Two years ago, my wife of almost nineteen years took her last, gasping breath and passed into the other world. She had succumbed to pancreatic cancer that had spread into her liver. She had been sick for almost nine months, but had been rather healthy for the previous forty-six years. She had run marathons, hiked up mountains, traveled the world and cooked many great meals before passing into the next realm.
So is she really gone?
I don’t think so. As long as people remember her and think of her, she is still alive in our hearts. The movie Coco said that we don’t really pass as long as someone on Earth still holds them in their heart.
I was in a deep meditative state last week and I felt Grace’s presence. She was on my left side with her head resting peacefully on my chest. This is how we both loved to be. To rest in each other’s arms and feel each other. We did this almost every morning when we would say, “Every Morning!” to each other. If one of us got up early, the last one to get up would call them back to bed with “Every Morning!” so that we would have our affectionate moment together and wake up on a loving note.
Grace and I would take this to an extreme sometimes and call out wildly for the other. We’d throw a temper tantrum and kick our legs up and down and scream like a baby for the other’s love. We always had fun doing this and the other would always oblige by dropping whatever they were doing and come back for the other.
These intimate moments are what I miss the most. I also miss traveling with her, having a great meal, having a bottle of wine, going on a long hike in the mountains or an urban hike to Franceschi Park. We did many great things together and gave each other freedom to do our own things as well.
After Grace laid by my side, I missed her and sat up and cried. I knew that I didn’t have her anymore, but I did have her family still. I immediately thought of Grace’s niece Mei Lan who was with me the day Grace passed. When I sat and watched Grace who was completely still, I started sobbing. Mei Lan came and comforted me. My love was gone, but I was still here.
How does anyone deal with or comprehend a loss of someone so close. There is no one answer. My heart physically hurt for months after her passing. I read an article months later that found how the hearts of people who lost someone are very vulnerable to heart attacks and other heart problems. I felt like damaged goods. The loss was so profound that it took months before the hole in my heart began to feel.
Eventually, I resumed some of my hobbies like travel and bought an RV that was very similar to the one Grace and I had and lived in for a year. The first place I took it was to Faria Beach Park on the coast north of Ventura. I had never been there, but dreamed of going there for many of the months when Grace was sick. It was my dream of paradise and I found comfort there. I was going to take Grace there, but we never got to fly back to America. After the beach, I took the RV to the mountains. I was alone most of the time, but my sister, brother and David and Mianne Sell did come and visit me there. I came to some level of peace by then and my brother helped me move on by signing me up for Match.com. Nothing ever came of my search there, but I did find Amy through my friend Phil.
Now Amy and I are traveling the world for a year. We are currently in the Sacred Valley of Peru and have been to Columbia and will go to Chile. Amy and I are very close and we are both very happy to have each other. Our relationship is unique and we both love to take photographs of new places and we are ready to pay the price to get there. The price is not only time, but the effort to go to remote places on long days on buses, taxis, trains, planes and mostly our feet. I’m trying to document my trips on my website www.skippstrips.com and facebook. I hope you can follow along and keep up.
Grace is still with me in my heart and in my thoughts. I know she inspired me to do more with my life. I’m still here and moving on with my life the best I can. I hope you do the same and know that Grace would want that of you.
PS. My niece had a reading with a psychic last week, and Grace was the first one who came to her. The medium said Grace wanted us to know that she was fine and that she wants me to be OK. Grace was happy that I found Amy and that she sent me Amy to find happiness and joy. Grace was cooking something in a bowl and I think it is appropriate since she was always cooking something up.