Why #BlackLivesmatter Is So Important


People. I’m going to try and explain this a little differently because I see there are still many of you out there who don’t get it. You’re taking this personally and you’re reading this message incorrectly. Firstly – unless your Black, it’s NOT About YOU.

Let that sink in a little while.

I’ll say this again, because it’s extremely important that you understand this. If you are NOT Black, this is NOT about YOU. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a positive impact and help make the world a better place for everyone.

I’m going to assume that you’re aware of the oppression of Black people, specifically in the US, that started ohhhhh… in and around the time that someone (a whole lot of white someone’s) decided it was an awesome idea to kidnap people from their country, force them onto ships, bring them to the New World and other places (which they stole from the locals that were already there for thousands of years…don’t get me started on THAT) and enslave them for profit. Let me be clear, these human beings were a commodity. Just like O&G or Steel or Wheat. Here are some fun facts to mull over.

Now. Taking that all into account, let’s break down this whole hashtag and try and understand just what it is. It’s many things, a campaign, an awakening, a revolution, a demand for change, a spotlight on what’s wrong with America (and Canada and the whole world), a massive movement…so many things.

If you think for one minute that people of colour have the same rights as us privileged white people, you couldn’t be more wrong. And we can’t even imagine it because we are treated completely differently. We have more rights, we aren’t targeted by police, we have never been enslaved. We are privileged. I – am privileged.

I’m not going to point you to all of the evidence simply because there is SO much that it’s overwhelming. Even with this Movement in full swing, terrible things continue to happen to Black Americans AND Canadians. Yes. It happens here, too.

Now, pay attention because this is where I’m going to take you on a little journey of perception and perspective.

There are a whole bunch of you who are jumping up and down, waving your arms about at the audacity of all of this because you feel that: All Lives Matter.

Of course, all lives matter. This was NEVER in question. EVER. Where did you get the idea that by focusing on a terrible injustice to others that this somehow undermines you? Who posted that because Black Lives Matter that somehow, other lives don’t?

Nobody did. Anywhere. Not once. Not ever.

You simply came to this conclusion because it wasn’t focused on you. Again. This isn’t about you. It’s about the oppression of black people and change that needs to happen. You can either be part of the solution or the problem. Which one will you choose?

Remember when Greenpeace launched the campaign: Save the Whales? This movement was launched in April of 1975 right in my own neighbourhood from the docks of Vancouver. If some of you were alive in 1975 (I was 9-years old at the time) you’ll know that there was no such thing as: the internet, the home computer, cell phones, social media (you get the point). But, if there was, imagine the impact (or non-impact) of this very worthy cause if a whole bunch of people started jumping up and down, flapping their arms about and started proclaiming: Save the Planet! Save the Elephants and Rhinos! Save the Amazon!! Save the…(insert whateveryouwanthere)!

If that had happened, all the focus on saving endangered whales would have been marginalized, minimized and soon it would be shuffled to the back of the line because the focus of this worthy cause would become ‘unfocused’ and lost in the swarm. Suddenly, Save the Whales would be insignificant.

This is what you do when you proclaim: All Lives Matter. You shove the whole Black Lives Matter Movement to the back of the line and out of sight where it does NOT belong. There is a spotlight on injustice, racism, intolerance, poverty, police brutality… STOP trying to snuff it out.

Shine a light on it, instead and by doing this, you still highlight that LIFE MATTERS. Your life, my life, every soul, every life, every day, every hour and minute…matters.

Don’t you get it? By lifting others up, you also stand tall. By bringing awareness to and doing what you can to change the state of the world so that Black lives shine, Black people have equal rights, you bring to light that (get ready for it) –

We. Are. All. The. Same.

We. Are. All. Connected.

Underneath our skin colour, all of our blood runs red.

We are all Homo Sapiens and change starts with one movement at a time.

Save the whales. Black lives matter. Save the Amazon. Save the rhinoceros.

Pick your cause but don’t take away from, distract or detract – from any one of them. They are all so important.

Black Lives Matter. Period.

 

SARS CoV-2


I’ve been hesitating to pen a blog post on this as there is SO much. So much emotion, fear, worry and so much information and misinformation. Where does one start? How can you tackle thoughts on the worst global pandemic in the last 100+ years?

I’ll start by saying there are many forces at work, here. We have the perceived good, bad and the indifferent but mostly we have massive change. It’s not an easy thing to do – shutting the world down in the blink of an eye, but it’s a necessary one. Our values are being re-written, our needs are being challenged and our beliefs are being tested.

We’re collectively struggling and grieving. When you have that many humans caught up in a global web, all stuck in one spot, you get division. You get those who are struggling to put food on the table and are not getting help so shutting down seems pointless and impossible. You get those who will do whatever it takes to keep themselves and others safe because all life is important, and they’d rather do without and suffer – than risk the lives of so many.

Division isn’t new and it’s always been prevalent, however, we are divided now more than ever and especially in the US where there is no central voice that is attending to all, speaking for ALL and listening to ALL. As a Canadian, it’s difficult to comprehend this and although there is division in my country, it’s muted; for the most part, we stand as one and most of us are doing our part to slow this killer down so that our hospitals do not become overwhelmed. Thus far, it’s working but we have failed our elderly and vulnerable and we’re failing them badly.

My point is, we are all discovering (or more appropriately, big problems that were being brushed under the carpet are having spotlights shone on them – really bright ones) our flawed systems and are being forced to now deal with them. This is good and bad. Good because something is finally being done and bad because it should have been taken care of long ago.

Let’s talk about exposure. COVID-19 is exposing all of us: the way we cope and react, the way we adjust or don’t, and the way we give or take. We are learning different behaviors and it’s hard. It’s like being a kid all over again and figuring out social behaviors. It’s changed and it takes time to adjust when we really have very limited time. How fast a country can turn on a dime is relevant to how that country naturally behaves. Every system is different due to belief systems, patterns and culture.

Yet I will say, Earth has turned a page and its human citizens are more on that ‘same’ page than ever before. So, in a sense, we are more united than we’ve been since…well long before I was born.

I think the really big questions are yet to be answered: what positive changes will we take away from this experience once it’s over, what negative ways will we return to just because we can and we don’t want to give up our perceived luxuries of consumerism? This is yet to be discovered.

Still, I have hope. I have hope that we will emerge a better species, more tolerant, more adaptable, more alert to our environment and the need to protect it. I pray that we will be better focused on healing, caring, alignment of nurturing collective thought patterns and just plan taking care of all (not just us).

We are in a perfect storm and that storm is different for each of us. How we’ll be after the skies clear and sun comes out is up to each of us, as individuals to discover. We’ll be looking at a different world. Some will adapt, some will struggle.

At the end of the day, we still all have choices. Collectively we can choose to change what is important to us. We can collectively choose to work together to make a better planet and better life for everyone.

We are starting to wake up and really know that we don’t ‘need’ many things we’ve always thought that we needed. Or, maybe we can need ‘less’ or need differently. There is always a better way to do things that serve everyone. It’s up to us to figure out what that is. I believe we are at the tipping point to not just think about it but begin to put best practices into place.

For COVID Blog post

You Can Change the World – Here’s How


As we get well on our way into 2020, it’s become abundantly clear that many on this Earth are not behaving in the best way that they can. In fact, there seems to be an epidemic of awfulness in the world.
From Global Warming to Powerful Sociopathic Leaders luring the unconscious to new levels of low on to the Hollywood Elite profiting from ridiculous unnecessary products like candles that smell like a vagina. Yes, these previously unheard of, products, actually sold out.
This is what our civilization has come to. Let that sink in a little.
The super-rich will run to the rescue, spend millions, trying to save an historic building but won’t spend a penny of starving children and nearly (thanks to us) extinct animals (they’d rather kill them and stick their heads on their walls).
One has to ask oneself: What is really important? Is our history more important than human lives? Are we okay with eliminating species after species? Is it okay that we don’t want to take responsibility?
Let’s put this into perspective.
  • We’re killing our planet by polluting it, causing temperatures to rise and the planet is heating up.
  • Australia is on fire for God’s sake; so far,  over 24 million acres have burned to a crisp and it’s only getting worse.
  • We’re killing off thousands of species of animals; 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.
  • We cannot move to the moon or Mars. Let’s just get that silly thought out of the way. We have ONE home and we are destroying it.
I’m going to make this easy. And, it’s really quite simple! You can change the world but changing yourself.
  • Be a better person. What does that mean? Be kind, be thoughtful. Think of others before yourself.
  • Be kind to animals. Does becoming a vegetarian not suit you? Then look for a better way. Start by eating less meat and ethically sourced. Yes, it’s more money so that’s where the eating less comes in. You’d be surprised how little meat we actually need (as in none at all) and how many other sources of protein there are.
Stop buying products that kill our planet. This would be anything to do with single-use plastics, palm oil, paper coffee cups…here’s a list. If you can’t stop using them (you can if you just make better choices) then at the very least…reduce them.
  • Educate yourself. By this I mean really look into things and don’t believe everything you read. Research!
  • Choices, you have them! Make good ones. Think before you act.
  • Take a good look at your value system. What’s really important? Is it money? Is it fame? Or…is it happiness and stability? Let me enlighten you about happiness and stability – you don’t get that from money and/or fame. It comes from within.
  • On that, take a really good look at yourself and your actions. Go DEEP inside and see who you really are. Are you the best you can be? Can you be better?
I could go on and on, but you get the picture; just BE better. Changing the world starts with you and me. It starts small and builds. It’s never too late to change, even if it’s in baby steps. That’s okay. There is no need to judge anyone, no one is better than you and you are not better than any other. You’re just different.
Start with that. Forget about what others are doing and concentrate on YOU and how YOU can impact the world.
Remember, we only have the one. And, you only have this one life as YOU to make that difference. Stop worrying about past lives (if that’s your thing) or thinking; I’ll fix it in the next!
There is no time like the present.
Literally. There is no time. Just the present. This is the only time that exists. So, in this very moment, make the decision to do the right thing for everyone’s greater and higher good.
I believe in you!

 

earth space cosmos

Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

Happy New Year


As I do every year on New Year’s Eve (you probably do this, too), I think about the last 12-months of my life and contemplate just what went on.

Was it a good year? Did some bad things occur? What good things happened? Was I grateful enough? Did I learn anything? Am I a better person or…a worse one? Do I feel grief for anything? What made me smile and what made me weep?

Oh… So many laughs and way too many tears. We said goodbye to my best fur friend of 17-years and turned around and said hello to a new forever kitten who lit up our lives. We continue to work and cope with mental illness and drug addiction in my family and do our best to forgive. It’s hard work. It’s worthy work. It keeps me up at night and it offers a wealth of learning.

I try and be the best version of myself, but then I slip up and disappoint. I get up again and for a while, I am the best I can be. Then, I fall down, once more and anger gets the better of me.

I think it’s called ‘being human’. We all rise and sink to our occasions.

I think New Year’s resolutions should be kept simple:

  • Be the best you can.
  • Love with your whole being.
  • Forgive, forgive, forgive (include yourself in there).
  • Be open. Open your heart, your mind and your soul.
  • LISTEN (shhhh!)
  • Be happy in the NOW. Now is the only time that actually exists. Always remember that.
  • Dance. Have fun. Be silly. Laugh. Please, laugh until tears are in your ears!
  • Remember who you are: A Soul having a Human experience.

Can you do that? Can you be better? Can you do better and make the changes in your life that raise your vibrations and add to the light in the world?

Can you?

I know I will. See you in 2020. xo

On the Edge of Dream

Moving Forward


We have a new little addition to our family. He’s not a replacement; Z will always be in my heart and I miss him, every single day. It’s really hard to believe it’s been a whole 45 days since he took his final breath with my hands gently supporting him (he refused to lie down even with the happy drugs) with Pete standing by.

Little Breeze (his name, in honor of Zephyr) is a handful. He also came to us very sick. Although this is typical of rescue cats and kittens, it’s not cool that the rescue organization didn’t make sure he was perfectly well before allowing him to be adopted from where he was kept…in a cage with his brothers and other kittens at a vet animal hospital in Vancouver.

We’re not impressed with either the cat rescue organization (they didn’t bother to check up on us even though they’d asked for 2 references and our vet’s #) or the animal hospital (who told us he was fine, just finish his meds, it’s only a little URI).

Nope! It’s a massive  bacterial upper respiratory infection along with a tummy infection AND eye infection. The poor little guy was a mess! We’re talking snot rockets, mucousy eyes and diarrhea.

After God knows how many rounds of meds (and $500+ in vet bills AFTER the $350 it cost to adopt him) he’s getting better. He’s now 4.5 months old, rambunctious as hell and after 4 weeks with us, Sabrina (our Tortie) has finally accepted him. They play, she tries to groom him, he gives her the paw of NOPE then they settle down and sleep side-by-side. They wrestle, play tag and then run to the kitchen for snacks.

It’s adorable. They’re adorable.

His sleeping habits need some refining. It’s not cool to sleep ON my face (and then sneeze snot rockets all over me…my pillow, the sheets – you get the picture). I’m hoping in time that he will start to snuggle with Sabrina – or, she’ll ‘let’ him. She’s not there, yet. But, it’s early days.

I’m hopeful. ❤

This is he.

Morning Breeze B&W

Breeze Purple

Sending your Furever Friend Over the Rainbow Bridge


This is a hard post to write but many will relate. Our pets are our family and for those of us without children, our Fur Babies. We love them. They love us and more importantly, unconditionally.

Just over 16-years ago, I was newly separated from my (now ex) husband. I was renting a little house in Calgary. It was Spring. I volunteered at an organization called the Meow Foundation. It was/still is, a cat rescue place; I came in on Saturdays and cleaned.

That place was sterilized from top to bottom, every single day. It was a fair-sized house with many rooms so at any given time there had to be at least 200+ cats and kittens there. That said, it was extremely well-managed and organized. Feral cats had their room, new mothers, kittens and expectant mothers had their area. There was a spot for sick cats, and we had to walk through some sort of antiseptic so there was no cross-contamination.

In the living room, were all the friendly cats who got along with everyone. Down stairs, were several more rooms with new intakes (a few who were injured and had to be kept in cages for their own good) while others roamed around and became acquainted with the place.

When I first started seriously thinking about adopting one for myself, I took a good look around. I spotted him lounging on one of the cat trees, just taking it all in. He seemed to be just coming out of kittenhood and knocking on the door of being an adult male cat. He’d been brought in with his sister; she was waiting for her spay and was in another room. He’d already had his neuter.

Both were wandering around a neighbourhood, seemingly lost or abandoned. They ended up wandering right up to someone’s front door and she took them in. The next day, the kind lady called the Meow Foundation. No one ever claimed them.

They were named Smartie and Skittles because of their sweet nature. Smartie was the male. Both were grey and white with Smartie being a long-haired cat and his sister, not.

I ended up adopting Smartie a few weeks later and renaming him Zephyr. He was the sweetest, most easy-going and definitely the handsomest cat I’d ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with.

I’d never had a cat quite like him and I doubt I ever will again. He had just enough quirks to make him interesting and adorable. He also had the temperament of a Saint. That cat never bit, hissed or scratched me out of anger or fear, in his entire life. You could do anything to him and if it bothered him, he’d either complain about it or leave.

He had his naughty moments, too, but he was just being a cat. One certainly can’t fault him for that. There are simply far too many cute Zephyr stories to list them all, here. But I will say that when he was young, he was a kleptomaniac. He also loved to invent games to play, and we had many. One involved a red bucket and an ex-boyfriend. I still have that red bucket.

He was a lover not a fighter. Whenever his path crossed another animal’s, he’d always try and make friends. Just because I know you’re wondering…he made 2 doggie friends and 0 cat friends, although he did try very hard (Xanadu, you nasty little thing, he was SO in love with you…your loss, honey). I could include Sabrina, but I really think he tolerated her more than anything.

I got to share his life for just over 16-years. He was 17 and had been battling kidney failure for the last 4 of them. On June 1st, he’d had enough. For 2 and a half days I did everything I could to make him better, but he wasn’t having it.

It was his time. So, with a heavy heart, Pete and I sent my best friend home. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, but one that I simply had to. I made him a promise that I’d never let him suffer. He was suffering. It had to stop.

It was quick. Pete and I cried. I then cried some more and every day since then, but it was the right thing to do. There is no question in my heart.

I was Z’s mommy and I’m pretty sure he thought that, too. He listened. He came when he was called. He took up half of my queen-sized bed for more years than I care to admit. He was kind of a  big’ish cat. 17 lbs in his prime.

I’ll miss him until I see him again on the other side. I love him dearly. He was one in a million and a huge part of my life. If he didn’t like you (and he liked just about anybody once he got over being shy) you weren’t to be trusted. He had a sense about people. He also never forgot anyone. It could be months or even a year in-between visits, but he’d always remember you.

Zephyr was the best pet I’d ever had; I’d also had him longer than any other animal. 16-years is a long time to have anyone in your life. It’s longer than any man has ever lasted, I’ll say that!

At least…so far.

I love you, big guy; you were the bestest kitty EVER. And that red bucket! How you made us laugh, brought us joy and shone a bright light into everyone’s life you touched.

Really.

Best. Kitty. EVER.

unconditional_by_musingcalliope-d2erd4r

Four Years Later (The Continuing Aftermath of Suicide)


I want to say that it’s a little better with each passing year, and it is…but marginally. I still get taken aback by the rush of grief that spills into my daily routine, unannounced and unwelcomed.

The tears still sting and the ache in my heart really isn’t any less. It’s just less often. There are daily reminders of his existence on earth and in my life; I’m grateful for them and accept them with grace. He still is and always will be: the one that got away. Only his ‘away’ was pretty horrific.

I’ve built up my life around softness, empathy and understanding.  Yes, I still have a wonderful (forever) man in my life. He’s not going anywhere and for that, I’m so, so, happy. He’s my rock and grounds me to this earth when my spirit wants nothing more than to fly away.

In a month, it will be THAT day. That terrible, horrid, worst-day-of-my-life, day – and, once again, it will all come crashing down around me. It’s okay; I always prepare. The lead-up, however, is easier, this year. I don’t go over old emails and texts from him, still looking for some clue that I should have known this would happen.

Thankfully, I’ve stopped that. It’s pointless, really. A little torturous, too.

I was so inexperienced with his mental illness, so new in our relationship, so in-love and so terrified. I don’t think there was anything different I could have done, given the tools (and lack of) that I had at the time. I simply didn’t know how or what to do – other than to do everything in my power to be there, be present, love him, do what I could to keep him safe and then…have faith that he’d stay.

He didn’t. But we all know our story didn’t end well.

I want to tell it. REALLY tell it; it’s quite a love story, after all. A tragic, messy, funny, sad – love story. I’m almost ready, but not quite.

I still miss him, and I know that we all do – all of us that he touched. There were many. I’m not the only one grieving and I know, out there, there are others. Others like us who understand the depths of suicide grief and it’s never ending dark and deep hole in our lives. It really feels like a part of you died with that person. And as you constantly struggle with trying to understand…

Somewhere.

Somewhere in a gentle and loving stillness, there is forgiveness. Not just for them, but for us. For not being able to save them, for not being there, for being angry, for so many things, I’ve lost count.

Forgive yourself. You, who travel this road of sorrow, with me. You did all you could; they know that. HE knows that. A choice was made that wasn’t ours to make or judge.

My story has carried on, but I can still tell his in the best and most loving way that I can. We can still honour their lives here and in the Afterlife.

I’ve learned SO much and continue to grow with this experience. It will walk with me, until I walk into the light. I’ll always advocate for understanding and to end the stigma, the secrecy and the embarrassment. The finger-pointing, the judgement and the ignorance that comes attached to suicide – both for those who’ve taken their lives and for us who are still on Earth; it has to stop.

Let’s replace them with: Love, Compassion, Understanding, Openness, Communication & Kindness.

Right here. Right now.

In love & Light,

Carrie ~

 

HOPE

W.E.I.R.D.


Are you one of those people whom others call -weird- ? Yeah? I am, too.

I grew up thinking I was weird, and for the 1st 23-years of my life, believed that the OBO’s I had when I was a child (out of body experiences) were nothing more than elaborate dreams that taunted me.

I was fascinated with extraterrestrials (I blame my dad for getting me hooked in Star Trek when I was three) and ghosts. Anything paranormal was interesting and wonderful. Faeries? I believed in them! Magic? Like, real magic (not silly card tricks) was alive and well in my world.

I could catch my mother’s thoughts and would often hear her calling me before she opened her mouth. Once I nearly walked into her as she excited her bedroom as I was walking in to find out what she wanted.

When I was older, I knew things before they’d happen. I think I saw my first psychic when I was in my early 20’s. I thought they were amazing! When they started telling me that I’d do what they do, one day, I couldn’t fathom it. Yet, here I am!

Maybe you didn’t start out being ‘weird’ but had some major trauma in your life that caused a shift. After that, you couldn’t look at the world the same; something was different about you and there was no going back.

Perhaps this trauma was so huge that you felt that you’d lost your way. All your coping mechanisms had run away screaming and you were left feeling empty, alone and frightened. The only constant in your life was change and either you accepted it and moved with it or life became a dark sea of pain.

Let’s hope it’s the former. I’ve been down both roads and change is inevitable albeit not a lot of fun. It’s much easier to jump on that Change Train than fight it. If you’re like me, somewhere in that fog, you started to awaken.

What I mean by that is things became clearer, little by little the lights came back on. Only, this time, they were brighter.

You started to think differently, and suddenly some of the people in your life didn’t fit in, anymore. That’s when new people magically appeared. People who thought like the new and different you. People you could relate to.

Whether you’ve always been a little odd or there was an event that tipped you over, weird is wonderful. Weird is beautiful and to be frank, normal isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. It’s a little dull.

The world is changing. WE are changing and we’re energetically growing and … becoming.

We’re becoming… WEIRD.

Wakeful and present in every moment.

Energetically connected to everything.

Intellectually and spiritually grounded.

Resonating in my greatest and highest good.

Dharma focused in vibrational harmony with my higher self.

Weird is pretty rad, isn’t it?

Elegant woman dancing on water. Sunset and silhouette.

A Very Merry Christmas to You


Can you believe it? Nearly another year has passed. 2018 will soon, slide into 2019 in a silent hush, and humans will pause in the moment, then brace for another rally with themselves. Aren’t we a funny species? So much fear amid so much love for our very own. I hope I live to see the day when the realization sets in that we are all one; the differences we fight about are pointless and non-valid.

I think this will be the last Christmas for some in my life; notably my nearly 17-year old cat who has been battling renal failure for years. That’s going to be a hard one but a necessary one. No animal should suffer.

I also know that I have friends who are missing dear family members for the first time, this Christmas, and it’s hard to celebrate knowing they’re not on Earth with them. It’s painful and difficult, yet they smile and keep it together for everyone else. My heart goes out to you.

Christmas is a funny thing to me because I’m not religious. That said, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to celebrate with friends and family and GIVE. We need to focus more on those that we love, and we need to focus more on those that need our help.

Maybe everyday should be Christmas.

It’s been an interesting month, health-wise, for me, too. I’ve had sciatica, before, but NEVER this bad. I’ve been in near constant pain for almost a month. Although I’m amused that I’ve grown calluses on my hands from using a walker. Me! At 52, using a walker!! Don’t fret, it’s temporary and I’m so very grateful to my mother-in-law for letting me borrow it. Xo

I’ve had to postpone appointments with my Coaching clients and say no to others who have wanted to book Reiki sessions. I just can’t do it. At least, not at this time. For that, I’m sorry.

I’ve had friends wanting to visit and although they know I’m struggling to get around and get ready for Christmas, they’re offended when I tell them that I just can’t entertain at this point. For that, I’m truly sorry, as well. It’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s just too difficult to give you what I believe you should deserve – which is my very best hospitality and complete undivided attention.

There are times when you just can’t be there for others, as much as you’d like to because you need to be there for yourself. And, that’s okay.

So, let me be here, now. Let me tell you how dear you are to me and how I know you’re struggling, too. Let me tell you that you’re loved and that you matter. You matter to me and to so many others. This year will fade into the next and it’s up to you begin again. You have everything you need to move forward and design your life.

You’ve got this!

I believe in you. Please believe in yourself. Put yourself, first. Love yourself and heal. This time carve out a new path instead of the same one you’ve been tripping on.

Don’t wait for life to change. Be the change.

You’re creating your own experience, moment to moment. Let’s make those moments count!

Be present. Listen to your inner guidance. Take one step at a time. Know it’s okay to fail! Failing is the learning process to success. It’s your guidebook of ‘what not to do’ and how can you even know that if you don’t try and see what works and what doesn’t?

Learn from every Thing and every One.

Your life is yours to live, no one else’s. Your experiences are unique and oh-so-beautiful as they are only yours. Know you can create whatever you want and isn’t that incredible?!

Be the creator of your own destiny but also understand that if situations keep repeating themselves, it’s because you still have something of value to learn from them. Maybe spend some time on figuring that out. All of your questions can be answered from within.

Life is precious, confusing, painful and beautiful – all at the same time.

Be grateful for everything. Even the shitty stuff, in fact, especially the shitty stuff, because those are the lessons most worthy.

Remember I love you and all of you are never far away from my thoughts. You live in my heart, always.

Have a wonderful, beautiful, CRAZY and fun Christmas/Holiday!

~Carrie xox

Zephyr Christmas tie

Taking Back Your Power


Recently, someone close to me lost their job for the 2nd time in just under a year and a half. As you can imagine, this is devastating, and he feels like he is a complete failure; his self-worth stock suddenly took a nose dive and there he was, just another worthless piece of garbage tossed to the side of the curb. All of the hard work he’d put in, 60+ hour weeks, not taking vacation and doing everything that he could to be all that was asked of him, now meant nothing.

