Mariachi, Margaritas, Mexico, Oh My.

I can almost hear the crash of the waves, smell the waft of coconut scented air along the beach, and know exactly the same two spots that get burned in my first three days of being a sun hog – just above the bandeau top of my bathing suit edge, close to my armpits. Yup, always even, one on each side. It’s like my Mexican welcome gift.

No matter the awareness, the slathering of sunscreen lotion and the constant checking up on, by day three or four in the sun, those two little spots are tender. And no worries, I come equipped to the pool with Tshirt packed in my bag for just the occasion, then stuck wearing it over my swimsuit for two days because of two tender little spots. I’m convinced it has to do with ‘unconscious’ standing and chatting with people in the sun at the pool, unaware of an errant ray of sunshine beating down on an unsuspected spot. Whenever I’d go through the security gates surrounding my rental property, that open right on the beach, I have to walk the length of one of the pools to do so. What should be a less than a minute walk, tends to turn into a half hour lag as it’s typical for me to sidetrack and stop when I pass a traveler friend on a lounger, ending up in some sunny conversation for an undetermined amount of time, where the sun finds some opportunistic moment to shed it’s rays on. That’s how it happens – I am convinced.

And how I am missing ‘the little things’ about human engagement, as I’m sure many of us feel. Being around actual humans and having conversations – significant or otherwise.

The thought of a warm familiarity where I spent many happy winter vacations with my husband, where we spent time with our seasonal friends and despite the many things to do in Mexico, treasured just being out of the cold, relaxing in sunshine and turning off the noise of daily life.

PV sunsets

So, you may have guessed it; this is my swan song before my BBB – Big Blogging Break. The packing is on, furiously (as I procrastinated away many days deciding if I was going), car transfers arranged, neighbors alerted, plants will be watered, mail picked up, so I’m going to the land of Tequila and exquisite sunsets. A few friends of mine from here as well as my BFF from U.K. will be joining me at various times (hopefully), so that will be fun. This will be both, a definite solo and girltime holiday. And the change of environment for me is longgggg overdue – mentally mostly, but the benefits will also be amazing physically – walks on the beach and massages, just to mention a few. And then there is the Vitamin Sea and perhaps some Vitamin C in those limes that will float in my Margaritas.

So I’m calling a break because technically I don’t intend to be blogging while indulging, but during my solo parts, one never knows, I may just have to put up a few posts. And I will still pop round on social media and visit blogs when time permits.

I have no clue what to expect this trip, I just know I need it. And of course I will be sharing status reports and beautiful pictures. I expect to be reading several books and will review each one after. I will post those reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and alert the authors when I’ve done so. Upon my return I will begin sharing those reviews again on my Sunday Book Reviews. So even though my blog here may look lonely and abandoned, I won’t be but a click away.

Image by Press 👍👍 Love you 💖 from Pixabay

Ole!

©DGKaye2022

Hello Mercury Retrograde 2022

It’s a new year and a clean slate, and hopes are high that this year will be the end of the Coronavirus as we know it. But the fact remains that we are globally, high in virus and numbers, due to the the recent appearance of Omicron. We can all hope that as this virus continues, it will tamper down, lose it’s hurricane strength, and hopefully, no new strains will mutate. And in the meantime, because the world is already in chaos trying to stamp out this virus, we’re about to have our first Mercury Retrograde of 2022. Crazy times 2.0. It begins January 13th, lasting until February 3rd. But these dates are not inclusive. Like a full moon, retrogrades begin their ‘retroshade’ effects within a week or two of its arrival date, and can linger just as long after completion. And I’m already experiencing the shakeup.

