“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
I am lifting the following from my daily morning pages because it deserves to have a life of its own.
. . . So, I am sitting here at my desk in Laureen’s studio. Or what was formerly Laureen’s studio. It has recently come to me that I would like to do something that preserves Laureen’s name and I’m not sure exactly what that is yet. If I had to pick an area of interest I would say that it should be animal-related. And I would add that Laureen was probably more of a cat person and not so much a dog person. Also, she really cared for the outside critters and especially all of her birds. Her Ravens meant the world to her, as did the Holly birdies, the lunatic cardinal, and all the other birds whom she would routinely name and take care of. I will have to ponder this idea of doing something in her name and see if I can develop an idea of what it might be.
Admittedly, I am feeling that I want her life to have mattered. I want people to know who she was – I don’t want her to be forgotten. I know that certain people will always think of her from time to time. Those people who knew her best and were sincere in their friendship with her. However, I do not know if this idea of memorializing her is coming from Ego, or from my own fear that I might forget about her one day.
I am sitting here right now and I am asking myself what I am feeling and I’m getting no answer in return. I feel like I have shut myself down a bit – that I kind of just don’t want to face it at the moment. I feel kind of deadened emotionally, and melancholy. There was something that I was thinking about, or doing, a little earlier today that brought me to the verge of tears but I managed to maintain my reserve.
Above my desk I have a framed photo of Laureen. I think it is probably a high school photograph. She’s got beautiful long brown hair in the photo and a hint of a smile, but also a deep and serious look. That would be my Laureen. Although the caveat there is that there was never any “my” about Laureen – she always maintained a sense of independence. I always felt like she had the spirit of a wild horse. You could never really tame her, but she might just come to trust and like you enough to allow you to be around her (all done in a loving way of course). And of course, in no way would I have wanted to “tame” her. The allure was in her wildness, her fierce streak of independence. Yes, that was Laureen. She certainly had a playful side to her, too, but she was often both serious and deep and always free-spirited.
What a beautiful woman she was and I was quite lucky to have had her in my life for these past thirteen years. Of course, it was way too short a time. I so wanted to grow old with her – old in a healthy way but alas, good health was something that seemed to elude Laureen. And no one worked harder towards achieving good health either. Yet it just wasn’t meant to be and I think that we both knew that her old age would be fraught with discomfort and struggle. Sometimes she would say that she was just tired of the continuous struggle and that she didn’t want to go on anymore. And then she would move past the mood and keep going anyhow.
Even when the cancer came, there wasn’t a thought that said, “I can’t do this”. It was simply, “what do I need to do to get past this?” She became the absolute poster child for courage under fire. There are many kinds of courage and many circumstances in which courage shines through. Courage is simply doing that which you have to do, regardless of, and disregarding, the fear that would otherwise prevent you from doing it. It is perseverance no matter how much your mind and body scream at you to stop, saying, “No More!”
I watched her fight through obstacle after obstacle with a quiet determination that said that failure was simply not an option. And as I pause here, I reflect that she did that not only for herself, but for me, and because of the love that she had towards me. Otherwise, for herself alone, it would have been very easy to just surrender. And finally, when she got to the other side we thought we had won. We thought we had defeated this latest challenge.
Only, the cancer came back. And then, in perhaps the most courageous act of all, she let go. My beautiful, incredible, amazing warrior of a wife simply let go and passed on with amazing grace and with a beautiful and lasting peace of spirit that was a true emanation of the enlightened being that she truly was. She was a unique and special person – a true gift to the world. And she did it all so quietly. Never calling attention to herself but always coming from a place of compassion and caring. And I know that mine is not the only life that she touched, nor the only one that was somehow lifted to a higher level of being through the knowing of her. She was that kind of a person who quietly touched and changed people’s lives. My life will always be blessed and forever changed in that I was touched by her light and by her love.