My Blog

I do not start this journey lightly. The idea of writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences is a powerful one. I'm doing this for several reasons, the first has to be for my own therapy. With such an immense loss in my life, I need to give myself every chance to feel a purpose.

Last summer I told Kirsten that, despite her ongoing fight with refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma, I was happy. I was deeply sad, depressed, and struggled with the meaning of it all. But, I was happy. Being with Kirsten made me content. Not having her with me leaves me with a void of true happiness. As I've mentioned to many, I can laugh, have fun, enjoy the moment, even look forward to something, however, that satisfaction of inner happiness is not there.

I am so grateful for the people and dogs in my life. My son, mother, family, Kirsten's family (including the four-legged variety), our friends, and, of course, our Lab Finnegan. Many of you will hear your own voices echoed in my writing. I needed and will continue to need the tremendous support that has been offered to me. Thank you.

I also write for Kirsten. In life, Kirsten, let's say, guided me. She still does and always will. Having said that, I can not guarantee that any future clothing purchases will be entirely fashionable.

As Kirsten was a champion of the healing power of writing, I hope to pay tribute to her. Kirsten has a tremendous legacy because of who she was and how she lived. I wouldn't speak for her, although if I tried, there would be a strong chance of a visitation, but I hope to add to her story.

If my sharing helps anyone who may relate to some of what I'm going through, that would be the best tribute to Kirsten I could give.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Hockey Players and God
I was half watching a post-game interview with a new Vancouver Canuck. He was discussing the struggles involved in being traded to our hockey-crazed market in one of the most livable cities in the world to play a game for millions of dollars. Feel the pain. He concluded that he could get through this with the knowledge that his being traded was God's plan. Well isn't that wonderful. Finally, an explanation of why Kirsten was afflicted by a cancer that no one could cure. Why she, we, suffered. Not to mention ongoing genocides around the world, AIDS epidemics, and bus crashes. He was up to His neck in the goings-on of hockey player trades and salary negotiations. I will rest easier.

Square Plates
Let's face it, if left to my own devices, there is every chance that I would not have invested in square plates. Kirsten, on the other hand, felt that she was ahead of the designer curve and the square plates became an important part of who we were as people.

As was the case with the square plates, I was more than happy to let most, the majority of, the vast majority of, purchase decisions be on Kirsten's square plate. And, as was the case with all but a few purchases, I'm not going to mention the wooden chicken, I loved them as my own.

So, what do I do with these square plates? I have used them a few times over the last few months. When I do, there is a strong sense of sadness, loss, nostalgia. I have given away several meaningful items and have been glad that I did. I feel these items can carry on a life, be appreciated, and possibly evoke a sense of Kirsten for others. I don't want to give away the square plates.

I also have some feelings to process with the round plates 
I use them sparingly now, the feelings I get are fairly overwhelming. Perhaps, after a time, I will use them and enjoy the memories that go with the square plates. Now on to the picnic basket.
Wooden chicken, paint color, and stick. All Kirsten.
They say that a grieving person should not make any major decisions in the first year or two, which seems like good advice. I could be living on a boat right now trying to remember why I decided a 54-square-foot living space that tends to make me feel nauseous was a good idea. However, a major distraction for me is contemplating the idea of moving.

I suppose that if I'm not lying in the fetal position in a heavily sedated state, I'm “moving on”. Writing that term made me feel nauseous. I'm never going to “move on”. I'm never going to “heal”. However, I'm going to continue to live my life. I'll make purchasing decisions (wish me luck), enjoy moments and loved ones, have fun, work, play, and, I suppose, living with the grief will become easier.

So back to the distraction of looking at future housing and lifestyle possibilities. Squamish does have Kirsten connotations. I know, what a surprise. I enjoyed looking at some of the buildings that I could perhaps call home and was especially excited when I discovered an appealing little restaurant for sale (after all, buying a restaurant would be a great way to simplify my life). I shared my excitement with a few friends after returning from the road trip. 

Throughout this experience, I was aware of the sadness of not having Kirsten with me, but it was bearable. However, the next day I woke up with a feeling of dread. It was a sense of betrayal for being excited about future possibilities. I was also feeling sorry for myself for not having my partner to share the future with. I realize that there is no betrayal and that it would be Kirsten's wish for me to live my life and move forward. It's so difficult.
Squamish connotations

On how I'm doing….
Lately it seems that the reality of Kirsten being gone is hitting me harder than ever. A realization that she actually died hits me over and over again. It's very surreal and painful to write, say, or accept the term died. The finality of it means I'm not going to wake up from this, and it's part of my life always. At this point, it's almost all my life is.

I've mentioned Kirsten's specific request regarding me not becoming a degenerate gambler and I want to assure everyone, especially mom, that repeated trips to Sin City should not necessarily raise red flags and involve an intervention. Yes, I'm going to the gambling mecca again. However, I'm still paying this month's mortgage and I'm still making sure I can buy my daily $5 dollar coffee. I decided on Vegas as my go-to place largely because, when I picture myself alone on the beach in Mexico, I get this sad, pathetic thing going on. Playing poker is a decent distraction and I feel less like a knob for being there on my own. As long as I remember not to get a table for one, I can get by. Also, I often feel like just getting away. That's a laugh.
Days before leaving I'm in that mode of “why am I doing this?”. This seems to be a feeling that I have with almost everything I do these days. Thankfully, I've been able to go through with various commitments and always feel better having done them.

The upcoming trip to Vegas just is. It's something I decided to do, so I'll go and be distracted, enjoy moments, and be sad that Kirsten isn't with me. Pretty much the same as when I'm not in Vegas, only more neon.
Vegas connotations

table for two in the Venetian