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Kathy's best friend lives in BC and so I get filled in with the emotion felt by Western Canadians. Kathy of course was from Calgary so we spent summers there for the last several years of her life. Fort McMurray is quite a bit north but many evacuees are being taken in there. The wind blows hard in Alberta and the fire season has just begun. It has, like in California been very dry so the danger is quite high. Sadly the fire season has just started.  It's hard to think a town of 80,000 people could be totally destroyed and still several of the fires there remain uncontrolled.  One thing I will say about  Canadians. They treat each other like family.  By the way, Alberta is so big that  driving from Nogales Arizona to Billings Montana would be the same as crossing the province north to south. Population is thin. Even the capital Edmonton is very far south and it requires a long distance for fire fighters to get there.

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Steve, I always wanted to go to Canada.  Being the gypsies that we were, we wanted to tour the whole country.  We had friends that were Escapee's from the RV club and we liked their system of health care.  Of course, we could have never lived there.  Would have liked to study it first hand though.  Know we lost a lot of citizens to Canada during the Vietnam war.  So, it will be on my bucket list to read about it as much as I can.  No visiting.

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I have put it off and it is now near noon.  Going to wade through some more of Billy's "stuff."  Did not know that man had so much stuff.  I look over on the right side of the forum and it seems I am the last one to answer or to use my run-on fingers, so you know this is not easy going.  And folks, this is why they tell you to wait a year before you do anything.  A good analogy of this part of grief is being on that torture machine that pulled you four different ways.  If I live through it, I will have that part over with.  It was something that had to be done.  I am past six months now, and by the time the year is up I will be living somewhere else. (If I live through this.) One thing I can say, I have slept nearly eight hours each night.  I go to bed listening to meditations and am not sure they are able to push through this brain that is covered with hard wax, but I am sleeping the whole night.  So, in spite of the pain of daytime shuffling of "stuff" I am sleeping at night.  We search for a light, and though dim, it is still a light.

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If you hold a door open for folks at a restaurant in Canada, be prepared for a long talk cause after they thank you profusely, they have to chat  bit. One thing I will never forget was when I first drove in downtown Calgary. A light turned but the lady in front of me didn't go. I started to touch the horn when Kathy grabbed my arm and said "We don't do that here". It's more than just beautiful in Alberta. It's romantic. Perhaps that's just because of who I was with.

I hope you ladies had a nice mothers day even if there exists a sad memory or two.

Marge I'm still going through stuff to make more room around this house. I keep finding little surprises that for me at least, get stashed again. One day when my memory fails me, I can find them again with glee.

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That's great, Marg! It's good to hear you talk about design with his stuff. This is really hard. I never heard about waiting for a year before you do anything. Someone should have told my sisters about that. When I told them shortly after my dad died that I hoped I would be able to accomplish all of this in six months, they thought that was unreasonably excessive. That is basically why they are not talking to me-is that they figure I am lounging around lazily when I could easily whip through this, and not spend all that money on mortgage payments on his house-that could be in their pockets if I would just get off my butt and get to it. I don't think they are taking into consideration that I have a job (with 2-1/2 months off in the summer) and they don't have jobs or children at home. They also do not seem to be grieving...maybe a little sad, but not going through what I have been. When I told my dad's attorney that I hoped to get through this by early to mid August, she told me she thought that would be rather astonishing. To me this seems reasonable, that I take four months to grieve, rest, and focus on just getting through what was in my face, and then start dealing with his stuff.

Anyway, I have some good help lined up to help me with going through his stuff. The school year is close to being over and some of my load has already been lifted. I am feeling a little more optimistic (somewhat less than terrified). It would be really a good thing if I can get as much as possible done before next school year, but we'll see how it goes. Going through his stuff is full of surprises and mysteries. Sometimes it makes me feel sad as I realize that he was more in over his head, grappling with things I could have helped him with. But there's no going back and I helped him with a lot. I think he felt badly about my helping him as much as I did.

My dad frequently said things to me like, "I bet you had no idea I would end up being such a burden on you when you coaxed me out here." I never lied to him or made it something it wasn't, but I would tell him that, yes, it had given me things to do-rather than something else I might have been doing, but I never regretted getting him to move out from PA to AZ to be near me. It was a risk for both of us for both of us for him to come out here and neither of us knew what the future held in 2006. I always told him it was one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life and it had really made me happy to be able to get to know him better and to be able to spend all that time with him. Ten years is a significant chunk out of anyone's life...it's funny now that it's over that it seems like such a short piece of time.

