Kathy Riordan

Kathy Riordan
Florida, United States
April 27
One woman's view of life and the universe. Follow @katriord on Twitter.


Kathy Riordan's Links

Poetry, if you like that sort of thing
Some great stuff around here
Where I've Been, Where I'm Going
What I Can't Write About
Twitter Is What You Make It
Articles on World War II
Some of my work on Iran
A little about me
I also write here
JANUARY 27, 2010 10:54PM

What I Can't Write About

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I can't write about you.

I can't write about this.


I can't write about how I just spent the past several days in an ICU somewhere in Oregon, watching you struggle for breath, struggle for life, against all odds.

I can't write about it.

Can't write about the years we've shared.  How you gave me life.  

Can't write about it.

How we walked to death's door and back this week, rode that rollercoaster of rally and decline.

Can't write about it.

Can't write about your bruised and swollen hands, your paper-thin skin, your body desperate for rest, and oxygen, and healing.

Can't write about it.

The moments we had alone together this week, talking about old times, about my birth, my childhood, yours, the special times, the memories no one else has.

Because I had you first.

You said it wasn't worth it, no one should have to live like this, unable to sleep, unable to eat, unable to breathe on your own, unable to get up and sit in a chair or take a bath or walk or go to the bathroom.

And you're right.

You could go either way, you know, one door or the other.  I cried when I heard you say the words, "It's not worth it.  I don't want to do this anymore."

But I understood.

You said we'd all be fine, you knew that. . .that there were other people you were anxious to see, that you missed, people on the other side, waiting for you.

Like Dad.  The others long gone.  The mother who left you young.  The husband who did.

You've had a tough life, these last thirty years particularly, widowed, but you're still young.  And I've always thought of you as being strong.

You said my husband was a great man.  He is.  You said very touching things to me, and I appreciated them.

You told me you loved me.  I love you back.


I sang to you, the songs I sing to little birds going to sleep, saying you thought they would help.

I hope they did. 

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Kathy, I'd like to link my arm in the hook of yours and just walk a bit in silence. Rest and peace are two thoughts that come after reading this. I wish you rest and peace.
You just did write about it, though. And quite well, too.
I feel for you. This sounds so hard. Kind winds, my friend.
I'm so very sorry. God bless you and your family.
Love love love to you. Be strong.....no, stay strong. Wallow in the love that you are giving, the love that you have.
What a deeply moving beautiful post. I'm so very sorry, while admiring the love you share. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I am so touched. I wish for you healing and peace.
An eloquent, anguished testament. Others have wished you rest and peace, and I add the same wish for you, as well.
Oh Kathy, I am so sorry. That was beautiful. I wish peace for you and your family.
A poignant and wrenching post, Kathy. The little birds took it right out of me...may grace surround and carry you through.
In love for knowing this feeling and knowing how hard it is. You're in my thoughts.
Rated for understanding deeply.
I'm so sorry for your pain. How *do* you write about this?
Oh Kathy, I've been at that place. Please know that I'm walking with you.
Condolences for your troubles but, I have to tell you, it's a really nice bit of prose. I just happened to pass by here and got a touchgin shudder of emotion as I got to the end. Very nice.
Thank you for sharing this. Your descriptions (the bruising, paper thin skin) I recognize from having to see my mother let go and move on to the other side. It's tough and I truly feel for you. All the best.

Death is not pretty but you expressed your feelings beautifully here.
My thoughts and wishes of peace to you and your family. This is a lovely post.
Condolences to you and your family.
Peace and love to you and your mom, and everyone in your family.
Kathy...This just brought me to tears. Having just walked this road with my father I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel. My thoughts are with you, and I am sorry. There is nothing worse than these last goodbyes.
Sending love and light to you and yours . . . prayers and blessings to hold you steady. And the writing . . . is beautiful.
i'm so very sorry for your loss, kathy.
Peace and love to you and yours.
My thoughts and prayers are with you Kathy.
God be with you, Kathy. I've done this - I know the pain. You're in my prayers.
Kathy, my thoughts are with you. I imagine sitting and having a cup of tea, resting...xox
This is extremely touching. I feel for you. Thoughts and aspirations are with you and your closest loved ones.
Thanks for letting us at OS in.
Oh, oh...your gorgeous words are so meaningful to me. I am so sorry that you and she are going through this.
Just know that I am with you on this journey. I hope and pray for peace for both of you.
What a beautiful tribute. My heart goes out to you and your family.
This is a hard passage, Kathy. I lost my mom 15 years ago. It's a very difficult thing. But I'm so glad you were able to be with her during it.
this is so close to home for me, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. some things ache so much that we can only hint at them and dance around the words ever so gracefully lest the pain be too much. hugs to you.
much much love kathy

Beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing.
"You said we'd all be fine, you knew that. . .that there were other people you were anxious to see, that you missed, people on the other side, waiting for you."

That is the only thing that makes it bearable at all, Kathy. That even in that great aching sadness there is the joy of reunion. As hard as it is, remember that it is just temporary.

