Grief and Compost

Woke up this morning with tears streaming down my face. I had a dream about Howard which I do not think has happened since he passed away. It was a wonderful dream and he was so happy and full of life. Then I woke up and remembered that he is gone and the grief started pouring from my heart and eyes. This has not happened for months and took me by surprise. I remembered the last few days of his life and some of the conversations and experiences we had together. I asked him not to leave me here all by myself and he said he wouldn’t. I knew he could not stay and I could not stand to see him in so much pain. So, I had to let him go and let him know I would be okay. He just grinned and said I know you will, like he knew something I didn’t.

There must have been some part of him that knew he would be leaving long before he got diagnosed with cancer. He tidied up a lot of loose ends with the vintage cars and made connections with people who would become important to me. Sometimes it feels like he is still looking after me and that I am never alone. Other times, I can barely remember what it was like to have him here, my life has changed so much. I have no regrets, I feel no guilt, and know we both loved and appreciated each other. Howard actually thanked me for staying with him through all of it which surprised me. He said some people would have walked away. I don’t want to know those people. How could you walk away from someone you love just when they need you the most. According to the hospice staff it happens more frequently than we know. What a sad and lonely world we live in.

I thank the universe that I had the strength of spirit to stand by my man when things went to shit. I never realized how much strength I truly had hidden inside this small body. I will be there for the people I love regardless of how much it hurts me to see and feel their pain. My heart just keeps getting bigger because of it. I also had a lot of people who stood by me and supported me through this whole process and my God I love them for it. They are my tribe, my community. It takes special people to allow someone to fall apart and just be there for them without trying to change it or fix it for them. Some want to stop your tears and your grief. They cannot handle your pain, it makes them feel things they do not want to feel inside themselves. It is all about them and their fears.

Today I have a few people coming to the house to take more things away. The fishing boat, some sculptures and tools. Soon there will be nothing left but an empty house sitting on this land. Land that has nurtured me for twelve years. I am going to walk away from here soon and it is proving to be much harder than I expected. However, I am not walking away from my life with Howard, I am walking towards something, I am walking towards my future.

Be there, really be there, for the people you love. Don’t shy away from the tough times, you don’t grow when everything is all rosy. In our disposable society, in which even people are disposable to some, be the compost. Be the compost that provides nourishment and promotes growth in others. Take all the pain you have experienced in your life and use it to find that connection with others and encourage them to be the best them they can be. Be compost for their soul and yours.

Love to all

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Anchors and Drifting

Fell asleep last night listening to the frog choir. One lone frog singing is as annoying as a dripping tap, but get a bunch of them together and it is a soothing and sleep inducing symphony of spring! Having ponds on your property helps with the frog population.
I slept for seven hours and feel refreshed with a new sense of peace this morning. Thanks frog nation! Yesterday, I had this vague restlessness and felt as though things were slightly off and to be honest was not my happy, smiling self. Took me until about two in the afternoon to work it out thanks to a quick (is there such a thing?) phone call to my wise friend Debra. We talked things out until I dug deep enough to figure out what was going on.

I am not generally a surface dweller, I usually dig until I find what I need. Right now I am tired of digging and analyzing and thinking. I want to have some fun! Finding the answers to what makes you the way you are is fun isn’t it? So these emotions I was feeling yesterday had me kind of low and I am tired of low, so I dug. Twenty minutes of telling Deb what was bugging me and her very astute questions and insights and bingo the reason popped out of my mouth. I said I need something solid to hang on to! I needed an anchor! Aha moment. Once the truth of a situation is acknowledged the relief is immediate, no resistance and the truth sets you free. Isn’t that brilliant?

All the changes that have happened in the last year and the ones I am still in the middle of have left me feeling like I am adrift in a stormy ocean. Plans ha, the universe is constantly saying no to my plans. Okay, I am adrift in this vast ocean, can’t make plans, and don’t know which direction the shore is in so I can haul my little ass onto the sand. Fine, I will just lay here on the choppy water and float to wherever the current takes me. Breathe, relax and let it all go. Why do we always have to have a plan? I am usually allergic to solid planning because life is structured enough, but right now I want to make some. Universe says no, not quite yet.

