Thursday, July 28, 2005

Surrender and Go

Chicken wings, martinis, brandy manhattans, hugs and nonstop conversation. Joan arrived last night. A glorious week with my best friend and no work in sight. The weather is perfect - Minnesota in summer in all its splendor.

My spontaneous spirit is being rebuilt - one day at a time. I feel like I am coming home to a new place. I actually laugh sometimes - not the ha-ha - but the real laugh from my belly, my spirit. This morning there was a message in my inbox that said, "surrender and go." Sounds good to me.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fake it 'til You Make It

energy - enthusiasm - not "fake it til you make it" like sometimes in the winter - but a natural wellspring - the beginning of a new reservoir in my soul.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What did you do with Them?

350,632 minutes. It is eight months today.

Monday, July 11, 2005


I awoke this morning after sleeping late. I glanced over at the treadmill in the corner and saw Tom's boxer shorts hanging on the railing. I reached over towards him and then realized, with a jolt, that it was just a white dish towel. Tom will never hang his boxer shorts on that railing again.

Today is the 5-year anniversary of the first stroke. The incident that defined our lives in such a profound manner. We had half of our marriage pre-stroke - half post-stroke. We found our new normal - several times over. We worked hard together, we compensated for disability and learned to love one another in the deepest way possible.

I am having my last day off and sitting quietly reading a book, Seven Choices - Finding Daylight after Loss Shatters Your World. I just read a passage, in it a therapist tells the widowed author that she will never again be so innocent or trusting, she will never have the relationship and love again that she had with her deceased husband. There will never be that particular joy, that same depth of love again. And I wept. It is true.

As I wept, I realized that I do want a future. I miss my husband. I miss our life. I am moving, however slowly, towards a new life. I am finding solace in my own company - solitude is a blessing. The love and enduring support of friends have made it possible to come to this place now.

My ongoing question - how long will this take? The ongoing answer - as long as it takes. Rebuilding one tiny step at a time. I am grateful that I had the love of a good man and that I will have the memories forever.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Is Your Life's Mission Fulfilled?

Music on the machine - hot and sticky outside and here I am inside, putting together the elements of my new kitchen. Unpacking my life, which has been in boxes for the past three months. A little like hang gliding - giddy with the excitement of organizing the cupboards; free falling into memories as I unwrap unexpected things that remind me of life before death.

I found a quote this morning that touched me -

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive it isn't." Richard Bach, Illusions.
Moving through sorrow with joy is difficult. Making meaning out of mourning the challenge. I am becoming - the metamorphosis of a life suddenly spun out of control. CONTROL - ha, that is another illusion, isn't it. There is no such thing.

I surrender.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Take a Vacation from Your Problems

A few glorious days to myself. A real downside to being a business owner is actually taking vacation time and not going anywhere. I am home in my newly remodeled house. Just soaking in some quiet, reflective time alone.

I had lunch with Ann yesterday. I find such comfort and guidance with women who have gone before me on the widow's walk. This strange journey truly needs pathfinders to assure you that you have not lost your mind completely, just misplaced it for awhile.

Having been stripped of all the skin from my body this winter, I feel it growing back - but oh so slowly. My being is tissue paper thin and I never know when something will pierce me with such suddeness that I am breathless. Little defense right now from pain; yet I am growing stronger.

The absolute craziness of this time transcends all previous experiences. I can sense the future at hand - I know that a day will come that I will be scarred but whole - a different person. My purpose is to make meaning of the past few months and live in this ocean of ambiguity.

Goddess give me strength as I watch all the weeping shadows on the wall.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"Why Don't You Just Get Better?"

I'm grieving as fast as I can. Tonight I learned that my pain is affecting someone close to me. That is difficult to hear. I know I have made progress on the journey to a new life. I know that I am healthier. I know that I am no longer the "puddle" of tears that I once was. I know that I have flashes of joy - that I can feel a sense of contentment - however briefly - it is there. I know that there are spontaneous minutes.

Grief is tough work. It is not linear. It is not planful. It is not strategic. It is not tactical. It is being disconnected from your personal reality. It is not what anyone would willing choose.

It is overwhelming. It is crazy. It is a loss of your illusionary "control." It is personal. It is disconcerting. It is the pit you can unknowingly walk into at any moment without a second's notice.

I ask, "how long will it last?" The answer is, "as long as it takes." I am not a professional mourner. I will have a new life - I will respect and love and mourn my husband. I will feel my feelings. I will shed my tears. I will fear my fears. I will mourn the loss of my dreams.

I know my friend wants only to end my pain. So too do I wish that the pain would end. It will end in its own time - however, the loss will never be forgotten.

Yes, I am different. Different than Sunday, November 14, 2004 when my darling passed in my arms. Who wouldn't be? Who I am now, that's a work in progress.