Today’s entry on my Calendar said the following:
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -St. Francis of Assisi-
I shared this in my widow’s group today because I thought it was something that would hit home for many of them. Let’s start by doing what’s necessary. Breathing. Breathing is by far one of the hardest things to do when you lose your other half, your soul mate. I always thought that breathing was something that you just did, and you didn’t have to put any thought into it. Well, I was wrong. I have found myself many times over the last two months having to take a big deep breath because somehow I just simply forgot and all of a sudden I was gasping for air. Eating is the next necessary step. I am a woman who loves to eat but for weeks after Nick died and even still, eating is very tough and takes up a lot of my energy. If you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine, listen to your family and allow them to force-feed you because if you don’t, you will die.
Then do what’s possible. Showering, brushing your teeth, getting dressed in something other than pajamas, driving, and well pretty much any of the other day to day things that you used to do that you never really thought too much about.
Next is the impossible. Right now the thought of getting through this pain seems completely impossible. Every day I say the words “I can’t” and then everyday somehow I do. As I have mentioned before, my plan this year was to marry the love of my life and start working on having a family. I was going to work very hard with Nick to pay off our debt and get ourselves in a situation where we could move to an acreage or somewhere other than this city. Anyone who knows Nick and I knew that we hated living in this city.
On February 20, 2016, my whole life changed. Suddenly all the plans I had were no longer “possible”. Suddenly I couldn’t pay my bills, and I am living in a house that I can not afford. Nick’s life insurance and final pay cheques are going to someone else because like many people we forgot to update our beneficiaries at work. I am unable to do the job that I was once good at because I can’t possibly switch my brain on to the level it needs to be for my line of work. Everything about my life right now has changed and is out of my control, and I am being told: “DO NOT make any big decisions because your cognitive ability is impaired.”
Here are my thoughts. I had a great conversation with my partner from work today, and I said to her, “how is my cognitive ability impaired?”. I have been kicked in the ass with reality which is; I could be dead tomorrow and so could any of you reading this. So just for a moment, I want you all to see this from my perspective.
Nick and I have always hated living in the city and being a part of this rat race. Don’t get me wrong, we loved dinner with friends, and being able to run to the store if we needed something quick but at the end of every evening we talked about something so much more. We constantly talked about being able to enjoy the outdoors more and spend less time working and be able to live minimally. Listen to what I am saying, we always “talked” about it, but we never did it. Nick worked THREE jobs. I worked a job that always required so much of my life and countless hours of overtime. There were so many days Nick begged me to just come home. I just came across a text from a few months ago that Nick sent me that said, “Pwease come home now.” Yes, that is how he spelled, please. Twelve hours after my shift ended I came home.
Nick and I both work good city jobs with pensions, but we often talked about how ridiculous that was since so many people don’t even make it to retirement, which now includes Nick.
Since Nick died, I have realized so many things, number one; material shit doesn’t matter. Just so you all know, I didn’t cremate Nick with any of his “stuff.”
Aside from the memories, this house gives me I could care less about it. I have worn more of Nick’s clothes than my own since he has died, and I could care less about buying anything new.
When I was in Golden surrounded by mountains, I completely forgot that the city of Calgary even existed. When I saw bears two days in a row, I felt a sense of peace that I haven’t felt once since being in this city. When I was on top of that mountain, I thought where the hell have I been my whole life to have never experienced this. There is so much more to life than fancy vehicles, big houses, and status.
So here is my thought for the day, is it my cognitive ability that is impaired right now or are my thoughts clearer than they have ever been before because of this strong taste of inevitable mortality that is among all of us. Maybe I am part of the lucky ones who get to see the bigger picture because of the experience I am going through. Maybe because of this I will live a full and meaningful life because none of that minor shit matters to me anymore and I no longer fear losing money or things.
So if I decide to quit my job and move somewhere to do things that bring more meaning to my life, please don’t be afraid. I can assure you I will not miss my house, or my stuff, or my good paying job. When you lose the most important thing in your life, you will see things much clearer. You will no longer be blinded by the things we become accustomed to and the busy lifestyle we are wrapped up in.
Everyone has different things that make them happy so just because I don’t like the city doesn’t mean no one should like the city. Some people love the hustle and bustle of the big city living and if that is you keep on living it. If it’s not and you are in a position where you are always looking for something more, don’t fear failure. Failure is likely much less painful than regret.
Don’t plan to change things one year from now or five years from now because when Nick drove away from the house the last time I saw him I can guarantee he had no idea he was never coming back. Just remember what I posted yesterday about life. One day it will flash before your eyes and make sure you enjoy watching it when it does. Please have no regrets. I just watched a video of a study they did with 100 people who were on their death beds. They were all asked what the one thing they regretted was, and none of them said something they had done. They all regretted something they DIDN’T do. Keep that in mind when you tell yourself “I can’t.”
Every day I say to myself “I can’t” do this and every day I do.