I may have not known anyone else in this new community we’d moved to but thank god Joan and Doug were there. When I called from Hospice, they dropped everything and rushed to my side.
Joan drove me home and Doug drove my car, thoughtfully dealing with the parking ticket left behind from my unscheduled overnight stay.
A life lesson revealed
When I arrived back at our home and walked into our bedroom, I was hit with one of the most impactful lessons of my life …
Stuff. Does. Not. Matter.
On Ron’s side of the bed were various items … his watch, books, a coffee cup, medicines … things that were left behind in our rush to get to the ER just forty-eight hours earlier. And absolutely none of it mattered anymore. Not one single item.
It hit me with the force of a hurricane … he wouldn’t be returning to collect his things. He wouldn’t care where I put them, if I kept them, if I gave them away, or if I threw them out.
All the money we’d spent, the duplicate (and triplicate) items he liked to buy to ensure he had “inventory” to replace the ones that wore out. The time and attention he spent to take care of his possessions.
His clothes, jackets, jewelry, books, golf clubs, tools, ….
Nothing. Mattered. Anymore.
It’s a realization that left its mark. I have found that my desire for “things” in my life has waned considerably in the intervening years. For sure, I still value beautiful surroundings. But it’s the basics now that matter, not “stuff.”
Beauty, peace, comfort have risen to the top of the priority list.
A New Book
Five days after Ron died, I remember sitting on the outdoor patio of the local pub with Joan. It was a warm, sunny afternoon, and we were relaxing with margaritas and chips, as we gazed out over the ocean.
I told Joan that with all the change in my life … leaving my twenty-five-year business career behind me … leaving the city where I’d lived during those years to move eleven hundred kilometres away to a community where I knew virtually no one … losing the love of my life and finding myself alone … it wasn’t just a new chapter I was embarking on.
It felt like an entirely new book.
A few days later, Joan came by to give me a gift … my first journal … entitled, “A New Book.” And I started to write.
Moving forward … but so quickly?
Within a week … just one week … I was venturing out of the house, going for walks with other women in the neighbourhood, joining in a wine tasting excursion, playing in a new ladies’ bridge club.
But … how could this be? How could I be moving on through this dark, dark period of my life so quickly?
For sure, my grief was profound … I was having meltdowns at home, dissolving into tears as I railed against the world … and against Ron for leaving me. But I was also peeking ahead and anticipating a new life that beckoned. Wondering what new discoveries and experiences lay ahead.
So how was this possible? I had just lost the love of my life, the man I was going to grow old with, in this paradise we had just moved to. Our long-held dream had gone up in smoke before my eyes … in an instant … poof! Why was I not paralyzed by grief … ?
Surely, you had months to prepare
People said to me, well, he had cancer after all, so you knew it was coming and you were prepared for it.
I swear, if one more person tells me that, even to this day, I will scream.
Setting aside the fact … as anyone who has lost their soulmate knows all too well … that there is nothing which can truly prepare you for having your heart ripped open. Setting that little bit aside … I had been convinced, from the moment Ron came home with his diagnosis, that we would get through this.
With not a shred of doubt in my mind, I just knew he would overcome this and rid his body of cancer. This was how we had approached our life during those twenty-one months and why we made the decisions we did.
You see, even though I was still early in my spiritual journey, I had read enough, especially in the area of healing, to know that the body is capable of instant change. There are documented cases of this happening.
I remember reading about a person with multiple personality disorder whose body would display different medical conditions depending on which personality had taken control.
These days, Anita Moorjani’s book, “Dying to be Me,” is held up as an amazing story that illustrates this exact point.
So, it had truly never occurred to me that Ron would actually die.
Was I naïve? Perhaps, but that’s how it was. I’d taken him to the hospital so they could figure out what was causing his new pain and fix it. It had never entered my mind that I would be coming home without him.
So, no, my bewildering ability to carry on as I was doing was not because I had prepared for his death. There was something else at play.
Time heals all wounds
Something … or someone … played havoc with my sense of time. Within two days after Ron’s death, it felt like it had happened long, long ago. Literally, months ago.
This altered sense of time was so tangible … and so inexplicable. But it was a lifesaver. I was being hurried along the path of “time heals all wounds.”
I couldn’t influence the external time scale, but my mind … or my angels … the Universe … something … influenced my internal timescale and shifted this unimaginable event far, far into the past. This allowed me to start thinking about what was to come next.
And then Ron appeared on scene to encourage me to do just that.