Friday, August 30, 2013


Grief is an assailant in the night, one that comes from nowhere, attacks with pitiless ferocity, and leaves you bleeding and gasping for breath.

I thought I'd kept a step ahead of my own personal demon, was living a life that filled me up with accomplishment, acceptance, friends, challenges, and experiences I never knew existed. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of leaving that other life behind like an already-read book that wasn't worth carrying along on the rest of the journey. I thought I was making progress and maybe I was, but the assailant took a mighty swing at me last week and took me to my knees.

A friend asked to see my house, the one I still co-own in Washington state, and I had no idea I would be blindsided. There was my house on Google Earth, with our motorhome in the drive, waiting to be sold "due to divorce" as he phrased the Craigs List ad (and left town so I could be the one to deal with all the lookers). There were the two raspberry patches that I weeded and tied up and harvested buckets of berries from. There were the apple trees that I picked bushels from, then peeled and cut and canned for days and days. There was the indestructible rhubarb that produced gorgeous stalks from spring to fall. There was the multitude of rhododendrons that I pruned and shaped. There was the grass I cut all the time I was killing myself at our bakery. There was the insidious English ivy that I tried and failed to eradicate. I saw all this in about fifteen seconds of looking at the computer screen. I saw two and a half years of living in that house and I was knocked flat.

I've shown people the interior of the house, too, especially the kitchen that we finished remodeling about six weeks before I learned my life would inexorably change. I loved that kitchen and seeing the photos I took of it before, during, and after the remodel always makes me sad. Sad because of the loss of what I expected my life to be, sad because I was so ignorant and trusting that I never saw it coming, sad because it was perfect but it was a veneer over rot. But it was seeing the house and the yard and the gleam of the canal from the air that took me down. It was a tsunami of anger, sadness, hatred, and bitterness more vile than I could imagine. I felt like stone, red-hot and nearly immobilized, and could do nothing but sit and cry.

I hate with fierce passion the control this situation still has over me. When I said to my friend that I'd told the ex-husband some time ago that I got it, that I understood why he did what he did, and that I forgave him for it, all my friend said was that I was still bitter. He was right. I don't know how forgiveness works after all. I thought I could will it but I can't. I don't know how to walk this path with heart I thought I was so firmly on. I don't know where to go from here but the only way that seems open is forward. I guess that's where I'll go.

Thought of the day:
Perhaps I am stronger than I think. (Thomas Merton)


  1. The first thing that occurs to me (besides wanting to fly out and hug you) is what courage it takes to face your loss and examine it and decide to keep moving forward - you go girl. If anyone can do it, you can. So what's the next adventure?

    1. Thank you, but I don't think I'm good at crawling in a hole. Remember what I did when nearly the same behavior took place in 2003? I managed an MLS that time.

      I have some irons in the fire and am waiting to see how they heat up. For sure, though, I'm not going to moan and groan for long. There's always another adventure waiting for me somewhere.

      I miss you, Libby!

  2. Your home was gorgeous, but truly pales in comparison to the amazing person YOU are. It is just a place.

    Please let me know if you're up this way, or if you need help with anything on this end. Love you.

    1. Thank you, Heather. That's a kind thing to say.

      I plan to be in Washington next May for a few days and will let you know when I can be more specific.

      Love you too.

  3. It is always hell to see your dreams crash around you. All of our internal visualizations of our life broken into shards and dust are bitter indeed.

    FORWARD is the only direction we can take. Time helps too. You'll make it, you always have and quitting isn't in your DNA. How well I know!

    Love you, you were always the best of the girls. Never forget that.

    1. My sister, everyone. This is what sisters are for. Love you, too.