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Feb 28-Mar 06

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Hello all,
 
It's been awhile. I wanted to let you know about a podcast that Cathy Wurzer and CaringBridge put together. Cathy interviewed Michael sometime last fall about healing. Michael got to hear the final version before he died -- we listened to it together as a family. It was posted at the end of October, and I've been meaning to tell you about it so you could hear Michael's voice and words.
 
The kids and I are hanging in there, staying healthy as far as Covid goes. We had a nice little trip up north before Christmas to a cozy Wisconsin cabin, then good food at home for Christmas and a chilly backyard bonfire with my brother and family.
 
I'm finding grief to be strange and disorienting, rolling in as waves. It seems that some of the adrenaline I've had over the past five years is starting to wear off -- adrenaline for getting through cancer news, next MRI, next surgery, parenting in cancerworld, taking care of my dad, my dad's death last fall, intensive caregiving for Michael, saying goodbye, memorial details, paperwork, solo parenting. With a little less adrenaline, I'm starting to feel the grief more. It's still shocking to me that Michael is gone, with all of his big dreams and wise thoughts and his knowing me like no one else ever has. It was early January of last year that we found out the cancer was growing and Michael chose hospice, so we are entering the season of his last weeks. As much as we all want to say goodbye to 2020, I'll soon be in a new year without him and that feels hard.
 
I've been finding resources and support in this grief word even when Covid keeps us from being with people in person. The online group Hot Young Widows Club, made of (all gender) widows from all over the world (and they say, yes, we're all hot and young) helps me feel less alone. It's super helpful to hear stories, rants, things that are hard from other people grieving their person, from new Covid widows to people who lost their partner many years ago. I also took an online grief writing class from Megan Devine, who wrote the book, It's OK That You're Not OK, a book that normalizes all the many ways grief affects our lives. I'd highly recommend the book for grievers -- and for people supporting them. Both of these resources have reminded me that in some ways I've lost half of myself; that grief takes its time and I've only just begun; that our culture shies away from acknowledging grief; and that this deep ache -- and Michael -- will always be a part of my life. And that we can have a mix of feelings all the same time, which I often do, sadness and belly laughs with the kids all at once. 
 
Wishing you all the best. I'm grateful for you.
 
------
Blessing for the Brokenhearted
by Jan Richardson
 
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound,
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—

as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it,

as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still,

as if it trusts
that its own
persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom
but will save us
nonetheless.  

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