When Mercury retrogrades, it is said that this is because retrograde indicates the planet is moving backwards, when in actuality, a faster moving planet passes Mercury in its pause, leaving a feeling of going backwards. Mercury travels around the sun in 88 days and takes a retrograde 3-4 times a year. Since Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, its orbit is shorter than earth’s. It’s like Mercury has to slow down to let other planets catch up in-between its cycle around the earth. Things that occur during this period can make us feel exactly like things are moving backwards as Mercury pauses and other planets pass by. This first retrograde of the year will be in Aquarius. There will be three Mercury Retrogrades this year, all of them in air signs (yup, that’s me). Signs most influenced by these retrogrades are the people who have their sun or rising signs the same as the sign each retrograde falls into.

Mercury Retrograde Chart for 2022

January 14 – February 3 starts in air sign Aquarius, ends in earth-sign Capricorn
May 10 – June 2 starts in air sign Gemini, ends in earth-sign Taurus
September 9 – October 2 starts in air-sign Libra, ends in earth-sign Virgo December 29 – January 18 in earth-sign Capricorn

Refresher Course: Mercury Retrograde

How does this affect our energy levels?

We can expect to have more or even less energy during this period, mostly of the nervous, unsettling or over-zealous type, causing possible bouts of anxiety. Each MR will fall in and affect particular signs more so than others.

What kinds of things are affected by a Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury rules our daily activities – technology, communications, contracts and relationships. When the planet is in retrograde we can expect glitches, delays and miscommunications in all of the above areas as Mercury is the ruler of communications. Extra vigilance should be paid to planned dates, appointments, signing contracts, editing, buying, selling, researching, negotiating, wills, documents, deeds, leases, and more. Most often affected are, computer issues, transportation and travel. It’s a period where we can expect the unexpected. In plain terms, when a planet is in retrograde, the planet takes a nap. And while it naps, it’s like it relinquishes its duties and the territory it usually stabilizes can run amok. This period is typically a good time to take a pause ourselves from big decision-making and a good time to reflect, journal, re-organize and re-evaluate our intentions, as well, it’s a good time to re-connect with people and/or projects from the past. As you may have noticed in the previous sentence, anything to do with ‘re’ as in redo, revisit, etc. is good to keep busy with during the MR period.

~ ~ ~

And here I am, in the thick of a Mercury Retrograde. As I pretty much, limped through 2021 with a sick husband and then his ultimate dying, which left me in numb and shock and grief, and my consequent going through everything we lived and shared together and two months later, moving, and of course, all of this while living in a secluded Covid world, all that has kept me going these past few months has been to get the hell out of Dodge and spend a few months out of the dread of another cold, sunless, lonely winter, and get to Mexico.

Am I concerned about traveling in a pandemic? You bet your bottom dollar I am. This is particularly the time where I’m getting excited to go away, but I’m not. I’m feeling a surge of anxiety while constantly weighing the pros and cons of my traveling. I know I’m triple vaxxed and extremely cautious around people, but I know many on vacation sometimes forget they’re still living in a pandemic, often forgeting masks and social distancing. I have a girlfriend down there since November who I keep in touch with to get the scoop on what’s going on down there. Mexico was actually doing not too bad before the rash of carefree Christmas vacationers visiting there helping spread the germs. And as much as I feel armed with safety supplies and three jabs, I’m concerned about if things get even worse instead of calming down after the holiday rush.

Air Canada has already changed my flight three times before it flat out canceled my flight last week (thanks so much Mercury). They took off their daily direct flights into Puerto Vallarta and made them all into connecting flights to gather more passengers, leaving only two direct flights at this time, weekly. After making two phone calls – each with its own four hour wait until a human picked up, I managed to get on a direct flight again, leaving three days earlier than my original flight date. I was confirmed on the phone I’m booked, but it’s been a week now and I still haven’t received written confirmation.

Besides the airline kerfuffle, this event also entailed my trying to get hold of my agent in Mexico to first find out if the unit I’m renting was vacant for my early arrival. Thankfully it is, but I’m quite unsettled that more cancellations are coming, and the prospect of what if things get worse and I get stuck in Mexico when I’m supposed to return? These are a lot of heavy concerns floating in my uncertain mind in the already shady period of Mercury Retrograde, leaving me with uncertainty of things to come.

