The Grief Project: A Kitchen Remodel and a New Future

new future feature

Following her husband’s death, Lore Powell, PRiME contributor, kept a journal she refers to as “The Grief Project.” She is graciously allowing us to share her entries with our readers as she defines her new future. You can begin with her first essay here

After months of contemplation, fear, anxiety and second guessing, I finally have a kitchen remodel started. It was to be a present from my husband who made previous arrangements with a contractor to meet with me and go over some plans. However, I’m positive he received the final cost and died just to get out of spending the money. I used the same contractor he hand picked – Derick, a large Polish guy who speaks in two volumes – loud and louder.

The good news is that Cece, the wonder dog, loves Derick. The bad news is that Cece loves Derick. This morning as he arrived for his first day of work, Cece jumped on him to lick his face and welcome him in classic Cece style, all the while Derick yelling, “geeeve me keeeses Ceceeeee” Unfortunately, Cece missed and somehow split Derick’s lip wide open. Blood began pooling out of Derick’s mouth, Derick grabbing his mouth and crying out in pain…Cece running around the house now in a panic barking….all before 7:15 AM.

Blood, towels, ice, apologies – all before I could write the first check. And I thought picking out a cabinet color was exhausting.

So there you have it, remodeling like nothing ever witnessed on HGTV. What do you want to bet that this guy runs back to Poland and tells his friends and family that it was a remodel job in Gurnee with a crazy widow lady (CWL) that caused him to lose faith in America, sell his business and drink himself into a replacement liver? Wish Derick well my friends, he’s part of our household now.

Carving out a New Future

I cannot believe it has been so long since my last journal entry. I cannot let this happen again, otherwise I have these conversations in my head and they can be really creepy. As you all know, I bought a brand new kitchen. The phrase, “I remodeled a kitchen” seems far too soft for the gut wrenching re-build that has occurred in my home over the past four months. I realize that this project was a place for me to hide while I worked through my grief and disappointment in life. Who doesn’t think, “Hey, I’m sad and lonely. I know, I will demolish an entire room and then spend large amounts of money to learn Polish.” It appears that my contractor and the appliance salesman were the closest I came to getting professional help, although I’m sure a few weeks stay at the finest home for the impaired would have been cheaper.

So, as the last touches are placed in the kitchen and Darick walks away without looking back…a tear slipping from his eye (he will miss Cece), I think, “Oh crap; now what?” Here is where the tough part comes in. Now I have to find a new future. I’m a firm believer that I could easily wake up every day, drink coffee in my beautiful kitchen, go to work, come home, eat dinner and get up the next day and do it all over again WITH NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER!

The other day, I opened a fortune cookie and there was no fortune inside. Was this a sign from the universe? Was it a nudge to move forward? Do I need to order from a different restaurant? Why can’t I get advice from the Chinese? All good questions. Just no answers. So, please stay with me as I seek out my new future. It will begin in tiny steps and if all else fails, will ultimately result in a Chinese potluck.


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