Okay, fine. While I wasn’t completely happy with my life, work and relationships last year, it was a solid life. I had an anchor to keep me from drifting. Actually I had a few anchors. The problem with anchors is if you use them at the wrong time or get tangled in the anchor chain the results can be disastrous. For good or bad reasons (it doesn’t really matter at this point) Howard was my anchor.
He provided stability for me when I needed it the most and to be truthful I don’t think I had any stability in my life before I met him. I gained weight for the first time in my entire life simply because I felt safe and relaxed. I was loved and felt safe. Here is the problem, Howard is gone from this earth and I have realized that I need to be my own anchor. Howard gave me twelve years of his life to teach me how to stand strong on my own.

Howard taught me a lot. In fact, I am still learning from our life together. Ooh the sunrise is spectacular this morning! I just looked out the window and the sky is a beautiful pink with deep streaks of gold. Great day to be alive and witness the miracles of being here on this planet. Back to the post. I think we place too much responsibility on the significant person in our life to be the thing we need. By that I mean, we look to them to fill in the gaps of our soul. That is not fair to the other person. You and only you are responsible for your own thoughts, emotions and actions, period. Sometimes we like to think that the other person is the cause but that is just us avoiding the truth and digging deep to find it. They pissed you off, dissappointed you, didn’t meet your expectations, whatever and you justify what you do in response to that. You are lying to yourself. It is you who are responsible.  You cannot receive love until you are giving it without expectation.

Of all the things I miss, having a sidekick or playmate is what I miss the most. Someone who has your back and loves you just the way you are and has fun with it! I’m working on it but also realize that I have to offer the other person that as well.  None of us are easy to live with all the time so a sense of humour is essential for a happy relationship with anyone. So my thought for the day is be your own anchor, take responsibility for yourself, have fun, get rid of your expectations of how others should be and relax. It is all temporary anyway. Appreciate the people in your life and let them know how much they mean to you. Most importantly don’t place unrealistic expectations on them, let them be them and keep your heart wide open so you don’t waste one spectacular minute of your life together.

Spread some love today
Hugs to all
Donna

The Joy and the Anger

One of the most difficult years of my life has created some amazing changes in me. While my initial response to all of the adversity and loss that I faced was a soul numbing anger, things have taken a different turn in the last few months. There is a softness in me that did not exist before and a renewed and refined compassion and love for others has blossomed out of that. While I have faced challenges before in my life, this was the first time I looked nowhere but inside my own heart for solutions and answers. I did not look for an external solution.

Something I have discovered is that I have an ability to be in the moment with whatever is happening internally and externally. I am able to be present and look at what is going on and as a result have a better understanding of myself and others. One thing that happened when Howard passed away was extreme sadness and grief which greatly conflicted with my hopes and the feelings of freedom his death gave me. I believe that conflicting emotions are normal during the loss of the significant person in your life and we waste too much time feeling guilty about it. It is a horrible situation to be in, you are trying to let go of them, the life you shared, move on with your life and remember and miss them at the same time. It is a tall order, the letting go and holding on to their memory all at once.

Life is full of conflicting emotions, challenges, joy and miraculous moments. We choose how we respond to that! I allowed my anger to take over for a short period but could not sustain it for long, it was killing my soul. The anger did serve its purpose for that period of time and I am thankful that I experienced it. The anger taught me a lot and may have been the catalyst for the softening that happened. I have a softness for myself and my struggles and have started behaving in a more gentle manner towards others. I do not know, nor should I presume to know how others should be under any circumstance. We just need people to allow us the space to work through it in our own way. We all need that space to learn and grow.

Having the ability and desire to look objectively at yourself and your reactions to the world and circumstance is a priceless learning opportunity. You can allow theses things to harden you and I believe that the people who feel as though these things have happened to them will harden. Life is happening to them, they are not active participants in their own life, the surface of the why of things is barely scratched. When you take the time to look deeper with an attitude of discovery and wonder it is amazing to see the layers and depths of the pain and untruths. My anger was there to insulate me from the pain and fear. But in insulating myself from the grief, pain and fear, I also insulated myself from fully experiencing all the good, the joy, the hope and the wonder. It is a double edged sword, anger is, that closes your heart off so you don’t feel anything.