On the pro side, I’m not sure I can endure another long, lonely winter without sun again. I thrive in sunshine, and there are only so many times and methods in my toolbox I have to remove myself internally from the darkness around me. It’s getting real old and I need to get out of here!!! So, oh yes, Mercury Retrograde is already alive and well in my travel plans, and no doubt there will be more to come before this period gets roaring and then comes to an end. So I’m caught in this net of wondering if I’ll get to Mexico, if I can stay Covid-free, and if I’ll be able to get back home. I feel almost guilty about getting excited to go and apprehensive about preparing and packing for this trip. My long awaited vacation is living in a big question mark at the moment. I feel like I should be preparing to go, but also must be prepared not to. Nothing like trying to sit down on both sides of the fence. In my heart, I’m going, but in my head I am ever so vigilant on keeping an alert to whatever this retrograde has in store for me. It’s all quite unsettling to say the least, and that is proof that Mercury Retrograde is already warming up.

I will keep you all posted on the status of my trip. In the meantime, be forewarned and prepared for the first Mercury Retrograde 2022!

©DGKaye2022

I’m Back with my New #Blog

It’s been quite an event! I’m sure many of you know, I’ve moved my blog. Some of you probably don’t know and may be wondering why my blog has been wonky for the last week or so.

I have been wanting to move away from my self-hosted blog for a long time, but dreaded the process – and I wasn’t wrong. Besides the fact that I’d get lots of messages throughout the last few years that readers were having a difficult time commenting on my blog, I’ve had so many issues myself with my old host. I paid substantial money for almost 8 of the 9 years I’ve been blogging, and when technical bad things were happening with it, the support I had was less than mediocre and I had to rely on the kindness of of some writing friends to get me out of a blog jam.

I decided at the longtime urging of my good friend and Fey sister, Colleen Chesebro, now was the time. With the advent of the new BIG WordPress update coming (something that always gave me blog woes), and the thought of me having to deal with scary blog stuff while I escape for a some winter sanity, Colleen convinced me to get it over with now. And it was far from easy.

I decided it would be easier down the road to move back to paid WordPress and let them deal with the headaches. And moving my blog from Godaddy was a nightmare! Colleen helped me a lot. First step was creating a blank WordPress.com new platform to move my content over to, except there were many hurdles. The trick I’ve learned, is to get a good WP happiness engineer – and that only took 2 or 3 until the right one showed up.

The plan was simple, export my content from old site and import into new blog – not so easy. My content wouldn’t load. Colleen was dealing with a WP tech with questions about the import problem and she said she’d get back to her. Well 5 days passed, no blog activity, stuck between two worlds on two platforms and after several days I knew nobody was answering back. And by that time, my old blog content was gone! That’s when the real chaos began.

After 2 days of calling Godaddy (now dubbed NOdaddy from me), first waiting 2 hours til a human picked up and more hours trying to explain I need my blog content and several useless support there, my blood pressure was rising. In the meantime, I was being coached by a WP tech as to how to bring over files MANUALLY. Yes, non backdoor techy me, trying to absorb technical jargon. By the second day of repeat performance, I finally got a WP angel who had spent almost 2 days coaching me of alternative methods to get this and that – to no avail. I finally got through to the WP tech that I was useless in this venture, especially with the SERIOUS LACK OF HELP FROM NODADDY. Let’s just say he went far beyond the call of duty and did things to make the magic happen that were not his job. He and I had a running chat going by email for 4 days! He got the ball rolling last Friday, and yesterday he finally finished getting almost 9 gigs of content over to my new blog, and Colleen went in to make it pretty. I didn’t lose anything, (except what was left of my sanity), my years of posts are back WITH the matching images.

I’m still learning Gutenberg editor tips, but surprisingly, I didn’t find it that complicated. And thanks to my friend Hugh Roberts, who posts excellent tutorials on the new editor, I had already got the basic hang of it.

