As I said in my post earlier this week (Remembering Dad), our grief (at least, my grief) is tied to other events in our (my) past. I can’t simply remember Kevin without remembering the times we had together with my family, and how he bridged and buffered my relationship with Dad. This conjures up the fact of my Dad dying in the same year, which made me an orphan because my Mom died in 2002, and my Mom and Dad had lost a baby boy at age 2 months, and sisters of my Mom and my Dad had lost infants or young children that I remember. And on and on and on. My post resulted in Baby Greg stories from my sister and my cousin, which then led to obtaining a copy of my baby brother’s death certificate. And this communication eventually opened a question about my grandpa’s brother who is apparently buried in a cemetery in Hollywood, California, near where my daughter lives. Along the way, I had a conversation about an aunt who is sick with early stages of Alzheimer’s, and who is taking care of her, etc., and circling back to my grandpa’s Last Will & Testament, yadda-yada-yada …. so maybe a Weyer (Girls??) The weekend is in order to share some stories of family lore and who-knows-what-else. All because my husband died over a year ago and I am seeking a new life with new meaning on my own. Although my brother says I’m not really alone because he has my back. So we are all connected. We can’t be, and it’s not just the Weyers and Farmers. although we do happen to be doubly connected. (A different story.)
This isn’t the first time that this kind of thing has happened. It’s a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” sort of thing, isn’t it? We hear about closing doors on the past or opening windows of opportunity, and life should be examined yet lived in the moment, and Boom! Plenty of things don’t make sense until they do, and sometimes they just don’t. Here I am trying to get centered and back in touch with myself as a “solowingnow” woman, and I find myself going back in time 20, 40, 50 years ago. But that’s not all. Last spring I also had a “past life regression” experience, in which I went w-a-y back in time to before I was born this time, to WWI. And over Christmas, I had a tarot card reading that foretold the next 6-12 months. (It’s all very good!)
What I am hoping to find with these remembrances and filling in of some gaps and taking things to another level is some patterns, some pieces of me that remain solid and true, no matter my relationships or my environment, and some pieces that are evidence of development or learning or growth beyond memorizing my multiplication tables or being able to read and write. The part that I am most fascinated with has to do with how I think, what I think about, what I believe or question, why I do what I do… well, wait, I have an answer to that one. Neale Donald Walsh in his book Conversations with God, says “The only reason to do anything is as an expression of who we are.” That I believe inside out and upside down, all the way to the bank. It makes complete and total sense to me. But who am I? That is where the hard work comes in, and the sabbatical gives me the time for that introspection and exploration. What I’m after is the peace of mind that comes from being in harmony – thought and action. But I’ve lived a lot of my life out of a sense of obligation or expectation, or by default because I didn’t know what else to do or because I didn’t think any other options were realistic.
So I allow myself to feel my feelings, and to wander back in time through photos and memories and stories remembered by others. It turns out the ones of Kevin are happy ones right now…the cushion I rest on as I explore what made me who I was when I was with him, and who I am without him. I believe he is with me still, soul to soul, to push and catch me as need be. He always wanted me to be happy, and he is still helping me figure that out. But obviously, I had a life before him too, and I don’t want to dismiss that as inconsequential. It made me whoever I am. I’m glad he was part of my life, and I’m glad I can give time to those memories of him without becoming a wet rag or a victim of widowhood.
We experience life alone together, finding along the way little dots left by others or leaving our own everywhere until we connect those dots and discover how to interpret the pictures we see, so we can again move through more time, somehow boundaryless, but shaped by our collective past and our individual journeys forward.