Planning for the Hard Days

I had a really incredible birthday.  Mike and I went for an all-day kayak trip, and it could not have been better – the distance we chose was challenging, the weather was nice but not too hot, and the wind was mostly at our backs on the return trip.  The next day I got to go see Walk off the Earth live.  With a friend.  For free.  I can’t say enough about what an incredible show they put on, and how awesome it was to see them live.  Watching their videos this year has made me laugh, renewed awe at what creativity can do, and given me some hope that I might be a person again someday.  And so, in the midst of fun songs, I found myself weeping with awe and gratitude to be 10 feet away from this live performance.  This celebration felt like a fitting way to mark the end of this season of intense grieving.

That said, we have some hard days coming up soon.  Next week is Beatrix’s birthday, and a few weeks later we will mark one year since her death.  We have been trying to figure out what we should do…  We know that we can’t just ignore these days; we can’t just pretend it is like any other day.  We have to get through the days, somehow.

I didn’t want to be on the move again until after her birthday.  There are such a variety of ways we could mark the day.  It felt weird to celebrate the day as a birthday – that would just be too sad.  I found a good, long kayak trip nearby that I am planning to do that day.  Mike is going to have lunch with a friend.  Then Mike suggested we get an ice cream cake (we LOVE ice cream cake).  And we have a dear friend nearby, whom we have a tradition of going for ice cream with, who is going to come help us eat it.

On the anniversary of her death, we are going to be on the move – in northern Ontario en route to Pennsylvania.  We have some friends there – who are due to have their own baby shortly after (their story is somewhat interwoven with ours; you can read more here).  Mike has played board games with him – both in real life and online.  He is a good friend: wise, kind, and sensitive.  We didn’t want to impose too much given that baby could come any day, and we wanted to be able to have our own space, so we splurged on a place nearby.  Its a really beautiful area, with lots of water.  So I’m going to (you guessed it) spend the day kayaking, and Mike is going to play games.  We’ll have something to do with our time, and be surrounded by beauty.

The next morning we’ll get up and move on – to be part of a DTS team debrief as they return from outreach.  And a few days after that, we’ll be arriving at our next temporary home in Pennsylvania.

I don’t know how we will feel when these days actually come – but we have tried, together, to figure out what it is we might need and make provisions for that.

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4 thoughts on “Planning for the Hard Days

  1. We will be keeping you guys in prayer Amanda! May God’s loving presence be so strong with you especially in the upcoming days and weeks! 🤗🙏🏻❤️

  2. To find the right words, there are none. Since my Mom died I have realized there are times you feel alright but once in a while the grief is there as real as it was the day it happened. In time you learn to live with it but never forget. Since then a good friend is in hospice dying of cancer. Another dear friend was just diagnosed with breast cancer, Gunther, my husband of 29 years had a seizure possibly due to thyroid medication. Plus my Dad has Alzheimer’s that keeps progressing. Life goes on around you & you hope you can keep up. Wish I could talk to my Mom because she always had the right thing to say to make me feel better. It’s funny, when she died we went through her things & found a newspaper clipping she had cut out. It said, “Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; simply it means I will miss you. Until we meet again.” Just thought this might be helpful. Take care you two. Love & hugs!

  3. WHEREVER you go and whatever you do on your hardest days to come, know that those of us who love you will be keeping you closely in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you both!

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