So, I want to welcome you all over here to my new blog, where it should be easy sailing for readers now to interact. I also hope you will all hit the ‘follow’ button when you visit here. I have to say, it’s a bit discouraging seeing my followers go from over a thousand to 11 LOL – not a good look on a writer whose been blogging for 9 years. And I thank you all for putting up with the madness and coming back!

©DGKaye2021

Time for an Update – U.K. Plans and Mexico

Like many things, our intentions don’t always come to fruition.

 

I know for months now I’ve been talking about my plans to go the U.K. as I anxiously awaited the arrival of my bestie to get here for a visit and my plans to fly back to the U.K. with her after. But sometimes plans change, and in my case, I’ve rearranged my plans and wanted to update you here, especially since I’ve chatted about my plans with several of my British and European friends in anticipation of meeting up with some of you.

 

So why the change of heart?

 

After losing my husband in April then moving in June, exhausted both mentally and physically, and full of grief, the only thing I wanted to do was to jump on a plane and get the hell out of Dodge. But Covid restrictions hampered those plans. Our airports didn’t open up to foreign travelers until early fall, and that kept my friend from getting here until late October.  She will be leaving back for the U.K. without me, later this week. Besides the fact that U.K. is experiencing higher Covid numbers again, and that my intentions of staying in U.K/Europe for a good month or two would have had to have been cut shorter because it’s so late in the year already, the upcoming holidays, and my having to prepare for my winter vacation in Mexico beginning late January, my husband’s gravestone is not yet erected and I’ve been anxiously awaiting that to happen so I can plan a celebration of life gathering for him with our friends because he was ripped off of a proper large funeral gathering at the time of his passing.

 

I’m feeling very unsettled about the headstone going up without my being around to acknowledge it and my plans for a small gathering to honor my husband’s life once the stone goes up. It seems that even headstones are in delay due to the Covid. So with all those factors rolled into one, I decided it’s best for me not to take off right now. I can’t even believe that in two months I’ll be on my way back to Puerto Vallarta!

 

I’m already dreading the holidays here and wishing away December. But I’m very much looking forward to a winter escape to a familiar place where I can somehow still feel like my husband’s spirit will be with me. As a newly minted widow, the thought of going anywhere else this winter gave me anxiety with first time being alone again traveling after a quarter century of traveling as a couple. But I decided to go back to PV and stay at the same location as we always did because we have many Canadian snowbird friends who stay at the same location annually, and at this time in my life I’m grateful for the familiarity I will be in and I won’t be alone there. I’ll have friends to gab with at the pool and to join up with for outings. I’ll also be having a few of my friends from home come down for a stay, so I should be quite comfortable back in PV in the land of wonderful people, sunshine, the ocean and beautiful sunsets. And I will have new plans come next spring for visiting both the U.K. and Europe. So just know my friends, I will get there. And hopefully by then, the Covid will be less of a worry, and I’ll be traveling in a warmer season.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Updates – Moving On and Best Friends

 

 

Wow! It’s been so long since I posted a personal update here for you. I don’t know where the time has gotten to, but considering my last post a few weeks ago, talking about my brutal move and hearing Johnny Cash on the radio, and the post prior, talking about my moving in July and my BFF coming from the U.K., ya, well, that didn’t happen. But a few things have. And so I’ll fill you in.

 

My bestie from U.K. did not get here because our airports wouldn’t allow non-essential visitors without having to quarantine in a hotel at her own expense, for fourteen days. Heck, so many people can’t even afford to stay that long, so why would they want to spend it alone in quarantine? They only began allowing Canadian residents to come back home, in late June. And now it’s September 7th supposedly, where leisure air travelers will be welcome, as long as they’ve been double vaxxed and Covid tested prior to flight then no quarantine required.

