Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Steeling Oneself

To steel oneself.  An expression that resonates of late.  Visualizing a length of rebar inserted into the spine.  In order to remain upright and carry on.  The opposing image, that of a puddle.  Just lying there.  Unable to partake of or undertake anything.  So much looking forward to the seawall walk with a good friend this evening.  Followed by a bite with further conversation.  Will continue to steel myself today.  Puddles are unable to enjoy such outings. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spirit Revival

Feeling somewhat beat up this morning.  Imagining this may be akin to having gone ten rounds.  The result of having watched the DVD of his service for the first time.  Mind, body and soul reliving that event of five and a half months ago.  Will not be choosing to do that very often.  Next up, meditation.  To revive my spirit and regain my equilibrium. Breathing deeply into that love connection accessed from within my heart. Where peace and comfort are waiting to be found.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Peacefully Coexisting

Another warm summer evening.  Attended an outdoor concert by the sea.  Two young musicians sharing their talents.  Went alone, but felt connected.  Followed by an impromptu late dinner nearby with one of my daughters.  Later, relaxing back home on the patio.  Breathing in the stillness and solitude by candlelight.  Soon interrupted by the sounds of a bear plodding along the small creek behind the hedge.  Mere metres away.  With its strong sense of smell.   Each of us knowing the other was there.  No fear.  Peacefully coexisting.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Not Just Puppies and Rainbows

Gratitude list.  Valuable personal tool that helps keep perspective.  Focusing on the positive.  During last night's yoga class, we were each asked to consider just one thing we were grateful for.  To incorporate that into our practice.  What immediately came to mind was gratitude for how Michael died.  Or rather, how he did not die.  That he did not commit suicide.  It would be even harder to bear.  Reminded that it is not only puppies and rainbows that find their way onto gratitude lists.  Discovered one in my journal, written a few years ago.  Sixty one items long.  Today's would have as many, or more.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adeptness of Human Nature

Strong and fragile.  Alternating between both states many times a day.  Emotionally and physically.  Able to keep perspective much of the time.  Drawing on compassion and patience for self and others while adjusting to this situation.  Focusing on gratitude.  Staying active for overall mental and physical well being.  All this interspersed with bouts of low energy.  Periods of penetrating sadness.  Feeling lost.  How could it be otherwise?  Heartened by this ability to flow back and forth between these contrasting states.  Continuing to marvel at the adeptness of human nature.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Summer holidays.  Ideally, time for students to enjoy carefree adventures, daydreaming, and exploring their world.  While watching a young teen ride his bicycle along the trail, I was reminded of Michael's love of biking.  The hours and money spent customizing his prized mountain bike, all on his own dime.  Arriving home one summer evening with the bike noticeably worse for wear.  Explaining what had transpired.  Hoisting the bike atop a large storage container parked on the school field.  Riding right off it!  Testing his suspension.  Me, cringing while listening to his story.  Picturing him flying helmetless through the air.  Now smiling as I reflect upon that escapade.   So typical of who he was.   Wondering about the possibly of him yelling "Geronimo" as he took to the air!  Calling out the name of his fearless spirit guide. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Urge to Call

Find myself longing to talk with my daughters more often.  Phone conversations every few days.  Meeting up weekly if possible.  Craving that ongoing connection.  Even more so than before.  In part, to counter my sense of vulnerability.  Of loss.  While reflecting on my recent phone conversations with them, the urge to call my son came on with great intensity.  The desire to speak with him as I could when he had a physical presence.  To ask about his week.  Touching base.  Longing for the banter.  Grateful for the new style of communication we do have, but often missing the old.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Willow Energy

The majestic weeping willow stands at the shore.  Matriarch of the ground upon which the cabin was built.  A younger one nearby, planted in honour of my mother's passing.  Powerful symbols of psychic and intuitive energies.  Embodying properties the ancients attributed to them.  Powers of wisdom, intuition, dreams, emotions and rebirth. When first stepping onto this land in the spring of 2000, the dynamic energy was instantly recognizable.  A year later, intuition prompting me to explore connections to this property using my pendulum.  Probing past life associations family members may have had to this area.  Shown that Michael and I were the only ones.  He my daughter, I his father.  This willow connection running deep.  My paternal grandmother born in the German town of Wiedenbr├╝ck, or Willow Bridge.  Willow energy.  Profoundly embedded in me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wordless Communication

Lounging in a beach chair, gazing out over the water.   Enveloped in peace and solitude.   Observing the approaching doe.  Watching her pass within a few metres.  A fawn not far behind.  Looking up at me, mama pauses briefly.  Making eye contact, we share wordless communication.  They then both return to grazing on the tender greens growing along the shore.  Quite confident that no harm will come their way.   Eventually wandering up the path.  Possibly never knowing the sense of awe and gratitude they left behind.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

