Finding My Way Thru The Woods

This morning, yesterday, and probably tomorrow, I will breakdown, once again, and those feelings of sorrow will surround me, embrace me, and rain down their wet kisses upon my cheeks. I suppose I’ve learned to except that.

Tim and I, on walks, here and there, in the woods and journeys we took, collected bits and pieces – Horse Chestnuts, pine cones, rocks, fortunes from our Chinese food. They are merely the tokens of our life. I suppose I romanticized those days, sometimes; yet I miss them, and him. Every day takes me just that little bit farther away from those four-square bohemian years by the lake.

Those days were never sustainable. I knew even then they had to end. Yet until those last few months, I really did hope there would be a future; or atleast more days, maybe a few more years. Pancreatic Cancer though is known for its cruelty, and many don’t live past 6 months after being diagnosed.

I open up that box where I keep his ashes, and I put in another piece of memory. The other day I put away the ring again. Maybe just for now – probably just for now. It doesn’t fit anymore, and I can’t find a way to make it fit. It twirls around my skinny fingers, and much as I hesitate, I accept. I’ve changed, and those days are as gone as he now is.

I realize that some of my grief stems from loneliness.


Yet, spring has sprung, and one day soon the grass will be green, and things are not so bad – yet. The bright side is that because I don’t have that much, there isn’t much to clean up.

On Saturday night I got together with that rare thing, Old Friends. Before I came back in the Fall, I hadn’t seen them since I moved away in 2001, after Mom died. This last visit I told them how much they meant. We spent the night laughing, drinking beer, bit of reminiscing and having fun. Course, I spent two days afterwards recovering, but its a small price to pay.

Today is my day off, and I look around my abode this beautiful morn, and ugh, mess. The papers that lay scattered on my dresser, the dishes stinking up the kitchen in the sink, and the giant pile of dog poo out my door; and each of them are things I need to tackle. Maybe not all today (dog poo), but most of them. I look around and I see the “doldrums” have been creeping around again, messin’ up the joint.

Thinking of this blog today, and I realize that I’ve lost focus. This wee little nook of the net I’ve carved for myself has become such an expression of my mood and day to day. Its been the pulse, the space that’s set the rhythm, or reflected the course and mood of my life.


I could say that on October 18th, 2012 when Tim died that everything changed – but that’s not entirely accurate. In a way, Tim was like a bench in the woods in the middle of a long hike. A financially draining bench, yet a much-needed respite none the less. A bench with more death to weigh me down, but in the end, I can not deny the perspective it offered. Maybe there were other things I should have been doing. Pft, I didn’t WANT to be anywhere else, and Tim took care of the details – my feet were sore, my mind was mush, and my life up till I met him had become akin to the pile of poo out my door today.

My grief and sorrow didn’t begin October 18th with Tim’s death, it merely continued. Lost and stumbling out of the woods after my marriage died, than after a brief walk through the meadow, back in again with the sudden death of my Mom to Cancer. So off I trekked down the highway to what was supposed to be a different and better path.

Though, it was a mirage. In fact what I mistook for a new perspective was merely a more confusing stretch of forest…one I was not familiar with, and which in the end made me more lonely and depressed then I had been.

At work yesterday, outside in the pit having my cylinder of sin, I realized that I don’t want anything more. For the first time in so long I have everything I could ever want. I’m not on borrowed time, like with Tim, or feeling despair and longing like I did in the BIG SMOKE (Toronto). No, I’m really, truly, honestly and wholeheartedly satisfied. I don’t want MORE.


What a stunning revelation – I have no desire for MORE? It’s true though. As I stood there puffing away, I realized that I felt satisfied, and I’m not hiding from anything. Sorrow is lifting, and my stride has become more confident. The path is a familiar one, yet everyday I’ve learned how to change the things I can, accept that which is, and with every breath, and every step … I feel free. Most importantly, I feel real. I’m learning how to let go, move forward, and allow my shite to be stepping-stones, rather than obstacles.



  1. penny190

    This dance with the cosmos never ends, Paula… we go forward a few steps, then back even more… sideways for a while… then back again. And those around us are in their own dance of life.


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