My sympathies and my caring to you, my friend.
Kathy, you wrote it. I am wishing you peacefulness and loving memories.
Kathy, it is all about love, after all. Wishing you peace and healing.
This "not writing about it" is beautiful. It's a privilege to hold that hand, isn't it? I'm so sorry for this inevitable letting go. Know that my thoughts are directed towards you at this hard time. Peace.
Hard to let go and hard not to--beautiful writing.
I wish it was fiction, too.

much love to you, Kathy
Oh, I wondered where you were...I'm so, so sorry. I will be thinking about you, hoping the tiny spots of peace and comfort grow a little bigger as time goes by. I'm saving what you wrote today, because I'm going to need it myself, one day. Thank you.
They did. In fact, your being there sang to her and helped her.

You've handled the worry, and the grief, and the anxiety with grace. Hugs.
Kathy, I'll keep you both in my thoughts and wish you both peace. xo
So sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
To those who are confused, we haven't lost her. She is still continuing her battle in an intensive care unit in Oregon. I've just had to say goodbye to her to leave to return to Florida, and a husband fending for himself there who also very much needs me. We never know, however, when we say goodbye, if it is for a short time or a very long one. I don't know how this story will end, yet, but the week has been difficult and the parting equally so.
Kathy, this was beautiful, thank you. It made me cry. I am with you in spirit. xx A
Oh, and thank you all most sincerely for your words of kindness and support, which mean more than I can express. I can't write about it, but I appreciate what all of you have said.
Sending virtual peace, prayers, thoughts, hugs - take your pick
Keeping you in my thoughts.
My thoughts are with you.
This is so beautiful and sad, Kathy. Thinking about you this day.
I am so glad for your loving relationship with such a wonderful role model. You will always be a good daughter, she takes that with her. And know that will help ease the pain for both of you. You and your family have my prayers.
I know the pain and I am so sorry. You have written about it beautifully.
Kathy, sending love,
Blessings to you and your dear family.....
She's taken a turn for the worse. I'm going back.
As I read this I prayed it was fiction. Then I read your tags. I am shattered.

Feel the love from us all. It doesn't help much but when you close your eyes to stem the tears... feel us all. Holding you. Loving you.
She knows she is so very much loved by you. Hold on to that. Best wishes as you head back to face whatever awaits you there this time. Let us know.
Good thoughts and prayers being sent your way, Kathy.
you are in our thoughts, Kathy.
Thinking about you, Kathy.
A beautiful bit of writing. Peace to you and your mom.
My condolences, Kathy.
i am moved and you are such a good writer. This is unadorned with writerly distractions. Pure heart. The ending is sweet and sad -- and i want someone there to sing the birds to sleep when I go.

Full of love.

may you and yours find humor and forgive irrelevancies and come closer around this event.
I think when you can write about it, we'll all be blown away. Until then, I was moved by this one that you didn't write. It might be enough, on its own.
kathy hitting nerve we all fear worst ugly ending (there needs to be more dignified merciful way) before immeasurable sadness loss
Sending you strength to keep singing to her...
And sending much love.
Simple, lilting and touching. There is a door at death, isn't there. I know that feeling, of walking to death's door and back. That door. Take care.
my heart hears your pain and feels it too
hugs, Kathy. This was beautiful... just beautiful.
My heart goes out to you and your family Kathy. Hang on to all those wonderful childhood memories, they will serve you well.
I'm so sorry...I know how hard this is to watch and experience. Much love to you.
My sincere condolences, Kathy.
That was very lovely.
That was very lovely.
It's all be said and so well. Thinking of you...
There's nothing you can't write about. As writers, we view the world through our own words, and that helps others to see more clearly.
I've been in a similar place, and sang to my mom on her last night. Peace and comfort to you and yours. For something you couldn't write about, you wrote about it so beautifully.
Tough stuff, toughest day yet. Thanks all of you good people.
My prayers and thoughts are with you. May God's grace and mercy shine upon you. Jali.
Now that I've wiped my tears, I can thank you for a heartbreakingly beautiful post and offer my sincerest condolences.
It´s so sad and moving... peace to you and your mom; and lots of love.
same here. if you see my page, you'll just see my broken heart.. one broken heart.. argh! reading the blogs here are so great and encouraged myself to write something.. telling myself "get an audience!" ahahaha.. anyway, im bugging my internet marketing virtual assistant in her work right now because i want her to advice me what i should write about... so what should i write about anyway?
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To those who are confused, all of us have not lost the woman's. She is still continuing the woman's fight in an intensive care device within Oregon. I have simply needed to say goodbye to her to leave to return to Florida, along with a husband fending for himself presently there that also airless paint sprayers extremely a lot needs me personally. We by no means understand, nevertheless, once we say farewell, if it's to get a brief time or a extremely long one. We don't understand how this particular tale may finish, yet, however the full week continues to be tough and the parting equally therefore.
You wrote beautifully about such a difficult experience. I could feel so much gentle, loving tenderness between you. I'm sorry she never was able to leave the ICU and pray she does not suffer.
Maria, she survived and is doing well. She did have a total of three months in two different hospitalizations, so her ordeal continued from my writing above, but she is significantly recovered now and living in Seattle.