I sat in this living room the day I started this blog and had an awakening of sorts. I fell in love with my life and could see how all the emotions, both conflicting and complimentary, were connected. I will call this a spiritual awakening simply because I experienced my own soul breaking free from all of the constraints my mind and beliefs had placed upon it. I was free in a way I had never been, I was free to just be. No rules, no right and wrong, just me naked in my humanity. I have great hope for humanity and know that people just like me are having awakenings of their own in the most mundane of places. Our quiet strength is far more powerful than the anger and fear being spewed out of so many minds and angry hearts at the moment. Living with your heart wide open allows you to feel everything and that can be a scary place to live from. It is painful and my heart breaks on a daily basis but my heart with it’s wide open embrace also gets to experience all the joy and wonders of being human in this time and place.

Be gentle

Donna

Rhythm

Six in the morning, frogs are singing spring into existence and it is warm with rain falling softly to the earth. What a glorious day to be alive. Woke up this morning feeling grateful for all that I have experienced and the people I have met. Thinking about a trip just to get away and relax. I’m not sure if I can swing some time away in the sun at the moment but I have a brand new passport just begging to be used. We shall see what the next week brings and how much I can get done. Universe I need a vacation could you please help things fall into place for this to happen. Thanks in advance!

I do not like asking people for help and have had to do it a lot lately. I am used to being the one helping others. So I have a garage sale to organize, a house that is sold and needs to be cleaned out, my new place to set up and all I want to do is lay on the beach in Costa Rica. I guess I am going to need some help to swing it. I find lots of people offer to help but a number of them don’t usually come through in the end. My suggestion, don’t offer to help people if you are not willing or able to follow through. Don’t offer because it is the polite thing to do. Mean what you say and say what you mean!

I sit here in this half empty house with its bare walls and my mind and heart are flooded with memories. The laughter, the tears, the lives that have passed through here and all the dreams that came true and the ones that got destroyed. This house has been truly lived in. New people and events are creating some more memories as I let go of the place I have called home for for the last twelve years. It is more than just a house, it vibrates with the energy of the lives lived here and has a personality all its own. The enclosed overhang of the roof has been home to a bird family for the last three years and I never had the heart to close off the area where they built their nest and started their family. I can hear the babies squawking, as I sit in my chair, and the feet of the parents scuttling back and forth to feed their constantly hungry brood. I got to see the babies on their first flight and it was magical.

One late afternoon last summer I sat on a rock by the large front pond looking to see how many fish were visible. We put a few dozen gold fish in there every year but few survive the wildlife and circumstance. I saw three that were about two years old and then five little one year olds swam by and my heart filled with joy. I was so excited to see that five had survived the year. You know how you get that feeling on the back of your neck when someone is watching you. That happened to me and I turned around and got to witness a fawn slide to the ground as a doe gave birth. I sat there and watched as the mother cleaned it and the baby took it first shaky steps with some gentle nudging. It was a beautiful moment and tears were running down my face. Outside life was bursting forth and Howard was in the house fighting for his life and losing the battle. No matter what is going on in our lives the earth and all her inhabitants continue on, not knowing what you are experiencing or how much your heart aches. How can joy and despair live in my body and be experienced at the same time?

Like all things nothing is permanent, not your circumstances nor your emotions. Whatever you are feeling now is temporary and bad days only last one day. Don’t hold on to things, people, emotions or ways of being. Allow them all to flow in and out of your life like they naturally do. Hanging on to any of it only chokes the life out of you in the end and crushes the joyous moments in your tightly closed fist. There is a rhythm to life and yes even death. So dance and dance like you mean it.

