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feralfae

Finding A New Way Of Being

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feralfae   

The snowing has stopped.

The sun came out today, and so the solar house did its thing, and I had balmy inside temperatures. Nice. I am basking in the light of the setting sun. It has been a good day. My godsons came out and shoveled and swept, filled the wood boxes and stacked a bit more wood on the deck, and were delightful company for a while.

I worked in the office for two hours, and much is done. :) I have ordered my first order of a new porcelain clay body from Australia. It will arrive as a 20K bag of powder. I am excited, although it will not be here for a month or more. The men unpacked the new printer/scanner/copier and Computer Sam will be here tomorrow to get it all set up on the wireless router. The home office is getting a couple of upgrades as I begin to tiptoe back into work a bit more.

Tonight, I am going to read and rest, and have a lovely bowl of my own chicken soup, along with a salad. I love winter days like this, when the sun streams in all afternoon, and warms the whole house.

I realized today that I have made it through the holidays with a great deal more equanimity than the last two times. Although I miss Doug, and think about him a great deal, the pain from my broken heart has softened, and is no longer the prominent emotional component of my days. There is hope, and focus, and planning, and doing, and feeling good about making tiny, shuffling, shy steps toward a future. Toward a new life.

I just finished a piece of writing about the Anasazi and the 4 Corners area. Not a long piece; just to remind one group that there is more to mountains than climbing them, and that there is more to this country than what we see today. My "voice" is coming back. I am talking more about human rights again. :) That makes me very happy. I am getting enthusiastic about things outside of myself.

I am very excited about this new vitreous porcelain clay body, and how adaptable I can make it. It fires fairly transparent and very white. Perfect for things with snow fairies. :)

Typing of snow fairies, I must go see if the deer have arrived for their organic fruit salad. :)

I say—tentatively—that life might just be okay sometime soon.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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kayc   

Arlie has been with me since Friday except for short play dates and this morning I even walked him a short distance on the safe route (no dogs), he was very good. He seems to be happy to be home and is smiling again. He was very happy at Rich's but I think he's relieved that everything is back to normal again. He knows where he belongs.

I find I get a burst of energy but I've learned not to believe it because I don't have my stamina back yet. I am dreading going to the doctor tomorrow because it's so far away and they make you sit for hours, I will be exhausted tomorrow night. Thursday I plan to rest and recoup.

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feralfae   

It's about 6:30 Friday night,and it has been a very good day.

What I am finding is that after my recent experiences, I have a lot more empathy with others. I arrived at Jenny's room at the hospital about 15 minutes after her PA had tried to get her up to walk - less than 24 hours after the hip replacement surgery! He is a young man, and he had left, rad the protocols, and then came back to tell her that actually, she was not supposed to get up until tomorrow. But while he was trying to get her up and walking, she managed to stand up, and then fainted and fell to the floor, and the PA had to go find help. Jenny's husband was there, but since his last stroke, he is in a wheelchair, so he could not help her at all. The PA returned with three nurses and they managed to get Jenny, still unconscious, back into bed, but she hit her elbow and the back of her head when she fell.

Hospitals are scary places. I stayed with her, gave her ice chips, held her hand, and soothed her forehead and hair, and got her calmed down, and then got more blankets for her, because she was cold from the perspiration when she fainted. Her husband was there, but could not really help from his wheelchair. I remember how scared I was alone in the hospital after all the mistakes were made, and so I decided that what Jenny needed was someone to make gentle, caring physical contact and to talk soothingly to her. She called a few minutes ago and said she slept all afternoon, and I told her that was exactly what her body needed. :) She called to ask what to order for dinner, so we talked about high protein diets for healing. And lots of liquids. So, I tried to talk reassuringly to her, until she again calmed down, and now she is ordering dinner and going to eat, and I will call her in a while.

After Jenny was asleep, I went shopping and bought a lot of lovely fresh vegetables and fruit. I will enjoy fresh salads and fruit salads, looking out the window at the snow while I am inside where it is cozy and warm. I am so very glad that my strength and stamina are returning enough to be able to help Jenny and to do my own shopping. It gives me hope to know that I AM getting healthier, and I WILL keep healing and recovering.