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I just noticed the earlier posts about the fire in Alberta. That is awful.We have "wildfire season" in northern Arizona every summer, but it is generally in wilderness areas, and while it is painful to watch some of the most beautiful acreage you know burn up, it is not the same as as people losing their homes. The year I moved to Sedona, there was an enormous fire that burned up sections of my favorite trail and you could see the fire from town for some time. Groups of people would be up on Airport Mesa watching it in horror, but we all had our homes to go back to. Sometimes there evacuations of areas at risk, but generally they all go home after the fire. I have a friend who fights fires all over the west, and her home neighborhood was evacuated last summer while she was working on a fire in another state. Someone went to her house to get her cello out of her house in case the house burned-it didn't. Unfortunately this person was not aware of the danger of leaving a wooden instrument in a hot car, and when she came back some of the glue had come loose and the cello was in pieces. We cellists were horrified but a luthier reglued it and it was fine. Hardly like losing your home and everything in it...

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Going the 21 miles to the doctor this morning I could not talk to Billy.  Oh I talked, I felt nothing.  I have blocked out so much I wonder if I ever will have it again.  I finally just yelled at him, "I don't know where you are."  Did not help.  I am blocking.  Maybe because if I don't block I will cry.  Do not know the reason, just know my mojo is not working at all.  Makes me angry.  I have spent all these days agonizing over his "stuff" and I must have PO'd him somewhere along the line.  Magic, mystical thinking, imagination, faith is not working.

mercy.jpg

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Marg,

I have been thinking the same thing lately. The first few months I had so many things happen that I knew Rich was here with me. Lately, nothing.

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1 hour ago, Marg M said:

Going the 21 miles to the doctor this morning I could not talk to Billy.  Oh I talked, I felt nothing.  I have blocked out so much I wonder if I ever will have it again.  I finally just yelled at him, "I don't know where you are."  Did not help.  I am blocking.  Maybe because if I don't block I will cry.  Do not know the reason, just know my mojo is not working at all.  Makes me angry.  I have spent all these days agonizing over his "stuff" and I must have PO'd him somewhere along the line.  Magic, mystical thinking, imagination, faith is not working.

 

Marg, it's not like you're going to feel like he is with you 24/7, following wherever you go.  He may just have some other things to take care of from time to time.

Seriously though, I've had a number of things happen that allows me to feel that Tammy is still in my life somehow. Those things that happened have given me some comfort in this journey. But, it's not like I feel Tammy's presence, exactly. I just have a sense that she is still helping me and showing me love. This whole thing is way beyond the comprehension of any of us. 

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I've been reading about blocking out the grief.  I have had the numb-down feeling and it is okay, but this block makes an emptiness that seems too hard to climb over.  I don't want to get too dramatic, I think it might be something like dissociation, but with dissociation you still feel, and you feel with this too, but it is just empty, final, and actually that is what it is, empty and final.  But, it should have always been empty and final in reality.  I am going to bed and read and just escape.  I think maybe uncovering all his hoarded toys has triggered this.  Maybe that is one reason you should not do things for a year.  My health is not the best in the world though and I thought I had to hurry and I think I have just worn myself down and where I might feel Billy somewhere in this vast universe, I cannot feel him now, and that is just empty........and too dramatic.  I have gone from Mary Sunshine to Dingbat Downer to a drama queen.  I'm just going to bed.  I'm just tired I think.  

On the upside, at the doc I had no temp, heart sounds were good, blood pressure good, my "innards" are a mess, but things are okay for the health front, or at least no change.  

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Marg,

Have you talked with a therapist about your blocking?  You might need help getting back in touch.

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When I get back "home" I will have to find a therapist.  I called my therapist of many years, from many years ago, and she had retired.  I will find another.  I retired from the state teaching hospital there so I am familiar with many.  But, I won't/don't have time to go to one where I am clearing out the skeletal remains of this house.  I definitely will find one when I get back "home."  Won't be long..  And, if I finish this journey good.  If I don't finish it.  Well, good then too.  

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1 hour ago, Marg M said:

And, if I finish this journey good.  If I don't finish it.  Well, good then too.  

So true.  I look forward to the day I finish this journey.  Til then, not so much.

 

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BillT:  I try to listen to music that won't stab me in the heart.  It took me about four months to even listen to this.  I found a CD by Andrea Bocelli of old show tunes.  I listen to "Old Man River" over and over.  I am old enough that I remember the movie Showboat and I am old enough, but don't remember what titles to underline, put in italics or what to do with them.  But one part of Old Man River hits home with me, and maybe how I feel right now.

Ah, gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He jes'keeps rollin' along!

Living this life now is a mass of contradictions from one second to the next.

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·
 
 
 
Quotes & Stories from Abdu’l-Bahá's photo.
I found this very profound( just found it).....I spent the first 2-3 months Grieving not doing very good, then I worked with people a lot worse off than myself.    Once I saw myself doing good and providing real Help, .I believe I started to turn the corner...
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Very well said.  I hope you were not discomforted by any of Canada's wildfires.  

