feralfae Posted February 2, 2013 Report Share Posted February 2, 2013 Thank you, MartyT, for this place of healing and solace. I've been responding on some topics, and thought that it was time to start a topic and introduce myself. I am becoming more aware of myself going through a deep and intense transformation in my feelings, my faith, and my awareness of not only life, but of love. I see myself walking through a shadowed valley, but I know I am on my way Somewhere, and that this journey, as with others, has light and happiness somewhere in the future. When I lost my Dad, who was my best friend, I thought I would never recover, and yet, that was mild compared to this. Then, I took off a semester from my work, and walked the beaches of Lake Michigan, and spent most of my time in my studio just off campus, and walked for hours and hours, and sailed more, from the beaches in Evanston where I lived. I was head of the Center for American Archaeology at Northwestern University. I lectured at various universities, mostly in maths, but had always been involved in archaeology and anthropology. I am also an artist. I am a published archaeologist, have had too many art shows to count, and right now, I am slowly recovering from a visiting virus, while also sorting out my new life. My own company, started in 1979, does consulting on applied mathematical algorithms mostly for non-governmental charities and trusts. In the world, I now live in Montana. I have my own art studio, where I do everything from high-fired translucent porcelain vessels to silk screens and oils. I've been an artist since I was five, I think, and had my first watercolor show at 13. I studied at Chicago Art Institute and with several artists when I was young (cleaning brushes and sweeping studio floors, and loved every minute of it!) who taught me a lot, and hope to be ready to get back to art soon, as I have a couple of galleries waiting for my works. My web site is down, but when I get it up again, it will be at makingmudpies.com, which is funny because my work is fairly formal and elegant, more than happy and casual, although I am good at japanese tea bowls, too. But that could all change. There have been so many changes this past year that I know I must keep myself open to little nudges from my Angels. My husband Doug was a climber (as am I), a brilliant epistemologist, with reading clubs for his works at, among other places, MIT, Chicago, CalTech and Princeton. He was a former regular Army Ranger officer and aviator, who flew two tours in VietNam, which left him very shaken and often deeply angry, but we healed him from that before he left. He was also a wonderfully creative artist, so we are much alike, although I write mostly on human rights and ethics. We worked together these last ten years, and were recognized internationally for our writings on human rights. Doug escaped his non-functioning body on February 7, 2012, so it has been almost a year. The first few weeks were pure numbness, as I took care of all the logistics, sorted through papers, and dealt with less than kind in-laws. Then, I had to gather all the papers to take to our trustee, and begin to figure out how to have breakfast alone, how to give Thanks alone, and how to find one small thing for which to be grateful every day—a great suggestion by our pastor, Dean Heidi, who is also a wonderful friend. An accident two weeks before Doug's initial diagnosis in December of 2008 injured my spine, but with his diagnosis, I just ignored the pains and began taking care of him, pretty much full time. His initial diagnosis was already Stage IV, and the prognosis was not good. We kept him going, with the help of a whole host of Angels, for three years. He was able to get a lot of things done, we had a lot of fun together, and we had time to say everything we wanted to say to each other. That was a total blessing. By the time he left, I was in a back brace and gobbling prescription pain medications well above the limits recommended. The back injury from the accident was making itself well known. I kept myself on going through Doug's Life Celebration in Fairbanks, Alaska on his birthday and our anniversary, which was May 19th-20th 2012. It was difficult staying in our home in Fairbanks without Doug. I did not get much sorting done. There were many horrid facts to face about his family. While there, by June, I began to lose feeling in my legs and feet, which, after the horrible pain, was sort of a blessing. Now I am back in Montana, had emergency surgery to resolve the cauda equina (I had no idea there was such a thing until after the surgery when they told me how fortunate I was to come through so very well!) in July, and am learning to walk and lift things and exercise again. Somehow, with all that has happened this last year, I had not had time to sit with myself, be compassionate with me, and allow myself to fully grieve this profound loss. I was pretty stoic and locked up inside. So, a while ago, I started going to a group, but found it not too helpful. Then I found and still have a wonderful grief counselor who lost her husband three years ago to ALZ after caring for him for several years. She is wonderful, caring, compassionate, and we can really relate. Her husband was a professor of comparative religions, so had the same sort of mind as Doug, and they come from an academic environment, so we can talk shorthand about some things, which is helpful. I just had my 66th birthday on 26 January, and am looking forward to another adventure, and a long life, since in my family we all wear out at about 100. I do plan to be back in the mountains. Doug and I had great fun together, as we were both outdoor people in excellent physical condition—until the cancer. Our minds worked well in tandem, and we won awards for our writing. I miss working with him, playing with him, creating with him, and loving with him. I miss the hugs in passing, the kisses on the top of my head when he would wander over to my desk. I miss going to sleep holding hands. I miss his voice, his touch, and his tender, loving humor. I miss everything he was to me, the other half of me, and our long, long talks while we listened to music by candlelight and sipped our glasses of wine. I am barely yet able to go into our wine cellar, which was one of Doug's hobbies. Now I have found this place with articulate, compassionate, and sharing others, and it is more of a blessing than I can say. Thank you all. I don't know what my life is going to become. When Doug's cancer returned in October of 2011, we had already begun packing (thinking he was all right by then after two rounds of chemo and having had a go-ahead from his oncologist) to move to Southeast Alaska to a new home we were negotiating to buy in Hoonah. My studio and much of our household things here in Montana are still packed, and while I want to unpack it all, I am not ready yet. It is too much to acknowledge quite yet that all those dreams are gone. The kind people returned our earnest money on the house, thank goodness. I am rambling a bit, because I am still working and feeling, thinking and meditating, to sort out all that has happened this past year and longer. After being Doug's medical advocate and caregiver for three years, I need to find myself again. I need to sort myself out, and that is taking time. Thank goodness for flu, and for the forced respite I have from it. G*d could not have given me a better gift than this time to mourn, share, meditate, and begin to find my way back to my own center of being. I have no idea who I will be when I emerge back into the light. But I do know it will be all right in the end. Thank you all for caring. The sharing and compassion here have allowed me to cry tears, wail, and to turn my compassion toward my own healing, finally. I can feel the sadness, the sense of emptiness, and the deep grief being replaced slowly, little by little, with love, faith, and glimmers of hope. Thank you. I feel that I have found a home for my grieving heart, and a sanctuary for my hopeful spirit. Thank you for sharing, caring, and compassion. Thank you for welcoming me to your community. *<twinkles>* feralfae Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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