Peace and love to you all
Donna

Waiting Room Observations

I had a few hours to sit and watch people come and go through one of the largest ERs in our fair city yesterday. There was so much going on it was difficult to process it all. I attempted to talk to some of the people sitting in the waiting area with me but for the most part they were not interested. Bummer. While I was there for something minor, a broken finger sustained when I fell up the stairs at home, some of these people were in a lot of pain. One young woman paced and talked about how bad the pain was for her. It didn’t matter if she was standing or sitting the pain was severe. I wanted to reach out to her, but felt It was not my place. I wonder why I felt that way? I could have helped with energy work and showed her some breathing techniques for the pain but I just sat there and watched her pace and be largely ignored by the staff as person after person was called from their chair into the little treatment rooms. She was there when I arrived and approximately 10 people were seen before her. One nurse did approach her and asked her not to pace in that area and to please sit down. She did get looked at while I was still there and was sent home and told to take Tylenol, there was nothing they could do for her, her back was out and it was, how did the doctor put it, a mechanical issue that they could not treat. Wow!

Another thing I noticed was almost every person had a cell phone and eyes locked on that little screen they were barely cognizant of the fact that there were other people around. I did send two or three texts myself but I saw and heard a lot. I also felt a lot. It was difficult for me to be back at that hospital. That was where we got Howard’s cancer diagnosis and my world started falling apart. The couple sitting next to me were very emotional, he was dying and they were waiting for a bed to have a procedure that would make him more comfortable while they prepared for the inevitable ending. I felt their pain. I asked them if I could get them anything while they waited, what I really wanted to do was hug them. They declined and said they were fine. They were fine. I reached out to them in the only way I could and wished I could have done more.

I also had a bit of a chuckle as one particularly agile woman in her 50’s made a break for it with nurses running after her. She needed to use the bathroom, they called security and she was escorted back to her room. Well let’s say she walked at a marathon pace and now had two nurses and two security guards trying to keep up with her. She winked at me when she went by and that is when I laughed!  Another older gentleman (in his eighties) with a broken shoulder moved to another chair down the hall and left his jacket behind, no one noticed. I returned his jacket to him and we had a short but sweet conversation. He lives alone, his daughter is 3 provinces away and his neighbours came to pick him up and take him home. He really should not be by himself he can barely walk with a walker and now he is one armed, the other strapped tightly to his chest, and trying to use his walker to get around.

Another couple who sat on my left were interesting. She spoke to me a few times. When the woman found out they were going to be there for a few hours she told her husband she was going home and to get the nurses to call her when he was done. He looked shocked! So, she left and he went walk about leaving his cane behind on the chair. I happened to hear his name when they came in so when I was done I took his cane to the nurses station and told them who it belonged to. The nurse did not even look at me she just said okay set it there. I wonder if he ever got it back?

So the two hours went by rather quickly as I watched and listened to what was going on around me. All those people in a small space and they did not really interact with one another. Each one lost in his or her own world of pain. I had the pleasure of some type of connection with almost each person who came into the area, even if it was only eye contact and a smile from me. People don’t look at each other often in these situations it seems. Are we trying to give the others privacy or do we not know how to connect with each other? I’m not sure. All I know is that it was a difficult experience for me to be in that hospital again and I did the only thing I know to do. I explored the feelings and tried to reach out to others. It turned out to be a good day and my finger splinted by the plastic surgeon, off I went. We will see what happens when I make my way to the hand clinic for a more usable customized splint today. This broken finger is leading me on an adventure of discovery and learning that I never expected. Just goes to show me that every situation can teach me something.

 

Peace and love to all

Donna

 

 

The Dance of Grief

Grief is a funny word. I think it should contain more letters and have a harsher sound to it. It sounds soft and uncomplicated doesn’t it?   It is not soft, that is for sure. Experts say it has five to seven stages to it depending upon where you get your information. Seven stages sounds complicated especially since you can go through them in order only to revisit one of those stages at any time. Grief is different for everyone! Just like life and the way humans respond and react to that, it is different for everyone. Remember that.

Dealing with loss is complicated and you can grieve for many different reasons. My grief is due to the loss of my husband and sometimes it sneaks up on me in the strangest situations. I think it’s odd when someone says I lost my husband. I did not lose him, I know exactly where he went and there were times I wished that I could have gone with him. It would have been so much easier if he had lived and I had died, well easier for me. I would have traded my life for his and offered that solution to the universe a few times. The universe had other plans for me.  I have had a few long chats with the universe and all the powers that be, I was not impressed.