To make matters worse, he didn’t see it coming. The circumstances didn’t make sense. Just a few months, prior, he’d had his one-year review, and all was well, in fact, he got a nice raise! There were no indicators that something had gone awry. It was shocking, and the reasons given didn’t add up.

This is just one example of having our power taken away.

When we are let go from our jobs, whatever the reason, there is a deflation of positive energy and an inflation of negative energy such as anxiety; you’ve just been tossed into a black hole of: WTF just happened?! Suddenly our livelihood is in jeopardy, our sense of self and worthiness is now in question.  Worse, we often feel we’ve let those that depend on us, down.

Negative emotions will surround someone who’s power is yanked from them, no matter what the circumstance. In this case, this person was powerLESS to do anything about it. There are huge waves of grief, anger, confusion that they’re riding on. There is depression, sadness, (there is a difference) guilt and denial. All of these are completely normal.

At some point, there will eventually be acceptance and ultimately surrender. The damage is done but soon, the healing will begin.

When someone or a circumstance takes your power, the most important thing to remember is: You can and will get it back. The fastest way to do this is to stop denying all of the uncomfortable emotions that bubble up and first, acknowledge them, and then work with and through them.

Denial gets you nowhere. Shoving your pain away is like trying to constantly keep a massive beachball, underwater. The damn thing keeps popping up and smacking you in the face and the farther you push the ball under, the more energy it creates so that when it pops up, it has a greater force and intensity. As well, there are usually several beachballs at once, each a different colour with a different emotion attached to it.

When this happens, stop shoving them down, pick one up and look at it. What do you see? Is it guilt? Let’s work through that. Remember you’re not alone, you’ve got people who care about you and will listen. You’ll need to express yourself, talk about why you’re feeling guilty. Reach out to your partner or friend, family or clergy – whomever you can. If you’re feeling there is no one, there are numbers you can call to talk to someone at no charge. There is no judgment. Here is a number you can text or call 24/7 1-877-870-4673.

The same is true for all of the beachballs/emotions. You’ll be angry, so BE ANGRY!! You have every right to be! BE sad, it’s good to cry and cleanse. Take responsibility for what you did or didn’t do but don’t accept blame for something that had nothing to do with you.

BE. Be kind to yourself, take it gently through the first few days. You can and will get back up on that horse. Little by little, you’ll feel you’re back in the driver’s seat. Take action and take stalk of everything that you DO have. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human – just like the rest of us.

Many will tell you that the “why’s” don’t matter and you should just let it go. I disagree. When you’ve gotten your power back and feel you’re ready to move on, you’ll realize that the outcome would have been the same, no matter what. But, in the moment, when it’s fresh, you’ll want to understand what happened and I’m going to say most of the time, the situation won’t make sense.

Knowing what went wrong will bring you a little peace. However, I caution you; you may never fully know. You’ll want to hash it out, ad nauseam, and that’s okay. Remember, express yourself. Talk about it, write about it, get it out and into the open so it’s not stuck, inside, and all bottled up. You’re liable to burst like a soda pop on an automatic paint mixer, if you don’t let yourself vent and explore the situation from every angle.

Once you’ve reasoned things out and realize you’re not such a terrible person (assuming you actually didn’t do something terrible) you’ll feel better, increasing your energy and voila, you’re starting to get back into your own Power.

When someone or a situation takes you out of your power, it can feel like you’ve lost part of yourself. Know it’s not forever and it takes a little time and self-care to get it back.

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Succeeding Through Failure


Think of the last time you failed at something. I’m going to bet you can recall it in great detail. In fact, I know you play the entire scenario in your mind, over and over; a mini movie that you pause at certain intervals to capture and digest all of the littlest details.

We analyse our failures with incredible precision to see how/why we didn’t make better choices. We do a lot of: If onlys and what ifs.

  • If only I didn’t do that, this other thing wouldn’t have happened.

  • If only I did do that thing, the event/relationship/solution/insert-anything-here, would have gone better.

  • What if I had been there/what if I hadn’t shown up…that thing wouldn’t have gone as badly.

What if, instead of looking at past events as failures, we decided to view the offending incident as a valuable opportunity to grow and move into a different life direction, one that serves us better? How about taking on a broader scope of understanding and exiting with the experience as something that brought you to a higher place thus realizing that your failure was actually a planned success.

Let’s take a deeper dive into that: planned success. Every big experience that changes us in some way is actually designed to help us succeed. What we see as failures is really a path of events to show us we have alternatives and that we can act on them if we so choose to do so.

Have you ever found yourself repeating the same mistake over and over? Maybe you’re drawn to a certain personality type in your love life and the relationship always ends up in a big disaster. From the inside you can perceive yourself as always failing. From the outside, there is a much bigger message. And that is: this personality type has lessons for you and until you learn them, you will be repeating the same sequence throughout your life.

Your repetitious theme could be something as simple as self-respect or restraint. Only you will recognize the pattern that you’ve created. Maybe your mother was controlling so you have always dated controlling women. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Once we can recognize the pattern, we can break it. Once it’s broken, we can heal and move forward. This is success. If you can take away something of value from your past failures, this is success. If you can learn and grow; move a painful incident into greater awareness – then you’ve succeeded.

Instill your success in everything, even if you think you’ve failed. You haven’t; you’re just learning how not to do something or learned that you can do it better or differently to yield more favourable results.

There is always a better/different path waiting for you if you choose to take it. Don’t be afraid to mess things up because through this you’ll reveal your greatest triumphs.

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Deathiversaries


It’s odd how we count the days/months and then years after someone passes over to the other side. I think the passage of time leaves little tick marks that dig deep into our hearts to remind us that although it still hurts like hell…we’re still here.

Life on earth goes on without them.

We endure the absence of these loved ones in our daily live and if you’re like me, their presence is never far away. Even as the years pass by, our missed people still linger in our thoughts and dance in and out of memories like sun beams across the floor.

It’s year three since Brian left us and as much as I’d like to say it hurts less, it simply doesn’t. It does, however, grow into a smoother transition and although I had my share of tears, I smiled, as well.

I sat in the morning sun with my favourite tarot cards and asked him, out loud, if he’d guide me to pull out the card that I wanted. This would prove to me that he was really there. I was emotional and didn’t trust (as usual). It took a few tries between salty tears to hear him properly and after dropping the deck a few time, I was successful.

Finally, I stayed still  long enough, and calmed my heart, to hear his voice.

“Use your right hand,” he gently said. “That’s it…take a deep breath and carefully choose with your heart. Take your time; I’m here.”

(He’s ridiculously patient with me.)

I slid out one card with eyes shut tight. Flipping it over, I smiled while launching a fresh volley of rain from my half-lidded eyes.

The Love Card.

It’s the one I always wish for when I feel him near. If I try too hard, I fail. This time, I didn’t and showered him with my gratitude. It was a wonderful start to a sad day.

I miss him, still.

Becoming


Over the past decade or so (probably a bit longer) I’ve been obsessed with personal growth. I decided long ago that I wanted to be the best possible ‘me’ that I could during my stint on Earth.

I do believe that you can reinvent yourself every new day and every moment, you can choose whom you want to be. Before you think I’m standing on a soapbox, pointing to my halo – I’m very, very far from Sainthood.

That said, if we are conscious of who we are and who we want to become, we can work towards becoming better. That being: kinder, gentler, more humane and understanding, giving, loving and forgiving.

You get the point.

For the first time in many years, I’m feeling very secure in my life; I have a loving partner, two adorable pets, lots of friends, a lovely home and a pretty secure job. Yet…I look at all of that and ask: what does it mean? Does this automatically equal happiness? What IS happiness and does having all-of-the-above guarantee it?

Absolutely not.

Whenever I express to my Guides that I want to heal people they retort: Heal yourself, first. When I say I want to be helpful to society, I get: help yourself, first.

It is, as always, good advice. If you can’t make yourself better, the one person you know best….how can you help anyone else?

They make a good point.

So that’s what I do. I do the work on myself, first. And I keep on doing it because there is always room for improvement.

I’m working on being the best me that I can be. I’m be-coming; coming into my human being with all of my soul self and it’s a lifetime process.

But while I’m healing and helping myself, I can certainly help others. It’s recognizing that we are always a work in progress, forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes, missed opportunities and those other things we’re so-not-proud-of.

So, how are you healing yourself? How are you working on becoming who you were meant to be and how can I help you with that?

carrie@thehealingcorner.ca                                                                www.thehealingcorner.cablog post

Cancer


Today I learned that my mother has it. And it’s not the first time she was told she had breast cancer, but the previous time…her doctor spoke out of turn before he had the results back. He was wrong. Then, she was fine.

It was about 14-years ago and I remember panicking. I turned down a job, packed up all my stuff in another Province, left my boyfriend and came back to British Columbia, tout de suite. But this time… this time, it’s real.

I’ve had one parent leave this world because of it, already, and I’ve had my best friend beat it in the bravest and humblest of ways.

Mom’s prognosis is really good which I’m eternally grateful for but there’s that conniving little voice whispering in my ear: “Yeah, but…she is 81, Carrie, and it’s spread to some of her lymph nodes; if I were you, I’d be very worried. I think you should let this flood your brain with ‘what if’s’, panic (at least a little) and make sure you get even less sleep than you do because that’s the right thing to do. If you don’t, you’re a bad child.”

Yup, that little voice is an asshole, for sure.

Part of me wants to give in but a larger part of me says: No. It will be what it will be and as it should be. It’s not my call and all the worrying panicking and lost sleep in the world isn’t going to change the outcome.

So I’ll let her be strong (she likes to call herself a Pit Bull with lipstick). I’ll let her lead the way in how she wants to be treated and helped. I’ll probably call more and such but I’m not going to treat her as if she’s going to drop dead, tomorrow; she’d be super angry if I did. I’ll say it again: Pit Bull wearing pink choral-shaded lipstick. She never sets foot outside without it. Seriously, you do not want to piss this woman off.

If I were my own Coach, I’d ask myself how I’m feeling about all of this. I’d ask how I planned to move through my days with this new information and I’d ask how I was going to take care of myself so that I can make sure I’m there for her 1000%.

It’s an interesting place to be – holding space for myself and flip-flopping back and forth until something makes sense and I balance myself out.

Despite all of my spirituality and coaching ability, we are only human, after all. I’ve long ago prepared myself for her eventual move into the afterlife – we all will get there, but it’s not wanting anyone to suffer if this is what turns out to be her exit plan. My father suffered a LOT. I don’t wish that on anyone.

That said, all could be well and she could carry on being the tough old lady she is for many years to come.

It’s not for me to know at this point.

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The Letter


A while ago, I took a little writing course. One of the exercises I had to do was write a letter to myself (from my future self), one that I’d read, back in time. Of course, I had to choose the most difficult day of my entire life to send this letter to: the day after Brian took his life. 
I found this exercise most powerful and healing. I will incorporate this into my Coaching sessions as I think it’s valuable to people. 
Feel free to give it a try. 

May 11, 2017

Hello me,

It’s me…

You’re reading this the day after that really bad thing happened (May 12, 2015). That’s what we (as in- you and I) ended up calling it. Sometimes we simply can’t bear to speak it out loud. It’s been two years. In fact, today is the 2nd anniversary of his death.

I know you’re in shock. I know this is the very worst thing that has every happened in your life. We both know there have been a lot of very bad things – this one tops all of them. I believe with all my heart we will never have to deal with anything this terrible, ever again. That’s a good thing because I don’t think you/we could survive it.

Right this moment, you’re torn apart and your heart just went through a rusty shredder. It’s been hurled all over the place, bits and pieces of bleeding muscle and everything is soaked in your tears. The very sky is dripping with sadness in spite of it’s perfect spring-blue. The cherry trees are still blooming and a warm west wind blows in to ripple the Pacific, but all you see is black.

I want to explain a few things to you so that eventually, you can take back something that you had so strongly before this happened: Hope.

Our love for him was enormous, vividly deep and hope was our wings; we defied everything. We felt it would carry us and him through those dark and inky days. We were wrong about that because it was never our choice. It was always his.

I need you to know that hope lives on and that this pain will ebb back into that depthless sea from which it came. Like a shadow moving through the light, it will take on many forms, grow, recede and finally it will only follow you around, a ghost, catching your attention, now and then, instead of staring you right in the face as it’s doing now – screaming that this CAN’T be true, there MUST be some sort of mistake because Brian CAN NOT be dead.

You’ll eventually come to terms with this and please know that he is here, always with you, always sending you signs and he hasn’t stopped. He won’t unless you ask him to.

I want you to understand that we made it through the fire. Oh yes, we walked right on through the centre of agony and didn’t stop. We just kept on moving forward even though it was excruciating and when we emerged, black and scorched, we turned back to look but the fire was gone. We’d used it all up, consumed it in our grief. There was nothing left but our smoking footprints to show us where we’d been.

We’d made it.

YOU, will make it. You HAVE made it and even though there are moments when you are raw again, broken apart and the tears flow like muddy rivers…you never let go of that hope. It carries you, it cradles you and now it leads you to where you’ve always needed to be.

So, cry and sob and be angry. Scream, weep softly and know you loved like you’ve never loved in your life. Remember him. Speak his name, often. He’s around and you can feel him in the stillness of the morning, just before the birdsong, moments before the first rays of dawn and seconds after the darkest part of the night.

Hello me…it’s me. Today is the first day that he’s gone – really gone… you feel as if you, too, may leave this world from your torn apart heart. You won’t. You’re still here, better than ever. Hope, your love, his love, all that brought you here and all those days yet to be born, are waiting just for you.

So…what would you say to your past self if you could send a letter from the future? 
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The Aftermath of Suicide


It’s been two years to the day that the man I loved ended his life; an odd anniversary of sorts and there is still so much to say and so much that I’ve already said. I feel, sometimes, that I’m endlessly repeating myself.

So, I’ll be somewhat brief.

If you’ve known someone or loved someone who has experience with losing a person to suicide, or intimately understand what it’s like because you’ve been through it…

Be gentle. Be kind and be empathetic to those that have survived and yourself, if you – like me, have learned to live with it.

You see, that’s all you can do; live with it. You don’t get over it and you don’t forget about it just because it’s behind you. You live with the stigma of suicide around you, every day.

I’m not a grief counselor but I will become an educator. This happens so much more often than I was ever aware of and I’m guessing most people are not aware of the staggering statistics.

Why? Because we, as a society, sweep it under the carpet. It’s a dirty little secret and we talk in hushed, whispered tones, quickly looking around to make sure we are not overheard.

“Did you hear? He killed himself…”

Then, everyone not involved, goes about their daily life and tries not to think about it. Yup. We typically don’t reach out to the survivors, we don’t try and understand mental illness; we try and forget about it if it didn’t concern ourselves directly.

Before Brian, I’d never had any experience with suicide, suicide grief or had known anyone close to me who’d chosen to leave the world by their own hand. So, I can’t say that I was any different, or any more compassionate. Honestly, I can’t remember if the topic ever came up.

My point is that it’s not a fault of the individual; it’s the fault of our culture and the lack of education and understanding.

So I will become one of the educators because I really need to. I need people to understand that you can’t get over it. It lives with you, daily. It becomes a part of you and rather than reject it, I choose to embrace it.

I choose to take this experience and make something positive out of it.

Brian’s life mattered. ALL lives matter, no matter what our exit strategy is out of this world.

So please, don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. Don’t avoid the topic or whisper about it.

YELL IT OUT.

Everyone needs to know and learn about mental illness and how to help those that are suffering.

Because it can kill.

Just like cancer.

Just like any other disease known to humans.

It’s time to make this a priority and stop pretending it’s not a massive problem.

Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable deaths.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for people of all ages. In 2009, it ranked as the ninth leading cause of death in Canada. Among those aged 15 to 34, suicide was the second leading cause of death, preceded only by accidents (unintentional injuries).

In memory of Bri

Lighting Up the World


There is a lot going on in the world; I’m stating the obvious, here. International political relationships haven’t been this bad in a long time. I think there are various degrees of concern. While many simply go about their day-to-day lives and never give war/poverty/violence on a Global Scale a second thought…there are others that are all too aware, that if unchecked, this could escalate into something really, really, bad and before we know it, we could be plunging into a third world war.
Does that sound plausible to you or do you think everything will be fine and we should ignore the drama?
Personally, I find disregard for human lives and welfare, anywhere in the world, unacceptable – but, this is the age we live in, isn’t it?
What’s really going on? We launch massive bombs at an already ravaged country and then pat ourselves on the back about it. We make threats to countries that might not have an issue launching their nuclear weapons in our direction. We decide that Global Warming doesn’t exist (just because one guy tells us this) and then we go about our consumer lives and nothing changes. I realize I’m generalizing and when I say ‘WE’ I’m painting with a very broad brush. The fact is, individually, we’re pretty powerless to intervene. Or…are we?
Why aren’t the alarm bells screaming?
I believe that far too many people have become desensitized to global atrocities because they don’t necessarily happen to THEM and let’s face it, watching it on TV or reading about it online, just doesn’t cut it.
I am a Lightworker. Perhaps you are too? If you are, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you’ll want to help. If you don’t think you are, that’s okay – we need you, as well. What I can tell you from a Spiritual perspective, is that there is much happening on the other side. We live in perilous times but this is a wake-up call and a call to action. This is an incredible opportunity to transcend ourselves past this world of starvation, greed, violence and EGO and redefine our humanity. Peace. Love. Harmony. Perhaps that’s too 1960’ish for you?
Then let’s keep it real, current, and start with just yourself. You can do that right? Not too hard?
No one person can really save a planet all by themselves but we can start by changing our way of thinking and doing.
Do’s and Don’ts:
  • Don’t panic. Jumping up and down, pointing finger, yelling and flapping your arms about isn’t going to stop anything.
  • DO be grateful for every little thing you have.
  • Don’t give in to the FEAR. Fear = hate = exacerbates the problem = point of no return.
  • DO give LOVE…everywhere. Really, send out love to every little atom out there. We can’t possible do this enough. Envision Earth right there in front of you and send it all the love you can muster. Do this a LOT. Love = light = peace = goodness = GOD/Source/Whatever you believe in.
There are Lightworkers all over the world doing good work. You can help and all you need to do is suspend whatever disbelief you may have and send a little love into the world. Yup, that’s it. We can make this really complicated, or keep it super simple (KISS).
Go on and light it up so that whatever darkness WE have created, whatever FEAR we are buying into, becomes nothing more than playful shadows.
Never forget, we are the masters of our own destiny. There is no real evil except what we create/manifest. We do this to ourselves and the silly thing is, we can choose not to. We can choose differently.
I don’t care how ridiculous this sounds. Dig deep inside yourself and ask one question:
Would it hurt to send the world some love?
Are you ready? I’ll go through it one more time because you may have missed it.
Close your eyes. Imagine this beautiful blue and green planet in front of you with all its life force as if it were your own child. Focus on your heart chakra or heart area and radiate your love all over it.
If you feel foolish – just remember, no one will know but you.
It can be our little secret…
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When Someone Ignores You


I think I’ve written about this topic, before, but it was quite some time ago.

Recently, a friend of mine, asked me what to do or how to react if the man she’s currently dating doesn’t respond to her emails, texts, etc. I could tell this upset her and, why wouldn’t it?

NO ONE enjoys being ignored. No one.

So why do we do it? Why do we think it’s okay to be disrespectful when we typically hate it when it’s done to us? As I’ve been in the sales world for 30-years, I’m very used to people not getting back to me. It’s a priority thing – I’m trying to sell them something/pass along information, and they don’t always have the time or need to get back to me.

I get that, as annoying as it is, I get that. However, I make it a practice to always be polite and respectful of sales reps reaching out to me. No matter how cheesy they come across, how insistent they are, or how presumptuous, I can’t find it within myself to be mean. Mean/rude people, no matter how you want to justify it, are just that: mean and rude.

You can make whatever excuse you want to, explain yourself away by saying you’re teaching that person a lesson (how kind of you!) etc., etc…but there simply is no justification to be impolite to someone who is just trying to make a living.

Not everyone is lucky enough to not have to cold call or email strangers to make ends meet. It’s great that you make all your business through word of mouth but at some point, you will talk to someone out there and tell them about YOU and what you DO. That, my darlings, is selling. It’s relationship selling, but it’s selling.

All of this said, it’s often the ones closest to us, our friends and family, that think it’s perfectly okay to not get back to us, or take weeks to do it. We’ve heard it all.

I lost your text.

No, you didn’t. You purposefully deleted it and then forgot about that person or chose to not reply.

I thought I emailed you back.

If you have that many personal emails to respond to, make a list and set aside some time to respond to those who you mean something to. We’re all busy. We all have better things we can/should be doing and we can all set aside 30 min. to type out a few quick emails. Even if it’s just to say: “I’m super busy! I haven’t forgotten about you…and will respond when I’ve got some more time. Xox”

Now, if you know me and are reading this and think I may be talking about you (and you’re now upset) you very well may be guilty. If you are, put yourself in the place of someone who gets ignored, and think about how that makes you feel.

Pretty crappy, right?

When you ignore someone, you’re telling them that they don’t matter to you. This leads to hurt feelings, anger, resentment and confusion. The result of this is that this person thinks you don’t care.

Clearly you matter to them! If you have someone in your life who doesn’t matter to you, time to cut them loose and save them some hurt.

Back to my friend. As she was clearly upset by this man ignoring her, I asked her why she spent time engaging with someone who wasn’t engaging with her. If your love interest can’t be bothered with you…why are they still your love interest? I can tell you they are not so interested in you!

Your takeaway is to really think how it affects others when you consciously choose to not respond when they reach out to you or take an unreasonable amount of time. How much time is unreasonable? Ask yourself how long you think it should take others to get back to you…

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Two Years Later


I blog a lot about Brian and how his suicide changed my life. However, this post isn’t so much about Bri, but more on how those changes have taken root and grown in the past (almost) two years.

It’s a little early as it’s two months away but the closer I get to the date, the harder it becomes, emotionally. Today, however, today I can write/talk about what’s happened in the span of almost 24 months.

Firstly, it DOES get easier. It really does. Not a lot, but I’ll take any tiny bit of peace I can get. It’s not that I still don’t think of him every day or get weepy when a song on the radio comes on that reminds me of him…but it’s a little less. I feel I’ve turned a corner on this grief and I wanted to share that with you.

If you’d met me pre-Brian and today, you’d definitely know that I’ve changed as a person – for the good and not so good.

I find that, for nice people, I’m more willing to do just about anything, should they ask. For jerks, I have zero tolerance and I tend to lose my temper, a lot. I’m mindful of my meltdowns and, for the most part, I can calm myself and not fall apart when something makes me irate.

From what I understand, this is still part of processing what happened. It’s getting less and daily meditation is helping.

I find that I’ve become an advocate, of sorts, and will not tolerate any jokes towards mental illness. I’m extremely sensitive towards people talking flippantly about suicide but I’ve also become more aware and caring as an individual. I do what I can for my fellow human and I find that I will cry, easily, over sad or touching pictures/events/videos/etc.

I FINALLY know what I want to be when I grow up! Yes, it’s taken 51 years, but better late than never, right? Had you told me I was going to be a Life Coach? I would have asked: what’s a Life Coach??

I believe in myself (my abilities) a whole bunch more, but my self-esteem still needs some work. No matter how many times my sweetheart assures me I’m NOT fat, ugly, old…(insert every female insecurity here) I have a hard time believing it’s true. Pre-Brian, I was pretty certain I was doing really well and for 49, thought I was hawt! Now, I’m not so sure how I feel about ‘me’. Part of it has to do with that Woman, whom he was still smitten with and who broke his heart (which lead to his premature demise)… and part of it has to do with getting older. Starting Menopause has not been a whole hell of a lot of fun, I can tell you that.

Two years ago, I was doing very well at my job, LOVED it, in fact, and was kinda proud of myself for doing well and being finally debt-free. I really liked myself and knew I was in a good space for a lasting relationship with the right person. I didn’t have any baggage, was saving to buy a place and felt I had a lot to offer.

Today, I’m actually financially even better off (thanks to Brian’s life insurance) but other than having a great down payment for a home and paying off the new car I bought (after I accidentally murdered the old one in a bad accident), the money means nothing to me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it, that’s not it at all. I really do!

It’s just that money, in general, doesn’t = success/fun, any more. It’s necessary and I need/want it, but it’s just kinda there. Prior to this tragedy, had I come across a large sum of cash, I’d be planning trips and having an awesome time but maybe because I didn’t ‘earn’ this money and because of the circumstances around it, it seems like I shouldn’t spend any of it on anything other than stuff that’s necessary (car/home).

Funny story – when I went to pay off my car loan, the loan clerk looked at me and said (knowing that I’d gotten the cash from an inheritance): Congratulations!!

I just stared at her in disbelief thinking how what I’d do/give/sell (my soul??) to have Brian back. She finally figure out that this wasn’t a ‘happy’ inheritance (what ones ever are?!) and said her condolences for my loss. Idiot.

Today, I appreciate my career but believe it’s not what I’m supposed to do. Today, it’s not about feeding my bank account but feeding my soul and my urgent need to help others.

Two years ago, I ‘may’ have been a tiny bit arrogant. Today ‘humble’ is my middle name. I have a hard time NOT being empathetic to people that, in the past, I would never be. Although, if you say or imply anything bad towards Brian or mental illness (of any sort) the claws come out, quick.

They are quite sharp and lethal, I assure you.

Two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined meeting someone like Pete who is the first man in I-don’t-know-how-many-years…whom I actually BELIEVE is truly in love with me. Seriously, he adores me rotten and I don’t know how I’d be doing, now, without him – me this broken, fragile remanence of a woman.I’m surprised he stuck it out; life with me isn’t always easy.