After so many health problems these past three years, I am truly happy to feel my body getting stronger and being able to do ore for longer periods of time. My optimism is returning along with my health.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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enna   

Oh fae, what a wonderful thing to give of our time to friends. I am sure that Jenny was so appreciative of your kindness to spend time with her.

You have had firsthand experience, sadly, as to how scary hospitals can be.

It makes my heart sing to know that you are recovering from your two surgeries and that you are beginning to heal. Remember, the healing takes time.

Stepping outside of ourselves to spend time with others.

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feralfae   

Jenny was so much better today! She had poached eggs for breakfast, and some yogurt. She had coffee. She was smiling, and the PT had her sitting up on the edge of the bed, so that is all very good!

I left after about two hours, because her husband and another good friend arrived. I had the car washed and polished, and filled it with fuel, so it is ready to go in the morning. The game starts here at around 11 am, I think. We will have a fun time. And if Jenny gets to come home, even better, but I think things look more as though it will be Tuesday.

This feels as though it is a big step for me, to be out after the surgeries, as well as to be out with friends at their home, when mostly only couples are invited. I will stop and see Jenny on the way out, and maybe on the way back. But she slept well last night, and was sitting up a lot of today, still having ice packs on her hip but vital signs all very good.

Yes, Anne, I think it really helps when we finally have enough energy and stamina to get out and do things and focus outside of ourselves again. Maybe I will get back to my volunteer work in February: it is a lot of standing and walking around all day, and I know I am not ready for that quite yet. :) My balance of looking within and looking without is being restored after these years of being often consumed by the grief. I can look at myself and feel wholeness and health returning, an I can look without and begin to see more ways I can give a bit to others.

Slow process, this grief healing. Also the surgery healing, of course. But I am getting a bit more healed week by week and day by day.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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feralfae   

As I lit a candle for QMary and Mike this morning, I also had music playing that was some of Doug's favorite, and oh, my goodness! What a burst of grief, and how much I miss Doug right now. So, the candle has become for us all, for our loss, our loneliness, and our longing.

It has been almost three years, and yet, there are moments, like this morning, when the ache is so strong that all I want to do is to be able to reach out and wrap my arms around Doug one more time. I miss our soul connection, being able to talk about anything, and the sense of having someone with whom I was completely safe and myself, and who felt the same way about me. I am so very grateful I have this place to come, where we give each other the support we need, even as we move slowly and gently along our individual paths of healing.

namaste,

fae

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feralfae   

De-cluttering

My new task, which lets me respect my present need for solitude and also befriends my need for simplicity and openness, is the de-cluttering of the house. So much was already packed for our move, and I am slowly unpacking boxes and studio supplies, as well as other boxes of "stuff" that I don't need. Today, my gentle, slow, only as I feel I have the energy project is to de-clutter my home office a bit more. I inherited so much paperwork from Doug, much of it his writings and notes that he kept here. I am slowly going through those papers, some of which have been languishing in the family vault for more than three years. As I sort them, I am also making decisions about what I can let go. I think all his medical records of the last 4 years of his life, which he had sorted and filed. I don't need those any more. That will clear out an entire file cabinet!

It is my hope that by the time I am ready to move, whether it is in a year or three, I will have sorted enough that what I am taking with me are the things I need and want only, and I will not be carrying around so much for which I merely feel responsible. I began yesterday, and I am in no hurry. If I get one thing done each day while I am still healing, I will be satisfied.

We still have ice fog and beautiful silver trees. I am finding beauty in this winter, and it is so nice to be able to feel alive in my home and forest again after the long spells of numbness from grief and weakness from surgeries.

This is going to be a slow day, mostly answering holiday cards and sorting and shredding old files. And resting, most of all, just resting and healing.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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feralfae   

Three Years

I am coming up on the third year anniversary of Doug leaving, and each day brings new memories, new emotions, and new thoughts. This time is, so far, surprisingly different from 2013 and 2014. I am calmer and more accepting now. I have learned to discipline my mind better to hold more good thoughts. And although I have been seeing my trauma doc fairly often, because that is tied up with Doug leaving as well, I am doing much better at not getting fearful over triggers.

