Today has been a day of resting and remembering. Last night’s bonfire and celebration of Russell at our home, our first little farm, was very healing for me as I watched everyone laugh, tell stories, play soccer, and enjoy the fire. Russell would have loved it with every fiber of his being. It was a magical night of celebrating the love for him that we all have.
I share here what I wrote the morning he died a year ago. I wrote this from a place of deep hope and love. As I reread it this morning I knew that I wanted to share it again for so much of it remains true for me today as I continue to walk my path with hope, love and a profound awareness that Russell’s story, my story, the story of US is still about so much more than just us. It is OUR story – all who read it and remember; all of us who seek to live a brave and authentic life; all of us who try to understand the mysteries of life; all of us who love and hope and dream; ALL OF US!
I believe Russell’s life and journey continue to inspire us. I believe that the world continues to hold me up. I believe we are not alone. I believe in love and hope. I believe in, day after day, being brave and living out loud.
In this time, in this moment I continue to breathe in and out with love!
Originally written on the first day of Spring, March 20,2015 in the morning.
Today is the day, most years, I long for for months and months. Spring – light, newness, green, color, sweet spring air. Today, this year is a mystery for me. I still welcome spring’s possibilities and am hoping in a newer way for the magic that the growing season can bring. It marks one week from our first step down a rabbit hole that led us into Cuckoo Lookoo Land (what I am calling the place we are traveling in right now). And I am just as confused in this time, in this moment as i was last week when we – unknowingly – stepped into another world.
Later today I will try and write the story of how we came to be in this time, in this moment. The telling of a good story – Russell’s favorite thing – is healing for me right now. While there is much in this that leaves me feeling heavy with bone deep fears and sadness right now I am consciously, deeply choosing to walk in Hope and Love. And I know that there are others who want to undersand as much as I do right now.
I can do almost nothing else than what I am doing right now. So many people are asking how I can stay strong. all I return to are the following things:
1) I have decided that I will walk my part of the journey in Cuckoo Lookoo Land, or the Shadowlands, with as much Grace and Love as I can possibly muster. Each word I can speak out loud, each step I can take from my truest self is one way in which I can honor Russell. It is a way I can honor the suffering of his that I can’t even comprehend at this moment. I know that, even if he is enjoying the dreaming during this journey that he wants to return to us. I am trying to walk in Hope and Love that he can do that.
2) When the monkeys in mind try to lead me down other holes of fear and “what ifs” I simply tell them to go play somewhere else for right now. I am busy walking in the land down this hole right now. Maybe we can set up a playground for all the monkeys running around in our brains. 🙂
3) “I have the world holding us up!” (Dana McQuade)
I can do nothing but stand in awe, love and gratitude for the Ginormous Web of Healing we are weaving with strands that stretch all around the world. WE ARE NOT ALONE! My, his strength are coming from each and every one of you. Just yesterday I connected with some of the men and women Russell and I knew when he was in the Dominicans. it has been years since Russell or I had spoken to many of them as happens for all of us as life moves along and what and who are most important slips between the cracks of our busy lives.
These folks from the Dominican chapter of his life are probably some of the ones Russell has most most missed throughout the years. To be able to connect with them in this moment makes me happy to share with him. And these are just the people from one one chapter of his life. I picture him smiling on his journey and even wanting to invite them into talks I hope he is having with Kierkegarrd, Eckhart, etc.
This is not just our journey. The world is holding us up and I will NOT take that lightly.
4) As hard as this journey can be at times, I am alive with Hope that this is about soooo much more than Russell,myself and our family. When I say I have heard from upwards of 500 people either personally or through others telling me of groups who are holding us up by name, I do not exaggerate. There is something profound and magical at work. I will drive myself crazy if I try to figure out why this is all happening I may never know.
What I do know is that it is an amazing, rare thing to be a part of such an outpouring of this magnitude. Russell’s journey (and mine) is opening hearts and souls to being Real – living in this moment, even if some of this moment is painful for us. I believe that my writing has become a way of opening myself (and perhaps others) up to the possibility that there is more to this world than just what can be seen. What the mysteries of the world are for each person is different, but we all experience mystery. I believe that I am voicing my story and I am voicing Russell’s as I know it. I believe that through our journey there are more folks who will come to live more authentically, more true to their core.
Living true to our core can be very messy and raw. Crying on minute as I hold Russell’s hand; then the next working on menial tasks; then the next figuring out lunch; then the next laughing hysterically with Kirsten; then the next wanting to curl up in a ball where no one can see me; then being filled with pride and love for our amazing kids – holding all of these moments in one cohesive piece can be exhausting. Most days we all want to just get through our day and not feel rawness of being so vulnerable to all emotions.
But I will say – I have never before felt so very real as I do right now. Mysteriously in the surrealness of this journey I feel so true to my core that it can only be the grace of being open to LETTING the world hold me up. It is not me alone who is strong enough to live as real as I can right now.
I cannot really say all I want to about what this journey is for me right now, even with all I write there are no adequate words to say what it is like to be able to feel:
*Russell’s presence as if he was talking to me
*Each and every one of you hug me as if you were with me.
*As if I am part of one of the most profound, inspiring moments I will EVER experience in my life.
*myself resting in Hope and Love when each day more hard questions arise and fear wants to choke off my words.
Russell’s journey is a gift to us all. What the gift is for you I do not know. Only you can figure that out in time, if you want. I do believe we are all connected into something more in a magical way as we try to LOVE Russell back to us.
I am filled with love and hope as we step forward into spring. I am also filled with deep longing for Russell to return so he can completely see and hear and feel how deeply loved he is.
Breathing in and breathing out.
Love and peace surround us,