I needed someone with really BIG LOVE to come into my life…just as Brian needed the same from me. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I helped him, even if he took his life, anyway, I think he stuck around a little while longer because he knew I loved him so VERY much.

Sometimes BIG love is enough, sometimes it isn’t.

I get it now, Spirit, thank you for that lesson.

Two years ago, if you’d told me that I’ve have my own website, little business, and be planning to completely change careers, mid-life, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Two years ago, if you’d told me that I’d come out as a Psychic Medium, I would have burst out laughing. Today, it’s just part of my everyday life.

Two years ago, just before I met Brian, I was really lonely and wondered if I’d EVER find someone to live the rest of my life with. Today, the man I love not only lives with me, but I can’t imagine a day where I wouldn’t wake up next to him. He doesn’t fill the hole that Brian left (it’s a rather large one) but, instead, fills my whole heart with love and joy. I couldn’t be more thankful for him.

Two years ago, I was just going along …living life and not really paying too much attention.

Today, I live in every moment, pay attention to everything and feel blessed for every hurt/tear/sob/scar; because without these, I wouldn’t have grown. I wouldn’t have known the plight of those who are suffering (mostly in silence) with mental illnesses and I wouldn’t have discovered what I really had in me, as a Soul, having a very HUMAN experience.

So yeah, I’m grateful…almost two years later. xosuicide7-copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes life moves on…but not really.


 

It’s coming up to two years since Brian passed away by his own hand.

TWO. Years. About a week ago, (back 24 months) we’d just met.

Some days it seems like it was yesterday and I can still hear his laugh and feel the smoothness of his skin.

Other days, I’m lost in the moment of what my life is now: established relationship, getting ready to purchase a condo, together, same job…and of course, a new little company that I’ve started on the side.

I’m now a (proper) Professional (certified) Life Coach. (happy dance!)

If I look back, I’ve come a long way since that fateful May evening but on the other hand, it still haunts me. This, more than anything, confirms that grief knows no template or order.

It simply ‘is’ there and will show up whenever it feels like it. Or…not at all. I can now go whole days without shedding a tear, but I still think of him, often. There’s all the little reminders sprinkled around my life. I think, once we move, it will get a little easier.

This event is so significant that I don’t feel I’ll ever be able to put it behind me, rather, it will accompany me on my journey – kind of like a little stone I carry around in my shoe. It hurts, but I’ve grown used to it and there are now calluses to help mitigate the ache. I think I’d miss it if it should disappear.

I hope I’m wiser. I hope this has made me a better (more kindhearted and caring) person. I pray that I never have to maneuver through this kind of hell, again. I don’t think I’d survive it. I ask that I be able to continue to help others in any way or by any means that I can. I will always advocate for mental health.

And I will forever miss him.

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Happy New Year 2017


Wow, what a bizarre 12 months 2016 was! It’s like we all stepped into the Twilight Zone where surreal became reality. I’m not sure I’m over it, yet.

That being said, it’s time to take a big breath (really BIG breath, maybe several) and take a peek into the new year of our lives. What do you see? What do you feel? How do you think you will be?

The New Year is always a bit daunting; especially with the way the world is, today. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of crap going on and for the most part, we are powerless to make an impact. However, here’s 5 things you can do as a start to a positive new beginning.

  1. Focus your energy on LOVE, not anger.
  1. Be kinder in a world where there is so much hate, violence and misunderstandings.
  1. Hug someone, today…even if it’s just your pet. 🙂 Pets need our love and support, too.
  1. Reach out to a friend you’ve not spoken to in a while and just ask them how they are doing.
  1. Tell someone you love and appreciate them. It could your mother, or sister or lover or spouse. Maybe it’s your best friend or dad or brother. Maybe it’s yourself. Always save some love for YOU – you need it just as much.

Be brave, my lovelies; I think we’re in for a wild ride but an uplifting one. Let us make a difference, one hug at a time. Let us pass along the positive and the love so that it grows and becomes a force so much stronger than what’s out there, now.

We can do it; I have faith in humanity, one soul at a time.

TONS of love!

Carrie xo

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Being True to Yourself


Recently, I realized that I’ve been lying to myself. In fact, most of us are not honest with ourselves 100% of the time. I didn’t want to believe what my heart was telling me so I brought my head into the conversation and head said: “Oh, hey there! Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out, don’t listen to Heart – we’ve got this and don’t pay attention to all the hidden little signs of possible trouble ahead, we can deal with those later…”

Turns out, my Head, was very wrong and my Heart was the one really paying attention all along. In essence, I was fooling myself into thinking I could work things out by ignoring all the red flags that were popping up. I let things just ‘happen’ without really watching or listening to signs that everything wasn’t on the up-and-up, and now it’s unraveling because the other person involved wasn’t being honest with themselves, either.

So there we were, the both of us merrily going along, pretending it was all OKAY and ignoring warning signs like: anxiety, control, avoidance, haste, and a few other things that are now coming to light. It’s extremely important that we speak our truth at all times and when someone doesn’t, we get led down a path only to find out it’s a dead-end.

Does this sound familiar? I suspect it does. So…what’s the lesson, here?

I believe if we are truly in sync with ourselves and speak our highest truth, we will find that it’s okay to say: No, I’m not comfortable with that or…I’m not ready for that, yet.  We have the right to do that and it’s being fair to all involved. If we acquiesce, constantly, we are not only hurting ourselves, but others, too. And if we try and push the deal through to get what we want (knowing the other person isn’t or might not be totally on board) we do the same thing.

Step into your higher self when being asked the BIG questions in life – like commitment, going forward in relationships, how you feel, where you want to be, what you really want, etc. Be honest and say what’s really on your mind.

In the end, you will avoid a whole boatload of issues that you’ll now have to deal with. It’s like having a massive party at your house and leaving the mess sitting there for months. The longer you wait to clean it up, the ickier it gets and the more difficult it becomes to come clean.

I think if we practice this, in time, our lives will be easier and a lot more peaceful.Print

Dealing with Grief 101 – Part II


I really should proof-read at least 10 times before hitting the “post” button. It would seem I double copied some of my previous post and well…that’s just never fun to read, is it?

Most sorry about that and all fixed now. 🙂

Aright – onwards and upwards.

I’ll list 5 more little known (or maybe you DO know them) items one may want to think on when going through any type of sorrow.

  1. Create a safe space for yourself to ‘do’ the grieving. Crying is just part of it. You may want to yell, scream, throw things or simply curl up into a little ball and whimper. All of this is OKAY. You’re going through trauma and shoving all that raw emotion down into yourself will make it worse. Let it out.

Think about what happens when you put on a pot of water to boil with a tight lid on it. What happens, eventually, when the water boils? It’s all about the pressure. At some point, we will boil over as there will be a tremendous amount of pressure building inside us and it needs out.

Again, let it all out. If you’re not comfortable doing this in front of anyone, make sure you’re alone. If you have someone who can be there with and for you, tell them exactly what you need to do. It’s less scary that way. If you need to scream while someone is holding you – do it.

It’s okay to be angry and sad. In fact, it’s completely normal. Remember, your life has just been turned upside down and all the contents that were YOU have been dumped out. You’ve now got the task of collecting yourself and reassembling YOU. It’s not an easy job.

  1. Be ready for the waves. I’ve heard the analogy plenty of times and it’s such an accurate one. My counsellor told me that there will be massive tsunamis and small swells. You just don’t know when they’ll be coming because they’re stealthy little shits.

You may be in the middle of a meeting and suddenly “WHAM!” you remind yourself that you should call someone about something funny that just happened in said meeting and then the very next thought is: “Oh yeah, so-and-so is DEAD.”

And just like that it’s game over. You’re reliving everything and preventing tears is extremely difficult. I believe this is a good example of why just getting on with your life and keeping yourself busy may not work so well.

So how do you deal with that? I would say any way you can. I’ve feigned having to use the ladies and excused myself. I’ve sucked it back, finished the meeting and then allowed myself to have a complete breakdown in my car, afterwards. There is just no easy answer as that elephant in the room that you’re trying to ignore comes over and steps on you, every once in a while.

It’s not like you can say: “Sorry, my wife just asked me for a divorce out of the blue so I need to take a moment and cry; is that alright with you?”

But hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where that WAS okay to do? Where people were so compassionate that they’d understand completely?

  1. People will avoid you. Well, most people will when they find out. That’s because, as humans, we’re not good with seeing others grieve. We’re uncomfortable and we really don’t know what’s expected of us. Some, will reach out briefly to offer condolences but then disappear back into the abyss. Your true friends, however, will be there and they will check in on you regularly.

Typically these are the people who have been through some sort of traumatic grief, themselves. My best friend battled (and won!) against breast cancer but it took its toll on her and she went through hell.

SHE, got it. We were there for each other and it didn’t matter how often I needed to talk about it, she listened, and listened and listened some more. I can still talk to her any time. And she knows she can talk to me, anytime, about everything she is still going through. She lives on the other side of the planet but we’re thick as thieves.

  1. It’s okay to let those people who ARE there for you, know when you need some space. Sometimes you need to be by yourself to process everything. It’s understandable, as you desperately try and make sense of what happened. In the case of suicide bereavement, you may never make sense of it because, to the ones left living, we can’t ever comprehend what was going on in their minds and hearts.

Know that you’ll learn to live with this. If you need some solitude, take it. Always be kind to yourself.

  1. For a long time, it will be like you’re walking in a fog. You will go through a torrent of emotions and no, they won’t be in a nice little package labeled: The Five (and I’ve seen seven) Stages of Grief. Yes, those emotions will be knocking at your door, but there are no neat little ‘stages’ where you can tick off each one as they come and go. NOPE, it doesn’t work that way. In fact there are a ton of emotions to get to know.

I’d  like to point out that I never went through denial. I also didn’t go through bargaining. I am, though, quite good friends with depression and anger. Each visit me, frequently, and we get on quite well. Sometimes they show up for tea at the same time and we have a big ‘ole party.

Now, guilt. Guilt and I are practically best buds. This is such a fun emotion (not) and even though I know full well I could not have saved Brian, some part of me still likes to think I could have and that if I’d only done this or that (like not forget my damn phone) he’d still be alive. The fact is: he made a choice then and there and it’s already happened. I cannot change the outcome.

And just like that it was all over and my whole world changed. Yours will change, too. It’s maneuvering those changes that I can help you with.

I think this is a better representation but we’re all unique and going through grief is different for every person.

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Dad’s Binoculars


I’m not sure how I ended up with them; it could be that he still had them in his pile of things when he passed away, or he may have left them at the house when he moved out and my parents finally split up for good. I was seventeen. That was a bad day.

They are mine, now, and occasionally I take them out and look through them. When I was a little girl, we took them with us on trips to Waterton National Park in Alberta. We’d drive the three hours or so up there and wander around Red Rock Canyon and Waterton Lake. My parents used to feed the deer, potato chips. It was the 70’s and people thought that was okay, back then.

They are Tasco Model # 318 (the binoculars, not the deer) and they’re 7 x 35 zoom. They’re big, kinda clunky and I can get something a whole lot better and smaller for pretty cheap, today, but these are special. They hold memories that can’t be replaced; those that I keep sacred in my heart.

I still have the little plastic cups for the eye pieces and the lenses. I think, somewhere on this metal and plastic relic, my dad’s fingerprints might even be buried beneath years of mine, my mom’s and possibly my two siblings. Dad’s been gone for twenty-seven years, now. That’s a lot of finger grease.

Today the fading evening sun was tracing a lovely orange-pink outline on cotton candy clouds. They were in the distance and I wanted to see them better. I love clouds…rows and flows of angel hair, right?

So I got out my dad’s binoculars and went to it. I wasn’t disappointed. Fiery apricot sunbeams lit up the sky with sheets of warmth embedded in the indigo of this afternoons rain. It was magical.

Time is a funny thing. I know it was so long ago that he held them in his hands and I remember he got them, one year, for his birthday. Yet…I can still hear his laugh as if it were yesterday and I can see him squinting into the lenses of the eye holes, lit pipe in-between his teeth as he smiled into the distance. He loved this gift and we took them with us, every vacation.

I wonder if dad every looked at clouds through this spyglass. I wonder what he saw if he did…

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Conversations with My Dead Boyfriend


Yep; thought that title would grab your attention.

As an out of the closet Intuitive Medium, I chat with Bri on a regular basis. It’s healing when you’re going through a shit-ton of grief. It doesn’t matter that I have a new man in my life whom I adore and it doesn’t matter that it’s been a year and a half. The ache, the pain, it’s all still there and I need consoling.

So yeah, he knows when I’m in tears and when I have doubts and when I’m heading towards the darkness of depression. He’s been there, you see, so he totally gets it. Having someone he thought he’d spend the rest of his life with suddenly walk out on him and tell him to never bother her again, was devastating to him.

Having a man you’re completely in love with take their life over that is equally devastating. I have some bad days. In fact, I have many bad days where I feel like I’m drowning but somehow I manage to tread water long enough to get to the next day…and the next.

So what does he tell me? He tells me to hang in there. He tells me I’ll be okay; sometimes I don’t believe him but I listen, anyway. He tells me he loves me. I sometimes don’t believe that, either, but that’s just me playing the ‘hurt’ card. I know, in my heart, he does.

He tells me to do it for him and that he’s here for me like I was for him. He thanks me for being so patient with him and never giving up hope. He has high hopes for me. At times, he’s playful (he always did have a stupendous sense of humour!) and sweet. Other times, he’s serious and gets frustrated with me constantly questioning his feelings. He wants me to know, quite adamantly, that he loved me then, loves me now, and will continue to do so.

But sometimes I can be a little shit and I go through the ‘I’m mad at you’ feelings and I slink down into unworthiness and guilt; those are SO much fun to deal with. I loop back around to compare myself to HER – and I can’t because I’m not 13-years younger with a perfect yoga bod with long blonde perfect hair and a perfect pretty face. I’m 50 for God’s sake. Although I think I’ve held up well…

I feel that I wasn’t ENOUGH for him but I know the truth. He wasn’t enough for himself. He wasn’t leaving ME, or HER – he was trying to break up with himself. As he found out, this cannot be done but I assure you the unbearable pain he encircled himself with is long gone. He’s fine – regretful, but fine.

He hangs around, patiently, while I move through self-deprecating emotions and waits until I come to the same conclusion, every time. That I was enough for him and that I DID have what he was looking for in a relationship, and then some. If I can quote him: “A relationship can’t survive, or be of any measurable substance, if there’s no depth. A pretty face and nice body is not depth.”

I have depth in abundance.

What you need to know is…they are around you.

Talk to them. You know who I mean, the one you lost and loved. They are near you a LOT. They see your tears and can hear you just as plain as day. Speak to them out loud and look for signs; they will send them. They are OKAY; they are with Spirit and GOD/Source whatever you want to call IT.

They are alive! They are without hurts and afflictions, they are whole and healthy and happy. And possibly the thing you need to know the most:

They Miss you. They Love you. And they do these things, constantly, as much as you do.

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Feelings and Whatnot


As I’m meandering my way through my Life Coaching Course, I’m learning a few new things and validating others that I already knew. Not ever being a fan of sympathy, I was happy to learn that empathy trumps it (NOT the Donald) every time.

Do you know the difference? I could write an entire chapter on this but simply put: sympathy is pity; empathy is understanding.

It’s always a better scenario to have someone ‘understand’ your feelings rather than feel sorry for them. Why? Because that’s how we relate to one anther – by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

It’s a pretty basic thing…but I will never give a ‘Sympathy’ card out to someone who has lost a loved one, again. I don’t want to pity them, but empathize with what they’re going through. I think we should rename those cards: Empathy cards. Sympathy is the weaker/annoying cousin to empathy – you know…the cousin whom you haven’t seen for a decade that shows up for dinner, one night, expecting you to entertain them.  They are just not up to snuff when it comes to hard core feelings such as grief, like empathy is, who will show up only when you need them and want them, but also take you out for a nice meal and throw in a few glasses of wine, to boot.

Empathy listens without judgment. Sympathy interrupts with platitudes and then possibly makes it all about them.

So the next time someone comes to you for a shoulder, listen with empathy. Don’t judge them and let them know they were heard and you’re there for them.

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Empathy

World Suicide Prevention Day


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I think it no coincidence that today is the day I end up taking Brian’s ashes to scatter them on a beach he played on, as a child. I was supposed to go, last week, but seeing as it was the Saturday before the last long weekend before School is back in, my sister and I thought better of it. Long and busy ferry lineups are not our thing.

I didn’t even clue in that we’d re-worked our plans for THIS day. There are no coincidences…this was meant to be.

I miss him. Every day, I miss him.

For new readers, my late boyfriend, Brian, took his life on May 11th, 2015. It is a day that I’ll never forget and one that changed me for the remainder of this life.

Every blog post I read about those who have lost someone that they love, to suicide, tells a similar story. Gut wrenching pain and all too stupid and insensitive comments; platitudes that are tossed out there to us like left over scraps thrown towards a starving street dog.

I’ve heard it all and if you’ve gone through it, so have you.

Mental illness is not treated like other diseases and can you imagine if someone came up to you and said: “Well that was very selfish of him to die of cancer that way!”

That’s the trash we get from friends, family, people who should know better as well as strangers.

One of my all time favourites: “Why aren’t you over it, yet?”

They don’t know any better. We’ve been taught to be uncomfortable around the word: SUICIDE. Why? Because, in our culture, it’s an unacceptable way to die. We’re not supposed to choose to leave on our own. If we spoke about this out in the open, discussed it with our children and loved ones, early on, so it wasn’t a taboo and unholy subject, I believe less people would die.

For those who are battling depression, anxiety and have ever thought of taking their life or who have attempted it, ignorance and societal judgments, as well as, misunderstandings are just the norm. It’s sad and it makes everything SO much worse and I dare say contributes to the rising rate of suicide and suicide attempts.

Those that are so desperate to end their emotional pain that they are willing to end their lives are treated like criminals and outcasts, and that is the worst crime of all.

Let me share this: what suicide attempt survivors wish you to know.

I’ve met others who’ve had a brush with suicidal thoughts; it’s far more common than you think. I know a suicide attempt survivor who is a good friend of mine. One thing that was said was: “thoughts of ending your life never leave you, they are always at the back of your mind. I’d decided that if I ever needed to attempt it, again, that this time I was going to get it right.”

Brian’s story isn’t new. His isn’t unique although his reasons and pain are unique to HIM. How many other people out there are suffering in silence, afraid to ask for help because we criminalize their pain, lock them up like a common killer, and take away every shred of their dignity and all of the things that make them feel human and provide a sense of belonging?

We can do a better job and we have to. In a future blog post I’ll describe the initial PAU (psychiatric assessment unit) that Brian was put into. I will say, now, that it was frightening and he was very scared. I would be too. I’m sure there is a way to fund some sort of community temporary home that allows safe personal items as well as protects people from themselves in a more loving environment. I strongly suspect that family would be willing to help. I would have been.

One issue that is brought to our attention is that our youth are greatly at risk. One in 5 teens have considered suicide, last year according to this article.

One.

In, Five, teenagers…children, for God’s sake.

What is it going to take for us to be comfortable to talk about this in the open? When are we going to let suicide out of it’s closet, because it’s bloody well banging on the door.

Take your religion out of the picture. Take your presumptuous thoughts and set them aside. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. It could be your best friend, your spouse, your daughter or your dad. It could be your uncle, your cousin, someone you work with, someone you go to school or the gym with. You could save a life. We could all saves lives if we brought this out into the open and just talked about it.

It could be you. You need to know that it’s safe to talk about.

So, let’s do it. Right here. Open up the door and let it out because if you don’t, it could destroy you.

My goal is to help, to council and to coach. My path is to assist in your healing and guide you to your next steps on your journey. Remember, your soul wants to be here. You chose to be here and everyone has everything to live for.

; None of our life stories are over, yet.

 

 

 

 

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month


Chances are you know someone or know someone who knows someone who has been touched by suicide. You may not even be aware of it but I’m betting that this is the case.

You see – people don’t talk about it. But, they should for so many reasons and I’ve written about them here.

Please be aware of the signs. Sometimes there are no obvious signs; had I not been warned by one of my Guides, I wouldn’t have been prepared at all. As it was, Brian showed no outward signs that he was suicidal. He kept his pain very well hidden. In the end, only his ex-wife and I knew what was going on. Often it’s a very well kept secret that the person who is suffering, is embarrassed by and they’re afraid to talk about it because our Western Culture shames them and criminalizes mental illness.

Don’t be afraid to call 911 if you think someone is in danger of harming them selves.

September 10th is World Prevention Suicide Day. I’ll be posting my future intentions as a Metaphysical Life Coach, Grief Counsellor and Healer.

Stay tuned and don’t touch that dial.

Helping Suicide Out of the Closet


I’ve wanted to write about this for a while and I believe I’ve attempted it, many times, and in various forms. The fact is: Suicide is a problem and the biggest part of the problem is that it’s kept in the closet.

It’s not only kept their by people who have either attempted it, who are thinking about it or have successfully (and most tragically) succeeded at it. But it’s sent into the closet by everyone else. For the most part, the reason is that our culture not only doesn’t really understand this off limits subject, they don’t want to deal with it at all. I’ve personally experience this. In hushed tones, odd looks and behind closed doors – that’s where the topic of suicide lurks.

Nobody wants to fucking talk about it.

At least, not many, unless you’re exceptionally brave and have been battling it. Or…you’ve been touched by it in the worst way. Most religions not only frown upon it but many outright tell you you’ll wind up in HELL (that’s eternal damnation, fire and brimstone for those who are not familiar with this myth). In essence, if you do this, you’re a VERY BAD PERSON. No wonder people don’t seek help. They’re shamed and looked down upon.

This does nothing to help or heal those that are battling this terrible struggle. Quite the opposite, it promotes self-oppression and wrongly points a finger at someone who is deeply in pain and suffering. What element of humanity promotes the condemnation of the mentally ill, those that battle depression and those that are bullied? We do it all the time. Shame on us.

I’d like to point out there have been great strides towards recognizing mental health issues such as depression, bullying, etc., that can lead to suicide. Project Semicolon is one of them and I’m SO, SO, happy for this. It’s incredible but it’s not enough. Many are completely unaware of it and as a survivor of suicide grief, I can tell you most people (including members of my own family) still don’t get it and really don’t want to talk about it.

So. How do we get people talking about it?

This is what I’m all about. This is what part of my new life-focus will become. We need to help. We need to help those that are battling themselves and those that are in terrible sorrow and struggling with the aftermath. It’s hellish. In fact, it’s beyond hellish.

Do you know that suicide grief survivors are 10x more likely to take their own life? I betting you didn’t.

Did you know that even very young children have thoughts about suicide? Think about that…think about what would drive a 6-year old to want to take their own life.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages. Yup. An estimated quarter of a million people per year, become suicide bereavement survivors just in the US.

Suicide among males is 4x higher than females but more females have suicidal thoughts and their attempts are 3x’s as often.

1 in 100,000 children aged 10-14 die from suicide every year. Did that grab your attention?

This is mostly based on US statistics but I’ll assume that Canadians are close behind based on POP variables. Now, we don’t have a lot of guns, here, and firearms are the most common method of suicide among males but that won’t stop someone who is serious about it. Trust me on this.

Here’s an interesting STAT. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the WORLD for those aged 15-44 years. THE THIRD. In 2012, it was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year old’s. SECOND.

Over 800,000 die due to suicide every year and that doesn’t count those that attempt it.

Yet, we don’t want to talk about it.

It’s embarrassing. It’s thought to be selfish. You’re told to ‘get over it’. Did you know that when my late boyfriend took his life, last year, I received one card of sympathy?

One. Just….one.

Thank you, Debb. I appreciated that more than you know. Now, had Brian died from cancer or had been killed in an auto accident there would have been an outpouring of support from co-workers, family, friends and whatnot. It would have been talked about and NO ONE would have told me to get over it.

But he didn’t. He quietly hung himself on a beautiful spring, May evening.

We need to talk about it.

I’m betting (and I’m not a betting woman) that there will be some who read this who’ve either thought about suicide, have been touched by it or have even attempted it. But they’ve told no one.

We need to talk about it.

This is preventable, if we educate ourselves, our children and – TALK ABOUT IT.

There is one death by suicide in this world about every 40 seconds.

For your sake, for your loved one’s sake, for all of our sake; let’s talk about it.

Please.

I will continue my plight in bringing this subject to the surface, out of the closet and out in the open.

Until then.

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Why?


Some days I wonder why. Why all the violence, senseless murders, anger, fear and sociopaths filled with hate that may be the next leader of the most powerful country in the world?

What does it all mean? I think the human race, in our time, is experimenting on experiencing …

Just how bad, can or will it get before we let the light in?

They say: it is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.

I dare suspect it will grow considerably darker before humanity understands that we need to change our ways of thinking and doing on a global scale.

And then, there will be a dawn like no other but it will slip into the world so slowly and gently and with such love that it will take us a bit to realize that we’ve emerged out of one of the worst times Western Civilization has ever seen.