Okay grief let’s dance. It was mind blowing how powerful the grieving was. It brought me to my knees, some days I didn’t get out of bed and a few times I just sat in this chair staring out the window not seeing or feeling anything. I had trouble concentrating, I couldn’t sleep, some days I couldn’t even get dressed. Please, oh please, oh please don’t ask me to make another decision. It doesn’t matter how many people you have around you, grief is there waiting for you. I just got this image in my mind of grief as a dust bunny ninja, lurking in corners and hiding under the bed, jumping out at you when you least expect it. Not only are you grieving the loss of the person, you are also having to let go of your dreams and the future you had planned. Your person ( mother, father, child, friend, husband) dies and your entire life is changed forever, dreams gone in the blink of an eye.

I am a practical person and can usually find solutions in any problematic situation. There is no solution for grief. It doesn’t stop and is constantly changing. One minute it is in your face and messing with your ability to breathe and the next it retreats back to its dark corner and waits. I can remember a day when I was out with friends and on the drive home I had realized I had not thought of my husband for a few hours, grief jumped into the seat beside me and I was assaulted by it. My heart screamed how could I have forgotten Howard for those few hours? My mind was on other things and I had some fun with the girls, then the minute I was alone the reality of the situation hit home. This was no ordinary lunch date because Howard was not going to be home when I got there.  Sometimes when I go to sleep I forget what has taken place and when I wake up in the morning it hits me all over again.  Some mornings I wake up and don’t think about it all.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. Because I have always had the ability to go with the flow when grief struck I embraced it. I explored this aspect of the process and went where it led me. Grief also has the ability to transform you and like any transformation the process is not pretty or pain free. The amount of growth for me has been proportionate to how willing I was to experience all that grief had to offer. I have grieved without apology. Despite the fact that I am moving on with my life, I still have moments of overwhelming grief. I had one last night. Driving home, tears pouring down my face and singing at the top of my lungs in great gasps and sobs.  Thank the universe it was dark and no one could see me. I grieve in private and I grieve a lot in my car.

There is no end to this story, no tidy summation to leave you with. The loss is always there, you just learn how to go on with your life and live with the loss. You learn to live with it and if you let it grief can teach you much about living. So please have some patience with the people you know who are suffering a loss of any kind in their life. Just love them through the process and set aside your own expectations of how they should be handling it. Until you have danced with grief you don’t know if you will be dancing a fast and hard flamenco or a slow intimate waltz.  In my case it has been an awkwardly beautiful interpretive dance that changes speed and rhythm on a whim.

Hug people, all the people

Love you all

Donna

 

 

Loneliness and Silence

How do I follow an extremely brutal post about bullshit? Do I make this one all soft and fluffy? Sorry, I just don’t have it in me. I am feeling very lonely tonight. So rather than distract myself I decided to sit with it and explore the feeling. I don’t mind spending time by myself in fact I need it on a regular basis. I don’t get bored very often and can usually find something to do if I am. I spend a lot of time walking by myself and enjoy that. Some days I would just like to start walking and not stop until I reach the other end of the island. Walking is a meditation of sorts for me. I have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes. Honestly right now I have trouble focusing on anything for more than a few minutes. Walking represents forward motion and I feel stuck so that could explain the appeal of walking. I tried jogging and I hate it with a passion. I am not running unless something scary is chasing me!

I move to my new suite in two weeks and am excited about that. In the meantime it feels as though my life is on hold, I am stuck in the space between my old life and my new one. It is almost as though my life won’t start moving forward again until I am sleeping in my new bed with white bamboo sheets and new pillows. Everything in the bedroom will be new except for the artwork and my lamps that I finally found after a month long search. I always go shopping with a clear idea of what I want, finding it can be the tricky part.

