... for those who mourn the loss of a soul mate
"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." - Leo Tolstoy

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Looking for the gift

As I mentioned in my last post, I am experiencing a health challenge right now. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned and a little scared. In the past, John was always here to hold my hand and erase my fears with one of his wonderful hugs. So, traveling this road alone is new for me and not without some anxiety.
But I have been determined to soldier on. And because of that I have been forced to look elsewhere for support. And that has led me to some new insights that I do not believe were just coincidences. In fact, I now think that was a hidden gift in this experience.
Let me explain.
After John transitioned, my need for connection with him led me to a new level in my spiritual life that I would never have attained had it not been for his passing. In my book, I spoke about how that was just one of the gifts he gave me.
But I admit, over the years, even though I still learned at every opportunity - and there were many - there have been times in the last couple of years that I may have gotten a bit complacent. I know in the last few months, for example, I was not meditating as much as I had been before or should be.
And then "this" happened.
In my quest for answers, I turned to God and to John and my Team. I started meditating again.
I took a step back and evaluated what was important in my life and what needed to be let go.
I asked John for advice and the message I heard in my head was "Get purer."
Hmm...an interesting comment. John was very fond of saying "Things are happening the way they are supposed to." He didn't push against things. Instead, he let things roll off his back. He was very forgiving. He prayed. Often.
Then I started meditating again and I asked for answers there too. The message was loud and clear.
And very similar.
Don't worry so much.
Let things go.
Practice the Serenity Prayer.
Do more of this (meditating).
Grief takes many forms. In this blog, we have talked most often about grief as it relates to losing our soul mates but we grieve other losses too. Losing health is a loss that surely shakes us up and puts potholes where once we had a straight safe path.
So, once again, being shaken up has forced me to reassess and while I am not happy about my situation, I am trying, as I did when John passed, to look for a hidden gift in all of this.
No, I am not turning into Pollyanna. When a bad thing happens, it sucks. No getting around that.
But I am also not going to waste the opportunity to use this experience to my advantage. I am going to go back to my spiritual path and aim for serenity and peace.
It's a work in progress.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

"I'm still here."

I'm going through a bit of a health challenge right now. What it is exactly isn't really important. What is important is that I am shaken by it and desperately wish I had my Honey here with me to help me through it.
Don't get me wrong - I have some wonderful friends who are giving of themselves to support me. But, as all of us who have lost a dear one know, nothing can really replace the hug of your soul mate, the kiss to make it all better, the words of comfort that only he or she can give to soothe your soul.
So, in my stress, I have turned to John in the ways I have since he has passed. I talk to him almost constantly and I receive signs on a daily basis. Granted, most of them are small signs and very subtle. But that doesn't diminish them in any way. A sign is a sign and I will take whatever I can get.
But this challenge is a big one and I wanted and needed a big sign from John to show me that this was going to be something we would handle together, that he is here for me as he always has been.
I needed a sign that would knock my socks off, so to speak.
Well, let me tell you - John came through.
The first one came on Wednesday afternoon.
I was walking from the bedroom to the living room [why doesn't matter - I can't even remember why now] and I heard a familiar chime. It caught my attention. I have lots of electrical equipment in my house - the computer, my iPhone with dozens of apps that chirp and burp occasionally, Alexa, etc.
And so for a millisecond my brain was trying to locate the reason for the chime. Then I heard a distinct voice coming from my house security system saying "Alarm Stay - Exit now".
I immediately became first confused and then tremendously impressed.
There are only two ways to set the house system on like that - by pressing a 5 digit code on the keypad itself or by opening the app in my phone, inserting a 4 digit code, waiting for the app to wake up [it takes several seconds] and then setting the alarm stay mode [another two taps on the phone].
I had done none of that!
Yet, when I checked the keypad it was now in alarm mode and the indicator light was red. I had to manually turn it off.
Okay, John, you have my attention.
But he wasn't through.
The next night I fell asleep watching TV. I often do that. I woke up to reruns of Frasier and watched for a few minutes until I got drowsy and then used the remote to turn the TV off.
I rolled over to go back to sleep but heard a strange whirring noise. At first I thought it was the pet water fountain but it was too loud.
I sat up and couldn't believe my eyes.
The electrical fireplace insert had turned on - all by itself! Yes, it is controlled by a remote control unit but that unit was sitting on the mantel yards away from me and out of reach of any cats. I had to get out of bed and grab the remote to turn the fireplace off. My first thought was maybe the TV remote had done it but it had never done that before in the year since the insert had been installed.
No, there could only be one answer.

I don't know how this health episode is going to work out for me in the next few months but it really doesn't matter.
I know what I need to know. Just as in the old days, when something was bothering me and I needed a hug or a kiss or words telling me John had my back, he is still doing that now in the ways he can.
I had wanted a "big" sign and John had sent me two.
I smiled and said Thank you and because I am feeling needy right now I asked John to keep doing this.
Reach out to your loved ones who have passed. They won't fail you. You have to be aware but if you work at it, you will learn this new language.
They are here. They still love us.
Love lives on!

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Tribute to Best Friends

I have heard it said that you find out who your true friends are in the most difficult of times. I think that is especially true when there is serious illness or death involved. Sometimes, it is that very adversity that strengthens a friendship.

Almost anyone who has lost someone close to their heart will tell you that in the first days, so-called friends and many acquaintances come out of the woodwork to help you in your grief. But days, weeks, months later, who is still there? Who are the people who still call, who spend time just being present for you, who somehow become an integral part of the warp and woof of the fabric that is your new existence? Those are the people you know are true friends for life. Those are the ones I think you can call best friends.

What is a best friend? To me, it is that person who stands with you as you grieve – for however long it takes for you to heal and find peace. They are there when you cry, when you laugh, when you rage against the cruel gods who stole your love from you, when you can finally begin remembering happier times. They are there. A best friend is someone who will rush to your side when you are weeping hysterically but unable to articulate why. And they are the ones who will sit beside you, holding your hand as you listen to a doctor’s grave words. They are there when you need them, and they are there when you do not even admit to yourself that you do need someone. They are there.

Now, I have had friends for as long as I can remember, many of them good friends, but only a very select few have ever attained the status of best friend. I don’t know what is true for little boys but as children, girls go through a succession of best friends. I did too, but today I doubt I could name more than one or two of them. They were friends of my childhood before I could discriminate the difference between good friend and best friend. I think that as we mature, we become more cautious about who we allow to be that close to us, who we let in to our most sensitive selves.

But what, I hear you say, about husbands or wives, lovers, soul mates, significant others? Are they best friends? I would like to think so, but the truth is, that relationship is different. Somehow, the physical intimacy complicates it. The connection is different. They are an entirely different type of best friend.

As an adult, I have had five best friends. Only five. And I have reached an age where I doubt there will be any more. So, it is very distressing to me to realize that only three are left. I mourn the ones who are gone. I pray for the wellbeing of the ones who are left. All five of them fit my definition of best friend but only three are still here where I can touch them. Drawing on each other’s strength, we have battled grief, illness, emotional trauma, life. And we trust one another to always be there when life starts throwing curve balls as it is wont to do regularly.

I need these friends. They are my stalwart companions in the face of life’s challenges and have saved me more often than I could ever have imagined. I pray they will be with me should I again have to find my way down grief’s rocky path. It is not a road to be followed alone.