Hang on, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

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Three Pounds of Brian


I wondered what was really inside the bag,
Inside the other brown paper bag all non-descript looking, even slightly humble

There it sat up high beside the poem I’d written for you, forever framed in time
Beside your picture; it looked rather out of place and lost

I removed what used to be part of YOU, in that little paper bag, placed it tenderly on the floor

I stared at it.
I walked over and touched it
I picked it up

Gently took out the contents inside clear plastic, all tightly sealed
They looked harmless enough

I saw ashes, bone fragments and I cried

I held what was once a man I loved (or part of…) and washed my face with salty tears as a plastic bag filled with YOU sat in my lap

I imagined that part of those 3 lbs. contains your heart
I imagined you’d want it that way but I know it’s all mixed up

All shoveled together into one spot to be later separated so that you were shared

I’m taking that approx. 3lbs of you home to the Island
To where I grew up and you spent endless summers on the beach with your folks

I wish we’d gone back there, being both Island people, and walked on that beach
Remembering our pasts, contemplating possible crossed paths

We’re going to make that journey, 3 lbs. of you – and all of me
It’s taken us a while, but we’ll walk that beach and share

Share a past we could have known but never did
And I’ll let you go, there; among the sand, the shells, and the Pacific Sea

Setting you free in Qualicum Beach.

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Happy Father’s Day


I recall so much of my childhood and my father; a lot of it not so good. He became an alcoholic when I was still quite young – 5 or 6-years old, I think. I could have been younger. I remember the fights my parents used to have from a very early age and my mother crying. On one occasion I had the nerve to ask what was wrong in an innocent little-girl-way. She promptly turned to me and snapped at me coldly to shut up.

That was how it was; along with me, she had a toddler (my sister), an 11-year old son (my bro) and she, herself, was probably still in her 30’s. That’s a lot to handle with financial issues and an angry husband when he was drunk.

It wasn’t always bad, though. There were fleeting happy memories and today, I want to honour them.

Here goes:

I fondly remember all the mornings that dad got up, changed my underwear (I guess I’d occasionally wet the bed at night) and me telling him about my dreams. Keep in mind I was walking and talking like a 3-year old at the tender age of 1.5 years so these memories were probably from the age of around 2 and a half. I started to walk and talk at 9 months, never engaged in the typical ‘baby-talk’ and frequently embarrassed my mother in public by saying things no 1 and a half year old should be saying. I was a freaky kid.

I once told him about a dream of alligators attacking my little bum. I think he laughed and assured me it wasn’t real but just a dream. Odd how I still remember this.

My brother is 6-years older than me and when he was getting ready for school, during the week, I’d sit and watch cartoons with dad. Rocket Robin Hood, Batman and Robin and Spiderman played one after the other on our 20” black and white TV. Dad made me cinnamon toast and snuck me a tiny cup of well creamed and sugared coffee. I LOVED the stuff. I still do.

I don’t think my mom knew he gave her 3-year old coffee. Shhh.

We were camping at Christina Lake, one summer, and I’d wandered on to the sandy beach with bare feet. It was hotter than Hades on my tiny little feet and I screamed bloody murder until he came running over like a bat out of hell and saved my tender tootsies from the lava sand. I think I was 6-years.

He used to hold us by the ankles, upside down (there is a pic of this somewhere) until we laughed so hard we nearly peed ourselves.

He LOVED cartoons more than you can imagine and always knew when the best ones were on. He’s the only dad I know who’d sit and watch cartoons with his kids and made sure they didn’t miss their favourite ones.

My dad was a HUGE Star Trek fan. It’s because of him that I love Sci-Fi and am fascinated with space.

He gave me my first (and last) 12 long-stemmed red roses, for my graduation. They came in a beautiful white box filled with white tissue. He said there was one rose in there for every year of school. I think I cried.

Fathers are the first men little girls fall in love with. They are our heros and our champions. While some dads take a wrong turn, at times, and are not always the best they can be – they still teach us many valuable lessons about love, life, forgiveness and patience.

Dad died when I was 23. He had throat and mouth cancer and it was a very painful death. I remember him lying in the hospital bed in Lac La Biche, Alberta. He weighed about 65 lbs. It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen, my once strong father – so helpless and drugged out on morphine.

All the bad things he did were forgiven and I am so, so grateful I got to be his ‘oldest’ (as he used to call me) daughter.

Thank you for all the lessons, the love and the brief life we shared, Dad

I love you. xox

H, Dad and I

Lessons I’ve Learned


About 150 years ago, okay – it is slightly less than that, when I was a teenager…I was painfully shy. I didn’t want to be but always marched to the beat of my own drum. I wasn’t a follower and I never have been.

Teenagers judge, as teens do, and I was judged to be a snob. I’m not sure how that prognoses came about but that is what was conveyed to me, years later. Had they known about the abusive, broken (and very unhappy) home I lived in, perhaps they’d have been kinder…but I doubt it. Kids can be mean no matter what the circumstances are.

“We all thought you were a snob.” I was told at my 10-year GRAD reunion. I haven’t been to one, since.

Perhaps it’s because I didn’t try very hard to ‘fit’ in to any particular group; I still don’t but people think I do. I just…be. I’m there. If you like me, cool, if not, that’s cool, too.

But you know, I USED to care. It used to bother me that I was the last one picked in gym class or for any group project. It USED to bother me that the cliquey groups talked about me behind my back and that I had all of two friends, at the time, in the entire world.

I was and am different and what I’ve learned over the years is that my difference makes me super cool to more people than I thought. I was (and am still to some degree) very sensitive and I can’t relate to people who are surface dwellers. What I mean by that is – many folks are shallow and can’t possibly understand anyone who swims in the deep end. That’s okay; difference strokes, right? Pun intended.

My point is- if you’re that young person who is shy, maybe a little depressed because of things happening at home, misunderstood, picked on, etc. I’m here to tell you that it’s all going to be okay if you don’t get caught up in the bullshit. I get it. Like Bilbo, I’ve been there and back again. In fact, I did the journey a few times. There were dragons, too!

If you believe in yourself even a little bit, you’ll make it. Know that I believe in you. I was you.

If you’re that different person, I want to tell you to celebrate! You are some of the chosen few who are able to not only swim in the deep in but live there. You’re incredibly special. These are fantastic survival techniques. Should one of the shallow-ended people be tossed into the drink where you are, they always end up drowning.

But YOU.

YOU are the survivor. You were made for this, baby!

I’m not going to tell you to NOT let things bother you because they still will. Work through it; you can do it. You’ve got this. I’m here to let you know that it’s this very process that makes you strong and teaches you that at the end of the day, you don’t need to let it bother you. Once you get that, once you lose your dependence on what others think:

Then…you will let it go.

Let it.

Go.

You’ll find at some point you don’t need it anymore and what has taken its place, well…that would be confidence coupled with a lot of humility and gratitude that you weathered the storm. Be proud, you brave and beautiful warrior.

You did it. You made it and if you’re still in the thick of it, you’re GOING to make it. I’m sure of it.Don’t doubt yourself and if you do, look in the mirror and picture yourself at 40 or 50 and see the amazing human who is living the dream in your eyes. He is there. She is waiting for you.

You are the people who are the teachers, the entrepreneurs, the givers and believers, the lovers and dreamers. You are the future of change and change is inevitable. So, keep on fighting the good fight and when someone doesn’t like you or ignores you for whatever reason. Know that it’s because they’re making room for others (the right people for you) to come into your life. Those that understand.

Like me!

Go get ‘em tiger. I’m in your corner. Dare to be different.

xo

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A Labour of Love


It’s not easy caring for an ill pet. They can’t tell you how they’re feeling, what hurts or if it’s evident they’re in pain…where it hurts and what they want you to do about it.

For over two years, my kitty has been battling renal failure. He’s fighting the good fight and puts up with three different meds, two supplements and an injection of 100 ml of H2O, under his skin, every other day. That’s a lot for a 14-year old cat.

He takes it in stride for the most part. The subcutaneous fluids are the worst for him, initially; he’s NOT fond of the needle, but once I figured out that warming the bag of water made him feel nice, it was much easier. After it gets going and he’s recovered from the initial odd feeling of water under your skin – seriously I can’t imagine how creepy that must feel – he actually sits on my lap and purrs.

He’s always been an easygoing kitty. The most he does is verbally complain or run and hide if something displeases him. He’s never scratched, bitten or hissed at me in his life.

I have to get his blood checked every three months; he really does not like going to the vet but once he’s there, he’s exceptionally well behaved. The girls love him.

It’s costing me a small fortune; about $200/month just for meds/supplements/sub-q kits & needles and the vet visit. He’s worth every penny. Generally he’s feeling quite good. He’s happy, cuddly, plays a little, talks a lot and can still jump up to where he wants to go. He’s losing a lot of muscle mass but pills keep him eating so his weight is steady.

This can’t go on, forever, though. His kidneys are hardly functioning and at some point his other organs will begin to shut down. I watch for signs of this, very closely. I look into his big green eyes, often, and ask him to tell me when he’s had enough.

“You tell me, Zephyr…you let mommy know when it’s time and you’ve had enough, okay?”

I say these words through tears and he looks at me sweetly, blinking slowly, as if to answer:

“Not quite yet…, I’d like to stick around for a while as I’m still enjoying this life. “

So I carry on with the daily routines. The mornings are all about him and making sure he’s been eating, getting his meds into him and hydrating his furry little body.

He gets tons of love from both my man and I. The boyfriend and the cat have formed a little alliance; a male bonding team if you will, and they will often hang out on the bed together (discussing guy stuff, I’m sure) whilst I wander about doing this and that. It’s terribly cute.

Yet still, I check in, every so often, to make sure he’s not in any way, suffering. He seems content and purrs often and loudly. For now I’ll continue to keep watch and make damn sure he’s got everything he needs, is happy and knows he’s loved.

One day he won’t be here and I’m so well aware of that. Even if I believe we carry on in another form after our bodily death, I still exist in the human realm so I will miss him terribly. I know he’ll be okay and may even visit a time or two but still…there will be another large hole in my heart when I say my final good-bye and that isn’t going to be easy.

He’s a lot of work and I know some wouldn’t want to be bothered with the outlay of cash and constant attention I have to give him. I can’t travel or leave him alone for any length of time like I used to.

This is a labour of love. I don’t mind; he pays me back in snuggles, head-butts, purrs, cuddles and all the adorable things that he does.

Like roll over onto his back and expose his belly for a rub.

 

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I Believe


I believe in happy endings. Someone once said to me that relationships always ends badly –  either with someone being hurt by ending the relationship or by someone dying.

I have an answer for that and I think it’s incorrect.

If your partner chooses to leave you – I will guarantee it’s for the best and that there is something or someone BETTER waiting for you. Thus, a new beginning and not really an ending at all. Think of it as a road trip where you turned right instead of left, got lost for a bit, but found your way back onto the right path. Whew!

When we ‘die’ only our body does…so we WILL see each other again in spirit. See? Not an ending at all…just a little vacation, Earthside. It’s just that one of you went home early and the other chose to stick around for a bit before packing it in and heading back.

There are no endings. Only a continuous circle. It’s our Ego that sees things ‘ending’, not our Spirit. Let’s not confuse the two. We are eternal beings. The word eternal means: without beginning or end. We always were and always will be. We come from Source (or GOD). We are part of – belonging to and attached to Source. Think of us as cells in a body, individual but could not exist without it.

Life, here, is what you make it so you may as well make a difference while being the best human you can be. From this comes happy endings.

Remember that.

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The One That Got Away


One of Brian’s guilty pleasures was bubblegum pop music. He had a soft spot for Taylor Swift. Not a crush, mind you, but somehow he related…he was ever a young spirit.

I have no idea if he liked Katy Perry but I’m sure he’ll appreciate the sentiment.

This one is for you, Brian Norman Caffelle. Today I remember, today I honour YOU.

In another life; we’ll try this again. I’m looking forward to it. XO

Surrender


sur·ren·der

səˈrendər/
verb
1. cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

noun

2. the action of surrendering; capitulation, submission, yielding, succumbing, fall, defeat, resignation

I’m going to add another meaning to this word: To let be.

I feel that we can surrender to many things, but in a good way. It needn’t involve things like: submission, defeat, resignation or giving up. In fact, quite the opposite can be true. Surrendering can simple become – ‘you’ in the moment, letting yourself simply ‘be’ and letting go of everything negative to clear the way so that you can create a new path for yourself.

Just over a week ago, I was in a near head-on car collision.  To be honest, if you’d seen my car (or what’s left of it) you’d think I’d be a lot more injured than I am or…not be here writing this. The doctor who saw me, after seeing a pic of my car, said I was lucky to be alive.

But I am alive and after I collected myself, made sure the other driver was okay, I surrendered to the moment and let it unfold, as it should. I didn’t cry, or panic or get upset. I didn’t see a purpose in that. Yes, I was in shock, but even then, decided to let go of all the feelings I think should have been feeling and remain very calm. I knew it wasn’t entirely my fault and also knew that I couldn’t have anticipated the other driver’s quick decision to change lanes when he did.

However, things with insurance companies are very black and white – so I will be found 100% at fault. I was, after all, turning left. I guess that’s a bad thing…to turn left. 😉

That’s fine. I accept it and surrender to it and do you know what? It feels okay. I feel okay. I bought a new car; I’ll be able to pay it off, soon, and life goes on.

Tomorrow is a tough day; an anniversary of sorts. It will be one year since Bri took his life and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to be, emotionally, so I’m taking the day off.

I’ve decided to surrender to all of my emotions and just let it all flow through me throughout the day. Normally I can’t do this as I’m in an office dealing with clients or home and if ‘P’ is there, I don’t want to burden him with my ‘stuff’. He doesn’t understand it and doesn’t pretend that he does…so he’s quiet about it and keeps his nose out of my grief.

Not because he’s unsympathetic but because he simply hasn’t been through anything like it – EVER. He’s had a pretty easy life, thus far.

I also don’t want him to feel unimportant in my life and talk about Brian 24/7 – that would be unkind, disrespectful and unfair. My past is my past and P is my now and hopefully my future.

I’ll be okay. There will be much meditating and stillness as I sort through memories both good and bad. I will honor him and all those who have this pain and struggle.

I will surrender to this day and to what happened. I cannot change it but I can accept it and see it for the incredible life-changing experience that it was.

What will you surrender to?

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What do you see?


11 days.

I seem to have begun a countdown to that tragic day, a year ago, when that really bad thing happened.

I’m not sure why I’m doing it but part of me wishes I wouldn’t torture myself with it. Yet…here I am, being some sort of masochist – reliving every moment.

I asked him, once: What did he see when he looked at me?

This was during his time in the PAU (psychiatric assessment unit) and all he could think about was “Her” – the woman who crushed his heart, the one from whom the only escape from pain, he believed, was death.

He looked at me completely dumbfounded and stuttered, shaking his head as he stared in disbelief at my question.

I wanted to know just what I meant to him at that point because here I was giving 1000% of myself to someone who was still lost in another relationship from his past. The woman in question was ignoring him and really didn’t want anything to do with him. Had she, I suspect I may have been tossed aside, but I can’t confirm that for sure.

I was feeling like quite the third wheel, yet I was also very much in love and trying with all my might to save this man’s life. I wasn’t about to abandon him and I swore to him that I’d never leave him during what would be the worst time in his life.

I kept that promise.

He could never tell me what he saw when he looked at me and I’m convinced he never really saw me for who I was or realized just what I had to offer. I think on the last day he may have had an idea but it wasn’t enough to keep him here.

I’m not complaining because I understand he was coming from a place of complete darkness and depression. His headspace wasn’t like anything a normal person would understand. His perception of the world was so skewed that I’m not even sure he was functioning to full capacity even though he put on an amazingly brave facade.

He was lost, and for him, there was no way out of the labyrinth he’d built for himself. There was simply no escape and seeing her – yet again, was a sign for him that his pain was never going to end unless he ENDED it.

So, he did.

I’m not angry at him for not seeing me as he was seeing everything through eyes that were not seeing the world as it truly was.

Mental illness is so very misunderstood. It is so often unnoticed and swept under the carpet. There are those that live and function with it for years without anyone knowing any better. This is what he did. He kept it all on the down-low; nobody really knew. Even when it became very evident something was very, very wrong, it was only the two of us that he let in on his little secret.

So…what do you see when you look at someone? Are you really seeing them for who they are, their struggles and pain?

Look again. Look more closely. You may find they’re living in a dark jungle of half truths and terrible secrets. They do this because society is harsh. They are judged, ridiculed and not taken seriously.

It’s time we really looked at ourselves and the ones we love, a little more clearly.

It’s time we were aware that too many suffer alone.

Eye in the Jungle

Your Watch


Time. Time we didn’t get, all caught up in and
dragged through those months of hell

For you,

Time was running out.

For you, I would have walked on fire but there wasn’t enough
Time.

Time to change your mind, time to kiss you once more, to hold you close

Time.

It passes with the hands on your watch; the one I wear with your initials
so worn and faint on the back, my wrist from your wrist

Your soft flesh are ashes in a box on a shelf and I want to scream

Time. Time to remember, to release, to forgive.
Time.

I will keep your watch ticking, polish its black face, wear it often.
I will remember you in better days, your laugh, that smile, those eyes

I will honour your struggle through my words, my tears and your story
Time. There is never enough.

I wasn’t finished knowing you.

This Day, Last Year.


One year ago to the day, Tara and I sat with Brian at the VGH Emergency check in for about 7-8 hours to have him committed to the PAU (Psychiatric Assessment Unit). For five days he was locked in there. It was a Saturday. The Friday night, before, he’d set up everything to end his life. He’d had a last meal; his fav…bacon & eggs and chocolate cake. He’d left a note on the door, had changed his will and left a note for Tara. Everything was in order.

At the last minute, due to the constant texting and calling of Tara and I – he called her and said through tears: “Guess what I’m doing?”

This was his rock bottom for the second time in less than half a year. This was his spiral downward to the bottomless pit of doom that he’s created for himself. So, we checked him in. They took hours and hours but finally committed him, took all of his treasures away (clothes, iPhone, wallet, money, keys…) and gave it to us to look after.

I can’t even begin to imagine his embarrassment and humiliation but we stood by him and took shifts in visiting him; Tara by day, me by evening.

It kept him alive for an extra two weeks as he struggled to cope and did his best to recover.

We brought him fresh things to wear under the prison-like PJ’s (he jokingly called them his crazy clothes), food, coke, things to read and I even brought his little chess set and we played a bit when I was there. I still have that chess set of his.

Half way through, he was moved out and up to another ward which meant they felt he was doing better. He even chatted up a few others there and made some unlikely short-term friends. Well…sort of.

He didn’t like the food, much, so we made sure he had plenty of the things he loved; juice, coke, chocolate, I bought him dinner several nights in a row. I remember he was bored out of his skull because they didn’t allow his cell phone, there, so he went through several books.

I’ll never forget it. The weather was summer-like. Parking there wasn’t as bad as I’d thought and it was very close to where he’d lived. There have been times when I’ve had to drive by the area and felt such anxiety over the memories. I try and avoid VGH if I can.

I was helpless. Nothing I did really made much difference, at least…I don’t think it did. All I could do was love him, keep the Beacon of Hope lit, be there for him, spend time with him, bring him whatever he wanted and was allowed to have in there.

He was on a few anxiety drugs and anti-depressants. They didn’t do him any good at all. They made him jittery and he was as fearful as ever.

I don’t think I ever loved him so much. I was so proud that he fought so hard to keep it together. I can’t imagine what he went through. I don’t think I’d have done half as well had it been me. His struggle sucked up so much of his energy and when I saw him he looked like a little boy; fragile and wide-eyed, timid yet sweet and soft spoken.

He was so scared; so were we.

This past month has been one big lead up to the day he took his life and my emotions are so raw. I can recall so much of those 5 days but the next 6 months after May 11th is a complete blur. I do recall going to Australia for two weeks but that’s about it.

At the end of all of this, we still have to go on. We still look to thrive and must find some light at the end of our own dark tunnel.

I imagine what it’s like on the other side. I imagine it being so filled with beauty and light.

My newness to digital art makes my fractal creations somewhat primitive compared to those that actually know what they’re doing. I manipulate them and blend them in Photoshop to resemble things I can relate to as best I can. I ‘think’ I’m getting better and hope that I am.

I imagine I’d like to have a tree of light, over there; one where he and I could sit and talk and work things out. There’s so much I long to understand. Even just to tell him, in person, how much I miss him…

tree_of_light_by_fragmented_poet-da076sd

Pretty Things


Like most girls, I like pretty things; soft colours, quiet moments and seashells on the back of the toilet.

I think everyone knows that’s where they go. I don’t have any seashells there, presently, but I used to. It’s a chick thing; ask anyone.

When I discovered fractals, I viewed some beautiful work. I am not even close to being able to create anything like what I’ve seen, but it’s great fun to do. The BF says I’m addicted. I mention that if this is so, I could be addicted to a lot worse things. He agrees.

Think summer; think a gentle hot breeze sending dandelion seeds drifting into the hazy air in mid afternoon. Think flowers in full bloom and the scent of fresh cut grass that lingers in the air. Ice cream. Think ice cream melting down your chin as you glisten in the early evening sun. See the soft glow hanging over the sea; listen…you can hear the waves if you try real hard.

Think English gardens trimmed to perfection with deep coloured roses and perfumed petals that feel like velvet between your fingers.

Think butterflies dancing their slow, almost drunk, waltz to the music of the earth only they can hear.

Flutter Bye

What is this cosmic stuff you speak of?


I want to get physical with you.

As in metaphysical. In fact, bring on some downright funky, cool, cosmic shit. Are you ready? Are you sure? But please know that if you roll your eyes, sigh, shake your head or think generally negative thoughts around what I share… that’s your business.

Really. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to share on my blog. We’ll just leave it at that.

I’m an Intuitive. Yes, with a CAP ‘I’. I hate the word psychic as it conjures (pun intended) up all sorts of silly images with gypsies hovering over a crystal ball in a dark room tell you your fortune.

I don’t do any of that.

Well…I have several crystal balls but that’s because they look pretty.

I’ve been Intuitive since I can remember but haven’t really told a whole lot of people. As you can imagine it’s a little weird. Not only that; if you’re trying to be honest and ‘share’ you often get ridiculed, laughed at, etc.

But it’s 2016, people. There are lots and lots of folks who do what I do and to be frank, we all have the ability. It’s whether or not you choose this path that makes all the difference.

One of the lovely things I get to do is communicate with Spirit, or the spirit world, if you wish. I don’t know what you want to call it and it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a name.

You know, when people pass over, they will very often go to great lengths to tell you they’re okay and they made it! They know you’re in a world of hurt and they LOVE you, so it’s only natural that they’d want you do know they are well and you know…kinda still around.

Not in the physical sense but Bob is still BOB and he’s cool with the whole afterlife thing (even if Bob didn’t believe there was one). And Bob is really upset that you’re upset! So, Bob will often try and send you signs that he’s still looking out for you, still thinking about you, still loves you and still checkin’ in.

One of the people I talk to frequently is the man I was so very in love with that took his life almost one year ago. That terrible day is fast approaching and don’t think it’s hasn’t been on my mind for the past two months.

I hear him, a lot. But to be fair, I’m somewhat of a skeptical gal so naturally I want proof. I want proof that Carrie isn’t losing her mind and hearing voices in her head because…that’s when we need to check ourselves in and have our ‘head’ examined.

So I ask: if this is really you, prove it. I need to know I’m not crazy.

I asked for something very specific. I wanted to hear a specific song on the radio that has long since worn out its popularity but occasionally, it comes on. It was one of his favourites. I waited. And I waited.

And…I waited some more and…

…nothing.

Now, whenever I really want to see a sign from him, it always happens when I’m not expecting it and this was no exception. I think it must be a cosmic rule that for the most part I have to wait until he’s darn good and ready. Or, maybe that’s just his rule?

Okay. I can do that.

So, I’m driving to work, and having my usual downtrodden thoughts of how much I put into our relationship all the while watching him pine over his ex-girlfriend and how much that hurt…blah, blah…poor little me, blah, blah.

Sometimes you just have to feel a bit sorry for yourself and then get OVER yourself. It’s a process. I’m human, after all and I struggle with what happened, every day.

Then out of the blue, as I’m in bumper to bumper traffic, I look up at the car I’m behind just as the song I’ve been waiting to play (for weeks) comes on, and I notice that on the dealer license plate, it has the name:

Brian.

Seriously.

It just doesn’t get any clearer than that. I laughed loud and wanted to do a little happy dance but traffic was moving again. 🙂 Instead I thanked him and was happy all the way to work.

Most of us have someone dear to us that we very much miss on the ‘other side’. Ask them for a sign. Be specific. Don’t think it will happen instantly (although sometimes it does!) just be ready and when it does happen – pay attention and be grateful for the communication. They LOVE it when they get through to us just as much as we love it when they send us messages…and of course, their love.

"If anyone asks, we never had this conversation."

“If anyone asks, we never had this conversation.”

I’ll See You in the Afterlife


I believe in life after life. Or…life before life (depending on how you look at it). Some say that the ‘afterlife’ is our true home and our 3D Earth plane is simply a place to experience things we can’t as well as learn and grow.

I don’t have all the answers. I can only say what resonates with me. Sometimes in the chaos of grief and death, we find beauty and inspiration.

This is for you, Bri.

Afterlife

Welcome to My Garden


I imagine the fey playing round in soft swirls of light; a dance among spring petals and fresh-smelling, warm earth.

Let your imagination move a little. Hell, let it FLY and soar into unknown and uncharted air waves and celestial vibrations. Stop and listen for a while. Turn off your daily thoughts of business, coffee, that meeting you’re late for and taking the kids to their soccer practices and…

Just…breathe.

One inhale and exhale at a time.

Take a little ‘me’ time and indulge your senses with playful spirits, faeries, gnomes and elves. Believe (if only for a few moments) that ANYthing is possible.

Go on. I dare ya.

 

Paint the Gardens

Advice on Grief


I’ve blogged about the loss of my late boyfriend, Brian, a lot. But, I haven’t really addressed what it’s like, personally, going through something this life changing in a lot of detail.