 

Well this new time frame threw a wrench into my U.K. plans. And in the meantime, my friend Zan has sold her house again and will soon be moving to a rental home in a few weeks and she and her hubby will begin a new house project from scratch on the land they’ve purchased. So now, until she gets moved in and her and her hub take a private getaway for a week or so to Italy after their move, their first holiday since Covid struck, she will probably be here in late September. So it’s looking like some time in October I’ll be flying back with her to the U.K. It’s a tough wait, but probably better for time to pass as the summer crowds should be more tame, easier for traveling – maybe a jaunt to France, maybe to Italy, but definitely to Spain, and hopefully more time for the Covid to simmer down. Heck! I may even stay through Christmas, come back, and pack up for Mexico. All I know is I must get out of this constant space and spread my wings and breathe. I have no clue what I’m doing the rest of my life, but I sure as hell know I won’t find out by sitting on a couch with a computer. Nobody is going to come banging my door down with opportunity. I have to get back out into the world.

 

The last week of July, I took a little trip with my girlfriend Alison. We both needed to get out of our four walls, so we rented a hotel room up north here in cottage country for a few days. But, as it turned out, Zan’s sister lived twenty minutes from where we were staying and once Zan told her sister we were there, she swiftly invited us to stay with her instead. So, we stayed the one night at the hotel and off to Kokie’s beautiful home for almost a week! It was a slice of heaven to be in the fresh air and steal a few days at the beach when the usual rainy weather would let up. We had lots of fun yacking, Netflixing, walking, shopping vintage stores and playing Mexican Train Dominoes – a fun variation of Dominoes.

 

It was a lovely mini getaway and I look forward to Zan’s visit here so we can go back up to her sister’s house once she ever arrives here.

 

Coming back to my new abode felt a bit strange and back to reality. I am trying to establish somewhat of a new routine for myself without my husband and now, four months after his passing, everything still feels strange and out of sorts for me without a comforting familiarity.

 

And then something wonderful happened in the midst of my sadness and loneliness, I got a condolence message from my other BFF Bri. We had a falling out a few years back, and sadly, stubbornness had kept that distance hanging. I was elated to hear from her. She adored my husband, and I had wondered why I hadn’t heard from her, thinking she’d have heard the news, but she hadn’t. When she found out, she sent me a message. I replied, and the next thing I knew, we were gabbing on the phone for hours. A few days later, we met at my husband’s grave and spent a few hours together there sitting on the grass, filling each other in on our lives while apart. The day turned into night after picking up some food and killing a bottle of wine together on my balcony at home.

 

The reunion was just what my heart needed, and both of us said to each other that it was my husband who subtly found a way to inform her about his demise and he knew we had to get back together. We both felt that. The whole thing was divine intervention how it all came about, and the fact that I’m pretty much family-less now (a book for another time),  there is no comfort like a best friend who has been in my life for 37 years. She knows all the ghosts, good and bad, and understands my loss better than any family could ever imagine what I’m living.

 

God and the universe certainly do work in mysterious ways. Everything has its time and place. Yes, Zan never got here for my turbulent move, but had she come and the lockdowns coming and going, turns out, Canadians too are being made to quarantine right now still going to U.K. and I wouldn’t be interested in doing that either. Not to mention the new wave the U.K. has been experiencing much of July. Then there’s Zan’s sudden house sale and getting ready to move later this month. Suffice it to say, divine timing is looking much better for the fall than the summer. And in my deep and dark moments, waiting once again for this U.K. connection to happen, my husband and the angels were at work bringing me back together with Bri.

