Family and friends thank you for the concern. Please be assured I do not intend to take my own life. Pat crocked her finger at me before she died and said “don’t you dare even think about following me by your own hand.” Pat dwells within me and I feel her there within. Patricia was/is my love, my best friend, my soulmate, my spouse, my everything. She now dances in my chest where no one can see her; she dwells in me and I dwell in her forever. Love truly is stronger than Death. God is LOVE. Oh, I still miss her physical presence terribly, but killing myself would not help with that; though the rapture of Christ would bring the peace that passes all understanding.
I am having trouble communicating with the spiritual Pat these days. Gone are the easy visions of her writing in a running letter to me answering my questions and the visions of her in our lilac grove place in heaven and her REAL presence. Now I meditate calling on her and I get nothing but a vision of the dark just before dawn and a peace despite the loneliness. [Death is the putting out of the candle because dawn has come.] I may have passed into another stage in my journey to God and Pat. I am learning how to love Pat in heaven. Pat seem to be still dancing in that deep place beside my heart that is grieving for her. She still dwells in me and I still dwell in her. She is me and I am her. God truly made us one forever. Yes she is constantly in my mind – “my mind to your mind; your mind to my mind; our mind is one.” – the Vulcan mind meld. I still miss her very much despite her spiritual presence and I end up hurting oh so much. I find myself crying out her name and wanting to see, touch and hear the physical her or at least visions of her – her REAL presence. Yes I still pray “Oh God shall my release by soon?” But I’m not about to do anything that might endanger my chances of going to heaven to truly reunite with her.
I have to thank my niece Ruth McLelland for the comment below on my second guessing and despair about Pat’s march to her death. It sure applies to anyone on the grief journey particularly the caregiver wishing he had done something, anything, differently to have helped.
“The desperate wish that we could somehow have foreseen and prevented the dying that has left us bereft is one of the hardest things that will stab at you and cut you to ribbons. We so want them back, and wish we could have noticed, prevented, intervened, – done anything really – to prevent what happened. I get it. Hugs for your heart 💓 and I know she is with you.” I’ve got to stop reading over the past three months of Pat’s 2016 diary. Ruth’s comment helps me and yes this second guessing really does cut you to ribbons. Hope her comment helps others.
When you read John of the Cross or Teresa of Ávila, you get a sense that their words are coming through them, from a deeper place in them to a deeper place in us. When we experience a dark night of the soul, [nothing darker than the loss of a spouse] “we come to know that no idea of God is God. We are also weaned from our ideas about our self as being a finite, separate self apart from God. All things are unexplainably, indivisibly one in endless diversity forever.” Yes I read a lot about the grief journey and benefit from it. I believe God united us as one forever and Pat and I are forever on a journey to God and us united – the marriage trinity of God, Pat and I. I am never going to “get over it” That journey was meant to be.
“The fact that there exists beyond ourselves and our conscious will a powerful force that nurtures our growth and evolution is enough to turn our notions of self-insignificance Topsy-turvy. For the existence of this force (once we perceive it) indicates with incontrovertible certainty that our human spiritual growth is of the utmost importance to something greater than ourselves. This something we call God. The existence of Grace is prima facie evidence not only of the reality of God but also the reality that God’s will is devoted to the growth of the individual human spirit. What once seemed to be a fairy tale turns out to be the reality. We live our lives in the eye of God, and not at the periphery but at the centre of His vision.”
My love of Pat and God’s love for me, sustains me through all things—pain, confusion, and sadness—with no strings attached. I pray and meditate with my breath, to inhale Infinite Love and exhale myself into God’s grace. We all handle grief differently and this is my way of handling my grief. This is not to say I don’t have those moments of insanity. It is very hard to live without my beloved Pat at my side holding my hand. I still want her presence here and now.
In Pat’s light I learned how to love. In her beauty, how to make poems. She dances inside my chest where no-one sees her, but sometimes I do, and that sight keeps the madness away. It helps me focus. Yes it will go on like this until I die but there is no way I’m going to disobey God and Pat with her crooked finger and die by my own hand. Please read Under the mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. With eloquent, moving prose, he tells about those years after the death of his beloved wife, of how he moved step-by-step through the darkness of his grief into the light of God’s love – he grieved for a quarter century. A close friend thought the story of Vanauken’s love and marriage was very much like Pat and me. ( I’ve also read his Severe Mercy the book Under the Mercy is a sequel to. And yes Sheldon and his wife were very much like Pat and I.) The Grief is getting easier to bear even though the loneliness isn’t.
A special thank you to my son and to Pat’s siblings. James understands me almost as well as Pat did. He often attends Church with me and we take flowers to Pat’s grave every second Sunday. I find James’ frequent visits very helpful (he comes over a few evenings each week and we watch TV together. Also every Saturday morning we go out with my granddaughters for breakfast. These visits are a big help as are calls from Pat’s family. I must remember that they are also grieving for Pat and hurting as much as me. I certainly am not alone in my grief journey.
Pat is the sum total of her 48 years married to me just as I am the sum total of my 48 years married to her. Our lives and memories merge into one and are who we are. That is why Pat is me and I am Pat. She dwells in me and I dwell in her. We love each other forever. We are soulmates and will be together again in Heaven in the arms of Christ. The fragment of a poem below is from Pat’s 1981 poem.
Far apart upon the lawn,
two tall trees confront each other
never to touch, ever alone:
yet beneath the grass and stone
intertwined their roots have grown,
so intimately webbed together,
neither one can tell his own.
So with us: which flatly proves
futility of arguments
On which is which, and whose is whose.
Thank you all for your concern. My hurt is still there but I don’t ever want to lose it – it is Pat with in me. Here she is in her home town Ottawa in 2014 beside the Rideau.