I am coming to believe in life and the world again, and that existence can have some rationality to it, even if we cannot shape all of reality to our wishes. Because Doug's spirit is still a strong presence in my life, I have a deeper faith in spiritual connections, and less fear of my own death when it is time.

This time three years ago, Doug had discovered the robberies here at our home, and was taking defensive actions to try to forestall future events. Doug was weak and also angry, and it took a lot to convince him that no matter what, I would be okay. I am not sure I am completely okay yet, because I still miss Doug a lot, and still have some anger to release, but at least I am aware and able to work on the anger. (Thank you Marty for the seminar, which I will attend this evening.)

What I can see, from this vantage point of three years away from those times of great stress, loss, and being lost, is that no matter what else might have happened, or might happen in the future, the bonds with Doug's spirit are still strong.

As I slowly sort papers, begin to clear things from his closet, and sort his personal items that I need to share with some of his friends (who gets the grizzly vest? who gets his climbing gear that is not already in the museum? who gets his beautiful alpaca sweaters? who gets his collection of things from everywhere he climbed in the world?) or with one of the museums archiving his things. What needs to go to an auction to raise funds for the addition to the Club HQ? Doug kept detailed medical notes during his years of chemo and other treatments, and those notes will go to his doctors.

I can feel myself, as I am sorting his things, letting go of a lot of the emotional pain of his absence. It is easier now, because his spirit has been present long enough that I no longer worry about being abandoned, left alone, bereft. I know that somehow Doug's spirit is present and also a part of the great awareness of the Creator, and that no matter what, I am not left without this loving presence. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write this, but they are more tears of gratitude and wonder, at being so loved and cherished that I feel both protected and gathered in to the love.

I am finally feeling relaxed and safe enough to relax into naps. I no longer wake up with a start, wondering if Doug needs me. I am no longer afraid a lot of the time. My self-confidence is returning. I feel better able to manage things, to make decisions, and to take care of myself. As I slowly clear and sort, label things that go to certain people. and carry on with an eye toward simplifying my life even more, I feel that there is life before me, and that I am slowly, gently, patiently, carefully preparing for what lies ahead. And I have faith that it will be a good life, with ups and downs, but basically, a life of promise, sharing, joy, and creativity. I believe that no matter what comes up as a challenge, I will be able to cope with it, even if it takes time to sort out the process.

I am not a whole new solo identity yet, and many of my decisions are made after asking Doug what I should do, and waiting for an answer or sign, but things are working out all right.

From this time in 2012, when I was so broken, lost, just holding Doug in my arms and letting the love flow even as he was slowly leaving me, I have come to this time of feeling that there are enough healed bits come back together that my heart is starting to function again. I can respond to beauty, to music, and to other people without so many layers of fog and numbness. Those layers both buffered the pain I could feel, and gave me a safe little sanctuary of protection while my heart began to heal. This has been a long healing, and it is not over yet, but as with my healing body, I can feel my heart healing as well. And Doug reminds me that things really will be okay, and I will be okay, and I will be happy again.

We have such marvelous possibilities as humans to shape our own lives in ways that a fish or a rabbit cannot even imagine. But we also share this Earth with all life, and so a big part of my healing has been to connect again with nature, and to find my peaceful place in nature, where Doug and I loved to play. As I shape this new life, I think about what I want to take with me. My love of nature is one part of us that I will keep.

On a lighter note, as I clean cabinets, I am clearing the top shelves, which I cannot reach well without a step stool anyway. Life is slowly shifting, and it seems that every little effort I make yields manifold returns in lightening of my spirit. I am so thankful to be able to heal. And although three years has not been long enough for total healing, and perhaps there is no total healing, yet I feel more whole and capable than I have felt in a long, long time. Not in control, but rather, that I can handle what comes my way. That is enough for now.

namaste,

fae

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Bless your heart dear Fae,

I commend you for taking on the third Angelversary of your Doug's passing with such grace and positivity.

