Jilly D.

My gratitude attitude makes life more like a holiday!

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm

These past few weeks so much has been going on building a successful new business that I haven’t had time to pour my heart out or sing the blues.

Instead I just let those tears flow while trying to get some dishes washed, or a load of laundry done, or walking along the empty highway with the dogs.

I’m thankful I don’t howl anymore when I start to weep in sadness over Sam’s death. I’m so thankful I had a year on the farm to go down deep into my grief and spill my tears on the land and swim in the pond with Sam’s ashes. I’m so grateful to have found wonderful stewards of the land and our dreams for its sustainable future. I’m so grateful to have fields and woods nearby and to have rediscovered state parks and forests here in the Finger Lakes. With tremendous appreciation for my friends, the small farm community and culture,  who are farmers and local artisans keeping the larger dream alive, and Ithaca’s supportive network of social, spiritual, financial, health, and other professional services for those traumatized by the sudden loss of a loved one’s suicide.  

I may have a foolish heart but I still believe in love. Too many people hide from truth but I can’t live like that. I’m thankful, in a perverse twist of my fate, that Sam lived and died deliberately. Self-reliant, authentic and on his own terms, this modern day renaissance romantic hero taught me many lessons. The least of which is that each of us has the choice every day whether to live or die. Embrace life. Hang on. Don’t let go.

Even as I know he has passed over, I sense Sam everywhere.

Thanksgiving Day I drove down to Harrisburg, Pa. I’d booked a room for one night with a King size bed. Project dog travel. I’d spent the last month training the dogs for car and travel obedience. Mission accomplished. Only took 6 hours to arrive 250 miles away from home and in a quiet hotel with a very cheap rate. Lots of dog walks with free runs in remote locations with no one else around for miles. Freedom.

When Scooby jumped into the bed with its headboard lined with half a dozen white pluffed pillows, he went wild with delight. Lucy and Scooby and I turned on a television and watched marathon sessions of House and  CSI episodes before collapsing into deep snores. For the first time there is room for Lucy and Scooby on the mattress to sleep flat out with room to spare. I fell asleep between his deeply tired dogs.

Around 4 a.m. I sensed where I was and not quite fully awake I knew Sam was watching and that he’d sighed deeply in some relief. Me and his dogs had taken a break and taken a new adventure.

Since I got back home with these damnations they seem calmer, more relaxed and so am I. Freedom to take road trips. Embrace life. Trying. Grateful I can even try.


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