Still…Memories

When I sold my house five years ago, I was not ready to let go of all of my “things”. Emotionally I was not ready to let go of the physical memories of my time with Jim, my husband. Jim died of cancer in late 2012.

I rented a storage unit and moved the things I wanted to keep into this space. It included two sixteen-foot kayaks, a dresser, desk, entertainment center, and more. I have a 150 cc scooter that lives there until I visit San Diego. Every year on my return to the Southern California area I visit the locker and relish my brief time with these treasured items. I especially love looking at my watercolors. Yes, I used to paint.

Each year I return I review everything in the unit and decided what to keep and what needs to go. One year I sold the kayaks to a friend in San Diego. Another year the dresser went to another friend who loves the Mission Style furniture. The computer desk and file cabinet went.

This year I sold the desk that Jim had bought for me. It is a beautiful cherry wood desk. Although I knew this was the right move it brought forward emotions I did not expect. I like meeting the people that buy these items. I like knowing it is going to a good home. When the sale was finally made I felt sadness and a bit of regret to see it go. Melancholy is a good word for this set of emotions.

Jim has been gone for over nine years and although all things around his death and my life transition have gotten easier, I am surprised when these emotions pop forward again. It is bittersweet, and I feel the emotions of loss once again. I am thankful that the emotions are softer and mixed with sweetness now. I treasure these memories. I am grateful for having been given the gift of such an amazing relationship with a very good man.

I don’t try to hide these emotions, I can experience them and know they will settle once again and I will be off to discover as much joy and adventure in life as I can. When I experience these emotions it brings me back to the now. It is good to be in the moment. I am reminded that each breath is precious. I am reminded that each moment is precious. I am reminded that nothing is permanent. It is OK to release and let go of treasured items.

Today I am thankful for impermanence. Today I am thankful for such lovely and warm memories.

Next Up

Does anyone want to buy a Mission-Style Entertainment Center?

Still Moving Forward.

Impermanence

IMG_2577Last week I was driving to an appointment. I was listening to something on the radio that triggered me to emphatically say out loud “Darn it Jim!!!!”. At first I thought it was anger, yet as I focused on this statement I realized it was not anger. It felt more like frustration. As I parked for my appointment I decided to take a few moments and explore this feeling.

What I found frustrating was that Jim had reached a point in his life, on this planet, where he became accepting of his impermanence here and I do not have that understanding. A few days before he died he told me “whatever happens, I am ready for it”. If he got better he would be delighted yet if he got sicker and died he was OK with that as well. For his friends who read this, he also stated that he had seen or spoken  to everyone he needed to and he was ready for whatever was next. When he died he was at peace.

Here is what I am trying to figure out. How does someone get to that point in their life? How does someone reach an acceptance and peace.  Maybe when you are confronted with the strong possibility that life is near an end the acceptance and peace happens. If that is the case, well, I am definitely not there.

I used to be an RN. I worked with children for most of my career. The outcome of sickness is very individual, yet, I noticed how wise many of these children with cystic fibrosis, cancer and other diseases became, as they approached the end of their short life span. I was not alone in this observation, most of us who worked with them noticed this. I often felt that they became wise old ones by the time they died. They often left me feeling more in touch with my true essence and I felt them to be my teachers.

How do these young ones reach this acceptance? I believe, like Jim, that acceptance and peace arrives as death becomes close. It was as if they lived their whole lives in that short time.

Can someone reach that place without dying? i would like to believe so. Maybe yogis or wise ones understand this, though I am not sure.

This is an interesting topic to contemplate. I don’t find it negative or depressing or anything. I mostly would love to know how to reach that place in my life and remain alive to embrace it and share it with others.

I am glad that Jim was at peace. It was definitely helpful for all of us who loved and knew him. More than anything I wanted him to have peace and acceptance. It helped him to die with such grace. It was an honor to be in his presence.

Three years ago on October 17, 2012, Jim Fenningham died peacefully with those who loved him observing this passing. He was loved.

I miss him still.

And, I am doing OK.

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