Or, if I did, I don’t remember being as this specific about how it affects someone on a daily basis.

This whole suicide grief thing is new to me. I’ve never been through anything like this in my entire life.

Thank GOD for that. I don’t think I could handle it more than once. I don’t know how anyone could, yet people do.

Let me just start by saying it’s a thing you have to deal with, every day, and sometimes many times a day. At first, it’s a constant wave of horror, guilt, unimaginable sadness, disbelief and shock. Then, as time somehow moves along (for us it stands still) the waves start coming at different and varied intervals.

It’s going on 11 months and no…it definitely doesn’t end, here. Most people think you should be over it by now. I mean…haven’t I moved on with my love life? Yes, I have. It doesn’t matter. The pain is still there. The questions, hurt, guilt and every other emotion that is associated with this tragedy is STILL THERE.

It doesn’t go away like magic but, it does fade a little bit. 11 months isn’t really that much time and I’ll tell you that there are moments when it seems like it all happened, yesterday. It’s just that raw and fresh in my head and heart.

I hear and have read that it’s pretty much this way with everyone that has the unfortunate task of wading through this life event. It’s complex grief and often you have such a mix of emotions that it threatens to tear apart the very fabric of your sanity.

I get angry, often, with him. Then, I feel guilty. After that, there is extreme sadness. Sometimes, it’s all around the confusion of the whole mess he was in and I pick apart every minute detail of whatever I can remember during the time when he first saw his ex-girlfriend while going for an innocent walk around Granville Island… and right up until the time I last said good-bye to his very dead self, lying on his bedroom floor with a breathing tube still taped to his mouth and rope burns around his neck.

I comb through all of his texts and emails looking for answers. There are none. I try and see how it could have gotten so bad so quickly but there was no way of predicting he’d really do it after he came out of the hospital and was seemingly doing well.

Not a day goes by that I don’t tear up, my throat constricting in some awful manner making it painful to swallow and breathe. It’s usually while I’m driving to and from work. I think these are my ‘alone’ times so I allow myself to grieve.

There are few precious days where I DON’T cry. Those were busy days and it’s usually when I’m not by myself. I think we push the overflow of emotions away until we feel safe to face them.

Do you stop loving a lover because they’re dead?

The answer is no. It’s also a complicated ‘no’ because I think I’ll always be a little ‘in love’ with him and I’m okay with that. It’s the possibilities that I’ll never see, the future I’ll never realize, that I’m in love with. It’s all of the wonder in a new and budding romance that was cut very short in a violent way. All of these dreams are still with me and I play them like a short movie in my head, stopping now and then to examine every frame of: what might have been.

The -I love you’s- he will never say, the adventures we’ll never go on, the creative endeavors that we started but will never be completed…these are the things I still covet in my heart. This is our story that will never play out. This is why my tears are so many.

For everyone who has lost someone we know and loved/cared about, to suicide, we play it back in our heads over and over and over. We don’t ‘get on with life’ in the same way. We can’t. It’s simply impossible.

We learn to live with the pain and the questions. We deal with the guilt and the lost years with them we will never see in this life. All of us will suffer through it until it is our time to leave this world.

In years to come, I hope that Brian isn’t on my mind all day long, every day. And if he is, I hope that it’s in a very different way. I hope to heal from this.

When do we heal? That’s an individual thing and there simply is no time limit. It will happen if and when it does. It’s as simple as that.

If I mention Brian’s name to family, it’s in passing and very infrequent. I can tell they’re tired of hearing about it. It’s only my very good friends and those who were involved and knew him that I still talk about ‘stuff’, with.

Those that are deep in suicide grief often deal with this; people simply don’t understand and the fact that this is soooooo taboo doesn’t help us. No one wants to talk about it. The worst is when they say hurtful things. This doesn’t help us and in fact, calling someone who completed suicide ‘selfish’, is not only callus but incredibly insensitive.

If you know someone who is going through any kind of grief – give them as much time as they require. It may take a lifetime so be prepared for that. Be kind and gentle. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything; listen instead. Most times that’s all we’re looking for.

Talk to your loved ones about depression, mental health and what suicide is. It’s the misunderstandings and fear around it that make it worse. Educate yourself and then educate others. Talk to your children about death. They will be dealing with it in some form or fashion at some point and being prepared always helps.

Understand that it’s more real than you think and it takes only seconds to change your life, forever.

Understand that those left behind are struggling and are 10 x more susceptible to suicide, themselves.

As with all people suffering in grief, little things set us off. For me, it’s songs that I liked when I was with him, songs that I associated with that time and that remind me of him.

With others it may be smells, places, certain times of the year of anniversaries (birthdays) and such. I will tell you that when we’re hurting, we often live in our own little private hell that we simply can’t share with others. It’s just the way it is.

Be respectful. We don’t want to hear your empty platitudes; they are meaningless to us. We don’t want religion shoved down our throats if we’re not religious and suicide is NOT a sin. It is a choice some people choose and it doesn’t matter if you think it’s right or wrong or somewhere in-between. We don’t care about your beliefs, we only care that someone we loved died and it’s killing us a little, each day, to be without them.

It happens. It’s real and it’s devastating.

This is grief. Our hearts are broken and mending them will take one hell of a lot of love, understanding and patience.

 

tumblr_mimxyaL49s1qag2pzo1_500

Hearts, Star Signs and the Colour Yellow


It’s just about that time, again; that marketing sensation riding the massive white horse of consumerism called Valentine’s Day. I remember when I was in elementary school; we’d get these Valentine’s cards (kiddy ones) and pass them around the class. I have no idea where the cards came from; I think the school provided them, but it was a fun time. Although…romance to a 6-year old is an entirely different thing.

I ‘think’ I liked one or two boys…I can’t really remember, but most of the cards I got were from girlfriends. We were little and Valentine’s Day only meant cards shaped like hearts, lots of red and pink things…oh…and those AWESOME cinnamon, hot and spicy, red heart candies!

God, I loved those.

Last year, this time, I’d not yet met Brian. He commented, in an email, that he really didn’t believe in Valentine’s Day and all the BS that went with it; it was contrived. I agreed. We met on Feb. 18th. The rest is a tragic piece of history that will always be part of my life.

But he did say that he’d rather spend a romantic weekend away, somewhere, rather than buy chocolates and flowers. Unfortunately, we never got to do that.

The new man in my life is a little more traditional. Although he’s in agreement that V-day is nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to part us from our hard-earned dollar…he does believe in romance and feels if he gets me things ‘around’ THAT day, it counts.

On Friday (yesterday) I got chocolates and a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ balloon in the shape of a heart. I think he actually WANTS to celebrate it but thinks it’s cheesy to just do it because it’s THAT day.

I think he’s terribly sweet. xo

Coinciding with all of this is the 9th month since Bri left us. So there’s that.

It’s all coming together around everyone’s birthday, too. First mine, then one of my best friends, then two of my family members…then there’s Bri’s ex wife, next week. The week after it’s the new man in my life’s B-day.

That’s 5 Aquarians and 1 Pisces in the space of two months.

None of this means, anything, BTW – it’s just random thoughts, in case you’re wondering where the hell I’m going with this.

Lately, as in the past week, I’ve been seeing a lot of yellow X-Terras driving around. The significance is that this was what Bri drove and yellow was his favourite colour. Every time I see the colour yellow splashed around in abundance, I think of him.

There can’t be THAT many yellow X-Terras around the Lower Mainland. Yet, I keep seeing them.

I guess I’m at a pinnacle point where I’m finally learning to BE without him while knowing in my heart that he’s watching over me. I’m moving on with this life. The new man has practically moved in and our relationship has taken a turn for the serious. We’re planning on buying a place, together.

I think I’ve finally met my ‘forever guy’. He came to me exactly when I needed him to. He’s everything I could have asked for and more. He’s made up for all of the men in my past that treated me like crap, used me, said they cared but really didn’t, abused me and just plain didn’t see any value in me.

He’s made up for all of the insecurity I felt over Bri and that horrible woman whom he was infatuated with. I simply can’t compete with someone 13-years younger than me with a rock hard yoga body. Also, I’m not a blonde. So there’s that, too.

The new man honestly thinks I’m gorgeous and sexy as hell. There is no past relationship that haunts him and I not only get told I’m beautiful and that I’m loved, daily…but I damn well know he’s sincere.

I’ll always love Brian. You don’t stop loving someone because they’re dead. He’s in spirit and that’s a completely different relationship to a human romantic one.

That said, LOVE is infinite – and not just on Valentine’s Day, either. I have more than enough love for the new man and I’m grateful everyday that he chose to be part of this life with me.

So.

You can be romantic every day. Feb. 14th is just another tick on the calendar.

I never thought I’d end up with a Pisces man.

I’ll always think of Brian when I see a lot of yellow.

desafinado_by_quiescent_reverie-d3hhbm6

How To Love Someone


For anyone who has been reading my blog, you’ll know the man I loved and adored completed suicide, last May. I believe in my heart that I couldn’t have loved him more, couldn’t have done more to save him and I knew, early on in the relationship, that the worst possible outcome could actually happen. I just wasn’t prepared for it. I don’t think you really can because “Hope” is such a strong emotion and we cling to it in times such as this. It’s far too painful to go down that ‘what if…’ road when you’re fighting to keep someone you cherish, alive.

Now that I’ve been blessed to have a man come into my life who seems to be on the same page as myself, is drama-free and wants to be with me as much as I want to be with him…I’m reminded that life is short so I should appreciate him every day; every moment in time.

Where we’ll end up, is anyone’s guess, but it’s proceeding along nicely . There is love. There is gratefulness and there is passion and compassion. As we walk along this journey, together, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful things I used to look forward to when I was with Brian, all of the dreams that will never be realized in this life.

So…

I’m going to be in the moment with this man like it is the last moment I might share with him. Life is such a precious thing that we take for granted. We never stop to think about how we’d feel if we lost those that we love and hold dear, until it’s staring us in the eyes.

Remember to hold your loved ones close. Make sure they know they’re special in your life and that you will never forget that.

Love them like you’re going to lose them. Then you’ll never have regrets.

What’s It Like Being a Hopeless Romantic?


Gosh, I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t.

It’s really kinda sucky. You’re constantly wanting to put your best foot forward on all occasions and can come across as ‘over the top’ even when you mean well. You are compelled to do all the cute, romantic, wonderful things for the person in your life, even if they never return the favour.

Most people give up, but not us hopeless romantics; nope, we’re driven! We feel eventually you’ll ‘get it’ and will appreciate our efforts. Usually, you never do and don’t. In fact, you tend to feel guilty that we do SO much, rather than just being grateful.

I’ve written a plethora of love poems, been always supportive, loving, and generous and all the things that you’d THINK would make someone fall in love with you. Nope…that is not a given. In fact, most don’t and can’t comprehend why they even should consider it. It seems, people are drawn to the ‘bad’ girls and boys of the world…the one they CAN’T have, and with all common sense considered, really shouldn’t want.

People are focused on what we LOOK like rather than how we treat others. It’s the beautiful bitchy girls who somehow manage to get the sweet lovable guys to swoon over them and think because this person looks like an angel that they actually are. Usually they’re quite the opposite.

Now, I’m not unattractive by any means but I’m no Jennifer Aniston, either.

Looks aside, and even if this doesn’t even factor in (that being if someone actually thinks we’re all that and a hottie to boot) they still don’t really appreciate what us hopeless romantics and all the things we do for them. Again, remember, we’re compelled…to do stuff. We actually enjoy it!

But, we expect, at the very least, a thank you. You don’t need to reciprocate (although you’ll never hear us complain if you do) but a small gesture of appreciation, now and then, would be nice.

Flowers are always a good idea for the ladies. Just saying.

These days I dial it back a little; don’t want the new guy running for the hills. It’s happened; a LOT.

OMG, she wrote me a LOVE poem, about LOVE!!! FRIG!!! I can’t take it! She’ll expect something from ME and I SUCK at poetry! Whattodowhattodowhattodo…. I know! I’ll break up with her, that way, I don’t have to think about it because I don’t know how I feel. I’m a guy, I have ONE feeling, just ONE! Fuck, this is hard!! Best I be single and look for that hot girl to fall for, instead, even though she’ll break my heart and I may never fully recover. Yes, that’s a much better plan.

WRONG ANSWER.

No, we don’t expect an epic poem back. No, we don’t even think you love us (in fact, we already know you don’t) but we are getting there (if we’re not, already) and just want to test the waters a little to see if you MIGHT be there. Some. Day. Yes, we’re that hopeful (or hopeLESS).

So, just thank us, next time. Be sweet (force yourself if you have to). Be kind. Be respectful of our feelings, we are very much thinking about yours.

I suspect, like amazing artists, we’ll only be appreciated after we’re dead.

Gosh, that girl was SO awesome!

Yes, she sure was the one who got away!

I SO miss her!

There will never be one like her, again!

*SOB!!*

 

Yup. I should write a book and bequeath the inevitable riches that will occur after I’m long gone to a special charity set up for Hopeful (less) Romantics.

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I’m Not a Cougar


The man I’m presently dating is 6 years younger than me. Not a biggie…he’s almost 44, not 15.

He was teasing me, today, and called me a ‘cougar’. I abhor the term and for many reasons. While I don’t judge, sleeping around with much younger men simply to fulfill a need in myself to ‘hunt’ and just ‘have fun’ without any commitments, goes against everything I’ve ever believed in and all the hard work I’ve put into past relationships/partnerships.

I’m a hopeless romantic. I love deeply and truly. When I do love, it’s for a long, long time. I want to be in a partnership for life, not just to get off and then onto the next one. I’d even consider marrying, again…despite two divorces!

After all, at nearly half a century, I’m much older and wiser, now. 😉

I want to give my heart again, all of it. I’m not quite ready, but getting there. Normally I’d be head over heels, by now, but due to what happened the last time, I’m a little gun shy. My poor little Carrie-heart really couldn’t take being broken at this time as it’s still in pieces.

I’m not hunting and I’m not prey. I want to work on a partnership/relationship (whatever you want to call it) and keep the fire burning. I want to ‘be in’ the game, be in the moment, pay attention to details and make sure the one I’m with wants to be there. If he doesn’t, we have a problem that can either be solved or resolved into moving in different directions. There needs to be FUN, EXCITEMENT, PASSION, and… LOVE. We need to have commonalities and differences, share ourselves, be honest and speak our truth. There needs to be discovery, challenges, resolutions and revolutions; we need to be in tune, in simpatico and learn to harmonize rather than live in discord.

If that makes me boring, well then…I’m not the girl for you.

That bout sums it up

Hello 2016


I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to bid an entire 12 months adios. That being proclaimed, there were some interesting, noteworthy and positive highlights that are not related to my beloved late boyfriend and all the sorrow that went along (and is still going along) with that. To say it was hard, to say it was painful only scratches the surface of a festering open and bleeding wound.

Let’s list some good things that happened in 2015 and be thankful, shall we? In no particular order:

  1. Financially, I’ve had the best year ever. So, that’s something.
  2. I survived! Truly, this was possibly the worst year of my life, but I made it. I’m broken and I think my poor heart has seen much better days, but I’m alive and healing, little by little.
  3. I’ve learned a lot about love, life and myself. I’ve come a long way from the woman who thought she was doing ‘okay’, in Jan. 2015. I now know better. I now know I’ve much more to learn and much growing to do in so many positive ways.
  4. I went to visit my best friend in Australia! It didn’t fix me; I still had my daily cry over Bri…but I had a blast, anyway! I will return and I hope she comes to visit me, soon, in Canada.
  5. Despite having kidney failure, due to the wonderful medicine (and lots and lots of LOVE), my fur baby (and best kitty friend EVER) is doing well! I’m blessed to still have him at almost 14-years.
  6. I met someone exceptionally nice and although it’s new, there is a care-factor. I have no idea if love will surface but he’s devoted and spends a lot of quality time with me. This speaks volumes. He’s never ‘too busy’ and I think if there were something that I really needed to count on him for, he’d be there.
  7. I lost friends (by choice) but I made new friends (by choice). I think I’m better off by choosing to let go of some who don’t fit inside my world and let in others who do.
  8. I’ve gone back into learning spiritual healing techniques and how have my level II traditional Japanese Reiki. I’ll also be checking out Seichem.
  9. I got better at my climbing techniques. Yes, this counts. Try it if you think it’s easy, ‘cause it’s not.
  10. I’ve committed to daily meditation and actually love it. It’s grounding, healing and helps me connect to Spirit.

Learn to just ‘be’.

Be yourself. Be happy. Be loved. Be okay with stuff. Be good. Be ready …for everything and anything, you can never know what curveballs life will throw at you. Be safe (as in, don’t be stupid). Be lovING. Be truthful and grateful.

Be the best YOU, you can be. Happy New Year.

Peace & Love. xo

i_see_you_in_my_dreams

 

An Unconventional Birthday Wish


Does it make sense to wish someone a Happy Birthday when they’re dead?

I don’t know the answer to that one, but because his loss is still so raw with me and because he only ‘would’ have been 47, today…and tomorrow is Christmas, after all… I’ll do it anyway.

Happy Birthday, Brian. xo

For three months in my life, you were everything to me, although it seems I knew you for years. You mattered, most. Your presence made me a better soul. I learned so much from you. Your leaving still hurts like the most unimaginable hell. I hope you’re okay. I love you. I hope you’re being cared for and healing, where you are. I miss you. Thank you for being part of my journey. And finally, I’ll see you again, some day. 🙂

You’re so very missed and so VERY LOVED by so very many…

Those moments we almost dreamed

thoughts of better times

between a star and magic

I know you

By ghost or Angel

my love and friend

I lived sacred poetry in you

Relationships


re·la·tion·ship

rəˈlāSH(ə)nˌSHip/

noun

noun: relationship; plural noun: relationships

  1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
synonyms: connection, relation, association, link, correlation, correspondence, parallel, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection

 

I’ve always kind of prided myself in being good at relating to others. Although, truth be told, it wasn’t always so. I’m not specifically referring to the romantic kind, either, as relationships form the basis of …well…pretty much our entire world.

It’s how we ‘relate’ to one another both as individuals and groups, that dictate how others perceive us and ultimately how we view ourselves.

When I was much younger, I was terribly shy. It didn’t help that I came from a mostly difficult and painful, home life. I had trust issues. Later on in life I discovered I had abandonment issues. Thankfully there are professionals who help us deal with these things!

I usually don’t let a lot of people into my life (again…trust and abandonment issues) and once upon a time I thought that I had ‘enough’ people in my life and didn’t need any more. I’ve since reviewed this way of thinking and yes…this is because of the whole ‘Brian’ thing.

I don’t believe he realized how many people really loved him. I don’t think he knew just how deeply he affected our lives and he was the kind of guy who would to go to Meet-Up groups and make friends very easily. He was quite a friendly dude. Everyone really liked him.

So I got to thinking… Maybe I shouldn’t be so afraid of reaching out; perhaps I should try a little harder to ‘connect’ to people. If it doesn’t work out, well, no biggie – we move on.

Since I’ve been more receptive to opening my door to possibly new relationships with others, I’ve made friends with clients (women whom I now count as dear personal friends), offered strangers free Reiki so that I may be of service. I’ve created a basis for trust and respect that is reciprocal.

In short, I’ve extended my network of souls and it feels really good! I’m very far from being perfect or even getting to a place where I could even hope to be on the same page as SO many others in my life.

But, I’m making vast improvements. Baby steps, after all.

The message, here?

Be open to receiving as well as giving. Be open to people who care and allow yourself to care, back.

Connect, reach out, believe in kindness, create bonds, alliances and above all else – give of yourself.

Don’t be afraid to love and be loved.

Thanks for the lesson, Bri – and just in time for Christmas, too. 😉

triad_by_musingcalliope-d6frfnp

Coping, Christmas and Time


It’s been one hell of a year and I know I’m not the only one who will be glad when it’s over. I will welcome 2016 in, with open arms.

I recently had a conversation with someone around time, the New Year and how I felt about all of it. He said that he doesn’t put any reference on one year to the next. I do but didn’t always. There was a time when the New Year meant just another day to me. I’ve never stuck to and rarely have any New Year’s Resolutions.

But, when someone we love dies, and especially when it’s sudden or violent, we seem to count the time in which they left. We can’t help it. I asked my shrink why, once, and she said it’s because some people put a time-limit or time-frame on grief. They think at some point in ‘time’ we will start to feel better and we lead up to that. Apparently it’s not how it works. Grief has its own time dimension and we are not in control of it.

Lots of people left this world in 2015. We always miss those whom we love and are not with us, any longer, around the holiday time/birthdays, the most. It doesn’t help that their birthday just happens to fall a day before Christmas, either.

I never got to spend a birthday or Christmas with Brian. I am grateful, though, that there is a new person in my life whom I will get to spend Christmas with. I’m hoping that when his birthday makes an appearance in Feb., that he still likes me and I’ll get to share that with him, too.

All of this doesn’t take away from missing those who aren’t present in body, any longer. Last week one of my colleagues lost his father…another colleague passed away from an unexpected heart attack and shocked us all. Both on the same day.

Even if it’s somewhat expected (and let’s face it, at some point it will be – none of us are getting out of here with our bodies, alive) the rest of us simply have to mourn, miss, and cope with the absence. Until, it’s our turn, of course.

I take solace in my belief that we DO go on and not only that, but check in on the peeps still left here on Earth, often. I remind myself of that every time I gaze at the bottom shelf of my book case and spy those who’ve gone on that I love. I wave…say hello…tell them I love them and know they’re around me. It doesn’t stop the tears but it softens them.

I’m coping. I’m learning to live with it as my shrink said that I eventually would. I’m learning to be okay with life the way it is and allow others in so that I can move forward and find joy, peace and maybe…if I’m really lucky…Love.

I don’t know if it ever gets any easier. I don’t know how I’ll feel in one or ten years from now but I do know that I’ll always find a way to cope. Time doesn’t heal…it just doesn’t. What it does do is put things into perspective as we get on with it. It lessens the pain, somewhat, but it doesn’t take it away.

What heals, is other people that stick it through with us. Other people that are still here on this little blue and green globe. People that need us, love us and count on us. Other souls, just like me, dealing with grief, daily…and others who are simply there because we need them to be.

It’s just easier coping, together.

XO to all of you…

bookends_by_quiescent_reverie-d31izru

 

Standing Still


Recently, a wonderful new person in my life painstakingly skimmed through my blog in an effort to know me better. His comments were that I seemed to take two steps forwards and one step back in reference to my suicide grief.

I’m going to politely agree to disagree on this one.

Here are the reasons why:

Any sort of grief is very personal. It’s different for everyone. It’s not a set of stairs that we’re standing on or a path where we are moving forwards or backwards. In reality, we cannot physically move backwards in time – so there are only two choices a) to go forwards and b) to stand still.

Grief is a journey and it’s one that, I believe, is lateral vs vertical. I think we sidestep back and forth when the waves of grief over take us and we learn to surf them. We lean to incorporate them into our lives and, quite frankly, get used to them.

We live with them and these waves don’t exactly ask permission before they come along and try to sweep us under. They take us unawares, from time-to-time, and leave us feeling a little empty. But, we fill up again because we know that we have so much to be grateful for. We fill up with the beautiful things that surround us. We fill up with the love from our friends and family. We fill up from knowing we’ll see our loved one again.

It’s a process that will lessen with time but will never completely go away. Something this huge will be with us for the rest of our lives.

I try and look at it more analytically, these days, as in: what emotional damage have I taken on and what good things came of it. What have I learned? How will/have I changed? How will I be better as a soul on this earth? How can I make sure I have done my best for myself and everyone around me who is involved?

All these questions I address, one-by-one, on a regular basis. Daily, actually.

When I started writing about Brian, it wasn’t my intention to chronicle my grief. I simply wanted an outlet in which to help heal from and being a writer/blogger, it just made good sense.

Yet, here I am; here I am yabbering on and on about it.

On the plus side, it does help my fragile ego – but I suspect, some, find it annoying. If you do, just don’t read my blog. 🙂

Eventually, the ‘Chronicles of Carrie’s Suicide Grief’ will subside and dissipate like autumn leaves in a November wind. I’ll write about normal stuff; the things I find interesting, odd and wonderful. I’ll post the odd rant about this and that – the usual blather I’ve been blabbing about for the past four years.

In a nutshell, I’ll move forward. But occasionally…I may stand still. Just to be in the moment, to experience, to re-assess, to see if there’s something I have yet to learn, but mostly, to remember.

It’s okay to stand still, because there is always only one direction in which to go – and that is forward.

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Online Dating is a Crapshoot


I seem to be getting nowhere but still I’m not deterred. It’s a crapshoot and I suck at gambling but here I am. I start a conversation…we go back and forth a bit and then “poof” cute guy disappears from site. Or…cute guy is now ignoring me. I will point out that these are usually men that I’ve reached out to, first, but not always.

I’m certainly getting a lot of attention but not from those that I think are good matches for me. I’m picky and I should be. If someone is into dancing…that’s just not going to work, I suck at dancing and unless I’m drunk, I will not be enticed onto the dance floor. I try very hard to NOT get drunk.

However, if you’re into Latin Dancing, that’s different and I’d love to learn it. I’m terrible at wriggling about on the dance floor in a far-too-noisy club and I just look stupid. It was cool when I was 20; not so cool when I’m nearly 50.

If the first line on a man’s profile is about their kids…or God, I run. I get that you have children; it’s not something terribly uncommon and you’d be surprised to know that MOST people have one or more. BUT – this is a dating site. It’s about YOU, not your offspring. This is about YOU finding a relationship outside of your children. Yes, they’re important but, again, that’s not what this is about.