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feralfae   

Thank you Butch,

It is not so much my choice, as the evolution of my grief, I think. I still miss Doug terribly, cry often with the pain and emptiness of missing him, and call upon his spirit for assistance. But I am more comfortable with this new way of living, of having a relationship that is of spirit rather than of the body, and of finding ways to begin to live as a solo person, with a different life.

I could not have chosen to arrive here any sooner than I have: I did not know this progression of grief existed. A year ago, I could not have written with such comfort that yes, my husband has died, but that I am making peace with that fact. Two years ago, I was still having trouble believing that Doug was truly gone and never coming back, because he had been such a central part of my life when he was alive. Now I am slowly becoming reconciled to my circumstances. Being here—sharing with others on the same journey, and having my feelings and my own journey validated and understood by others—has been a key component of my healing process.

So, if I am able to face today with more acceptance and grace and hope for the future than I could last year, it is because of the healing that has happened here on this forum and with the emotional support of some of my dear friends here and in other parts of the world.

Thank you for your kind comments, and I hope that your days are bringing you a bit of peace for your heart, and that you are taking very good care of yourself these days.

Blessings,

fae

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kayc   

fae,

As I read what you wrote yesterday, I can imagine how hard it must be to make these decisions (what to do with Doug's things, who to give them to). Much of it will come to you at different times. Being a methodical person, I would write the names of people I wanted to give things to on one list and a separate list with the belongings I wanted to give away. As it came to me what I wanted to give each one, I would cross their name off and put it next to the belonging I destined for them. Take your time with it, it could be a while before it all comes to you. I didn't have as many things to go through as it sound like Doug had. It can be a lot of work, but even more so, take a lot of emotional energy! Just the act of parting with something can be wrenching as I found when I sold George's Leatherman, nine years after he died! I figured I didn't need it since I hadn't used it all that time, and I needed the money, but even these logical facts did not stop my tears when it came time to mail it to the buyer.

You've come a long ways in your journey. You many still feel some anger, but it's not as evident in you. You are learning to give yourself what you need! I admire you so much.

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feralfae   

Thank you dear Kay, you are so kind.

Ha! I admire you so much, and Anne, and Jan, and Karen, and Harry, and everyone here who is moving along on this journey, even if only the tiniest of baby steps is what we can take some days.

I cleaned out one drawer of Doug's desk today, filled with papers, all in his handwriting. At one point, I just dropped the entire stack and sat there and cried for a few minutes. Just a grief burst, and I am beginning to get used to hem, and accept them for what they are, knowing they will pass in a few minutes. It is as though there are little bits and pieces of the grief left, scattered all around in my heart, and something triggers one to twist a certain way, and then the tears come. But I know it is healing, so I am getting better at just letting them happen.

It has been another long day, with much done, but I am stopping now, and will take off tomorrow to relax and rest. I just needed to get some things truly checked off my list. There has been progress made today. :)

*<twinkles>*

fae

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kayc   

If it helps...when I see George's handwriting now, I feel a warm fuzzy inside...nine years ago it would have been a grief burst for sure! Now, any thought or memory of him brings a smile inside and out.

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feralfae   

Dear Kay,

Thank you for that. I hope to be there soon, where the emotional response is that warm, fuzzy feeling of being loved, protected, and cherished. I am so glad you have that from George.

namaste,

fae

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enna   

My dear fae,

Here we are almost a month into a new year and we are already planning and organizing our new lives. De-cluttering seems to be a word most of us are using this year. For me, it is a slow process.

You have come through many "storms." Several of us find ourselves in a different place from that first day of our losses. We will always miss our soulmates, but I think we are learning to weave them into our lives.

I am amazed at how resilient we are and I know being here on the forum has been a huge reason why I am beginning to be okay with this different life.

You are healing from major surgeries, traumas, and deep loss of your Doug ~ how brave you have been through all of this.

Thank you for being an example of just how we can face the most difficult challenge of our lives ~ living.

Love you and so many who have been on this journey with me.

Anne

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enna   

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a beautiful person.