I want to share my life with someone, but is that even possible at this stage? My life is in a state of flux and how do you incorporate someone into that when you don’t know what you are going to be doing. I may have started dating a little sooner than my life permitted. I am ready but my life situation is preventing me from moving forward at the pace I would like to. I realize that this has not been fair to the people I have met.  The universe guides me, I just have to pay attention.

I am not lonely when I wake up in the morning. For example, yesterday morning I was fine. I had plans to go out with my sister and do a few things. We went to the Intuitive Wellness Fair and I got to see a lot of friends, hug people, laugh and buy the tuning fork set I have had my eye on for a few months, locally grown sage for smudging and a new book written by a man who had beautiful eyes and a bright shiny soul. Great more things to pack! My sister and I ran some errands and went to lunch where I shamelessly flirted with the gentleman sitting at the next table. My sister and I share a similar sense of humour so we talked and laughed so hard we both had tears rolling down our faces. Then I went home.

That is when the loneliness hits, entering a silent house with no dogs running out to greet me, and no one to welcome me home from my adventures. Just silence and a pile of things to get done. I miss the noise and flurry of hugs and wet dog kisses. I miss my man waving to me from his workshop where I would stop and we would chat about where I had gone and who I had seen, and I got to talk to him about his latest sculpture and watch life take shape under his hands.   God I miss watching those strong, talented hands work and create. I could just watch him for hours. I think that is why I liked spending time in our boat, sitting there facing him I got to watch him for hours while we fished. I never felt alone, even in the silence. Where there was once art being created, dogs playing, conversations and love there was now just silence and memories.

I guess the silence makes me uncomfortable. Us humans don’t like being uncomfortable do we? I feel the need to fill the silence with something much in the same way we try to fill the emptiness with in us. It is the same thing isn’t it?  Space the final frontier!  In that space and silence there is nothing but me drifting along as I learn how to navigate this new world that I have been thrust into. I have to get comfortable with the space in my life and the silence it contains. Donna is hiding in there somewhere and I get a better sense of her every day. So for today I will sit in that space and explore the vast uncomfortableness of it. I won’t seek out someone or something to fill it. I will just be.

Peace and love to all

Donna

Serenity’s Path

When you pull into my driveway there is a locked gate. Just past that gate on the left there was a rather large hand carved wooden sign that hung between two tall spiked medieval looking metal posts. The sign read Serenity’s Path. One day as I was leaving for work the sign had, after many years, rotted and crumbled to the ground. Me being me, I thought, I hope that is not a sign. I now think it was. The crumbled serenity sign reminded me that all things must end and nothing in this life is permanent. The signs are everywhere so look for them!

I lived behind a locked gate in a land called Serenity’s Path. I was happy there, or was I? When I would drive home after work I had to stop to open and close the gate and always stood for a moment to hang all the things from the day that I wanted to let go of on one of the posts. I would then thank the winds for carrying them far away and continue on to the house where my man, conversation and a cup of coffee were waiting. It was my life and while I loved it there was also this feeling of restlessness deep inside me that I didn’t quite understand. I had a wonderful husband, a business, a job and friends I adored so this restlessness confused me.

I asked Howard one afternoon, as we sat on the deck drinking coffee in the warm sun, if he would be willing to sell everything we owned, get in the truck with our travel trailer behind us and go on a great adventure. As per usual he raised his eyebrows, he did that a lot for some of my ideas, and said “Why would I want to do that, I love it here, There is so much I want to do here.” He had plans, so many plans. Now he’s gone, a half finished sculpture still sits on his work bench, and I am sitting here, drinking coffee in my yellow mug, with the same yearning for something more.

I want more than to spend eight hours of my day in a job that I have no interest in and a business that takes up an extreme amount of my free time. What am I doing this for? I am not a materialistic person so it wasn’t to get bigger and fancier things. Society places a lot of emphasis on and tries to convince you that your self worth is tied to being productive and having a career and all the right stuff. We live in a sad sad world that places too much importance on things that really don’t mean anything In the long run. It is all an illusion. Talk to anyone on their deathbed and you will not hear them say I wish I had worked more or had more material things. They say things like, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. They wish they had slowed down enough to enjoy the life they had. Don’t be that person! Enjoy what is right in front of you, this precious moment, because it will not last. Nothing is permanent, not the wonderful times and certainly not the bad ones.

