Sandy, your beautiful words touch my heart deeply, because I, too,
lost my partner to cancer. I can imagine that whoever has the
unbearable grief of such significant loss would feel that pain is all life
could ever hold.
You courageously take us with you on the path of seeing, experiencing and accepting sorrow.
Yet, in the hardest work of your life, you are modeling for us David Harkin’s principle: “cherish her memory and let it live on.”
It’s a real honour to present your message, enriched with your “ways that helped”. . . ways that gift us with new possibility.
It has been fifteen months…
“I was getting ready to retire and work with Marion, my partner of 20 years when we discovered she had cancer in January of 2015. Sadly, she died shortly after in April.
In the beginning, I was shocked by so many things and I was surrounded by so many people. When things settled down I went back to work, and I would go home and watch TV. I have never watched so much TV In my life. I feel like I could curl up in a ball and disappear.
I have felt every emotion and sense you can think of: sadness, loneliness, extreme fatigue, confusion, lost, isolated, and many more. My memory and concentration are not what they used to be. I feel I have lost my identity and no longer know who I really am.
I have gained 30 pounds since she died. I do not know who I am anymore and a huge part of my life has gone. I thought I was depressed but I am not. I am grieving, as I have found many of the symptoms are the same.
I decided to see a therapist but she does not understand grief. She is helpful but we do not talk about grief. She has encouraged me to meditate again and we talk about what I am going to do when I retire.
It is now fifteen months and many people expect me to feel better. I do feel better, but I am still grieving. I do not know which circumstances, surroundings, or thoughts will bring on the sadness or other emotions. They seem to appear out of nowhere.
It does not hurt as much as it did in the beginning, but it is still raw.
I miss Marion terribly. I miss her love, snuggling in bed, her sense of humour and having someone at home when I get home from work. I miss her big heart and so many little things.
I still do not sleep through the night, and some days I am exhausted from not sleeping well.
Marion was 61 and just getting started on the next step of her journey. Now I keep wondering, “Why?” Why as a naturopath did she choose to receive chemo? I know that it was her choice but that is my intellect, and not my heart.
Could I have done something different?
When Marion was in the hospital we read, ‘The Four Things That Matter Most’ by Dr. Ira Byock and this book really helped.
“Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you.”
It was only later that Marion’s friend Cherie introduced me to the Ho’oponopono:
One of the things that helped was, “She is gone.” I read it every day for the first 6 months:
I drive Marion’s Jeep, not because it is a good car, as mine sits in the driveway, but because it was hers. I wear her clothes and feel surrounded by her love.
My family has been there for me in the most supporting of ways. My brother and his wife call me frequently and visit often (they live 2 hours away).
Our friend who lives overseas emails me on the 13th of every month. The 13th being the anniversary of Marion’s death. Friends who have called have had me over for coffee or dinner or we go out. People have been willing to speak and reflect about Marion and how she affected and still affects their life.
One of the best pieces of advice I received was if someone invites you to go out, go! I can do that but large groups are still difficult, I am not sure why.
Surprisingly it helps to listen to the song “Alleluia”1 which two of her friends played at the funeral.
(1 family joining in on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from the heart.)
It is amazing whenever I am feeling down, someone posts something on Facebook that helps. One of the best sayings that I repeat to myself for encouragement, is:
I am OK…I am not OK…and that is OK from
I am still connected to Marion. On the day she died there was a bit of ice on my friend’s windshield and the sun hit it and it sparkled. Almost weekly sparkles appear. On the first anniversary of her death a green (her favourite colour) heart shape appeared at the foot of my bed. On the day she died a friend saw two mourning birds…one in the light and one in the dark on her deck, and she still sees the birds. Many friends have told me similar stories. I love seeing 11:11 and Marion would point it out to me if she saw it before me. I would see it about once a month and now I see it at least weekly. I smile and say ‘Hi Marion!’ Every night I speak to her and thank her for everything she has given me and tell her I love her.
wrapping up by Di…
Marion Elliot heard the “broken Alleluias” of all humanity. I was honoured to speak on her summit for Third Age Women, and I felt sad she had to die just when she was expanding her reach.
Now it looks like she is making her sparkling presence known as a Glorious Alleluia, with Infinite knowing and power to answer the cry of people and planet.
Many were “in her hands” in this world, but yours, Sandy, were the hands that held her.
She chose to give YOU her most intimate and precious gifts . . . her endless love, and her own Broken Alleluia! You are the one she trusted with her deepest secrets. I can’t help but believe she will forever hold and help you now, in all ways, always.
invitation to chime in…
What rings a bell with you in this courageous and generous gift of expression from Sandy? How do you feel enriched by her offering? I’m sure this was not easy to put together.
Please let us know your thoughts in the comment area below.
(Your comments will be included in the Ebook Keepsake you will receive after the 12 days are done.) 😜 “wink”
links to previous Days
(in case you missed it)
DAY 1 – Magenta: Waiting in Darkness
DAY 2 – JFP: Living after Heart surgery and 5 strokes
DAY 3 – JANE: Visiting Family – Layers of Love and Grief
DAY 4 – JFS: Loss of Someone to Care For