Too often I read: my kids, My KIDS! My kids, my kids, my kids…OH! My KIDS!!

Over and over and over.

Congratulations, you had sex and procreated. Yay…you…

Again, dating site, if you have ankle bitters, that’s cool. I don’t have an issue with that. Tell us you have some (so that we know) and leave it at that.

For the boys who need to tell us that GOD is in their life in the first sentence, please let me redirect you to Christian Mingle. There, you will find lots of ladies who are also very much into GOD. And Jesus, too! Good luck!

OKC dudes have left the building, it would seem and so have POF dudes. I simply have to start anew.

I’m okay with that. Actually, I’m impressively good at it!

I’m up for the challenge; bring it on.

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Trials and Tribulations of Online Dating Part Deux


As I read through a plethora of profiles, some of them stand out. There was one, this morning, which although ‘tongue in cheek’ carried a weighty: “I’m really pissed at you girls” tone. His points were valid, although I’m not guilty of any of the accusations he listed.

Yes, he had a list.

It would seem there are as many flakey women as there are men on POF. This should discourage me, but it actually doesn’t because: I’m not one of them.

I do see, however, how he could scare away a few potential love interests. He ‘expected’ (mistake #1) that if he was messaging someone in the afternoon, that they would meet by that evening. Although this can and does happen, it’s a bit much to ‘expect’ of people who have jobs/kids/family obligations/plans with, well…other people!

He also got all pissy about posting pictures of oneself in faraway countries. I suspect he doesn’t travel much and doesn’t plan to? His reasons for said ‘pissiness’ was that he wanted someone local. I’m not sure why he’d assume someone wasn’t local just because their pictures were taken somewhere other than where claiming to live in their profile; perhaps there’s more to the story.

He also hated seeing pics of cats and dogs in a women’s profiles. I personally don’t have any pics of Z in mine, but I have no issues with men showing me how cute their pets are. I adore animals…so I’m totally cool if they do, too.

He had a lot of negative feedback. Whilst I get it and his obvious frustrations, it’s not a good way to project yourself. He reminds me of the first date I had (some dude named Mike) post, the Brian Debacle, a completely negative, angry, person but one that is clearly reaching out for help.

How does one help such people? I have no idea and would not attempt it; I think it could be catastrophic as they’re so set on having everything fail, that it definitely will.

There was another interesting one from a fellow who was clearly super intellectual. His profile was very well laid out, although an exceptionally long read. I got through all of it but after careful consideration thought that although his ‘wish-list’ was palatable, I got the sense that through that, he was creating a whole list of expectations (again…mistake #1).

Also he was into something called: The Zeitgeist Movement. I did a little research and it seems to be an internet-based cult. Now, I’m exceptionally open minded, but even that may be a little too ‘out there’ for me.

The two that I had positive interactions with, thus far, have not been on in a few days. I’m practicing patience and perhaps both have met others. If that’s the case, I do wish them well, but…the polite thing to do would be to tell me (and every other girl they’re communicating with.

It seems online dating needs some firm etiquette! Stay tuned as I may develop a list and post it here.

May the romance be with you!

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The Trials and Tribulations of Online Dating


One of these days I’m actually going to meet the man of my dreams. God only knows where…or when…or how, for that matter, but I’m damn determined. I figure he’s not going to suddenly and magically appear at my front door. Thus, I have to be ‘out there’ and available.

This means the dreaded online ‘shopping for a mate’ sites.

I’ve now broken a promise to myself by not only perusing one site…but two. I thought everyone would be everywhere but it turns out that’s just not the case. Oh…I do see some peeps on both sites but for the most part, I don’t.

So, here’s an interesting comparison of two of the FREE online dating sites. They’re really free, but if you want any perks, whatsoever, you have to pay. But many still use the basic features and keep it all at no cost. Personally, there are things I want to know so I pay. It’s not much.

Here are some differences between OkCupid and POF. Firstly you may be interested to know that OKC has purchased eHarmony. In my opinion, eHarmony is a complete rip off and I hate them (just a little).

Match.com bought POF. I’m not on Match simply because that’s where I met Brian and my decision is strictly emotional-based. Too many memories are associated with him on there and although they are good ones, I am emotional enough without creating more things to get upset over. I’m trying to move forward, remember?

*Update. Went on Match, anyway. It’s not so bad. I didn’t burst into tears when surfing around, so all is good, thus far. There seems to be a higher caliber of men on here.

POF is really a free for all. You get matches but you get a TON of them. Plus, there are Ultra matches, you can search and they play this silly little game of: whom you want to meet. I get loads of alerts all day long of men who want to ‘meet’ me. I find this funny because 95% of them don’t bother to look at my profile, which means they are only going by pictures of me.

Also, most don’t bother to message me. The ones that do message me actually read my profile. My conclusion is: they don’t want to actually meet me, it’s just a button to click on that says: You’re attractive to me.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a ‘mutual meet’. That means you apparently BOTH want to meet each other! Then begins the waiting game to see if either of you actually will message one another. I find I’m the one mostly doing it. Sometimes I get completely ignored – which is funny! If you want to allegedly meet me, wouldn’t you message me back?! Nope, not if they only find you cute and can’t be bothered to read your profile. Or…read your profile but then think you’re not compatible with them.

Men are odd.

I look at profiles before I click the ‘meet’ button. It just makes sense. I have to laugh, though, every single time I look at someone’s profile, they’ll run and check out mine!

So if you want a man to actually read your profile on POF, you have to read theirs, first.

On OKC, I find that men read my profile, first, but then…they don’t have a ‘meet me’ icon to click. Instead you can ‘like’ someone but only if you’re an upgraded member. Therefore more people are forced to actually check out a profile.

However, you don’t get a lot of matches, maybe one or two, sporadically. You can search, of course, but it’s a pain in the ass. It’s much easier to search on POF.

Everything is based on what criteria you have in your profile, what questions and how you answered them (you have a ton of mostly really dumb-assed questions to answer) and your search criteria.

OKC has changed from the last time I was on it. They’ve re-done a few things and I think it’s more difficult to maneuver. That being said, for some reason, I’ve found there to be better-suited men on that site for me than POF. BUT – they ditch you quick. Several conversations that I thought were going quite well – simply went cold.

It seems the men on OKC aren’t very polite and they don’t know how to tell you they’ve changed their minds. They just start ignoring you. It’s disappointing. I did check out the women on this site and there are a LOT of very beautiful women in my age group. So…I suspect they have far too much to choose from and after careful consideration, I didn’t make the cut, after all.

I haven’t checked out the competition on POF but I was told by a reliable male source that there are not many attractive women on this site. This could be why I get a lot more attention.

Because POF offers a handy filter where people can’t contact you if they don’t meet certain criteria (such as age, having pics….etc.) I’m not bothered by the horny 20 & 30-something-year olds who think I’m a Cougar. I get this constantly on OKC. As well, I get a lot of men from outside of the country on OKC and I don’t get that on POF. This could be the filter, again. It’s handy.

Currently I’ve got one prospect on OKC and two on POF. Thus far, they all seem like decent guys and are showing interest. This could change, though. I’ve not met any of them, yet.

Stay tuned and don’t touch that dial.

Giving Thanks


It’s been a hell of a year.

Yet, I’m grateful for all of it. I’m grateful that I elected to come into this life and help choose all of the situations and people that I did, to learn from. I’ve learned one hell of a lot. I’m still learning.

It’s 5 months, to the day, and it’s still ever present in my mind. I can’t help but think of what he and I would be doing…if he were still here. I think about that, daily but little-by-little I’m starting to accept. And bit-by-bit, I’m letting go.

It’s been a long journey and it’s not over, yet.

Today I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I’m here and I’m thankful that I had him in my life. I think I’m becoming a better person because of this experience and this just goes to show you that there is a rainbow after every storm.

Sometimes you just have to go and find it.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

xo

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Hope


Noun: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Hope is a funny thing for me. I covet it, rely on it, and it manages to propel me forward when I feel stuck inside myself. But things don’t often turn out for the best, do they? This is where I struggle.

Why does one ‘give up’ hope? Should we ever? How can we keep that fire burning, even if it’s dwindled down to a lonely little ember?

I am a writer, businessperson and a photographer, daughter/aunt/sister/friend/cat-caregiver. But mostly…I am just a woman.

I love too hard, hope too hard and try too hard. It’s who I am and I wonder if it’s time to change that. I wonder if it’s time to rein it in and somehow give up…some of that Pollyanna wistfulness and toughen up, but just a little.

My brain tells me to suck it up. My heart tells me to feel. Feel, everything and be okay with whatever flows through me – be it pain or joy. I’ve been accused, many times, of being too sensitive, taking words and actions to heart.

The thing is, in order to be true to myself, this is how I walk through life. This is what brings me the urge to create, to take pretty pictures and text poetry to people who may or may not appreciate it. These are the chances I take. These are the passionate expressions of me. This is how I paint my world. This is how I always manage to LOVE.

I’ve had two men walk through my life in the past twelve months that have left me swaying from grief. One wasn’t ready for me and I was simply someone to make him feel better while he found his self-confidence. Once he did, I was no longer needed and set out with the rest of the trash. He couldn’t even bring himself to be a friend; today I got a final – goodbye. Perhaps it’s for the best.

The other had so much darkness and emotional pain, he encased himself in, he took his own life and shattered the lives around him that loved him the most. But he is the one I always forgive. He is the one I continue to send love to. His was nothing short of the saddest tragedy resulting in the most unbearable circumstances.

I feel somewhat raw and exposed. But still…

There’s that little ember, glowing away underneath all the black and burnt parts of my heart. I can even feel a little heat from her. She’s fragile, tender, yet forever resilient.

But most of all…she is filled with an immeasurable amount of…

Hope…this is where I anchor my soul.

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Things People Want You to Know About Suicide Grief


I belong to a community called: Alliance of Hope. It’s for people who are dealing with suicide grief. Although I don’t participate as I used to, I do get email updates of what they’re doing.

This is worth sharing. It was sent by the founder: Ronnie Walker who lost her son to suicide, years ago. This is what she has to say:

Last week, we asked our Facebook community to help us design awareness material to educate the public about the experience of suicide loss survivors — for example, the complex emotions, physical or financial challenges, impact on family and friends, etc.

We asked: “If there was one thing you would want people to know, what would it be?”

Here are some of the many responses we received: 

“Be patient with us – our lives changed in an instant and we are dealing with physical, emotional, spiritual and mental anguish.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask what happened. Most of us want to talk about our loved one all the time and want people to be aware that we don’t want other people to experience this pain!

“…Very few people understand. In fact in 2.8 years I have not encountered a single person who has understood except the people here on Alliance of Hope.

“Be careful shoving ‘suicide prevention’ information down our throats. We live with enough guilt, we don’t need someone handing us a checklist of all things we coulda/shoulda done differently.”

“…that after losing someone to suicide, we ourselves are at risk of becoming depressed and really need support even if they can’t understand our experience.

“I would like people to know that our loved ones shouldn’t be criticized or blamed for their actions. There are so many complex issues involved in most suicides. My own son died following a battle of many years against mental illness and it really hurts me to think that some people (who have very little knowledge of what he went through) would accuse him of being selfish or thoughtless for ending his pain.”

“…be mindful that it hurts when people make comments like … ‘I want to kill myself’ in passing. They say it because their day isn’t going right – not aware that to someone who has experienced loss in this way it’s like laughing in their face or pouring salt in a never healing wound. 

“This kind of grief takes sooo much energy…..”

Laying Your Cards On The Table


I seem to be fond of idioms.

Recently, and tentatively, I decided it was time to put myself out there, again. It’s been nearly 5 months and perhaps it’s time.

I have no idea if I’m ready, I suppose I’ll find out… And I had a long conversation (through tears) with my best friend about it and what I should be prepared for – such as disappointment.

I figure I can prepare myself for that and many other things but most of all: create no expectations.

I need to get out of this funk. I suspect it won’t happen anytime soon, but a few distractions may help. I’m tired of feeling such sorrow. I’m tired of the constant flow of tears and I’m tired of suffering. I think I’m choosing to suffer and I needn’t.

The fact is: Brian is dead. He’s not coming back. I can’t change what happened. I’m still HERE and he’s well…not.

Also, I’m fairly certain he’d want me to move on and be happy at some point. He’s like that.

So. Onwards and upwards.

It’s really only been a few days and I ventured onto just one site. I figure everyone is everywhere (that’s been my experience in the past) so why waste my time on multiple sites when all the single eligible men are pretty much on the site I’m on, anyway?

As much as I’d LOVE to meet someone organically – it just isn’t working. The meet-up groups I join (and you can see the members) are mostly women and older men. Older as in 60+.

Thus far, I’ve been ignored by all the guys I find both physically and ‘on-paper’ attractive. I do read through profiles and give that careful consideration. I have been getting lots of offers from much younger men and men across the border. Neither of which I’m interested in.

So, in all fairness, I’m not being completely ignored. But I’m not getting any quality leads, either.

It’s early days. I am remaining hopeful.

I do try and make my profile different – as in: it doesn’t read like a resume. I’ve been somewhat successful with that in the past and I do change it up fairly regularly. As a writer, I want to come across as interesting rather than ‘like all the other girls, out there’.

I’m different. I like that about me. I’m interesting and intellectual. I think those are positive traits.

As well, I’m cute. Super cute, if I can quote my late boyfriend. He thought so and told me, often.

Cute goes a long way! I’ll never be stunning or beautiful and I’m okay with that. I’m all that and more on the inside so it’s all good. The man who I’ll offer my heart to will see that and see me for everything that I am.

I’m picky. I need to be picky as I’m tired of playing this game and winding up with people who I’m not compatible with. Settling is stupid and a waste of time. Just to be clear, I never thought I ‘settled’ with Bri. I thought he was perfect just the way he was and had he chosen to stay on this planet, I’d have worked with him endlessly to make sure he was okay. Even if he decided I wasn’t the right girl for him, I would have been his friend, forever.

I can accept faults and flaws. That’s what makes us unique and wonderful. NOBODY is perfect. How boring would that be if we were?

The difficult part in deciding whether or not to respond to someone is: we all make snap judgements. I put all my cards on the table as I don’t want any surprises along the way. I want to avoid the conversation:

“Oh…so you believe in the spirit world…I see, well – I think we’d just better call it quits because you’re too weird for me.”

Plus, I have no patience for people trying to convert me to religion and quoting Bible scriptures. I’m okay with whatever someone wants to believe it as long as we are respectful of each other, are open-minded and can agree to disagree.

I’m an upfront and honest gal. I’m a Reiki healer. Some people find that strange because it’s something they can’t measure or see. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with being ‘out there’. I happen to like that about myself. 🙂 🙂

So!

Here I go, again… I’m not expecting much be perhaps the distraction will curb the constant tears and sadness. And maybe, jusssst maybe, I’ll meet someone who I will adore and who will find me all that and a bag of chips.

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Wise Words


When Brian first took his life, I joined an online site to share in my grief, with others. At that time, I really didn’t know ‘what’ to do…

Occasionally, I get emails from them with updates. This was posted by someone named, Sharon, on this site.

I re-post her words because I completely relate to them:

“Here are some of the things I’ve learned”

I’ve learned that some people will never, ever ‘get it.’

I’ve learned that learning to forgive takes a lot of practice. I’ve learned that some sorrow is so deep that it has no words.

I’ve learned that the community of sorrow is the strongest of all.

I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of minutes. I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that ignorance isn’t an excuse for the lack of compassion.

I’ve learned that friends can become strangers, and strangers can become friends.

I’ve learned that love isn’t measured by the amount of time you have with someone.

I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life are sometimes taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words, It may be the last time you see them.

–Originally posted on the Alliance of Hope Forum by Sharon”

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Dear Soulmate


find the one

While I’ve written letters to bring positive energy/people and situations into my life before, I’ve never blogged about it on the internet.

Over the years I’ve practiced positive manifestation about several things – careers and relationships, alike. I have to say I’ve been WAY more successful with the career thingy. However, I will also point out that my last partner had every quality I was ever looking for. It’s just most unfortunate and heartbreaking he chose to leave us before his time.

So, I was close…

I do believe in spirit guides, spirit helpers (Bri, I know you’re now one of mine and thank you for that), angels and whatnot. I also know we DO have complete freewill and also the power to CREATE. We can manifest just about anything if we put our minds to it.

As an example, I’ve brought money into my life over and over again. This has been most helpful when I really needed it.

I think bringing in the right partner is a little trickier due all of the soul agreements we’ve made before we decided to come here in the first place. That being said, I think we can still bring other souls into our lives if they’re willing. This may fall under the whole ‘freewill’ (or Free Willy if you’ve got a weird sense of humour) ACT.

soulmate

The thing is…I don’t particularly believe in the whole ‘soulmate’ theory. I think we have many souls that we’re compatible with. Some we’ve known over and over, again. Possibly we have a soul ‘team’. But hey…semantics. I want a mate…who has a soul, so, therefore, Soulmate!

So here goes. The last guy left far too early and changed the whole game plan, so I think anything can happen. It’s certainly worth a shot.

Dear soulmate/life partner/lover/best friend,

I’m looking forward to meeting you, one day (or night). Perhaps I already have and we’ve just not reached the right time, yet. I hope you’re looking forward to me, too.

I have a lot to offer. I know you do, as well. Together, we can create, built and managed a beautiful life on earth if we choose to. Together we can be a team that will weather through storms, heartbreak and heartache. We can grow, learn, play and experience everything and anything we wish to.

Individually, we can stand side-by-side in support of each other; a whole person who offers strength, wisdom, FUN and adventure. Love, of course, is a given. Because, really, that’s where we come from and that’s all there is. The rest are just experiences to understand the difference between love and everything else that is not love-related. Sometimes, as humans (EGO), we get lost in the latter. The Soul and Spirit, however, never forget who they are.

I’m almost ready for you…but not quite so I’m giving you a heads-up. It’s the considerate thing to so.

I’m still healing (there are still many hurts) and perhaps you are, too, or maybe you’re just waiting patiently for me to stroll right into your life. Either way, when the time is right for both of us, the Universe will help make it happen.

I believe in you, Soulmate. I also trust you and respect you. These are the things I offer freely and openly without question. I also love you. This I serve up with a few nice side dishes of romance, passion, friendship and humour. The last one is not least, by the way and I present all of this in a buffet of unconditional.

If I start to set all sorts of conditions (and I’m guilty of that in the past but recent events have made me realize I’m most capable of not doing that, I hope I can keep it up) we could fail. It’s most difficult not to stick conditions on things because we are responsible for our own happiness, not another’s. But in saying that, if I give all of this to you freely and without conditions (as much as my EGO will allow me) and you manage to do the same, (I’m reasonable, I’ll take ‘almost’ and ‘close to’ as options) it’s a win-win!

Please know that I don’t expect to live in a fairy tale. We’re not children and without challenges, we never grow as souls. I’m happy to take the good days with the bad days. But I will strive to help resolve any issues that we create between us. I’m going to just bet you’ll do the same. 😉

Some say that relationships are work. I disagree. I think they are a journey between two people. Consider us embarking on a pilgrimage to better ourselves and each other. However long this journey lasts is okay. I pledge to value and appreciate every moment with you. I may not enjoy every moment and you most certainly won’t! We’re not perfect. That, would just be boring.

It’s your quirks, your flaws, your weird and interesting habits and your idiosyncrasies that will indelibly imprint you onto me. It’s those that I will be wild about because it’s what makes you interesting to my heart.

I’m not ready, just yet…but I’m almost there. Just around the corner I will be waiting for you.

Until then,

With love,

Me~ xox

soulmate II

Tomorrow Is


Another day to remember him; an opportunity to meet more souls that loved him.

Grief

Peeling back the layers of truth and unwinding all of the tightly coiled springs of instant grief is humbling. Every now and then I have a reality check; I remind myself that I was blessed to even know him for the short time that I did because I suspect there was a large possibility this was always going to happen.

I believe we make choices on what we want to experience in each lifetime before we get here. I guess he and I agreed to experience this, together, should he decide to use this exit strategy; clearly that’s what he did. He would have had to agree to experience this with every other soul in his life so…in essence and on a higher soul level, we already knew this was going to be a strong possibility.

So. What do we take from that? What have we learned?

I’m still processing that.

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For those of us moving through this journey, we’ve coloured our paths with him differently, so each journey is unique. Thus, each of us is learning about this terrible pain and sorrow in our own way.

It’s like learning how to swim in and ultimately escape quicksand. It’s hellishly difficult but not impossible if you know what you’re doing. Evidently…slow and careful movements are called for.

We’ll get through this, all of us, but there will be scars.

People are confused, broken, cracked open and are having great difficulty really processing exactly just what the hell happened and why it did. Personally, for me, I’ve been thrown off of the life tracks I was on and I’m currently trying to pick myself up and find my footing while getting constantly caught up in-between the rails.

In truth, my heart thinks it’s been shredded. I’m running around trying to find all of the tiny pieces so that I can somehow shove it all back inside my chest. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men are having great difficulty putting Carrie back together, again.

It happened; it’s real. He’s gone and he ain’t comin’ back in the same form that he was in.

He left us in body but he’s still around for us, of this, I’m certain. Talk to him. Tell him how you feel. Speak his name out loud and understand that the veil between earth and the afterlife is incredibly thin and close.

As for the why’s…we’ll never really know and understand that but we can and will find an explanation that we can live with. That’s all we can do as this was his path and pain, not ours to understand.

All I Wanted

Some days it feels like I’m standing at the bottom of the ocean with the incredible pressure of the sea holding me hostage. Other days it’s as if the big picture reality of everything sinks in and I ‘get it’. I get that this is temporary and so very short in the big scheme of things. I get that we’ll all be together with our loved ones, soon. We’ll all leave this place – just when that is, is the unknown.

I asked the question of why we don’t know this; why aren’t we able to know the time of our impending bodily death? The answer I got was that our choices and experiences would not be as wonderful and enlightening if we did. Instead of living life, we’d be sitting around waiting for ‘that’ to happen so we could return home and probably not pursuing adventures that wouldn’t turn out so well. It defeats the purpose of why we chose to come here, in the first place!

We are here to experience this physical plane in the fullest, most wonderful and amazing way possible. This means every part of life – the good, the bad, the bliss and the pain.

That.

Is why…we are here.

Tomorrow is…another day. Another day to remember why I fell in love with him and be thankful for every single moment that we shared. I’ll be with him, again. When? That’s not for me to know and in the meantime, I need to remember that I have to go out there and love/live…life.

Lost Stars


It was an interesting day.

Sharing memories, tears and laughter with people who came together to honour and love a man who touched all of our hearts in the most beautiful way.

It occurred to me that we’re really all the same, struggling to find our way through this sorrow and as I gazed into new and familiar eyes, I realized we are all cut from the same cloth.

Losing someone you love tears people apart; it rips at the very fabric of bonds that were possibly made in heaven.

But unconditional love…

Now, this jewel, brings us all back together, reuniting souls in our grief and loss, giving us a little closure, perhaps a bit of peace and a whole lot of grace. It reminds us of who we really are. And it shows that the one we loved so much…was truly made from~

Starlight. 

Saying Goodbye


Tomorrow is Brian’s first Celebration of life. I think it’s kinda funny that he didn’t want anything but thanks to his ex-wife and best friend, will be having two! Ha. So there. Take that. And thank you, TC for putting in so much effort. I wish I’d been able to help you more.

The past 2.5 months have been the most emotional that I’ve ever experienced in my life. Had you asked me a year ago how I’d feel about losing someone in the way that I did – that I’d only known for all of three months…I could never have told you it would be this bad.

I loved/love that sweet soul with the entirety that is me; it was complete and whole.

I had dinner with a psychologist friend of mine, last night, and he said that most people would have bolted as soon as there was trouble brewing. I realized that I could never have done that even if I’d wanted to. I was just THAT much in love with the guy.

It was crazy/ridiculous/over-the-moon/head-over-heals love. I simply couldn’t help myself. There was a magnetic pull to him that I’ve never experienced, before. I doubt I’ll ever feel it again. It was both frightening and extreme bliss at the same time.

I have so many wishes…if wishes were fishes, I’d be able to fix world hunger. Really.

One of them is that he’s there, with us, tomorrow. I hope, in spirit, he shows up. I think it’s important for him to see that he was loved by so many people. I think it’s important for him to know he won’t ever be forgotten…and most of all:

That HE mattered. He mattered so very much to so many.

His biggest wound with his ex-gf is that he felt he never mattered to her. She told him that he did. I hope she was being truthful. If not, it’s her loss.

There will be a flood of tears. I’m bringing boxes of tissues because I think they will be needed. I hope there will also be smiles and laughter, too, as we share funny stories of the man who brought so much into our lives.

You touched us, Brian. You touched our hearts and souls. We are so very grateful that you did.

I.

Am so very grateful that I was allowed to love you. I learned a lot about myself, from you; you taught me so much about so many things. You just can’t put a measurement on love. It’s bigger than the Universe and everything beyond.

So…even though it’s a ‘goodbye’ of sorts. It really isn’t. I still talk to him, daily. I still hear him in my head. I still believe he’s looking out for those that love him. He’s really still with us…just not in body.

Being the metaphysical/cosmic chick that I am, I believe in life after life. I believe I’ll see him again and be with him, again. I’ve already asked him for a do-over because I don’t think he and I were quite done. My heart tells me that we’ll get one and if it ends, it will never again, end so tragically. My heart tells me that next time…he’ll be able to properly love me back. I know he desperately wanted to and perhaps in the end, he finally did. I’m sure he does, now.

I’m going with that. 🙂

Until next time, my darling…

Brian

Wishes


I wish I’d had time to travel a bit with you…maybe somewhere tropical and fun.