 

In the meantime, I am getting my feet deeper back into blogland. I do hope to get the mental energy up to get back to my MS I completed last fall and get that off to the editor by September. Lots of things up in the air, but definitely some good things to look forward to. I feel uplifted when I have something to look forward to, despite my loneliness and ache for my beloved husband that follows me wherever I may go, making plans and friendships are what keeps me out of ‘the dark’.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

 

The Clearing – Updates – Moving, Grief and Loss

It’s been awhile since I popped into my own blog to chat. But, holy crap, it’s the middle of June and I feel like I’ve been living within a cyclone since last Christmas, without stopping to take a breath. First, late last fall my worries about my husband’s health, in and out of hospitals for various things, yet nobody realizing the real culprit – cancer. Then the diagnosis, then my husband lives, barely, another 5 weeks. Heck, I didn’t even have the official diagnosis back before a doctor introduced herself during one of my hospital visits, alerting me she’s a ‘palliative’ doctor. Palliative??? Right in that moment was when the numbness struck me. I’m still numb in many ways.

 

I knew my husband had something bad happening to him before the edict was read, but I wouldn’t even let my mind visit the thought that he was going to die. I couldn’t. The minute I’d allow myself to go ‘there’, I knew I could never pull myself out of that black hole of fear. I had to stay strong for him, give him hope – even when he knew there wasn’t any, I thought I would keep the positive thoughts and chat going. I never shed a tear because I knew if I did I may never stop. And I certainly wasn’t showing any fear to my husband. I ate it up. I didn’t even feel, and still don’t, that I was living in my own body. Like some invisible hydraulic system is towing me along to keep going and keep doing. Don’t stop.

I haven’t stopped all year. In his final week, bedridden, my beloved husband could no longer walk or talk. The reality of what was to come was top of my mind, yet, I kept pushing it away and kept doing. I knew I was on limited time and I didn’t want to spend one minute away from my husband, but I had to go buy a plot for him. For us. I also didn’t want him to know where I was going, even though he knew I never left his side unless he was asleep. He knew where I was going.

I witnessed my husband living between two worlds in his last days. Before he lost his voice, he’d wake at night several times to tell me he loved me. Other nights I’d wake to him calling out, raising his arms, eyes closed, to his dead sister Grace and his dead daughter Sue.

Unfortunately, I’ve had enough experience with being around death to know all the steps that lead to the finality. The on call palliative doc had come around the day before George died and told me ‘the most he had left was a week’, I looked him in the eye and told him my husband won’t live another 24 hours. There’s no glory in being right.

I lay beside him when his eyes opened that next morning and held his hand for dear life as I listened to his own life fade within. From silence to gurgling. I just lay there telling him I loved him as I do 100 times a day, still. And then I cried. And quite honestly, I haven’t really stopped.

In the deepest moments of unbearable grief, I had to make funeral arrangements. A funeral in Covid where we were restricted to 15 in the funeral home service, where there would have been hundreds.

All I wanted and still want to do is bury my head in my pillow and stay in bed for an undetermined amount of time. There is where I feel closest to him. The banner from over his coffin ‘Beloved Puppy’, rests now upon his pillow, as does the stuffed puppy he bought me one Valentine’s Day, who holds a stuffed heart from its mouth saying, ‘Puppy Love’. There is my solace. His slippers remain at his side of the bed.

But solace is in short supply as my marathon of life and death continues. There were weeks of paperwork, lawyers, banks, investment advisor, insurance, and the government papers I had to contend with to close off a life. And just for something else to add to the mix, I had to do the income taxes. Yes, who in the world with a broken heart continues to go, go, go, carrying overwhelming grief, while having to use their brain, then adds a move into the mix?

The move. Last fall before we knew of my husband’s demise, we were talking about moving, downsizing, somewhere else, getting ready for us to purchase a place in Mexico next winter (so was the plan). But God had other plans and moving was put on the back burner. And in my sane brain, I knew someday I’d have to move on my own because I don’t need a huge condo, nor do I want to pay that huge rent. But I also knew with my grieving and adjusting to a different life, that moving was not prime on my mind at this stage. All I want to do is exhale from what I’ve been living all year. So, I went down to the management office to ask the girls if my husband’s name needs to be taken off the lease. Before I could stop myself, the words seemed to pop out of my mouth – because they weren’t in my head, “Do you have any one bedrooms available?”