There is an upside to all this! With the acceptance of no one thing being permanent comes freedom. I know my grief will not last, I know that bad days only last one day, people come and go and I don’t have to get used to any one way of being unless I choose to. While my driveway is straight, the path to serenity is not. The path has twists and turns, viewing areas and it sometimes doubles back to show you something you missed the first time. Whatever you are going through today, remember, it is only temporary. Learn from it, savour it because soon it will all just be a memory. Also remember it is your choice to view the world in the way you do. You can always change your mind and your viewpoint.

Live like you mean it
Peace and love to you all
Donna

To the Next Amazing Man

I have come to the conclusion that despite the fact that I am honest and outspoken I can be timid when it comes to asking for what I want. I think parts of my last post were bullshit and the universe with its grand sense of humour and timing challenged me on it. The vaginal angst part was true though lol. Some of you have sent me messages or phoned regarding that post and you made me think about things more deeply without bullshit clouding the issue.

What a wild ride the last year has been. Some people are surprised that I am doing so well at this point, especially if they have not seen me for four months. They never saw my knees hit the floor and my soul shatter, for the most part that was done in private. They did not see the rage and anger that whipped around my heart like a tornado. Most of what I went through, I went through alone. Yes there were people around me but they did not see what I did not want them to see. I have never heard the noises that came out of me in my grief, come out of another human being. I hope I never hear those heart rending noises again from anyone, ever. I don’t like to see anyone else in pain. That particular pain was so deep it changed me in ways I have yet to discover.

Here is a poem I wrote yesterday and I wasn’t sure what it was all about, now I know.

Winds howl
Lightening rends the night sky
Hair flying
Cold wet clothes burn
Arms raised
Gods, Goddesses challenged
Elements called
Power flows, thunder roars
Flung wildly
Across the land unprotected
Ravens cry
Trees bend from the force
Pain sorrow
Soul ripped apart

 

(I am not sure what the heck happened with the line spacing and I can’t seem to fix it so apologies if it is double spaced)

The pain I felt was like a primal force that changed me and shaped me. I know this woman but I do not recognize parts of her. Something in me was awakened by that experience and I will never view the world in the same way again. So me describing my idea of the perfect relationship was pure shit. That was my way of saying I was afraid to truly love someone because I did not ever want to deal with the pain again. If I can keep them at arms length and they leave or die it won’t hurt so much. Actually I think it might even hurt more because I would regret not loving them fully.

So I hereby give notice to the next amazing man that shares my life! I will not settle for less, nor should you. I am a wild, wonderful woman and I need you to stand toe to toe with me, beside me, in front of me and behind me. Love me fiercely like you mean it. Meet me with your heart wide open. Challenge me, fight for me (no violence of course, not that type of fighting), show no fear. Give thanks to the man I spent the last eleven years of my life with because his life and his love prepared me for you!

Amazing men do amazing things
Love to you all
Donna

Heart wide open!

It is so dark here in the wilds of Sooke this morning and waking up hours before the sunrise is a new habit of mine. I’m sitting in my chair with the fireplace going and a steaming cup of my favourite coffee. The coffee tastes better when I use my handmade, sunny yellow mug for some reason. This doesn’t make any logical sense, but trust me, the coffee does not taste the same in another mug. I’ve tried to use a different mug but I always come back to the yellow one. I guess me and the yellow mug have a comfortable relationship with one another. I know it’s curves and my slender fingers fit perfectly in the handle.