I wish I’d laughed with you a hundred times a day.

I wish I’d kissed you longer and deeper.

I wish I’d held you tighter so that you thought I’d never let you go.

I wish I’d told you more that I loved you.

I wish I’d texted you, emailed you, called you more often.

I wish I’d made you smile every hour.

I wish we’d made love every chance we got – and then some.

I wish you’d really understood how perfect you were to me.

I wish I’d held your hand more often (even if you didn’t like it).

I wish I’d tickled you.

I wish I’d confessed that I wanted to marry you, one day. You would have laughed at that…or run for the hills…

I wish I’d known you much longer and shared so much more time in your company. I think I’d volunteer 10 years of my life for that. Possibly more.

I wish we’d played more chess. We both sucked at it…but you sucked less.

I wish I’d written you more poetry, even if it really wasn’t your thing. I know you appreciated it.

I wish you’d have taken me for a spin on your bike (or one of them). It would have scared the shit out of me but it would have been fun.

I wish…

That I had –

One.

More

Day.

With.

You.

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Yellow


Today I’m wearing a pretty yellow dress that a friend had made for me and I, initially, bought it for you. I picked yellow because that’s your favourite colour. I planned to wear it for you when you were still here in this world; now I’ll be wearing it to your Celebration of Life.

I was invited to go to Bali. Then I was un-invited…sort of. The whole thing was disappointing and I ran around like mad trying to put everything into place so I could go. I would have, too, but the person who invited me didn’t really think I’d say ‘yes’. When he realized I was serious about the offer, he back-peddled like mad and then talked both himself and inevitably –me- out of it.

People are always underestimating me. I think you did, too. I don’t think you believed that I’d stick around and be there for you, considering what was going on and who you made this all about. This person whom you couldn’t live with and didn’t think you could live without. It was all a façade to deeper issues…of not loving/liking yourself enough to believe you didn’t need arm candy but a more substantial/meaningful and lasting relationship. The kind you had before you met her.

I get it. You had this super hot girl who everyone wanted and YOU had her. With her, you felt good because if you could score such a pretty and young girl, well then…you just may not be the ogre your mind was telling you – you were.

She made you feel special, she pretended to love you and you fell for that. But, most of all, you wanted to ‘please her’ …because that’s what you do. She’d build you up and then tear you down. It was a pattern that you got used to.

It was all superficial and superfluous. It was all to do with your battered and broken self-worth from God knows when and God only knows what and why. Understand this; long before I even met you – long before you met her.

You were loved.

You were beautiful.

You were funny and treasured and wonderful.

You were exceptional.

You were brilliant and creative and talented.

You were attentive and sweet and had a heart the size of a city.

Today, as I wear yellow, you are very missed… and still – very loved. You are cherished by so many and you will be with us for all of our lives.

In the spring air, when the cherry blossoms are snowing down onto the streets, in the midnight rain…drumming on my flat apartment roof. You’ll be in the morning sunrise and in the evening starlight.

I will see you and do see you, everywhere…

Today I wear yellow. Today I can’t think of anyone but you.

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Another Monday


7 weeks.

I really wish I’d stop counting.

Yet, here I am, doing it again.

I have a one-way written dialogue going with you and it seems to have spilled over onto my blog. My shrink told me that some people count because they have a specific date in mind, a goal, to which their grief will end and everything will return to normal.

Only, it never does, does it?

We change, we vacillate between being ‘okay’ and totally NOT being okay.

You never met my younger sister. She thinks I should be better by now. She doesn’t get it. She can’t understand how the mere mention of your name constricts my throat and sends a 10′ wall of saline to come flooding out of my eyes like some swollen spring river. She doesn’t understand that I can’t talk about you, unless ‘I’ bring it up and I’m ready to discuss things without falling to pieces.

She means well. She only wants to help take the sorrow away. This is like wanting to cure cancer with a thought. Good luck with that, baby sis.

I’m sleeping like shit but I think I dream of you. Only…I can’t be sure…they’re foggy and filled with undertones of shifting colour and surreal conversations.

It’s been damn hot, here. You’d have needed a fan in your little apartment. Although…it was evident by your camping slippers you shuffled around in, early mornings, and the bathrobe + jammies you’d slip on after sleeping in the nude…that you enjoyed being warm. 🙂

I found that cute, those massive slippers with your pajama pants pooling around the high topped fabric and draw string (because we wouldn’t want any heat to escape…) like a little boy wearing his big brother’s clothes.

“I like to have my feet warm,” you’d state matter-of-fact.

Then, you’d smile your smile, a combination of subtle shyness and a challenging: ‘Go ahead; I dare you to make fun of them’ – look. I’m not sure just how you accomplished such a thing.

You were always sporting opposites like it was normal to do so. Like, being this athletic cycling-dude whilst completely being addicted to Coca-Cola and candy. You actually ‘shopped’ for candy; as in…you had specific places where they sold just the right kind. I thought this both a little odd…and extremely funny. I think you were always a little boy, at heart.

I wonder when I’ll stop ticking off Mondays as: ‘that day when that really bad and horrible thing happened’ ?

Maybe, next week?

I doubt it. I suspect this will carry on for quite some time.

Thinking (far too much) of you, cute boy…. xo

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Learning to Deal with Grief


Since Brian’s passing, I’ve not only spent countless hours researching this subject but I also purchased a book. My ‘headshrinker’ (as Bri would have called her) is quite helpful and between us…we’re trying to piece together the “why’s” that all of us who knew him, are grappling with. There is the immediate ‘why’ and all of the interesting nuances that overlap that. But, there is also a much bigger picture. It’s the picture of a man who had been struggling for many, many years.

Sometimes it really appears like they’re okay and have healed. Often it’s just a mask they wear as they get by in life, barely clinging on while burying their pain, and the true issue is never addressed. Smart people don’t always tell the professionals that are paid to help them (or people that they love) everything. He told me this, himself. He would pick and choose what to say and to whom he’d say it to.

Life is about choices. We can either choose to be here, or not to be. The majority of us choose to stay. Then there are the few who don’t. In the end we’ll really never know “why” he chose to leave us the way he did. But, I was told that it would do me good to come up with something that I could live with.

Not a damn day goes by that I don’t cry, usually several times throughout the day. Some people have gone on with their lives and are dealing with it in their own way and, most likely, better than me.

I read that as we are all individual people, we all grieve individually and the length is TBD only by us. No one has the right to say ‘get on with your life’ or…’don’t cry’… When we cry, we deal with the pain and heal from it. It’s a process.

What happened is such a TABOO subject that I dare not even write the word here for fear of judgement. But I know people can read between the lines. One day, I’ll be okay to speak about it, openly. That day is not here, yet.

I’ve gone on to do the most difficult thing I’ve yet had to do in this whole healing process. I’ve forgiven him. I’ve forgiven him for many things, including what he did. As well, even though I never met her, I’ve forgiven the woman who brought him so much terrible pain, last November.

I miss him about a million times a day. I only knew him for all of three months and I’m sure there are some out there who think I should just get over it.

But I loved him, you see. I loved him more than any other. There was such a strong pull towards him and even if I didn’t want to, I simply couldn’t ‘not’ love him. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. I was completely captivated. He wasn’t … (haha)…but he did care very much for me. I’ll eternally be grateful for that.

I don’t believe in chance. I believe I had to fall in love that deeply to keep me there by his side while he went through this. I think he needed to know that even though ‘she’ didn’t care about him…there was someone who loved him immensely.

Between his best friend (and ex-wife) and I, he felt safe and secure in being who he needed to be during his suffering. I don’t believe either of us could have done this alone and for her support, I’ll always be incredibly thankful.

He became an open book and told me not too long before that terrible night, that he was terrified. I suspect he was; I know I sure as hell would be.

And so one month and two weeks after ‘it’ happened, I’m still on the healing road…but at least, I’m on the road.

I look forward to the day when I don’t post about Brian, when I put fingertips to keyboard and write about something happy, something wonderful.

It may be ways off – I hope not, though. I hope joy is just around the corner.

A dragonfly is a symbol of metamorphosis and transformation. I don’t believe we ever really die. We simply transform into another state of being – we become spirit.

This pic is for you, Brian; I know you’re watching over us and visit, from time-to-time. I hope you like it. 🙂

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Fireflies


It’s the mornings and the nights that are difficult. That is when the world and my mind are most still.

This is when I miss you the most. This is when I wish I could somehow reach out through the very fabric of the Universe, through multi dimensions and on to heaven… and touch you.

At least… one. more time.

One Month


Officially, it was yesterday. The ‘official’ one-month mark since he chose to leave this world. I had to leave work, early, and work the rest of the day from home as I couldn’t stop crying in my office. It’s a non-stop show of waterworks, these days.  I think I’m starting to show my age.

I’m not sure how others are coping; I don’t think I’m doing that well, but everyone’s grief is different and I was his girlfriend, after all – the woman who was ridiculously in love with him.

The morning of May 11, he texted me this:

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I don’t think he knew he was going to go, that evening. I really don’t. Circumstances happened and he couldn’t cope. But I’ll remember this, always. I’ll cherish it like I cherish the memories of his touch, his scent and the soft sound of his voice. I hear him, often, in my head.

Maybe this sweet little sentence he sent will hold true for me, one day. I can only hope, dream, believe…

Still love you, Bri… xo…forever.

Shhhh


It’s quiet in my life.

I am reminded of the predawn hours when time seems to stop, just before the birds wake up and my side of the planet is motionless in its slumber. It’s almost soothing at times, and others, tormenting.

I miss the constant flow of emails and texts; an open and ongoing dialogue we had between us. Most of it was wonderful, parts of it were very sad. But I miss them, all the same. It seems like months instead of four weeks since ‘my world as I knew it’ ceased to exist. There is a new one now, a new path I’m walking on. I kinda like it but there is a sadness follows me like a little lost kitten.

I turn back, often, pick it up and comfort it the best I can. I tell it that I love it and that it’s ‘okay’ to be what it is and it can stay with me for as long as it needs to. You need to own your grief; that way it works with you to heal. If you ignore it, it will find you, anyway, and by that time, it will be pissed and you’ll be in serious emotional trouble.

I miss countless things but others I do not. I don’t miss the constant anxiety we dealt with (us, being myself and the woman who was his best friend) and the fear. I miss the fear, the least. It would consume me throughout the day and into the night and early morning. Was he okay? Should I check in? What do I do if he doesn’t?

Our worst fears were realized all too quickly and although my soul wants to place the blame solely on myself, (because I’m good at doing that) I know there was nothing anyone could do. It was his choice. I guess it always was. That’s what life and sometimes death are…choices.

We, who are left behind, live with it and we move forward. It’s not pretty, but we carry on and someday, we’ll remember only the good things and the gifts he gave us. These gifts are precious and I find new ones, daily, to be grateful for. I wonder if I’d have recognized them if he were still here?

I’ll share one. I once asked him what to invest my $$ in. As he was a trader, (and plumber!) I figured he’d have a lot to teach me in that area. As it turns out, not so much…because he felt that wasn’t the best thing for me at this point.

The advice he gave me was:

“Rather than look to what investments you can invest your money into, I would actually suggest you invest it in…yourself. Seriously. At least some of it anyway. Your real earning potential is in fact, You. So why not invest in it? Can you REALLY think of a better use your own money? You commented in the mall that just think of how good a photographer you’d be if you had serious instruction. Well, that’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. I am NOT suggesting you take random courses in quirky things without a plan. That’s stupid. What I am suggesting is that you have a look at your current skills, and what you enjoy doing and want to spend more time on, and what can be financially rewarding, and spend the money to make that happen. It might very well be that something involving your musical talents is your ticket – so maybe you need piano lessons, or even a piano. Or maybe it’s recording time, or equipment. (I’m just throwing out examples, nothing more), so that’s investing in yourself. And maybe it’s not even a big financial commitment, but more of a time commitment – maybe it’s a night class, or two.”

That was what he wrote. It was some of the best advice he ever gave me. So, that’s what I’m starting to do. Thank you for that, Brian. It may be, quiet, here in this world, without you…but you are still teaching me and I can still hear your voice in my head, coaching me to do the best thing, possible, for myself.

I love you for that. xox

Fractured Sails

It Just Doesn’t Get Any Easier


Perhaps I’m expecting too much for the short three weeks since his passing. I find myself breaking down several times a day, when privacy allows it. I can’t function for 5 min. without him wandering into my mind.

How did I miss this in the very beginning? What if I’d had my phone with me? Could I have changed things? What could I have done better?

All of these questions, rolling around in my head as if they were massive boulders, crashing into each other and bruising my thoughts.

I want to run away somewhere and leave every thought behind…but this isn’t real life; this is just fantasy.

Time will heal, they say.

Nothing heals this. It may deaden over time, but the wound will still be open.

It’s Been A Day


It’s been a better day than I’d thought…

I helped Tara and her lovely friends pack up much of Bri’s stuff. We each took a few things (memories, you know…) and it wasn’t near as bad as I’d thought. I was quite worried I’d have another panic attack, or worse, break down in sobs – as this was where I last saw him.

But I didn’t. For the most part, I kept my cool and enjoyed the company of good people.

Because at the end of the day – it’s the people who rally around you in love and support that really matter. We’re the ones left behind to pick up all the pieces, and we’re the ones who need to support each other through this pain filled time. It’s people who matter. It’s people who loved him and people who love him, still. And it’s us people who will carry on to live our lives, get on with things; love again and learn from this.

If there is anything that I’ve learned…it is the amount of love that is all around me. If we pay attention and ‘see’ – we’ll find that it was always, always…there. Right in front of us. Thank you for showing me this, Brian. xox

He Was…


He was someone who would take out your garbage. Not because it bothered him for it to be there but because he felt it was something he should do. He was a gentleman like that and he was all too happy to do it.

He’d hover over me when I made dinner/breakfast because he couldn’t stand not helping out (even though cooking wasn’t really his thing). When he saw that whatever I was making was pretty much done, he’d rush over, grab cutlery from the drawer, pour the wine, paper towels, everything and then he’d set the table. From the first meal to the last one I made for him, this is what he did. I never, ever asked him to help or showed him where stuff was.

He just did it.

He was someone who felt a little guilty about drinking your alcohol but would never let you bring a bottle of wine to his place. The first time he showed up with several bottles of wine, to re-stalk my vino collection, I was shocked. This was a first for me.

I did buy him one of the scotches he liked, rum, whiskey…whatever he used to drink at home…and pistachios (he LOVED those) – because I wanted him to feel comfortable at my place. He reciprocated by purchasing (no less than) 5 different loaves of bread, once, (I ate toast in the morning) and honey. He didn’t know what ‘type’ of bread I liked…but rather than ask, he just bought one of every kind. I still chuckle over that!

I wrote him a love poem. He didn’t know how to take it, it was too early in the relationship for him and he was a little taken aback. My poetry is filled with metaphors and similes. He admitted he really didn’t ‘get all of it’. But, he was the kind of man who would read it over and over again. He printed it out, framed it and hung it up on the wall beside the bed. I didn’t notice until he told me. When he did, I burst into tears with love, respect and guilt (that I didn’t see it).

He was like that.

He’d do things for you but not make a big deal out of it. He was a giver.

Brian was… possibly the sweetest/kindest man I’ve ever met.

All About Brian – Part II


On our second date, I had him over for dinner. Or…that was the plan.

We’d gone somewhere for a walk; I think it was Burnaby Lake which is just down the road from where I live. When we got back the power was out in my building. In fact, it was out on the entire block, it seemed.

He teased and joked that I’d done this on purpose as I had to light candles everywhere when the sun went down (this was still February). We were forced to simply ‘be’ with each other, talk…no music or TV for distractions.

We ordered in Chinese food as I couldn’t cook the salmon I was intending to…power out, and all. He insisted on paying for it. This is what Brian did. Only once did he allow me to take ‘him’ out for dinner. It was last dinner out we’d have.

Anyway…

That second date started at 1 pm or so and went until about 1 am.

I’ll just say – longest makeout session, EVER.

I’ll cherish that memory for as long as there is a sun in the sky.

All About Brian


Let me tell you about my first date with Brian, my darling who recently passed away. I was running late and as I’m dyslexic and rather directionally challenged, I drove into the wrong parking lot to where I was supposed to be – meeting him at a local restaurant.

I knew what his pictures looked like from the dating site but you just never know who you’re really going to meet. Let me just say, his pictures didn’t do him justice. Brian was gorgeous.

He didn’t wait inside the restaurant, like all the other men would have…no, he waited outside by the door, in the cold and rain (February in Vancouver) for me. He looked amazing, smiled at me with that angelic smile of his and we said our hello’s and quickly hugged.

I noticed he had a little package in his hand and after we were seated, he handed me a little box of Roger’s chocolates that he’d gifted me with. This was a first! I’d gotten the occasional rose (but not often) but never chocolates. It was incredibly sweet in a gentlemanly, old-fashioned way.

He ordered an Old Fashioned and I had a glass of wine. We talked for hours and connected immediately. He made me laugh; I made him laugh. 🙂 I didn’t want the evening to end, but of course…it eventually did.

He walked me to my car…hugged me again and as I drove home, I wondered what on earth he thought of me and if he’d ever want to see me again.

Turns out he did… 😉

He’d driven home to a complete sports commentary in his head about how badly he thought he did. Before he signed off and went to bed, he wrote me a lengthy email which was hilarious! Someday I may share it.

When I tried to read it on my iPhone with blurry eyes at 4:30 am, the next morning, at first I thought it was possibly the world’s longest rejection letter. It wasn’t. He liked me very much and really wanted to see me again…

That was about 3 months ago.

During our time together, due to circumstances – especially the last month, we grew as a couple, much faster, than would normally happen.

That being said, I do believe in love at first sight.

When I saw him standing there, box of chocolates in hand, at the door of the restaurant, I knew that I loved this boy.

I always will….

Bri napping on the couch with Zephyr. He’d shoot me for posting this but it’s the only pic I actually was able to take of him.

I think it’s adorable. xo

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Sometimes Other Poets Say it Better


I adore Pablo Neruda.

His poems are pure bliss that tempt the dreamers heart and dares it to hope…if only a little. I do write, I do write well – but today. Pablo says it better.

Here I Love You

Here I love you.
In the dark pines the wind disentangles itself.
The moon glows like phosphorous on the vagrant waters.
Days, all one kind, go chasing each other.

The snow unfurls in dancing figures.
A silver gull slips down from the west.
Sometimes a sail. High, high stars.
Oh the black cross of a ship.
Alone.

Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.
Far away the sea sounds and resounds.
This is a port.

Here I love you.
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.
I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.

The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there.
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.
I love what I do not have. You are so far.
My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.

The moon turns its clockwork dream.
The biggest stars look at me with your eyes.
And as I love you, the pines in the wind
want to sing your name with their leaves of wire.

Like Never Before


I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past two weeks. It’s been a struggle to say the least…but it’s been a labour of love. There were times when I broke down and felt helpless and useless but never once did I lose the will to keep fighting the good fight.

Never once did I give up on him.

Love is a funny thing…it knows no time frame, no boundaries and it can be as big as the entire Universe. It can lead you into uncharted waters and though the fear is it will leave you high and dry – the risks are worth it, in my opinion.

His journey is an incredibly difficult one but as with all paths in life, we need not walk it alone.

As long as he allows it, I will be there, at his side. I will stand true; I will stand strong.

This is for you, B. I’m so proud to be in your life.

Closure


This message can never be repeated, enough.

Someone’s heart is a gift, not a thing to be kicked to the curb. A person’s love is the highest high and the most beautiful, precious thing we, as human beings, as souls… have to offer, another.

Never take it lightly, for granted… or cast it aside like a shadow in the dark.

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I thought I as doing OK.

I was wrong.

I wrote a rather lengthy post. Then I deleted all of it, except for those two lines above.

Please. If you’re going to end a relationship with someone, particularly a serious partner where time, emotion, and energy were greatly invested, give them closure if they ask for it.

Leaving someone to feel tossed away, or that they didn’t matter, is hurtful and damaging. And if you have done that, I would venture to say that it is never too late to give them peace. It’s a generous gift that costs nothing, and yet has immeasurable value.

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How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?


Not mine… mine’s still in one piece. 😉

But, someone who means the world to me, who is suffering, feeling quite broken and even though they have all one would think they ‘need’ right there in front of them…along comes a reminder. A reminder that someone else took their heart, their trust and their love, snatched it like a baby bird from a nest and crushed it into dust.

Just. Like. That.

How do we get over that? How can we bear watching them skip along in life, untouched, unscathed – knowing they could care less about the carnage they left behind in their wake.

I think at some time or another, we all get familiar with that feeling. That we were used and completely taken for a fool. I’ve been there, lied to, taken advantage of by smiling eyes and ‘I love you’s’ that meant as much to them as monopoly money means to a bank.

How much is one’s trust worth? It’s priceless.

There are users in this big ‘ole world, and there are givers and everything in-between. I believe everything and every person has a purpose. Users come into our lives to teach us about giving, but more importantly…about receiving.  Lots of people are good at giving but ask them to receive back what they’ve given to others? It’s sometimes very hard for them to do.

How do you mend a broken heart?

With love, of course…

Love, patience and kindness. Time…tenderness and helping that sweet, messy, adorable,  heart, learn to receive back, all of that which was taken for granted, before. All that they deserved from another and didn’t get, offer it up to them but don’t think they’ll accept it willingly. Because they may not, at first. The wounds are still fresh and bleeding; you haven’t yet proven yourself.

But that’s okay. Bide your time, take a step back and wait for them to come to you.

Even if they never do, one day they’ll realize their own worth, just by remembering what was offered with no strings attached, from you. They’ll let go of that ‘string’ from that ‘other person’ and forgive. These are valuable lessons. We must forgive in order to move forward; we have to let go. This isn’t easy and some never do. Some carry the pain with them, always and they don’t need to.

Healing is a very personal thing. It can’t be rushed. But love? It’s a constant. So give it to them, let them know it’s unconditional (real love always is), be there for them. Don’t scold. Don’t allow your own insecurities to diminish what you offer. Be true. Be real.

Give them room to breathe, space and solitude if they need it but make sure they know you’re only a text, a phone call, a short drive, a kiss…away.

Making Up


Breaking up sucks.

Making up, however, is like a fine sliver of dark chocolate melting ever so slowly on your tongue, accompanied by a mellow tingle of Shiraz rushing past and swirling down your throat. It sets your taste buds tingling, satisfies your craving for something sweet, yet earthy…and brings on that warm buzz with reflective overtones. You might think of spring blossoms, crashing waves on a naked shore, or rumbling thunderstorms in the distance.

A sweet memory chasing after you; always wanting just –

A little.

Bit.

More.

A not quite satiated subtle glow that leaves you craving his hurried, gentle touch and wet lips placed in strategic places.

nestled_by_clurdiga-d5kld68

My achy breaky heart…


Dear heart,

Every day it’s going to get a little better; it’s going to hurt a little less. Go easy on yourself – you’re a good heart, a deserving heart. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to grieve…but it’s okay to hope, too. Just be realistic and most importantly…be true to yourself.

You know your real value, your worth and what you’ve accomplished. You know who you are in the world, where you are going and where you’ve been.

There will be a day when you look back to this one and smile. You’ll be grateful for the experience and grateful that another soul trusted enough to let you into their life …it doesn’t matter for how long. Life is far too short and good people, I mean REALLY good people should be cherished. Always and forever.

Know that you’re going to be okay. You’ve survived a hell of a lot worse and you’ll live through this, too.

Never forget what you’ve learned and be ever so thankful that you were gifted this chance to learn from another. It’s a precious thing that should never be taken lightly.

Understand that you’re worthy. If all is lost, someday, when you least expect it, there will be another that sets, YOU, my heart, on fire, once again. You need only be patient and in the meantime….take some ‘me’ time.

Sweet heart… you WILL heal. It just takes a little R&R, a little TLC and a whole lot of time.

Be brave, be real and be true.

Peace,

~Me.

Light-in-Heart

The Point of Culmination


Zenith

What is it?
this struggle that
keeps me awake
pondering my existence

Asking all who would listen
the question of our
lacking human capacity
for listening with our hearts,
speaking with our Higher Soul

This day I breathe
(listening to the ebb and flow of my life’s blood)

This hour I restrain
(myself from losing grip on perception)

This moment I succumb
(and lose it anyway – finding a whole new way to see)

The answer was always
obvious and poignant

Without one
how can we know the other?

We will always choose

To select the highest stars
while sitting in the pits of our broken selves.
Broken

In the Moment


I’ve written about living in the moment, before. Yet, we mustn’t forget those moments in our lives that take our breath away, leave us wishing the seconds would slow down and allow us to stay there, forever.

There are also a whole lot of moments we’d rather forget, times we’ve really fucked up or done something we’ll regret, forever. Times when others have caused pain and destruction and those times when we’ve lost those whom we love.

Our brains are really remarkable, able to turn back the clock and relive the good and bad, minute-by-minute, should we so choose. I think at times our memory tricks us and we remember things how we’d like to, not so much as they really happened.

Nevertheless, they are our memories, our ‘moments’ to do with as we wish. I’ve often caught myself wallowing in moments that are best left in the past. It’s never good, but sometimes we need to remember what we’ve learned. We need to remember the things we should never repeat.

Then there are the moments which should be put on repeat, and often, at that. These precious few minutes of time help me through the tough times, the lonely times and the times when my heart is breaking. They offer a nice comfy ride past all of my insecurities (I’ve got a lot) and put right what is really important about living.

About … life.

So today, with the song of rain pouring down onto the flat roof, with all of my uncertainties and humility bubbling up like black tar, with me thinking, once again, I may have gone too far and completely fucked it all up…I will remember.