That was in April, one week after my husband passed. The agent told me that as a matter of fact, she had one coming up in July. A few days later, she took me for a looksee and told me all they’re going to do to it. I made a great bargain with her regarding me keeping my SS appliances and them having to move them, among a few other goodies, and suddenly, I was signing a new lease. That’s how the moving thing happened. I wasn’t looking, but I’m pretty sure my husband had some divine intervention in it. It’s safe here, lovely grounds, nice people and tons of amenities and close to every highway. I’m pretty sure my husband wanted me to stay in familiar territory. And July seemed ideal, enough time to get ready. NOT!

We have moved several times in our wonderful life together, yet, somehow, we still had too much stuff. If I had had time, I would have taken proper time to sell things for the value they’re worth, I would have set up an Ebay page, along with some others. But let’s be real, that left me two months to first clear the clutter that isn’t going to fit, before packing can begin. It’s insane here. I have some good friends and only one family member who pop by a few times a week to lend a hand. I have access to my new place so I had a bit of work done in there (besides what the management has done). I have many things on ads, and I get pinged lots, which of course is distracting when I’m in the packing zone. I’m moving a week earlier than planned, and my BFF who lives in England has been waiting to get here before I move so she can at least help with the transition. But that’s looking like she won’t get here til first week July, as we’re crossing fingers my province drops the 14 day quarantine in a hotel rule if one has been double vaxed on July 5th. Oye! So much going on!

So now you are updated. I know my posts have been far and few between since my husband became terminal, but I’m doing my best. This Friday I will have my monthly contribution for WATWB, and if I squeeze out any spare time, I may have a Sunday Book Review. As moving begins Thursday, with official movers on Saturday, and the fallout of unpacking to deal with after, don’t expect much from me next week. But hopefullly, once I move and catch my breath then exhale, I hope to be back in blogland more regularly.

 

grief quote

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

 

 

 

Kindness, Tears and Loving Beyond – #Grief and Loss

Unexpected kindness is the small things, ordinary things someone kind may do in passing, like when someone sends us a card to let us know they’re thinking of us as a lovely gesture, often without them realizing how a simple gesture can mean so much and can bring a smile – or a tear.

 

I’ve received some lovely cards – both physical and ecards, as well as many messages, and it is comforting and humbling to know that people hold us in their thoughts. Yes, I do realize I keep saying ‘us’, as old habits die hard. I remember reading in quite a few books, how grievers tend to speak about their lost loved one in the present tense, as though they are still here. I am guilty of this as in my heart my beloved is still here with me. I don’t know that I shall ever use the past tense for my husband.

This journey of grief is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The ripples and waves, and sometimes tsunamis of grief roll through randomly and unexpectedly 24/7. Tears splash so easily – a thought, a memory, a condolence, a photo, loneliness, even opening the fridge door and catching a glimpse of his favorite foods will set off a new stream of waterworks. The smiles aren’t as plentiful as it literally hurts my heart to smile sometimes.

The tears are a constant release of pain that ooze out through the eyes, somewhat allowing the heart a tiny bit more of breathing room – until the pool refills itself, something that stuns me, the abundance of tears that never cease to replenish.

The only comfort for me in this time is being able to talk about my husband and all the good and funny things about him. But these talks only satisfy me if they are with someone who knew him well, because they could appreciate the moments with me. And then there is music, but most days I find songs too painful to listen to so I’ll resort to mindless TV.

It’s barely been six weeks since I laid my husband to rest in the double-decker grave I bought for us, yet, the pain in my heart feels like it’s been trodden over for years.

Every new day brings with it yesterday’s sorrow within. I miss my husband terribly and I can’t help but wonder if it will ever get easier. But one thing I know for sure, I will always love him from the core of my being, and not time or anyone can take that away from me.

