September 15, 2013

One-Year Deathiversary

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:01 pm by Debbie

Dave died one year ago on September 20, 2012. I call it D-Day. Death Day. This Friday is his one-year deathiversary. That should be a word. Not a celebratory word. Just a word.

The child in me concocted a fantasy that Dave’s one-year deathiversary would be magical. The clock would tick on 2:30 PM and I would be transformed into someone who has fond memories without the pain. Someone who has known love, but not profound lose. Someone whose life is . . normal again.

The adult in me is, perhaps, somewhat wiser. Normal included Dave. I can’t wish him back. I can’t turn back time. I can’t analyze the pain away. I can’t have one more conversation with him. There is no possibility of returning to my old normal. I have to find a new normal.

Looking back on the first year I’ve spent without Dave, I think that’s what I’ve been doing. Trying to find my new normal. When tragedy strikes and you work to put the shattered pieces of your life back together, at some point you begin to realize that it’s impossible to do so in the same manner. They don’t fit quite right. The new shape will emerge transformed. It will be different. Your transformed life might be just as beautiful, but it will never be the same as it was before. It’s kinda like that.

I can already tell that I’ve begun to change. For example, I’m not as obsessed with a clean house as I used to be. No wait a minute, I was never obsessed with a clean house. An occasional tangent, maybe, but not obsessed. But there are subtle differences in the way I view life, my priorities, and my reactions to the world around me. And I have a bucket list now. And by golly, I’m going to ride in a hot air balloon, go skydiving, go zip lining, visit Ireland, and hold at least one grandchild in my arms.

So as I spend the upcoming week reliving the moments of a year ago, rehashing the countless list of ‘what ifs’ and crying (a lot), I may also spend a minute or two looking at the possibilities the future is likely to hold. And I’ll definitely hope for a better year next year. Or at least one with a few less tears.



  1. Patty said,

    I hope this next year brings you less pain and sadness. I hope the memories of your loving marriage with Dave and your family brings you peace and comfort.

  2. Scott and Naomie said,

    I didn’t make it to the convention this year, Naomie and my son went. I would have liked to see you . I enjoy reading your notes. We still have and probably always will have Dave’s picture in our office and his memory in our hearts. I personally pause once in awhile when work is getting to me and think about; “What would Dave do?”, and I can usually come up with the answer. He was a hell of a guy , as you know best, and we think of him often. Hang in there and hopefully we can see you next year.

  3. Debbie said,

    Very well said-you might want to consider writing a book you are so very well spoken, and I sure have touched many hearts including mine with your blog. Know that Dave have touched so many & will never be forgotten.

  4. Trish Fidler Turley said,

    Debbie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings in a most eloquent way. You know Dave is in Heaven saying, “Quit your crying and go jump out of a plane in Ireland!” LOL I know its hard, and I can’t imagine just how hard it is. You are strong and wonderful and I know your kids and Dave, as well as all of your friends and family, are so incredibly proud of you. Love and miss you.

    Trish Fidler Turley

  5. Hi, Debbie! You have met me in the past but in case you don’t remember my husband Pat and myself have been friends of Hank and Jane Kipp for over 50 years. We knew Dave when he was just a baby and he was the cutest little boy and as he grew he continued to be adorable. Dave was always so outgoing even as a toddler and so loveable too as you well know. We often think of you and your children and we pray for your health and happiness. We are so sorry for your loss and so sorry that you have to be without your Dave.

    Take care. Hope all of your days ahead will be better and will give you more peace and happiness.

    Cathy Boyle.

    Hank sent this to us but we are getting one too but I couldn’t find it right now so am sending this via Hank’s email.

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