State of Contentment

Long meditative lake swim.  Dock time.  Leisurely late lunch at a local winery.   Whiling away the hours playing board games.  Plans made to spend a day with a very good friend, more of a sister really.  All under sunny skies.   Collectively creating a much appreciated state of contentment.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sparkling Chandelier

A few days ago, one of my daughters stopped by and with a grin on her face announced, “Guess who came over to my place last night?"  “Who?” I inquired. “Mike and Kelly!” she answered. With a huge smile on her face, she proceeded to fill me in.  A good friend had been invited over to her place for a visit.  Just the two of them spending an evening together.  The songs from Mike’s service playing in the background.  Conversation soon turning to spiritual beliefs and the afterlife.  Discussing the book, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. The idea that when it’s your time, it’s your time.  My daughter reiterating that energy continues to exist as energy.  It does not die.  And that for her, this made it all somewhat easier to bear. In that moment, the chandelier hanging above them caught their attention.  The intensity of the light in the bulbs began fluctuating wildly.  Brighter, dimmer. Continuously moving from one to the other.  “Sparkling” was the word she used. Both women could feel the very playful, humorous and loving energy in the room and instantly knew who was behind this.  They burst out laughing as they toasted Mike and Kelly’s presence. Twenty minutes later, it had all settled down.  A powerful experience that some may have found upsetting. These two however, reassured that our loved ones spirits are very much present in our lives. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Trip at a Time

This, our seventh visit to the cabin since that pivotal day.  Palpable unease present while preparing for the trip.  Finding it challenging to be here.  Our new reality much more difficult.  More so than at home.  Possibly due to less distraction.  Perhaps the result of just being here.  The place they spent their last weekend together on earth.  Intensely missing them.  Acutely feeling Diesel’s absence this time.  Making an effort to focus on patience.  Knowing that it will never be the same but hoping it will eventually get easier.  One trip at a time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Reflecting on some of the key events that led to the existence of this online diary.  Connecting all the dots.  Winning that trip to Mazatlan which required my daily posts on a promotional blog during the first week of January this year.  Describing the smorgasbord of experiences encountered there.  Blogging.  Something I had never done before.  An amazing opportunity.  Then, a month later.  The first week of February.  With prompting from my paternal grandmother's spirit, I committed to posting five days a week on my own blog.  Assuming at the time that the each entry might take thirty minutes or so.  Soon realizing that it took a couple of hours a day. Before long, the first week of March had arrived.  During which an accident occurred that would take their lives.  And change mine forever.  More than six months have passed since that first entry entitled "It's Just a Life".  Now, writing closer to three hours a day.  Spending many more playing with the possible concepts and themes.  Gaining clarity and awareness in the middle of the night.  Rising every morning, inspired to write.  Engrossed in the process.  Recognizing how much it nourishes me.  Curious to see where it leads.  This, the monumental gain from that tragic loss.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Uplifting Moments

Yesterday, late afternoon.  Pleased to see the sun finally shining while heading out to accomplish a few routine errands.  Never imagining that so many uplifting moments awaited me, interspersed between my stops.  An impromptu cafe visit over iced tea with one of my daughters.  A chance meeting with an acquaintance mentioning her desire to plan a walk together.   Saying hello to a former neighbour.  Being stopped by the mother of one of Michael's classmates offering her condolences and taking time to chat.  Receiving an email from Kelly's family informing me that arrangements had already been made.  So much heartfelt energy shared within the span of two hours.  Followed by the joy of arriving home to share with my husband that I had had a GREAT afternoon!   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Full, One Still Empty

With the installation of his ashes and plaque complete, it was time to visit.  Last week, my husband and I together.  Unsure of what to expect.  Another 'first' in a line of many.  Pleasantly surprised.  Emotional of course, but not undone.  Standing there with the knowledge that these were only the fragments of his earthly remains.  That his spirit would always be connected to mine.  Feeling the love behind the eight words we had chosen to capture what we hoped he would be remembered for.  Your smile, laughter and caring heart touched many.  Then yesterday, ventured over again, alone.  Gazed at the round space in the wall, directly beside his.  The one meant for Kelly.  Still empty, unmarked.  Disappointment and anxiety creeping in, wondering if the plan will still go ahead.  That their remains be laid to rest side by side.  Understanding that in the big picture, it will not be end of the world if it does not come to pass.  To help comfort my heart however, very much hoping it will.