I’ve been humming a song in the back of my mind lately. It’s a passionate song about loving someone forever, and it’s a beautiful Italian song that I always loved, only now, it’s taken on so much more meaning. Al Di La means ‘Next Life’ or ‘Above and Beyond’, I will love you beyond the beyond. This song was made famous from the 1962 movie – Roman Adventure starring Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue.

 

Take a listen. And if you would like a direct translation of the lyrics, you can find them here.

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Shopping for One – Life, Love and Loss – #Grief

 

After two weeks of grueling paperwork, phone calls and income tax, and … grieving, I thought perhaps I should run out and pick up a few groceries – few being the operative word. I should have known by the sunny sky I’d spied when I peeked out the window before leaving, the sunshine would be short-lived as it rained down a five minute stunt of chunky snowflakes as soon as I pulled out of the garage. Maybe it wasn’t the right day to venture out into the world in my new singleness.

 

I had zero vegetables left – or chocolates, so that was enough to motivate me to get outside, only my second time out since my husband’s funeral. Still, I felt strange. But I thought it would also be a good idea to just get out. Sure, plenty of times while my husband wasn’t well I’d done the shopping solo, but I was still shopping for the two of us. This time I wasn’t.

I ambled into the supermarket, feeling slightly numb from the combination of half an Ativan and carrying the boulder around as added weight, which feels permanently attached to my heart. I chose what I needed for myself from the produce section and picked up a few red grapes. I stopped myself for a moment in thought. George likes green grapes. I try to explain to him, to no avail, that there are better benefits from eating red grapes – resveratrol, for one. But I’d continue to get him his green grapes, as the extra health factor in the red grapes didn’t excite, and myself the red. Today I only bought the red grapes.

As I ventured up every aisle just looking for a few things, my eyes glanced the many items I’d normally throw in the basket for my husband. Nope, don’t need the almond milk creamer, but thanks again Stupidstore for not having my soy creamer. Again! I grabbed myself a case of fizzy water, and left behind the case of gingerale, which is another staple for George. I picked up my toothpaste, not his.

As I scooted down the refrigerated aisle, I was taken aback when I passed his favorite rice pudding cups. How many years have I bought him those cups? I stood there for a few minutes just staring at the rice pudding, but in actuality, I was staring right through it, far and beyond. Then I went to the chocolate bar and candy aisle – George’s favorite aisle to roam in. I picked up my milk chocolate big bar, and left his dark chocolate one behind.

I bypassed the bread aisle. None required. The same oatmeal box caught my eye as the one I had at home, still almost full, save for that one bowl I tried to feed you again after you ate it the previous day and loved it. But that was that day, every day we’d cross a new challenge.

It was a short shop. I’d had enough. I went to stand in the Covid partroled lineup to cash out. My position in line, directly beside the flower shop. The roses took me back to the roses of two weeks ago, the ones that were placed on your coffin. Let’s go, let’s go, I kept repeating silently within as I could feel another outburst of grief brewing within. I needed to get out of that store. I just couldn’t breathe.

I think it was a bit too early for me to venture back out in the outside world, especially alone. I realized that being locked down in my Covid-free lockdown home is where I feel most comfortable at this moment. There I can be more comfortable in my unacceptance that you’re really gone, like when I’m in the living room, I pretend you’re sleeping. That’s how I’m able to function right now.

I feel the same aching inside every time I open up a cupboard or a fridge door in our home. So many of your favorite foods that I don’t eat remain resting on the shelves. I’ll throw it out someday. But right now I’m just not ready.

 

sad face

 

Triggers are everywhere and in everything. As the well of grief refills itself daily, I learn the simplest of things can set off a tidal wave of tears. Below, I’ll share a poignant passage from Gary Roe’s book – Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart, which I recently read and reviewed:

 

…My grief is like that. It can make a fool out of me without warning. No way to prepare for it. No way to anticipate it. Every moment, I’m at the mercy of my surroundings and my emotions. ~Gary Roe.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss