Grief, Loss and New Beginnings

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“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”  ~Rumi

 

 

How do you mend a broken heart?  I wake up each morning knowing that the person who was my life isn’t in my life anymore. The days have turned into weeks and soon they will turn into months, and the pain seems to grow rather than lessen.

I look through old photos and read her journals and cards we wrote to each other. I hear her voice on the answering machine. I see her clothes in the closet. There are memories on every street I walk or path I take.

Does anyone really understands my loss or my pain? People tell me they do. They mean well.

Talking about Chris creates a wave of despair that slowly wells up in my chest and erupts into sobs and difficulty breathing. So my friends and family believe I don’t want to talk about her because it will only make me sad and cry. They want to protect me. I can only imagine the discomfort they feel around me as they avoid talking about Chris’ death.

I don’t believe that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. Grief is natural and we all grieve. We need to grieve. At times I want to withdraw from talking about her death – to just forget. And other times I want to talk to everyone. I want to hold on to her and keep her close.

The truth is, I never really want to stop talking about her, because I do not want to accept that she is gone. I am having trouble letting her go.

I have wonderful friends that sit with me, call me and accept my pain without judgment. And I realize that I am not alone in grief. I can see all the feelings that my children, Chris’ mother and her many friends and I share. They are normal reactions and we will move through this pain and eventually come out of it and begin to heal. But somedays that is impossible to see.

The “what if” game fills my mind like a broken record, repeating over and over, “how, why, and what if”. I want to change so many things, say so many things, take back so many words, change the day first heard the diagnosis, or find someone or something to blame. Then I can wake up and she will still be here.

Chris suggested that after she passed I should “get away” and do something for myself. We talked about the Camino Walk and I said that perhaps one day I would.  I would plan for it.

I am planning for Chris’ Goodbye and her memorial. I am planning on scattering her ashes around the globe. I believe that if I prepare I can begin to let go and begin to heal. I believe that if I keep busy I can “hold it together”. I am discovering that I fall apart often when I least expect it.

The training is “distracting”, helping to slow down my thoughts, connecting me to my breath and reminding me to breathe more deeply and slowly, and to feel more control over my emotions.

Each day as my walks get longer I can feel the release of sadness. I realize that moments spent in walking meditation bring stillness and allow my emotions to flow and to surface.

Affirmations of what I want in my life:

  • I only have to face one day at a time
  • I surrender to the emotions and loss
  • I am in control of creating the life I wish for, even if it means being alone.
  • I choose how I react to every situation.
  • I will start each day positively
  • I will forgive the cancer, for forgiveness is important in letting go and moving on.
  • I will forgive myself for all the guilt I feel for all the times I didn’t tell her I loved her or hold her.
  • I will free my life of anger and hurt, and allow love, peace, and hope to enter my heart.

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Each and every one of us will face the loss of someone we love. Allow yourself to be sad, but more importantly, allow yourself to be happy. This will be the gift you give to that someone you love and to those still in your life.

Recipes

Chris loved food with all the rich textures, tastes, aromas, and flavours that only whole, natural food can provide. She had an amazing and discerning sense of taste that could pick out the slightest nuance of sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and even the two disputed tastes- Umami and metallic.

Because she was such an “oral” person, the Mouth-feel of the food was very important to her. As the cancer grew, and as a direct result of the surgery, Chris had difficulty swallowing and was unable to focus on viscosity, temperature, burning, body, prickle, and touch. It was probably her greatest disappointment. This soup became her favourite as it gave her an opportunity to savour her food.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Serves 6 to 8 

-A recipe from the creative minds of Chris and Wendy-

Ingredients:

  • 17 oz. potatoes, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, rough chopped (reserve 3-4 for garnish)
  • 2 celery stocks, rough chopped
  • 1 onion (small to medium), rough chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine

Garnish

  • 3-4 mushrooms, thin sliced
  • Parsley, sprigs or minced
  • A small dollop of vegan margarine

Directions:

  1. Sauté chopped onion and celery with crushed garlic in margarine for 3-4 minutes or until onions appear translucent.
  2. Rough chop mushrooms and add to onions and celery. Sauté for 5 to 6 more minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place chopped potatoes and mushroom broth in a medium to large saucepan 4 litres? And allow to come to a boil.
  4. Add sautéed onions, celery and mushrooms to broth. Turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  5. Turn off heat and add almond milk.
  6. Place in blender and blend thoroughly.

Serving:

  1. Garnish with mushrooms and parsley.
  2. Serve with vegan cheese and bread.

Storage:

This soup will store for a week in the fridge. Reheat when you are ready.

 

Chris’ Creamy Mushroom Soup

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: ?6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Soup

Ingredients:

  • 17 oz. potatoes, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, rough chopped (reserve 3-4 for garnish)
  • 2 celery stocks, rough chopped
  • 1 onion (small to medium), rough chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk?
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine
  • Garnish
  • 3-4 mushrooms, thin sliced
  • Parsley, sprigs or minced
  • A small dollop of vegan margarine

Directions:

  1. Sauté chopped onion and celery with crushed garlic in margarine for 3-4 minutes or until onions appear translucent.
  2. Rough chop mushrooms and add to onions and celery. Sauté for 5 to 6 more minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place chopped potatoes and mushroom broth in a medium to large saucepan 4 litres? And allow to come to a boil.
  4. Add sautéed onions, celery and mushrooms to broth. Turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  5. Turn off heat and add almond milk.
  6. Place in blender and blend thoroughly.

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Comments: 2

  1. Dana February 14, 2016 at 5:10 pm Reply

    Blessings to you. I was looking for a juice bar on Salt Spring and came across Rawsome, on my search. I read these posts and just felt compelled to express my love and healing for you. If there is ever anything a stranger can do for you please reach out.

    all love

    • Jim Maurice February 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm Reply

      Thank you. Please follow our blog with updates of …well just about anything.

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