Fade to Black – by Kat McCarthy


The phone rings. It’s her husband. She expects it to be a normal conversation but instead, she is thrown into slow motion. Something has happened. Something devastating. People she loves are in gut wrenching pain. She is in gut wrenching pain. The wonderful, beautiful life she has worked so hard to create has just changed in heart breaking ways and it will never again be the same.
Fade to black.

Random noise and misty grey scenes.
Fade to black.

Where Kat and Peter live.  Photo by Peter Grün

Where Kat and Peter live. Photo by Peter Grün

Her eyes flutter open to bright sunlight. She takes a deep breath, like it was the first one she has taken in a long time. She looks at the clock and sees that she has slept long into the morning. It’s the first time that has happened in a while. The events of the last month flood back in – the one precious moment of forgetfulness has passed once again. Its respite is gone for today. Reality is once again, real.
It’s almost June now: the last time she looked it was mid-April. Last time she looked, spring was just a couple of weeks old. Summer approaches now. It feels as though summer will arrive before she actually gets out of bed. She wonders when she began sleeping so long, it really isn’t in character for her. Life is usually so full of things to create, to smell, to see, to experience – to full of fun to spend it sleeping.  Yet sleep is demanding large amounts of her time now. She doesn’t have the energy to do much else anyway.
It’s not just her. So many people are hurting – dozens of people have been affected. Many have an even more difficult road to travel. She reminds herself hundreds of times a day to not be selfish here.
In the quiet corners of her mind, she begs the Universe to just let things go back to normal. Please let this all just be a bad dream…
She hopes. Hope is all she has. Hope is enough. It’s enough to begin the process of recovery. Hope is enough to help her get out of bed and begin the day. It’s enough to help her begin creating a new perfect life. Not all at once. Not tomorrow. Not quickly. But at some point in the not too distant future.
She plants things. She cleans things. She eats lots and lots of ice cream. Whatever it takes to find just a little bit of relief from the pain. Whatever it takes to maintain hope that life will someday be good again.

Photo by Kat McCarthy

Photo by Kat McCarthy

Fade to black…
It all sounds like a bad movie right? And yet many people, every day, all over the world experience something like this.
This time, it was my husband and I. It all started with a phone call from Peter who was away on business in Budapest. His youngest son had taken his own life in what appears to be a fit of rage; but it is all of course, speculation…
Every single one of us will experience something like this bad movie at some point in our lives. The reason I am writing about this today is because I want you to know there is hope. And there is hope in places you wouldn’t expect.
In the past, I had always avoided saying much to those in grief. I had this story running about how they didn’t need my interruption and I didn’t need to try and get some attention from the grieving folks. I had always thought it was a private matter that folks probably wouldn’t want to share.
Boy, was I wrong. When my husband and I were on the receiving end, I found the mountains of condolences comforting and I don’t mean in passing. There are still moments when I draw on all of that energy.
And I think that that is where hope began. I don’t mean in the moment but a little later, the energy we received from everyone made a difference when we were ready to begin trying to get back to life. That energy was all piled up and waiting for us.
I will never neglect to send what I can to grieving friends ever again. Now I know – really know – why community is important in those sad circumstances.




About author

This article was written by Kathleen McCarthy

I am the founder and CEO of the popular online magazine, The Magic Happens: Humanity Thriving Out Loud. I am also the managing editor and chief discoverer of talent. The Magic Happens is my passion and the work that I put the most time into.

I am a believer. I believe in what is happening right now. I believe in ‘the happiness movement.’ LOA is really cool and it is also a universal marketing scheme. What that means is: “the Universe had to give us a reason to be happy before we would actually choose to be happy.” Us Humans would never even consider a happiness movement without knowing what was in it for us Humans. LOA taught us what is in it for us. Now we can just relax and celebrate – be happy for happiness’ sake.

I am the river. I am the buoyancy that holds The Magic Happens aloft. TMH is about thriving, thriving is about being happy. Thriving and happiness are both choices. We choose to be happy.. Or Not..

I/we, therefore, offer you choices. We virtually hold your hand while you explore the new choice. While you explore a new perspective so that you can see yourself thriving. So you can see yourself happy.

Join us. Read with us. Love us, as we love you. :)

If you write, join us and discover the value of support among people who care about your passion and success. Contact me at Kat (at) themagichappens (dot) com (written that way to avoid spam.)


Comments (21)
  1. Lee Pryke says - Posted: June 2, 2015

    Amazing writing, captivating best yet and then tears flowing down my cheeks as I feel your energy and send you love always and ever on your journey up!

    • Kathleen McCarthy says - Posted: June 2, 2015

      Thanks so much Lee. You are a good friend.

  2. Shannon Hugman says - Posted: June 2, 2015

    A beautiful read and a gift to me, thank you so much for your words 🙂 love and gratitude 🙂

  3. Marie says - Posted: June 2, 2015

    Riveting, heartfelt, raw and real. My hands are shaking as I type this. All I can say is thank you for sharing. I truly felt like I was there with you. My heart is with you.

  4. Dean Nelson says - Posted: June 3, 2015

    Wonderfully written Kat! Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings in such a warm and comfortable way.

  5. Lykke Pia Jespersen says - Posted: June 6, 2015

    Beautiful Kathleen. And a very touchy story. The hope is so important <3 Best wishes on Your way, back to "normal", whatever that is 🙂

  6. Lykke Pia Jespersen says - Posted: June 6, 2015

    And I was there with You, I could feel Your pain, in the first black part of the text. A living heartfelt poem <3 When black is beautifull…

  7. Paul E. Martin says - Posted: June 17, 2015

    Very inspiring! Made me stop and breathe and receive “your special gift.” An amazing and beautiful way to take a winter branch and bring forth the flower of hope that never stays hidden. Thank you. My heart wings reach out to you to support and offer comfort. Peace.

  8. Kishan Takahashi says - Posted: June 25, 2015

    Thank you Kat, what a beautiful post and a pillow of support for all those that have, are, and would be in need of support at those times.

    • admin2 says - Posted: December 11, 2015

      Thanks so much Bob. It was a hard one but well worth it. 🙂

  9. ANNIE GELFAND says - Posted: February 10, 2016

    Just getting around to exploring some of the other authors and found yours here Kat, Very moving piece. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kathleen McCarthy says - Posted: February 10, 2016

      Thank you Annie. It was a very difficult time and one that so many folks go through, I felt the need to share. That essay made it into a book about depression and suicide that a friend wrote. I was happy to contribute.

  10. […] A year ago this month, my Husband and I (and many others) experienced a family tragedy that literally took our breath away. I wrote about that life altering event in the June issue of The Magic Happens and that was the last time I wrote. You can read that article here: Fade To Black […]

Leave your comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.