Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I was told at the beginning of this that the emotions would come in waves.  I think today must have been a high tide.  I don't think I'm functioning as well today as I was yesterday; I don't know if that's because I didn't have to, with it being a day off, or what.

Even though I went out this morning, I'm feeling kind of isolated now.  Strangely, that seems to make it harder to actually reach out to someone.  I think it's the dark side of being the healer, in a way; it is so easy to make connections when it seems someone needs me, and so, so difficult to request a connection when it feels like I need...

Need what?  I guess that's part of the problem, I don't think I know.  I feel like if I did connect, I might still be all mopey, and then I'd get "oh, so sorry for your loss" and all that stuff that people say when there's nothing they can say, and it wouldn't make me feel any better, and all I would be is a burden dragging people down.
I just feel like I'm adrift with no sails today.  And even if I had an oar, I wouldn't know which direction to row.

While I was working on writing, I got a delivery of flowers; it is a sympathy basket from my work 'family.'  I am blessed to work for and with good people.  I think it must have made me feel good; although, I think that today I am just so flooded with emotions that all I really know is that it added more emotions on top.  The kitchen table is starting to become a nice altar for her.  I do need to figure out somewhere else for the flowers to go though, so I can actually use it for a table again.

I also finally built myself up to actually using the picture hangers that I bought over the weekend, and I hung up the two larger pictures of Joanne that I have.  One is above her chair, and the other is in the bedroom over our bed.  I do like that.

I guess I should feel fortunate that I have the time to just spend a day being 'down' now.  I can't help but feel like there are a bunch of things I should be doing, but I can't think of any of them I can actually do yet.  Soon, that won't be the case, and I will need to be strong.  Until then, maybe I should just go easy on myself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Toward the end of the week Joanne spent with me in Missouri, we lit this lamp.  The interesting thing about this lamp is that I can refill the oil without extinguishing the flame, and it will burn for well over a day with a full reservoir.  I kept the flame that we lit together as an Eternal Flame for the six months or so we were apart, only extinguishing it when it was time to pack the lamp into the U-Haul as I was leaving to go meet her at the Kansas City airport to begin our journey toward our life together.

Tonight, I lit this Eternal Flame for her.  Hopefully, it will be extinguished only when I leave to go meet her again.

I do understand I won't always be here to tend it, which is why I need to make a tall wax candle before I leave for my upcoming business trip; I think I can make a pillar that should last the 72 hours I will be gone.  I'm going to get some wooden lighting sticks to use for moving the flame out of the lamp and onto a candle.  Realistically, the lamp will need to be cleaned a few times a year, and the wick will eventually need replacing, so being able to transfer the Flame to a different lamp or candle temporarily will be a good idea anyway.

It feels good to me, it feels right.  It is helping me feel close to her.  I guess that is what the ritual of tending the flame is really about.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gone but Never Forgotten; Rage Cooking

A week and two days ago, my amazing wife, whom I loved love more completely than I had thought possible, left the mortal world and crossed to the other side.  We had six years here together, which wouldn't have felt long enough if it had been sixty.
We never did have our first fight, the one everyone warned us about.  I guess we'll never know how we'll handle it now.

You have my heart with you, Jo.  And I wouldn't want it to be anywhere else.

I spent the first week or so being pretty numb; I can't say I even remember the first few days except for bits of the meeting with the funeral director.  Work the later half of the week was a blur too.
On Saturday, I heard back from the funeral director since I had inquired about the death certificate; she let me know that the hold-up was that her physician hasn't addressed it yet--even though I had personally called his office on Tuesday to let him know it was coming.

I got furious.  Like, smash-a-cleaver-into-the-back-of-his-head furious.  I resolved I would go there in person on Monday (today) and get it taken care of 'or else'.  And for the rest of the day, and the night, I really couldn't stop being enraged about it.  My soul felt blackened.

Then yesterday morning, something changed, and I couldn't bottle the rage anymore, so I started the oven, and I cooked all day.  I don't even think it was a conscious decision.  I baked Morning Glory Muffins.  I baked a loaf of rye bread.  I roasted a chicken and some asparagus.  I poured all of that angry, Fiery energy into the hearth, and at the end, I felt peaceful again, if still grieving.  (Also pleasantly full.)  It was cathartic.  Maybe this is at the heart of what it really means to be a Kitchen Witch.

"But wait," you must be thinking.  "You cooked with angry energy? What happened to 'cooking with intent?' You said you were feeling murderous! Didn't you just make a bunch of cursed food then??"

Maybe you weren't thinking that.  But I struggled with it.  I'd been struggling with it, all week--how am I ever going to cook again, if I'm not cooking for her?
And I think, this is what I finally realized, while I was figuring out what to do with a white-hot bottle of rage.  The anger doesn't have to be anger, it's an aspect of something else--all the anger was really just protectiveness of Jo, no different than if someone had blown her off for a week while she were living, except magnified by the grief.  And the protectiveness is also an aspect of something else; it is an aspect of my love for her.
So, once simmered down into its pure form, it is really my love for Jo that is cooked into the food.

I like this, because I am realizing that this is how I can go on.  I can still cook for her, even if I share the food with someone else, or no-one else.  My undying love for her will be Crafted into every dish I make.