Before today arrived I wondered if it was going to be much like any other day… I’m a long way from home in Queensland and unable to spend the day with other family members who I know will be finding it very tough (poor holiday planning on my part) but the thought of Rosie’s second anniversary just seemed surreal.
But it’s not like any other day… far from it.
Physically I’m in an amazing holiday destination on a beautiful day (in fact as I write I’m sitting in the café at the top of the Skypoint Observation Tower… the highest building in Surfer’s Paradise with stunning 360 degree views). Mentally and emotionally however I feel disassociated from my surroundings… my spirit is in a very different space from my body… almost like being in a strange dream.
The day has given rise to a very complex mix of emotions… the overall sense is that of being numb… it’s like I’m drifting and can’t find an orientation point to hold onto.
What am I feeling?
Sadness, yes. Grief, yes. A profound sense of loss… very much so.
Freedom and release, yes… it was a long, very tough 16 year cancer journey for Rosie and I. But release into what I’m still not sure… I’m still trying to understand who I am and what my new life is about.
There is also a very sober awareness of the sacred space I stood in on this day two years ago… being with Rosie, my wife of over 33 years, as she died… the final exchange of love between us in the hour before she passed… her letting go and dying immediately after I said to her “Rosie, you are free to go”… these incredibly powerful experiences have been indelibly printed in my memory and are once again replaying in my mind.
As I look up from my laptop and see the incredible views laid out before me a freeing thought comes to mind…
Rosie would have loved this place and been so excited to be here. No doubt she would want me to be excited and enjoy it too… so that’s what I’m going to do.
One thing these last two years have taught me… Joy does not always replace grief… it often sits alongside it.
I am so thankful that my honorary daughter Alexis lives in Surfer’s Paradise and that I am able to stay at her place over this weekend. Being away from family and alone at a youth hostel today and tonight would have been very tough.