Comfort is good and bad. I wish my name was Comfort, what a beautiful way to introduce yourself. Hi, my name is Comfort!  I like it and I am sure people would automatically feel at ease around someone with that name. We do some crazy things in order to be comfortable with ourselves and the rest of the world. We will put up with things that make us uncomfortable, in some cases, in order to continue on a familiar path. Better the devil ya know, right? Well, as some of you already know my life had some drastic changes last year. My spouse of 11 years, his name was Howard, passed away within a few months of being diagnosed with cancer. The type of cancer doesn’t really matter, the fact that it ended our dance together on this earth is the real matter. Funny that I used that phrase because we never, ever danced with each other. So, Howard was ill and I had a business and a full-time job. Needless to say, I closed the business and cut back my hours at work, so we had time to be together and I had time to look after things for him. I don’t think many people know that Howard and I worked together with his parents in their family business of 38 years. Yes, I worked with my man and my in-laws! There are a few stories there!  Back to the important parts. Howard and I both thought he would survive this. We never for a moment thought that a man who never got sick and was so fit and healthy would succumb so quickly. He did everything he could to stay here and I was amazed at the strength and grace he possessed when faced with his own mortality. I unfortunately did not exhibit the same grace.

Howard was my anchor, my comfort in a world of uncertainty. My business and my job could be replaced but this man was so special and my god he showed me every day how much he loved me. He didn’t speak about love much, he lived it! His actions, which I think spoke much louder than words, told me everyday how important I was to him. He never once criticized me or made me feel silly or small or less than beautiful. I do some crazy shit so I think that took great strength! He loved me when I was at my worst and my best. He held me as my heart was breaking when I lost the baby we created together and never once tried to stop my tears, he loved me through it. He loved me unconditionally and with every cell. I was comfortable, happy and empowered. Then it all ended.

Okay here comes the messy and graceless part. I could not find the gracefulness in me without seeing it reflected back to me through his eyes. Did I mention that his eyes were blue? A beautiful denim blue that spoke to my soul. Okay, I’m just avoiding the uncomfortable parts. Here we go down the rabbit hole! I was ANGRY!!!! Can you imagine a small 5 foot 3 east coaster angry at the world and spewing it out upon the people she loved and complete strangers in grand and dramatic fashion. No? Okay think of a wild animal (any big ferocious feline should work) ripped from their environment and placed in a small cage and put on display for people to gawk at. Yes, that is a much better visual. Now imagine for another second that this feline was so in touch with the world around her that she could communicate with the universe and caged that was taken from her too. I could not feel anything. The beautiful and wonderful world of spirit (I will post about this aspect later) that I had experienced since I was born was gone. It felt like someone had shut the door and turned off the lights in a room with no windows or fresh air. I was blind with rage and grief. Everything that I thought made me who I was had been taken away.

I love being wrong! My friends and family loved me through the most difficult and graceless period of my life. Now here is the funny part. Despite the fact that my entire life had been destroyed, because that is how I saw it, a whole new life was being born. Even through my rage and grief I could see the possibilities that we’re now available to me. Talk about conflicting emotions! Grief and hope we’re fighting a war inside me. Then I thought about the man I had loved and knew he would want me to celebrate the fact that I was alive even though he was not. He was selfless that way. Howard was instrumental in me learning how to be me without apology. He taught me to stand strong with my feet firmly planted on my path and my heart wide open. He would be upset if he thought I closed myself off from the beauty and miracles of life because he was no longer walking with me in this physical plane. He inspired me when he was alive and continues to inspire me now that he is gone. Thanks Howard, I will always love you and will live my life to the fullest to honour all the love you gave and the things you taught me.  You were an amazing man Howard and amazing men do amazing things.  This last sentence was a little joke between us!

 

Wow, I have gone through a lot of tissues writing this! I just want to say a few more things before I start my day. Don’t be afraid to love with 110 percent of your soul. Love is not painful! Loneliness, anger, loss, isolation, a hunger for connections with others, now those are painful things. Don’t be afraid! I wish I could show you the world through my eyes and heart. Oh yeah, I can do that and have made it my mission. When you see me it shines from my eyes and if you are open you can see the love that radiates out of me and get a glimpse of the world through my heart and eyes. It is a beautiful world but you have to approach it with your heart wide open in order to see it! So for the people that avoided me in the grocery store, there is a softer and gentler Donna walking down the aisles so you don’t have to run away anymore.  I’ll show you the wonders of the universe, yes I smile with my eyes and heart

 

 

Oh yes, and hug people, as many people as you can!

Peace and love to all

Donna