Serious Nahum fluffs!
I'm very aware that the one year anniversary of Willow's death is rapidly approaching. I've still not been able to write about her death or even update the blog to indicate that she's gone. I think about it often and even tried to write about it a few times. Something continues to keep me from accepting it, still feels like we just moved without her. I've come to realize that my spark for life died with her. Depression, sometimes overwhelming, has been the norm. A few months ago I cracked the lid on the un-felt grief and quickly experienced intense overwhelm. My pain-driven thoughts went to some scary places, so I did my best to close the lid once more.
This year has held many experiences. Willow's swift and unexpected death. Selling our home without another place to move to. Moving across country with six cats. (Trying to) settle into a new living space. Trying to love on my parents who act like they are allergic to love and connection. Starting a new private practice. All the while, my tender heart has felt mostly offline, closed. Joy and hope feel like distant concepts. Occasionally in my work, I would get moments of life and tenderness. The cats have usually been a great source of life, but now when I'm with them all I can think about is their impending deaths. Of course Marvin's recent death scare didn't help.
In early December I managed to re-engage in some dormant spiritual practices, but with my heart being closed, it didn't feel satisfying, and yet I knew it was helping. I started to think about maybe finding a spiritual retreat that might nourish my parched soul, and it would allow me to create intentional space to grieve and work through Willow's death. I found a place near Boston. I was thinking maybe a weekend or something, but then I noticed they had a 5-day directed, silent retreat that concluded on the 1-year anniversary of Willow's death. I prayed that a mysterious check would arrive to cover the cost and sure enough the next day, that very thing happened. Suddenly, this idea got very real and I was going. Yikes!
I leave tomorrow (Friday) to continue this grieving journey. I'm terrified to go into that dark cave of grief and yet I know I must - freedom awaits on the other side. I need to reclaim my will to live, which is what I know Willow would want for me. I'm terrified that if I go on this retreat I will discover that Willow did actually die and that I'll need to accept that and let go. The truth can be so painful. And yet, experience has told me that the truth also sets me free.
The retreat starts Friday dinner time and ends Wednesday at lunch. Your prayers, thoughts, and purrs are all welcome.
Brave heart, Tegan...