Moving – Closure and Erasure, and #Grieving

I recently did the big move two Saturdays ago. It was a horrendous journey from the getgo. Barely two weeks had passed after my husband’s death when I was informed there was a one bedroom coming available in July. I probably wasn’t in my rightest mind, but I did know I didn’t want to pay exuberant rent living alone in the big place, so I agreed to take the early departure.


But before any packing could be done, I had to go through a lifetime of everything we owned. I had to downsize to at least half of everything – furniture, clothes, shoes, and other assorted big things taking up space. I barely had time to mourn over the seperation of the so many things that have been a part of my life, our life, for decades. But there was no choice. And there was barely a helping hand to help me sort out our life and condense it into boxes and smaller spaces. Trauma teaches us just how many are really in our life, and how many actually give a shit. I found out – not many.

I was referred to the clown movers by ‘a friend’ in my building. My good friend Vinnie had brought me over a large moving trolley a month before the move, telling me to use it to transport stuff downstairs as soon as I got the keys early. I did many loads and unloads, alone, and by the time moving day came, it should have been a four hour deal. Only, the mover guys came with no moving tools, didn’t bother taking a shower before coming to our air-conditioned building that was working overtime with some of the worst humidity from a temporary heatwave that hit on moving day, making the breathing more unbearable – even through a mask. These clowns needed me to guide and babysit them, so there was no way I could be down in the new place doing anything constructive. You may be wondering, so no, NOBODY came to help me on moving day.

After over ten hours of moving, scraping, dragging my furniture up and down hallways, I fired them at almost 9pm. My bones all felt broken, and I fell into a very dark place. It wouldn’t be until the Monday, two days later that the cavalry – my good friends Vinnie, Tonie and Alison showed up to help turn my place into a home. There were a few more visits over the last two weeks from my lovely friends, as everyone is busy and has their own life issues to deal with, but I learned a lot. And I couldn’t help thinking about a famous quote from Maya Angelou – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Through my journey of grief, I haven’t been working on a book, heck, I haven’t been writing regularly, but I have been writing. I found myself writing snippets of life and what I learned and felt through the days of my husband’s illness, through his dying days, and the emotional fallout afterwards that I continue to live daily. Late at night is when my inspirational moments of recall become crystal clear, and I write these thoughts down in one Word doc that will surely become elaborated on and condensed into a book – eventually – when I regain my balance and begin to stomach rereading the enormity of my life this past year. But in the interim, I will share snippets of my thoughts, here on my blog:


Closure Erasure

I scream at the top of my lungs when the pain gets too much. I have to release it or I may just spontaneously combust. Since the day you went away I have been running on auto pilot. From the shock of your death to making funeral arrangements, to burying you, to trying to swallow the five lonely weeks you lived from your death edict diagnosis.

The paper work, the banks, investments, will, and income tax to be done too, kept me in a tailspin between tears. Then, the last thing in the world on my mind was moving, yet, I knew I had to. We had planned to move in the early fall before we even knew how very sick you were. What I really wanted to do when you died was lay in bed with covers over my head, for however long I wanted to – days? Weeks? Who knows how long I’d allow myself. But it was as if you intervened when I surprisingly found out in gest there was a smaller unit in the same building. I truly believe you made that happen. But in the midst of the madness of preparing for this 180 degree move for me, it felt more like a total 360.

Life was a merry-go-round of fun, spontaneity, and love. We traveled, we laughed, and we loved, and we had a great life. Once again, I’m suddenly on my own and moving back to a one bedroom apartment, like I did when I left home at eighteen. Only then, it was exciting and freeing. This time it’s painful and lonely.

I’ve given all your belongings to your family, as I was forced to take on the ‘cleaning out’ process as half our stuff would not fit the new place. In the span of my life taking a 180, losing you, and clearing out our life, every picture, sock, piece of furniture, had me and you all over it. A monumental task that I still to this day, do not know how I had the strength to keep moving through while my heart is shattered. But I did. And often I felt I wasn’t even in my own body. Like some invisible force was keeping me going – like a friend calling to offer a hand just at the right moment -like my bestie Zan who still calls me twice a day from the other side of the world, because other than you, my love, there is nobody left living on this planet earth who loves me to nth degree and unconditionally, but Zan.

Erasure and closure everywhere I look. Bare walls embedded with leftover nails sticking out the walls from photos and mirrors now sold or packed away are what reflect back to me now. I think about how many homes we’ve built and sold and downsized each time, yet, we kept so much, like the huge two shopping bags full of every card for every occasion we’d ever given each other in our almost twenty-five years together. When I was getting rid of a lot of things, someone remarked to me that I should toss those bags too. I told her what they were and she remarked they’re no good to me now. Did you hear that? They are ever more important to me now. And one day, when my heart is ready to smile about our good times, I’d like to look back at those cards and smile in my heart again.




“You’re allowed to change your mind about the people and things you want in your life. You’re allowed to adjust your values and preferences as you get older and wiser. You’re allowed to evolve and be a different person today than you were yesterday. This is your life.” ~ Unknown wordables.



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








Bruised and Confused

Today's thought

Although I am posting this on the weekend. I wrote this on Day five in my new home. It’s been a brutal five days, especially moving day, last Saturday. We spent the better part of the previous week carting over boxes and small items as I packed them, in order to lessen the load for the movers.

We gave away a lot of our furniture and belongings to family, as we were downsizing once again. These factors apparently didn’t help the move take less than thirteen hours! The weather held up thankfully, through last week as we went back and forth with car loads of items to move. It was not too freezing and no snow was on the ground as we crossed our fingers it would stay like that just until Saturday’s move.

Just as the moving truck was getting ready to pull away from our home, the temps dropped drastically and the blowing snow and sleet had begun. It took the movers an hour to get to our new place which normally would have taken a half an hour. Seven hours later they finished unloading after schlepping our things from the loading dock to the elevators and down a long corridor to our apartment. Some of my furniture came up with actual snow on it, which didn’t leave me a happy camper. I mean, bad enough they left some things uncovered, but common sense . . . WIPE THE DAMN SNOW OFF before ruining my stuff!

Our fair sized condo was laden with boxes. I cleared a narrow path for us to try and walk around as I wondered where to begin unpacking. I spent time being meticulous when packing, so that I would clearly label which room every box belonged in so I wouldn’t have to spend time searching for things. Boxes aren’t cheap, and I had well over a hundred of them! We were lucky enough to get a ton of boxes donated to us by family members from a move in their own family. That was the beginning of some unforeseen mix-ups.

Some boxes had so many labels and scratch outs after being reused that the movers didn’t bother to figure out which room they really belonged in, so the hunt was on for misplaced boxes. My body obtained approximately fourteen bruises from banging into scattered boxes and furniture. I somehow sprained the top of my left foot, or so it felt like it after one day of standing fourteen hours in non-supportive shoes, but I finally found some solace in a pair of crocs I managed to pluck out of one of my too many shoe boxes. My tail bone feels as though it was sawed in half from continuous bending, and my legs and neck and shoulders feel like what I’m sure the Tin Man felt like in the Wizard of Oz.

The first two nights, I don’t think I even slept four hours a night, despite my sheer exhaustion. I woke up many times, as if my body knew it was in a strange environment. You know, that weird ‘where am I?’ feeling you sometimes get when you are on vacation and wake up a bit disoriented? I have moved five times in my fifteen years of marriage. Three of those moves were in the last four and a half years!

One may think I’d be quite used to it by now, but the older I get and the more shit I accumulate really adds up to a toll on the body. For some strange reason, this move felt like the most difficult of all moves. I don’t get it as we have downsized along the way, gave so much away and moved from a house to a condo. Perhaps it was the long and many treks of lugging stuff for days through undergrounds and elevators and corridors just to get inside the condo, but it felt like moving went on forever, and my body has the war wounds to prove it.

It was also difficult for me not to be in touch with my writing world. So many ideas whirled around my head, just wanting to land on paper at most inopportune moments, when I had to stay focused on the task at hand. On this Day five after moving in, I still have two rooms to unpack  and my body is slowly adjusting to the long days it has put in doing physical labour- other than my taped up hips that couldn’t take the punishment of eternal bending, I’m getting used to being stiff. I’m still trying to get used to my new surroundings and glad the bulk of the move is over and done with.

Only now am I looking forward to my winter vacation which I will be leaving for in less than three weeks! Heading down to the Caribbean and out of the minus thirty temps is just what the doctor ordered! A new year, a new life has begun.

In spring, we will be heading off to Arizona for a few weeks, in search of a place to rent for next winter and all winters after. This big move has afforded us for the extended winter stays away, which was the initial plan. Who knows what other great possibilities await me in my new life!

For now, I am still unpacking and stealing more computer time after not being connected for a few days. I know I have missed reading and commenting on so many of your wonderful blogs and hope to catch up in the next few weeks. And oh . . . despite cuts on every one of my knuckles, I managed to not break a single nail!!


So, What’s New?


Wow! What a busy time of year for so many of us! As I plow through my never ending list of things to do, I barely have moments to write, and find myself  often in the midst of a task, doing my creative thinking. Many times I drop whatever I’m doing or wake in the wee hours of the night to write down a fleeting thought when I have a light bulb idea for my books.


Due to my chaotic life at present, my writing commitment time is suffering. This past year has definitely presented some challenges for me and with them come many reflections of the loved ones I have lost this year.


I also blogged earlier this year about plans to sell my house and rent a condo to lighten the house maintenance load for my husband as he prepares for retirement in the coming year. This was a heavy decision for me because of our difference in age, I found myself not feeling ready for this big change. Yet I know I had to get on board with it because my husband is certainly entitled to some relaxation and enjoyment after working for 53 years. Along with this decision did come the fringe benefits. We will be in a position next year to be able to get out of the cold for the winter months, a huge consolation.


My husband is the kind of guy who can’t sit still and is always looking for something to do or fix. I can’t count how many times I’ve caught him shoveling snow or laying new grass and digging holes in the garden or CLIMBING A LADDER at almost 77 years old! I will no longer have to spy on him to catch him in motion doing these things with a bad shoulder and leg and will no longer have to come down hard on him for it. My worries will lessen and by next Christmas we will be snowbirds! We will be moving January 3rd 2015, in the dead of winter and by January’s end we shall be on a plane to Florida for a 2 week cruise.


My husband is counting down the days, while I cannot even see that far at this point, as much has to be done before the long awaited break from 2014 happens. We had planned to go to Arizona in March, but after searching with the help of our friends in Arizona, we couldn’t find any available rentals, as they were long booked by many more Canadians and superbowl fans. Arizona is hosting the annual superbowl this February, along with many other sporting events. It seems with every other person I talk to here that Arizona is a popular destination choice by many Canadians. So, we will go back there in late April and get a head start on booking plans for the following winter.

For now I am cleaning off my plate of duties. My home was sold in one week, thankfully, as I dislike the comings and goings of strangers in my home, not to mention, keeping it in ‘show condition’, with most of my possessions hidden so well, that even I couldn’t remember where I put half of my things. My days are filled with packing and running back and forth to the new place to meet workers for renos. I am not new to renos or home depot. I especially hate finding that there is always something else we need or forgot at each visit to the depot and have to go back there repeatedly for one thing or another.

To top things off, my husband is having eye surgery this coming week. This not only entails the two pre-op visits last week to a pretty far away hospital, but surgery day and two more post-op visits. On our last visit, we were told my husband cannot lift anything until after Christmas! I said, “Wow, how convenient,” as I now have zero help lifting things and boxes around the house. But, in late December, thankfully, some family members will be stepping up to the plate to help take some truck loads of our things over to the locker to lighten the load for moving day.


On a happier note, November was a month that I was invited to be interviewed by some talented authors and bloggers – five in total! I was so honoured to be recognized by them. You can find those posts and interviews here: AlanaMunroauthor WhenWomenInspire LaAudaciadeAquiles. My friend and author, Deborah Jay will be showcasing my newest book this coming week on her blog and a Christmas interview I did with VisionandVerse with author Carol Ann Kauffman, will be posted closer to Christmas.

sale new


I’ll leave you with a heads up, my newest book, Words We Carry, will be on sale starting today, Saturday, November 22, for one week on #Kindlecountdown. Now, you’ve all heard me bitch before about Amazon only doing this promo for the U.S. and U.K., intermittently. After sending them endless complaints about this, I can only hope that they will consider opening up this sale world-wide in the new year. I mean, sheesh, what is this the stone age?



And how’s your day?



Today's thought

We all know that the life of a self-published author can be quite overwhelming at times. I am currently going through one of the busiest times I can recall in years.


Many of you know that I am finalizing edits now for my upcoming book, Words We Carry , which of course involves a lot of time. I anticipate getting my MS to my formatters in the next week or so. I can breathe a sigh of relief that my book cover is done; you may have seen it here in my recent post.I have also been working on three interviews to ready for blog interviews, as well as trying to steal time to finish writing my next book.


Are you out of breath yet listening to my agenda? Well, just in case you’re not, let me add that I have now added MOVING to the mix! Yes, you heard correctly.


I told my husband we couldn’t possibly think about our moving plans – to sell our house and rent a condo, until the new year with what I currently have on my plate. But of course, as fate would have it, a good opportunity fell into our laps (because he was relentless on his search for a place), so we jumped on it—much like an unplanned pregnancy.

Now, in the midst of my publishing mayhem, I am trying to squeeze in, decluttering my home to put it for sale NEXT WEEK! I can’t even imagine living in a decluttered atmosphere with all that’s going on, sans books and papers all over the place until it’s sold. And then of course, begins the fun of packing my whole house. I gasp just writing about it.



I am apparently moving the first week in January—in the dead of winter. Needless to say, I’m over-worked (and underpaid) and am left wondering how I will get this all done. I presume my fourth book will suffer for this, as it is almost finished being written, but I won’t be able to even think of revising or publishing it now until mid-winter. I was aiming to have four books out in one year, but it seems that my superhuman strengths can only go so far.

We intend to start moving things into our new place before Christmas, and the bulk of the furniture will be moved in January. Then, I will have two weeks in January to unpack and get my life back in order and I will be off for my annual winter vacation come the end of January.

Will I be able to get everything done in these time frames? That remains to be seen, but I am quite an adamant person, so don’t bet against me! By the time I get to Florida, I’m going to plop my azz on a beach and exhale!

red hat

I wanted to share this update with you all because I know many of you are used to seeing me visit your blogs and posting here and responding to comments regularly. But, for the next little while, you may find a delay in my responses and comments. Please know that I’m not abandoning my blog or any of you, it just may take me a bit longer to stay on top of everything.

Thank you


I enjoy having all of you come visit me here, so please bear with me, and thanks for your friendship and support.