I will remember the moment when I was 9 and it was high summer; how the broken cement sidewalk, baked by the morning sun, burned on my little bare feet , and it wasn’t even 11 am, yet.

I will remember the moment when I saw the ocean, for the very first time, in Victoria…just beyond Beacon Hill Park.  I fell in love with the sea, that day.

I will remember the moment when we got our first cat, Tinkerbell, that tiny little furry black fluff-ball. Oh, how she could run! It took us 2 hours to catch her in the house we adopted her from. I was three.

I will remember grade 12 graduation. I’ll recall the moment when my father gave me my first (and last, I’ve never been gifted with this again) dozen, long-stemmed red roses. “One for each year,” he grinned at me. I was speechless and so taken with love and gratitude that I promptly burst into tears.

I’ll remember the moment when I woke up to my 10th or 11th birthday. My mom had laid out all my b-day gifts on the little bench in our room (I shared a room with my younger sister). There all the nicely wrapped presents sat, waiting for me… I think I was breathless with anticipation and then my whole family came into my dimly lit room and sang Happy Birthday, to me. That was the year my brother got me my first watch.

I’ll remember the moment when the light caught his eyes…turning them blue-in-green as they took on various shades of his clothing. I was captivated.

In the Moment

Crippled desires
a bridge of sorrow
please bring me peace
in the moment

Shatter the binds
strip away thoughts
leaving me soft in the moment

Offer me shelter
clothe my soul
teach me to love
in the moment

Kiss my heart
deliver me safe
let us both live,
in the moment.

take_a_moment_by_quiescent_reverie-d3gefhl

The Significance of Toast


I’ve always found it rather interesting how we sometimes associate a taste, smell, texture, etc., with an emotion or positive/negative memory. While it all makes sense and our memories a are vast cornucopia of events with a multitude of minute details (like food) attached to them, I still find it amusing that toast makes me happy.

I’d have to backup a bit (okay…a lot) into my past to explain the significance of toasted bread; perhaps you can come long with me in this journey and remember your own associations with food.

Before we skip along memory lane, there is something you should know. My childhood sucked. Well, most of it, anyway. It sucked A LOT – and it was so sucky that I had (and sometimes, but rarely still do have) terrible nightmares related to my father.

I won’t get into details, but the point is not ‘everything’ was terrible/horrible/awful. There were good memories, too. This is a good segue into the whole toast thing and why I love it. More specifically: cinnamon toast has a special place in my heart.

Long before my father changed, (and not for the better) he and I had a pretty good father/daughter relationship. I was about 4 and he was my hero. He was my hero for a number of reasons but particularly because he LOVED cartoons.

And I mean…

Seriously.

Loved.

Cartoons.

He didn’t have them, growing up as a child seeing as the cathode ray tube had yet to be invented, and like many men, he was really just a big kid at heart. He loved cartoons so much that when we were older and playing games outside with our friends, he’d open the front door and call us in to watch the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.

I’m NOT kidding.

There we were, being kids, playing outdoors, getting exercise in the sunshine and pretty much having a good time doing ‘kid stuff’…when he’d want us to come indoors and watch cartoons with him. Clearly my father didn’t like watching them, alone. My mother, although never understanding this, found it humorous.

“Let them play outside!” she’d yell at him.

“They want to watch it with me; they asked me to tell them when it’s on!” he’d yell back.

Part of that was true. When I was really little, I DID want dad to tell me when the cartoons were on. This was partially because I didn’t have a watch but mainly because even if I DID have a watch, I didn’t know how to tell time, yet. Plus…when I was that little, nothing mattered more than cartoons , except for maybe candy and toys. Those two joys were right up there on my small list of must haves.

So, back to the toast.

When I was ‘pre-school’, I used to wake up early, anyway, and as dad was getting my older brother off to Galbraith Elementary School and mom was looking after my little sister (she was still a baby)…he’d make me two things that I still LOVE, today.

Cinnamon toast and a teensy little bit of coffee.

Yup, coffee. I doubt my mother knew that he was feeding caffeine to a four-year old but I adored it, he only gave me a tiny little bit in my little girl cup, and he put tons of cream and sugar in it. I think he felt a little bit guilty about allowing this small luxury to his oldest daughter, but every morning I BEGGED him for it and loved him dearly for obliging me.

That, and the cinnamon toast were delectable, delicious and as I sat watching Rocket Robin Hood (after Batman and Robin) and then, Spiderman…life just didn’t get any better! My mornings with my dad were pure bliss.

He’d sit in his chair with feet propped up on footstool in front of him, before he got his deliveries ready for the day (at that time he was the Watkins Products Distributor for Southern Alberta) and I’d either be lying on the couch or sprawled out on the floor in front of the black and white TV.

If I choose to remember things about my father and I, it’s the smell of creamy coffee, the aroma of cinnamon toast and the two of us completely enraptured by an episode of Batman and Robin.

So, whether it’s cinnamon toast, banana bread or cookies that bring on the positive/happy memories, I say relish in them. Too often we focus on the bad stuff that happened in our past and forget the really cool fun stuff…

Like watching cartoons and Batman, on a little black and white TV at 6:30 am, when you’re four…with your dad.

batman

STRESS


noun: stress

A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

I seem to have it. Or…at least some of it as my sleeping habits, suck; this has been going on for about 1.5 months. Not only that, I’m having to play relaxation music via YouTube just to cope at work. This helps, a lot, by the way.

So what the hell is wrong with me?! …you may ask… (I know I’m asking it.)

I’m tallying up a list in my head and it goes something like this:

Life in General

  1. My health. Pretty good! – haven’t been sick in… I can’t remember when. Took on a new sport (indoor rock climbing) and that’s going well.
  2. Romance. For the first time in about 2 years my love-life is actually on track, at least it seems to be heading in the desired direction. No complaints, there, and don’t wanna jinx it, either.
  3. Work …Hmm…there are a few issues; the last two months have sucked shit and my commission will be laughable. BUT – I’m still sorta on track YTD. Sort of, because back in Jan. I was still over 100% (YTD). After the terrible month of Feb., not so much anymore. However, our year ends in July so I’ve still got time to catch up, right? I’m getting more things on the go all the time…but still, I WORRY my friggin’ head off about it. Not good.
  4. The Cat. This is probably the most dismal area of my little life. He’s quite ill, no cure, only a matter of time, etc. etc. However, he’s not about to die on me, tomorrow. If I’m lucky, maybe another 6-months to a year? Hard to say.
  5. Family. Well, THEY have themselves all sorted out – even if I’m still working on it. So, that’s good, don’t need to worry about them for the time being, anyway.
  6. Accommodations. That’s okay, too. My landlady has stopped bothering the living shit outta me about her mail, so I’m happy about that. I haven’t managed to ruin anything…didn’t burn the place down (yet). That’s a good sign, yes? Looking to purchase, this year, may be having second thoughts but there’s no pressure; no one is ‘making’ me and I can stay where I am for as long as I want. (Unless they decide to sell.)
  7. Finances – definitely got my crap together, there. No debt, nice little savings, I certainly won’t starve to death any time soon.

So, I ask myself: what’s my problem? Why am I feeling so anxious and, more importantly, what am I going to do about it?

I think from time-to-time we encounter these weird and unwelcome feelings into our lives and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be an obvious huge reason. Is it really work that I’m worried about? What’s the worst thing that could happen? I know there are a lot of reps that are doing far worse than I – so it’s not like my head is on the chopping block. And, I’m actually doing okay…

What gives, Carrie?!?

I honestly don’t know but I know what I’m going to start doing about it. I’m going to make a list. I’ve been a list maker since my awesome grandmother (Nana, to us kids) gave me my first pad of ‘list making’ at the tender age of about 9-years.

This is what it looked like, exactly. Except for the fancy booklet-holder-thingy, and Visitor Vallet.

Dumb things I gotta do

I LOVED that list pad and used it all the time until it ran out. If I ever see any more, I’m buying a lifetime supply.

That ‘boy I really, really like’ gave me a little homework assignment the other day and asked me to put together a list of 10 things that I like about myself. Actually he started the list for me from his POV. I won’t share any of it but I will say that it made me melt into a little puddle of joy.

After much thought, I came up with 8 things I like about ‘me’, and felt I gave it a fair shot. Now it’s time to put together a list of the things in my life that are going WELL, as opposed to those which are not.

I believe it will be healing and perhaps put perspective on everything. Maybe it will even point me in the direction as to what is ‘really’ bothering me. I don’t think I’ll post them, here, but I will write them down (or type them).

It’s good to get a grip on your stuffs and come to terms with what bothers us, emotionally, before it takes hold and deprives us of our beauty sleep.

Namaste, my lovelies.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


*Cue Neil Sedaka*

Yes, I know I’m dating myself.

This past weekend, a dear friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend. He’s completely devastated by it and although I’m sure she feels a hell of a lot worse, we often forget the emotional perils that the person doing the ‘breaking up’ feels. Of course, it’s not always the case (and I can attest to this from experience) some people just don’t give a shit if they rip out your heart, stomp all over it, light it on fire and then kick it to the curb, all the while pointing and laughing at you.

Do I sound a little bitter?

No, I’m over all of that and came to a decision a few years ago that the best course of action was to accept what was and then wish that person well. I mean, if they’re not the one for you, someone else out there is, right?

Go in love and peace, my friend…Namaste!

(Eat shit and die you fucking asshole!!)

Heh…just kidding…

Back to my point. Whenever I’ve had to “do the deed”, which hasn’t been very often in my case, I’ve nearly had a nervous breakdown figuring out how to ‘end it’ without causing too much emotional damage to the other person. Because there will be. Especially if they don’t see it coming; which I admit to, some have not.

I liken it to intentionally causing a serious car accident where you know you may nearly kill someone. No one actually dies (hopefully) but it sure seems like it. Unless the person whom you no longer want to be your sweet Honeybunch is a lying cheating jerk/bitch or abusive, you’re going to feel a lot of guilt and hurt, for yourself.

After all, ending a relationship is like a death, they say. If you can remain friends and it’s mutual, all the better! But how often does this happen?? I can count the number of times on one hand and have a few wonderful friends myself, to this day, who are past lovers. I also respect a man more if he has some as this proves maturity, graciousness and endurance. Some women feel jealous and possessive, personally it’s a bit of a turn on that a man is ‘MAN enough’ to realize that just because things didn’t work out – doesn’t mean that you can’t still value a person in your life and move past all the crap. The world evolves; people do, too.

You’ll question yourself: Am I doing the right thing? What if I’m horribly wrong; will they take me back?! Could I have done more? Did I try hard enough?

Most of those questions you won’t know the answer to. And take it from me, if you decide that the worst mistake you made is to let this person out of your life and you give it another go…9 x out of 10 it still won’t work out. There’s a reason you’re thinking of breaking up in the first place.

The key, of course, is communication. It always is and without it, everything will fail in time. We need to tell our better half what’s bothering us, what’s not working for us and suggest a solution(s) if there are any. That being said, we need to do this in a constructive and kind way as opposed to:

“YOU did this! YOU made me feel that! I don’t like it when YOU… YOU! YOU! YOU!

This is accusing, destructive, attacking and instantly puts the other person in defensive/must find an appropriate verbal weapon to protect myself with/angry, position. It’s a terrible way to communicate and will never resolve the issue but WILL create anger/resentment/depression and in some instances retaliation.

Instead, sit your sweetie down and let them know (in a gentle way) that you wish to speak to them about something that’s important. They’ll look at you all worried, wondering what the hell they did wrong and what the consequences may be– this is unavoidable. Smile at them, be reassuring and then say what you feel in a constructive manner.

Like this:

“Hey, Cindy, it’s not that big of a deal, but when brushing your teeth, often there are splatters of toothpaste all over the mirror; do you think you can wipe that off, after? It would help me out if you did and I’d really appreciate it. Would this be OK?”

Then smile at Cindy in a sweet and non-sarcastic way. She may get a bit miffed but in the end she’ll see reason and most likely oblige you. If she questions you further, tell her that it’s your OCD, you can’t help it but she could help alleviate some of your terrible urges to wash ever mirror in the house by simply giving that mirror a quick wipe.

Say what you need to say but keep it quick, simple and kindhearted.

Even better, if the issue you’re having is a bit weightier I use the three x rule: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.

Like thus:

“Hey Cindy, I want to talk to you about what you said to my mother the other day, do you have some time? I wanted to tell you that the information you gave her caused some issues between us and I was wondering if the next time you could maybe talk to me first beforehand? So, sweetheart, are you okay with what I suggested? It will make things a lot smoother and I know you understand my relationship with my mom needs some work!”

You get the idea.

Something else we often forget to do in relationships is: LISTEN. Yup, just stop talking, shut the fuck up and listen to what your darling has to tell you. Even if it’s boring you to tears or if it’s annoying. Tough, suck it up. LISTEN. It’s important for people to be heard. If you don’t listen to what they have to say, you can’t expect them to listen to anything you want to convey.

Think on that. And, listen.

Could my friend’s relationship be saved if they’d communicated better? I don’t think so and I know things were discussed but there were many underlying issues that will never change so it was best if they parted ways. Even if for the time being it hurts like hell for the both of them, it was for the long-term good.

Although not every relationship can be saved by communication alone, many will and every single one of them will flourish a lot more when two people DO talk to each other, discuss rather than fight, suggest rather than demand and stop doing all the talking and listen to what someone else has to say.

Nobody wants a break-up and no one wants to do the breaking up, either. It’s a terrible thing, a sorrowful thing that weighs heavy on our hearts (well, most of us) but sometimes…a necessary thing.

At the end of the day, life goes on, doesn’t it? If it didn’t work out, know that there WILL be someone out there for you who it will work with. Be grateful for what you’ve learned from that other person and DO wish them well. If you carry grudges or hate/anger, this will only impede on YOUR healing process, not theirs.

Be positive.

Listen.

And most importantly…approach your life with love.

That’s a wrap, folks.

take_a_bow_by_musingcalliope-d8031ta

Zephyrus


I must say that I’m happy with life.

I’ve been lucky and I’m grateful for everything that’s come my way. I enjoy my career and I’m good at it. I live in a lovely home and I’m healthy. But sometimes things we take for granted come to light. I had a feeling about a year ago that the little grey and white cat that I’ve loved for the past 12 years wasn’t going to last as long as I’d hoped he would. I don’t know how I knew, but I did.

We all know that most pets won’t be with us an entire lifetime; they simply don’t live as long as we do. That doesn’t mean we don’t become attached but let’s face it; none of us are getting out of here alive.

That being said, we can talk practical and logical all we like but as emotional beings, we face the pain of losing that which we love. Pets are particularly important to those of us who are alone, single and childless. Many don’t understand and there are plenty who don’t like pets and would never have one. But for those of us who were fortunate to bond with a little furry friend and experience that true unconditional love, we can’t gush enough about it. It’s the most wondrous thing as they are the most beautiful of souls.

Let me tell you about Zephyrus – because he’s really all that and no matter how old I live to be, I will never be able to love as effortlessly and purely as he does. Our pets are like Angels if you believe in them, purest of heart with the innocence of a new babe.

Years ago, I volunteered at the MEOW Foundation. Every Saturday morning I’d go there and clean, feed the cats and, of course, visit the kittens if there were any. I was newly separated from my husband and well…let’s just say he kept the cat. I thought I should adopt another but in a place with over 100 cats, it’s a hard choice.

One fine morning, I saw him. He was lounging on one of the cat trees, napping. I think he was probably about 9-10 months old at the time. He was lovely and I’ve always adored long-haired cats. I didn’t know his temperament but knew how to find out. I went over, picked him up and flipped him on his back in my arms, cradling him like a baby. I wanted to find out if he’d attack, freak out or simply relax.

He did a few things, first he just stared at me and then he thought to play bite and make a game of it. When I didn’t put him down, he relaxed and started to purr – very loudly, I may add. He gazed up at me with those massive yellow-green eyes of his in adoration as I rubbed his belly and I knew he was mine.

The first night in his new home was quite interesting. He was naturally scared and spent several hours hiding in the guest room closet. I’d bought him various toys, a new cat tree, litter box…the lot. I silently prayed to all the cat Gods that he’d use the litter box and would be okay in his new home.

Sometime in the middle of the night, perhaps around 2:30-3:00am, I was woken up by something very odd. It seems something was in my bed and they were jumping about and causing quite a stir. I knew it was him but instantly worried he was having some sort of seizure or perhaps conniptions yet…he wasn’t making any noise; most peculiar!

Swiftly and gracefully I turned on the bed light.

Alright, that’s a lie. I was half asleep and stumbled around for what seemed an eternity, knocking over a book in the process.

What I saw was nothing short of adorable and quite funny. He’d carried up about 3-4 of his new toys, one by one, into my bed and was having a little party. I guess he wanted to play (being still a kitten and all) but didn’t want to be lonely and all by himself in the process.

So there he was, picking up catnip mice in his mouth and tossing them into the air where he’d pounce on them, knock them off the bed and then jump down to retrieve them and start the process all over again. He stopped when I took notice…but only for a moment. It seems, his toys and play time were far more important than his new mistress’s sleep.

Eventually he settled down against my feet …I put his toys next to him in the event playtime would present itself, once more.

He’s nearly 13, now and has kidney failure. I may have him for another year…or another month; it’s hard to say. In the meantime, I will cherish him, every day. He still sleeps on the bed, but has moved up in the world to claim the entire other half. On the occasions where I’ve had boyfriends, he’s been gracious and moved back to snuggle up on my side or resided down by our feet…but he still sleeps with me and always will.

Once, someone asked me, I believe it was my mother, how much I’d spent on vet bills and his keep over the years. I can guess and think it would be the following:

  • Food, toys and other paraphernalia: $4000
  • Vet bills for his periodontal disease: $2500
  • Other things I can’t remember and current vet bills: $2000

Total: $8500

It’s probably less but I’m being generous.

What Zephyr has done for me:

  • Greeting me at the door every time I’ve returned home for 12+ years
  • Approx. 250,000 loving head butts and cheek smooshes
  • Countless consoling hours for such things as a broken heart, lost jobs, general upset and just plain bad days
  • About a billion snuggles
  • Untold hours of playtime (mostly tag and hide-and-seek but he’s invented a few games of his own)
  • Coming when he’s called (well…mostly)
  • Never biting me, hissing or scratching me – EVER. Play wrestling doesn’t count
  • Posing for about 500+ pictures for a budding photographer
  • Making friends with dogs, cats, boyfriends and family and being really polite about it
  • Never caring one bit if I’m: looking like shit on a stick, sick, grumpy, depressed, pissy
  • Never complaining if I: don’t have time, am late feeding him, late coming home, leaving him by himself for work or pleasure
  • Always being there when I most need him and always happy to cuddle, purr and generally give me a whole lot of love

Total value: PRICELESS 

‘Nuff said.

unconditional_by_musingcalliope-d2erd4r

Valentine’s Day…


Roses, movies, dinner, making love…

I can’t tell you how many Valentine’s Day evenings I’ve spent alone and the last time I was with that special someone? I would say a decade ago.  It’s difficult these days, people live in different cities; it’s mid-week…etc., etc.

Does it matter anymore? I don’t know. Is this actually a special day or one induced by marketing? I’m on the fence. In the past I’ve gone to great lengths for my man on this day. Did it pay off? I don’t think so.  Oh, I’m sure they appreciated it at the time to some degree but at the end of the day I doubt they cared much. These days I’m just not sure what to do.

What is the etiquette when you’re middle aged? I haven’t got a clue.

All I know is that it’s a Thursday, I’m alone sitting here typing and the only male around is napping on the bed. I love him dearly…even if he wakes me up at God-forsaken hours. He even has his own declaration of this human event.

Can you spot his heart? It’s the first thing I noticed about him when I picked him out, chose him…all those years ago while volunteering at the MEOW Foundation in Calgary, AB.

He is and always will be my funny little Valentine…

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You’ve come a long way, baby…


You know, I’ve been on the hunt for a truthful, meaningful relationship for the past four+ years. For the most part, it’s been painful. I’ve dated (and been engaged to) cheaters, compulsive liars, men who can’t commit and would rather keep you on the hook until they find something better. You’re nothing but a convenient bed partner for them and you’re ‘ok’…but they keep looking for the next best thing.

I’ve dated men who are (and always will be) players, those that have been (and still are) addicted to dating sites; it’s like a hobby they take up. Along the way, I’ve met crazy people who one minute claim that I’m the best thing since sliced bread and then the next they ditch me because they can’t handle it…then (and this was probably the best one, yet) three weeks later they MARRY a virtual stranger.

Yes, folks, I’ve seen it all. Men, who can’t take care of themselves, seem lost in life, flitting here and there. One minute they want to move in with you and build a life, the next they run off to Alberta, and then back to Montreal…they bring nothing but chaos into their own lives (and yours if you’re lucky enough to be attached to them).

Some think they can fool you into believing that they are committed yet still think it’s ‘ok’ to continue to date other women from dating sites claiming that ‘it’s just friends’.

Uh, huh…and I was born yesterday, boys.

I’ve had self-righteous ones who claim they’re enlightened and so very highly elevated to the point that you simply can’t comprehend them and because you’re so in the dark and beneath them, it’s impossible for the two of you to work out. (This one is runner up for second best).

I’ve been led on, lied to, fooled, hurt, disappointed, let down, abused and cheated on – several times.

Then…

Just as you think every male out there is just like the ones you’ve wasted your time with, someone comes along and completely knocks your socks off. He’s so damn perfect that at first you’re not sure you even want him because it’s impossible to believe he can be THAT right for you. So you write him off.

But because he IS that perfect for you and he damn well knows it, he doesn’t give up. Nope. He keeps knocking on your door, keeps in touch, keeps hoping and then when the light bulb finally goes on in a really big way (kind of like the sun full on in your eyes at mid-day in the middle of summer)…you can’t believe your luck.

Then he confesses that not only were you worth the wait but he would have waited one hell of a long time for you to come to your senses because….

…he knows you’re the one for him and he’s the one for you. He brings you into his life, his arms and his heart and keeps you safe in there. And as it turns out, all this time you’ve been looking for him, he’s been out there looking for you! Unbelievable.

When you look into his ice-blue eyes with your warm earthy hazel ones, there are no words that need to be exchanged. He’s yours, you’re his. Nothing more needs to be said or understood.

I’ve come a long way, baby, and I’ve kissed one hell of a lot of frogs along the way. It wasn’t a prince who turned up but a Knight and Champion, weather beaten, a little bruised but strong and full of love; he’s the one  ready to stand guard, protect and be a loyal mate.

I can honestly say, it was well worth the torture and if I had to do it all over again, I would…just to be with him.

Romance is Dead, she was killed off by dating sites.


Long live the i-World.

The, i-want, i-get, i-reality shows, i-need, i-deserve. Me, Me, Me.. It’s all about ME!

i-match, i-fish – i-date… it’s insane.

It sickens me. People treat each other like little kids did with trading sports cards or marbles.

Got it, need it, want it, got it, trade it.

Our fast-paced lives have included fast-paced affairs, one after the other peppered into our lives like ticked off calendar days hanging on our walls.

Monday date with this person – ‘tick’…Wednesday date with that person – ‘tick’.

There is no love it seems and whenever I bring up the subject I get some fanciful, long-winded speech to which the end result is always the question: Do we really even know what love is??

Of course we do. We’ve just forgotten where are hearts are because we live in this ridiculously over stimulated environment and we are completely lost in it. We no longer ‘think’ for ourselves so why do I get so bewildered when we can no longer love for ourselves, either?

I just may be the last diehard romantic person on the planet who is still capable of falling in and being in…love.

Maybe they’ll ask me to do a reality show on it.

*kidding…*

Another Post About the “L” Word…


Ah…those complexities of the heart, you know the ones, the logic-defying emotions that well up quite unexpectedly like tears do when you’re blue. Those epiphanic moments when someone realizes that they really do care that much and perhaps they did, all along.

What drives us to deny feelings for someone? Fear? I suspect so. Fear of failure, fear of loss, regret and fear of the unknown.  Nothing lasts forever. We are all fleeting visions, these little envelops of light that burn so very brightly during our short time on earth.

Deny yourself nothing; love exists even if it’s not meant to last in ‘your’ forever ever after. Know that it’s still there long after the embers have been doused and the smoke has cleared. Love doesn’t start as it’s never, ever stopped. It’s eternal and has always been.

So love with your whole being. Love with all the strength, the wonder… and the intensity that you can conjure. Long after you’ve left, that love will still linger on and be a positive little glow that adds to the eternal light in this gorgeous little blue and green world.

Seni seviyorum…

Where For Art Thou, he asks…


Where for art, I?

I’ve taken solace, deep within. I’ve backed away into the silvery mist where all you see is my wispy outline. The little poet  (not yours, not theirs or anyone’s in particular) is flying away from the crowd of onlookers;  floating free in the world of singledom, oh so tired of the games, the apathy and indifference.

I am ambivalence.

I am content in my cozy little shell.

Here I will reign as Queen over my colourful, free and creative world.

Checkmate. Fade to black – aaaaand,

Cut.  That’s a wrap, folks.

Chasing the Elusive and Impossible


Dear Men,

What gives? You like me, you don’t like me…you seem to be interested but then you’re really not so much? You want to be intimate but not exclusive? You flirt/compliment/chase but still keep searching for that elusive, impossibly perfect girl.

I’d sure like to know what qualities she has in your imaginative mind; it’s killing me not to know what I’m really up against. I think I know what the problem is; online dating gives you far too much to choose from. You’re like a five-year old let loose in a Walmart packed floor to ceiling with easy-to-reach candy.