Sunday, May 31, 2015


Life is change. This I know and accept.

Birth, death, sadness, joy, blue skies, pouring rain... 

We experience it all in our days on the planet.

Seems death is taking a leisurely stroll through my life lately.

In addition to the death of a friend's husband, we have had four family deaths since January. Two were seniors in their 80s, two were my age; all had spouses, children, family. The seniors had grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

None were "expected" to die, in the sense of what we generally mean when we say such things. (And I know human beings like to avoid the topic but aren't we all expected to die eventually?)

My friend's husband's funeral was too far away. She wasn't looking for us to attend and we did not.

We did attend the two local funerals but not the two in my hometown. As much as I wanted to, I could not attend both funerals.

In addition, unless it's for one of my parents, I won't go north again for a winter funeral. Last time we did it, a snowstorm shut the city down the night before we were to leave. 

In the beautifully blinding sunlight that greeted us the next morning, I labored for several hours to free my car from on-street parking. Although I had borrowed boots, gloves, a coat, and a shovel, I was chilled to the bone by the time I finished. 

A few hours into our trip south, I began to feel sick. I was ill for a month after our return.

Since Mr. Bliss' death, I have experienced varying amounts of sadness at hearing of the deaths of others. It's intensified if someone loses a spouse because I've been there. I am there. I know the depths one can sink to in navigating the dark waters of widowhood.

It can be a hellish existence for an unspecified amount of time; an ever-moving spiral: up today, down next week.

There are now at least five more widowed people in the world.

Which brings me to the gist of this post.

For a short while, I was seeing a man who struck my fancy. We had an average of maybe three dates a week in the months we dated.

We were in mutual "like" and got along well but for a number of reasons, it didn't morph into a long-term relationship.

As we spent more time together, I experienced a range of emotions that ran the gamut: amusement, vulnerability, optimism, and even fear. 

The fear is what surprised me most. I didn't succumb to it but I acknowledged its existence.

I don't like the word "fear" because it has a negative connotation and vibration. 

But it served as a realization that I hadn't been caring much lately about how many moments I have left. Not that I'd given up. I think I was just tired. 

Although my daughter still lives at home, my active parenting days are winding down. She has her own very active life and sometimes I do too. But there is a lot I used to do that I don't do any more, because life is change.

That Mr. Bliss awaits me in the Land Beyond Death (a.k.a. Heaven, Valhalla, and so on), had become a comforting thought whenever I wanted to zone out due to overwhelming responsibilities, etc. There was a time when I longed to join him on my downward-spiral days and often wondered why there was no calendar to tell me how long I have left in this life.

It became a place I knew I could return to, a cocoon of sorts. A place to drift... 

But I've snapped out of it and I thank God for sending the guy my way, as a reminder that I need to be more mindful of this place, my earthly home and the things I still have on my to-do list here.


(Originally written Jan 29, 2015; revised may 12, 2015; published today.)

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