One year mark

Summer, 2014 - Deb visited me for one precious week in between her home stay and hospital time

Summer, 2014 - Deb visited me for one precious week in between her home stay and hospital time

I am rough around the edges. They say that the one-year anniversary mark of losing someone you lost is tough and yes, it is. It is vulnerable territory. I wrote this piece two weeks ago. While I usually excessively edit my pieces I am publishing this piece as a course edit because life is just raw to the bone sometime.

I have not written for a while about Deb. Life has been busy with clients, workshops, grief rituals and the oh so normal yet blindingly beautiful elements of life. Here we are at the first anniversary of Deb’s death.

Deb died on August 18, 2015, one a year ago. I find myself having experienced an immense amount of healing due to the grief rituals that I offer on my ranch. I know they have helped me to move through my sorrow in a profound manner. Having a safe container to release grief is key to finding a healthy balance with it.

Deb & I in 2009

Deb & I in 2009

Yet, I find myself in this exact moment, staying at a friend’s house, right next to Deb’s house, the house I had so many wonderful moments in with my dearest friend. We shared endless laughter, secrets, joys, sorrows, tarot card readings, clothes, shoes and all the bright and beautiful blessings that a solid friendship has to offer. Then there was the twenty two months of her journey with Leukemia where I observed Deb go from the gorgeous 110 lb. song bird of a beauty she was to a 65 lb. whittled form of herself, still lovely but radiating her spiritual light instead of the physical form we in western culture call ‘beauty’.

So many memories of a 19-year friendship. How can it be extinguished with death? One moment your most beloved person is there and the next they are gone, their skin growing cold beneath your fingertips.

I am grateful for having a friendship so deep, it was/is a blessing beyond compare. If someone would have told me five or ten years ago that my time with Deb was numbered I would have savored every moment, every laughter, every tear and every single text we shared together but how was I to know her life would be so short?

Mystic Groove, our little improvisational dance troupe we were in with Anny Owen in 1997-98

Mystic Groove, our little improvisational dance troupe we were in with Anny Owen in 1997-98

Before she died she made sure she said all that needed to be said, she took time for her proper goodbyes. We told one another how much we loved each other again and again. Nothing was left unsaid.

And the living remain with our memories of those we cherished while the dead go onto whatever form they are meant to embody next. It is the memories that hurt the most for those that remain upon earth and the sheer fact that the departed have gone. What do you do with all that love you held for your beloved who has departed? How many tears can you shed in memory for him/her? Sometimes the grief process is gentle and at other times like an anvil to the heart.

I sit here in the neighboring house to Deb’s, twenty feet away from her safe haven, which now belongs to someone else and weep for what was lost. In this unending heartbreak there are so many gifts. With this loss, it allowed for healing of the most precious kind to permeate the cracks of my broken heart. Five months after Deb’s and Leilani’s death and the painful betrayal of someone I deeply trusted, two impeccably gorgeous blue eyed beings came into my life to help heal my sorrows, one in the form of a 8 week old Australian Shepherd puppy and one in the form of a human man. These two sweet beings have reached into the heart of my pain and transformed the deepest sorrow into compost for my soul and so I slowly open into love, trust and vulnerability again. Healing takes time, but it does happen.

 2009 Halloween - Blonde girls! 

 2009 Halloween - Blonde girls! 

Dear readers, please remember that life is temporary. All whom you love are just passing through, including yourself. Take a moment to appreciate those that surround you, as you never know when our time might come.

“All the beauty of life is made up in light and shadow’

Leo Tolstoy

What has been your experience with loss? How has the one-year anniversary mark been for you? I would love to hear from you!

March 2014 - Taken right before Deb was on her way to Stanford for her bone marrow transplant. Notice the matching shoes? :-)

March 2014 - Taken right before Deb was on her way to Stanford for her bone marrow transplant. Notice the matching shoes? :-)