It’s not very often I experience a month that is bookmarked by heartbreak and/or tragedy, but here we are. While not every day can be a picture of perfection- and every month any of us have ever made it through has had it’s fair share of bad days- February 2020 felt like it dragged on and on (it’s a leap year, after all) and was punctuated by my having to say goodbye to people I really care about. Some of those people due to their relocating to other parts of the country- and others due to unspeakable tragedy.
I started February with a painful and tearful goodbye as Troy and I had to bid each other farewell after his job moved him to the West Coast indefinitely. We still keep in contact- text and social media, of course- but it’s been a very difficult transition to suddenly not have someone around that you’re used to spending your time with on a regular basis. The Pioneer Valley, especially my corner of it- feels a little more empty and a little less fun without him these days.
I tried to keep myself occupied as I adjusted- visiting locations I love but hadn’t been to in a while. I stopped by Medfield State Hospital at the beginning of the month to snap some photos of the decaying exteriors of the wards before the warm weather comes back (and brings the bugs with it.) A couple weeks later, after the Super Bowl and a Solo-Girl’s-Night-In Valentine’s Day celebration– I also made a point to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to drink in some culture and some paint splatter with Jackson Pollock and Hyman Bloom exhibits.
In-between these day or weekend excursions- I carried on with work as normal and made travel preparations for March, despite ongoing coronavirus concerns (wash your hands, by the way.) It was during this time that my life and my plans came to a screeching halt with the unexpected and untimely passing of one of my dearest friends, Kelsey, who did not survive a surgical procedure for her heart a little more than a week ago. I have been in a state of grief and devastation ever since.
With this horrific and unfathomable news bringing February to a close- I am hoping more than anything that March is merciful. We’re only a few days in and I am still tired, and weary- but trying to get through each day as best I can. I planned a trip to Nevada and Southern California in a couple of weeks which I’m excited for- since I think getting away from my office and the cold-ish weather for a few days will do me some good physically, emotionally and mentally- and Spring is around the corner. It’s something else to look forward to.
Also, my little cousin recently asked me to be her Maid of Honor at her wedding next year in the cutest way imaginable– so that’s another thing for me to get excited about and help pull me out of my current fog of sadness.
Side Note: I want to thank everyone who has reached out across various platforms to offer their condolences, share their own fond memories of Kelsey- and ask how they can help. A GoFundMe has been set up to assist her husband and her two young children throughout arrangements and the aftermath of this tragedy. Please give what you can.
To better days ahead.