( Update: I received confirmation later this afternoon that arrangements had already been made.  So very, very grateful for that.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Corpse Pose

During the last pose in a hatha yoga class.  Often it is here where the wisdom is heard.  Sanskrit name, Savasana.  The sound of the word itself relaxing.  Shaaavaaasaaanaaa - ahhh.  English translation, Corpse pose.  Lying on one's back with legs and arms resting outward at a slight angle, eyes closed.  Where relaxation permeates my entire being.  In this blissful meditative state, the awareness arrived.  Making the connection that some seek to create this extraordinary experience through the use of alcohol, drugs, and other mind altering agents.  This choice often followed by detrimental, and even potentially fatal side effects.  Contrast that with Savasana.  An opportunity for a natural 'high'.  Opening one to numerous possible side effects as well. Such as feeling infused with a deep sense of calm and contentment.   Being reminded of one's connection to all that is.  Experiencing the blurring of the lines between here and there.  All free.  All good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sublime Summer Day

Saturday, so much fun.  Under cloudy skies, we set off on the motorcycle.  A day for meandering, no agenda.  Up on the ferry deck, the very welcomed appearance of the sun.  Then off to a friend's ocean side cottage for a short but cherished visit.  Back on the road, made our way up the coast.  Bodies caressed by the warm summer breeze.  Exploration of nooks and crannies along the route before stumbling upon the perfect spot for a late lunch.  Painted Boat Resort.  Quaint name, delicious food, idyllic setting.  Filled with gratitude and contentment, it was time to head back.  A stop for coffee and desert en route.   Seaside stroll as well.   Return trip on the ferry, followed by a short ride for the last leg of our journey.  Interrupted by an impulsive stop along the way at the outdoor wedding of a daughter's friend.   To give the young bride a hug.  What a sublime summer day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gift of Time

The calendar pages continue to turn.  Five months yesterday.  Initially missing him with my every breath.  The tears flowing freely.  Today, twenty minutes may pass without thoughts of Michael, Kelly or Diesel.   Teary less often.   A few times a day.  Adapting.  This is the gift of time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Living with Death

Parents grieving the death of a child.  Sisters mourning the loss of their brother.  Friends deeply missing one of their own.  This morning's paper filled with stories mirroring ours.  Human beings dealing with these inescapable human experiences, each in their own way.  Learning how to live with death.  Something asked of each one of us the moment we chose to be born.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Refreshing Choice

Speaking with a young mother of three, now considering a fourth.  Discussing the prevalence of expectant parents desiring to know the sex of their fetus long before birth.  Sharing this news with friends and family months before their child is born.  She, in the minority.  Choosing to wait until the Birth Day.  How refreshing.  Embracing the anticipation and wonder leading up to that precious event.  Boy or girl, what will it be?  The subsequent excitement of finding out in that awe filled moment of birth.  The majority choosing to deny themselves the pleasures to be found in this gift of waiting.   One choice costing nothing, the other costing missed opportunities.  Just because one can, does not always mean one should.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sea of Emotions

Finding every day to be a very bumpy ride indeed.  Travelling in this sea of emotions.  Sadness, contentment, disappointment, joy, grief, love, loneliness, and gratitude.  Often shifting from one to another in mere seconds.  Some days filled with more of the uplifting feelings.  Others weighted in favour of those that can be difficult to endure.  When experiencing prolonged periods of the challenging emotions,  I think back to a recommendation heard regarding cravings at an addictions education seminar last year.  To notice the urge, acknowledge it, observe it, and remember that it will pass.  Works with uncomfortable feelings too.  A healthy prescription for helping to stay the course.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lipstick Lesbian

Went for my monthly haircut, extra short this time.  A glimpse in the mirror left me smiling as I recalled a previous hair related incident.  It occurred during Life Skills Coach training at Rhodes Wellness College.  A classmate had taken our group photo home and over dinner, had shown it to his partner and friends, all of whom were gay.  Pointing to my image, one friend commented on the short haircut and asked about this Lipstick Lesbian.  It fell upon my classmate to correct the inaccurate assumption.  We had a good laugh as he shared this with me the following day.  Recognizing the irony, as well as the timing.  One of our topics of course study?  Judgement.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saying the Wrong Thing

"Are you over it yet?"  This from a loving and well meaning relative yesterday.  The resulting tears due in part to the shock of hearing it asked.  Twenty one weeks ago today.  Accept it?  Yes.  Over it?  No.  Not able to imagine it is something one ever gets "over".  Saying the wrong thing.   How often I have done that myself.  Sometimes knowing it as soon as the words left my lips.  At other times, the realization coming later.   Add in the moments of being totally unaware of the effect my words had on another.  Perhaps this is why some people neglect to make any reference at all to what has transpired.  Even though it is the first time we have seen each other since it happened.  Even though they know.  Fear of saying the wrong thing.  I understand.