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Good to hear from you, Kevin!  I also was concerned about you with all the fires going on...

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The Fires were at the Town we lived in for 30 years......My old house was burnt to the ground......but Grandkids and inlaws made it out  Day 1 and are now in Edmonton . This Fire is classified as a FireStorm and there is little defense...........To everyones credit, they evacuated 80,000 people in a matter of two days....Friend of mine was with all the Babies from the Hospital.....Remarkable job by all Emergency personal..

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Well, I am so glad everyone of your family is safe..  I know this was horrible for them.  Billy lost his house the year after he graduated and only escaped with a pair of blue jeans.  His family had to have help from their small community.  Communities are so important at times like this.  

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Kevin,

So the fire is where you used to live but not where you currently lived?  You must know a lot of people affected then.  I am so glad you are all safe and glad they did such a great job of evacuating.  To lose your home and belongings is a huge loss, yet as we all know, most of our stuff can be replaced, but our loved ones are irreplaceable. 

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:(  I planned on getting rid of all dishes and just starting over.  I never used the China, it set up in the corner cabinet forever.  I am not a "fine China" type person.  Melmac we always used for the RV. (Oh, and paper plates). I did buy a new set of stainless steel. The China just sat there.  Some have been lost over the years moving, not using.  Storage, not using.  I have no feelings about putting them in front of the thrift store.  Naturally, I have to take my cookware, my daughter gave it to me.  But, going through the cabinets, I also found pieces I cannot get rid of.  Not as tough as going through his hoarding stuff, but I found myself keeping lots more than I planned on.  

I went to see my neighbor, she was not at home, but usually when I get in this mood I can talk to her.  Her yard is beautiful.  Big boulders they have brought in (he was in construction) and she has flowers beautifully placed everywhere.  On the walk home (our houses can be seen through the trees in winter, but during spring and summer they are all hidden), but the sky was beautiful and blue.  I just had to think, and not dramatically so, but what now?  I will find something to do, I am sure.  My friends are busy in church and community activities so I guess I will be too, to some extent.  I still think of myself as the weird old lady in 110.  Really, what now?  Well, I guess we just live till we don't.  

I know Kevin, I really did read what you posted.  And, there are a lot of people worse off than I am.  I am still selfish.

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Marg,

I am not a fine china person either, but my mother was. She was on the social scene for most of her adult life, even though she had humble beginnings. Like your mother and grandmother, a real whip-smart little lady. Back in 1930 or so, she purchased 12 place settings and accessories of Noritake. Beautiful and very old fashioned. Although I sold her silverware to a dealer, I always kept that china, which we used at Thanksgiving only. I wanted to make sure that my daughter got it. When she and her husband drove out here as Ron lay dying, they took it home to Kentucky with them, along with a few things of Ron's that I knew he would want them to have. In my heart, I knew that china would not live in her home for long as she was so very ill. When I arrived a year later at her home, there it was proudly displayed in an antique china cabinet. After she died, it was properly boxed up and as far as I know, my granddaughter still has it now. Silly I guess, that this china is so important to me, but it now represents 4 generations of women in our family To me, it will always be "Mother's china".

I will remember "all" of those things I had to let go, whether they be your mama's, Billy's, or yours together, someday with softer memories. It's just who we are.

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Karen, your China had a history.  Mine began and ended with me.  I am happy your granddaughter has it in your family still.  I remember your daughter's history.  You had a terrible double loss that I cannot even comprehend and hope I go before I ever have to understand this.  The China did not bother me.  Billy's coffee cups and cereal bowls, things that probably came from the $ store, either there or Walmart, those are the things that bothered me.  I priced this China online and it is an 8 place setting.  Not very much missing from it.  My hands have a congenital tremor, as I have said over and over, and so happy I did not want to be a neurosurgeon or waitress.  I could have done neither.  I also cannot wash dishes without breaking them, though I did wash every piece of this China this morning without breaking or chipping it..  I also packed it away without chipping it and have each piece wrapped.  I had no feelings toward it at all.  All my cousins, family registered at stores for their stemware, silver, etc.  I tease about being country redneck, but my son hates eating off of any plate that he cannot tip up where he can get it all on the fork.  In other words, paper plates.  So, my teasing is not too exaggerated.  I think of you often Karen, especially when I am feeling sorry for myself.  Billy and I had so much, but like I have said before, I was still, am still selfish.  My heart is with you my friend.

This China was called Kayson's Golden Rhapsody, I think.  It had gold around the edges and a simple looking gray wheat in the center on white.  Very fragile looking and if I had drank tea in the cups I would have shook it all onto the table, or my lap, the cups are so shallow and fragile.  Really not pretty to me.  My coffee is drank from a cup with a handle from Bass Pro Shop.  

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