Thinking of you today, dear fae. Your journey has taken you through so many twists and turns yet you have not allowed the storms to stop you from being the beautiful person you are.

Today you are on a 'new' path that is filled with much healing.

You have made my life better just from knowing you.

Thank you for your kind heart.

Anne

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feralfae   

Oh, dear Anne,

Thank you so much. It has been a beautiful day, with lots of well-wishing calls and notes, and beautiful flowers from my dear friends B & E, and then a lovely lunch out with MaryB, where we had a green curry with a side of rice and lentils, a too-young wine which I did not drink, and a heavenly slice of GF chocolate cake for dessert. We stayed two hours at lunch, talking and talking, and had a wonderful time.

I worked out a tiny bit this morning, and it was so very good to feel my body moving and warming up a little. I am already looking forward to tomorrow morning when I can do the same amount of moving, but then by 8 February I can do more, and even more after 12 February. I might be able to get to the mountains this summer. :)

Thank you for being one of the warm and glowing lights through this journey. Through the days of grief, loss, anger, confusion, hope, despair, longing, and slow, slow re-balancing on this new path we are walking. I know I have a ways to go yet, and I know that there is still much healing of the body and the heart to be done, but having you and others here has been a wonderful help: on the days when I did not think I could carry on alone, you reminded me with gentle emails and notes that I was not alone, and that no matter what, there was a warming, healing fire where I was welcome.Your friendship has meant and still means a great deal to me. Thank you.

Well, I also have two new strings of solar-powered little dragonfly lights to put up somewhere. I must find a lovely place for them. :) The house carries the soft fragrance of lilies, stock, daisies, and iris. I am reading a funny book -- one of Spider Robinson's novels, with a hat tip to Harry for introducing me to Spider.

Tomorrow, the first day of my personal new year, I get to move my body more. This is such a wonder to me that I can still move and that I can feel my body coming back to life after all the surgeries and medical insults. Wow! It is the best gift of all.

Tonight, I plan to do nothing but read and maybe take a long bubble bath to work out a few kinks from the tiny workout this morning.

Anne, I hope your day has been a good one. I missed Doug being here to do his usual hiding of little gifts around for me, on what he called my "personal holiday" and I miss his notes with hugs and 'smootchies' on them. But I have made it through today, not ignoring that three years ago today, Doug was in the hospital for his last stay, and would come home in a few days so he could leave from our own bed, from my arms. I miss him so, and still feel so deeply married to him, and wish he were here, but at least I had a good day, laughed and smiled, and really, truly, enjoyed my time visiting with friends and seeing people at the bistro.

And that is the full report.

Thank you my dear friend, for making this journey with me, for being one of my "spirit sisters" who is always ready to listen, support, validate, and comfort. Thank you very much.

Much Love and *<twinkles>*

fae

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kayc   

Happy Birthday, fae! I wasn't sure where to post this but I figured you'd be here...sorry if I'm too late for you to read it today. I hope it's been a great day!

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feralfae   

Thank you dear Kay.

Thank you dear Jan.

I hope your days are going well.

Jan, I think you are away to visit the littles tomorrow.

Kay, I hope you are letting your healing progress at its own healthy pace.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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kayc   

I cancelled going to the Senior Site today...Saturday I had an emergency trip out of town to the dentist following no sleep, Sunday I had church and a long Business Mtg. afterwards, yesterday I worked at the church all day, tomorrow I go with my inventor friend to get the diabetic shoes tested at the U of O by Nike, will be a long day, and Thursday back to the Senior Site. I'm waiting for the phone company to come fix my phone (hopefully) today.

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Yes, Fae its tomorrow I go to visit my littlies. I've just ordered a set of card games to play with them. Tonight I've got a meeting of my local history group. It means returning to an empty house ( well not quite empty as my lovely cocker spaniel is here) but usually my lovely friend Sandra comes over so I don't have that sadness. But she can't tonight as her grandsons are staying with her. I should be strong enough for this now but I still need props and tonight I haven't got her. Oh well I've done this before. We all know that aloneness we have to deal with and if course I will cope. I'm sending warm vibes to you all.

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