Hey hey, my my…
I stumbled across this blog post today and it left me in tears. This is something every, and I repeat EVERY, widow should read. We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to try so damn hard to put on the brave face. Why do we put that immense pressure on ourselves, especially in the midst of crushing grief?
I encourage everyone, widow or not, to read this post on Single Dad Laughing‘s blog. It is truly powerful. What are your imperfections? Embrace them, embrace the real you. We don’t need perfection, just each other.
I haven’t had much to say lately, I guess I’ve been in an avoidance phase lately. I’m also distracted with the opening of my new business, Erin Berky Photography. My late husband is the courage behind this endeavor and I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get everything in line for the grand opening. It’s been a very welcome distraction, especially this month. And now September is almost over! I’ve lasted past the dreaded milestone, something I honestly couldn’t see possible a month ago. I wouldn’t have made it through this month, and even more so the last year, without the support of my family and friends. I love you guys! I’ll be back for a more cohesive post soon, I promise ;)