Saying Goodbye

Everyone’s grief journey is a unique one and this is mine. The past 23 months have been a most heart wrenching, emotionally and physically draining experience for me. Even as I write this, I’m experiencing a heaviness in my heart and an actual physical drain of energy, because a part of me is still grieving the love of my life, my husband of 14 years, my Ronald. Because of this pain every month on the 4th is often a sad day for me, a reminder that he died on the 4th of April. And even though it is almost 2 years ago, it has been tough to let go of this pain, to become what most going through the grieving process hope for, which is, of course, getting towards a feeling of ‘acceptance’.

Five Stages of Grief

As it turns out there are approximately five commonly found stages of grieving, according to American Psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. So, I’ve been going through these stages in these last 23 months in hopes of helping myself towards recognizing and healing my grieving heart.  In case you were unaware, Dr. Kubler-Ross’s most common stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and then finally Acceptance. For some this process can take several years to complete and even my writing this blog is my personal way of healing my heart, mind and soul.

I must admit that my actual writing of this blog about my grieving experience has been one excuse after another for me, but something inside of me just knew if I didn’t do this l would be perpetually ‘stuck’ and unable to move forward in my life. And I know that Ron wouldn’t want me to be losing all my joy for life as he was the one who always found a way to push me forward, to motivate me to go out there and stretch myself, to be happy in life, to live one day at a time, to move forward and to not look back.

Now I’d love to say that the 14 years that we had together were a bowl of roses and marital bliss, but alas, it was a time of many challenges for Ron and I. Mainly because of the many health issues that Ron was enduring all the time and our financial struggles too, but I was so in love with him, the qualities of the man that he was inside; because of that I was willing to commit to being his caregiver and partner from the day we got together. Our love for each other was unconditional and I would venture to say a Karmic soul connection, we just clicked. Thankfully we were so close and worked well as a team, we had a wonderful partnership in more ways than one. Since we both were married and divorced twice before, we considered our relationship to be ‘third time lucky’!

Bitterness and Guilt

When Ron passed away in the hospital I wasn’t there to say goodbye because he was needing cardiac help for his condition and the hospital here in Nanaimo couldn’t help him and he was helicoptered to Victoria which is approximately 2 hours away by car or truck(my mode of transport) The overwhelming guilt I felt for not being able to say goodbye, for not being able to hold his hand, for not being able to kiss him goodbye one more time. Seeing a dead body that was once your loved one is never what anyone wants, and this is what I was forced to do.  Those first few weeks after his passing I cried myself to sleep every night, it was a struggle to do even the most basic of things to do for myself, like showering, doing laundry, eating or shopping. I didn’t know what to do anymore, it was like the routines had all changed suddenly, I didn’t know what my purpose was in life anymore.

Difficulty Accepting the Death

Of course, life doesn’t stop for the living, does it? I was overwhelmed with all the duties needed for Ron’s memorial service, the paperwork needed when someone passes, the many government and business institutions that needed to be notified, all these things were continually there as reminders that he was truly gone and yet I kept in disbelief. Then there were all the changes to our business that needed to be made as well. The overwhelming stress this caused in me various health issues, I developed kidney stones and irritable bowel syndrome. Twice in these past two years I’ve been in hospital to remove kidney stones, I now call them my ‘worry stones’.

I made some foolish decisions like getting a photo shoot done that cost me a lot of money. I was thinking ahead that I needed this to use for the website, the business and to cheer me up a bit to get me to move forward.  And the cost of changing the business logo and other things I overspent and now feel embarrassed for doing this. I wasn’t at all ready for these changes, but I was pushing myself to move at a time that I still needed to grieve, heal, and restore myself. Then I started thinking about the need to move away from where I was living right now and got caught up in that mind set too. Ron wasn’t there to bounce off these decisions anymore, his calming voice wasn’t there anymore, I needed help but didn’t know how or what or where to go to for help.

And I know you might be saying but, Tracy, aren’t you a hypnotherapist? Why didn’t you go see a therapist or hypnotherapist for help? I had some kind offers from other hypnotherapists to help me out, but I declined saying I can do this myself; I can heal myself. It is kind of like the brain surgeon that discovers he has symptoms of a possible brain tumor, and he doesn’t feel the trust and confidence of getting advice from another Doctor in his field. The expression, ‘physician heal thyself’, comes into play if you know what I mean here. But the reality was that there was only one hypnotherapist that I trusted with my mental health and that was my Ron.

Taking Steps to Heal Myself

So, I did anything and everything that I needed to do to help myself to heal, and I might add this became almost an obsession or a mission you might say.  It was my, as in Tarot study, ‘my Tower moment’ in life. The alchemical change or chaotic moment that I needed to get myself to transform from grief to acceptance. It is in my nature to be very independent and strong, so I pushed myself to move, to face my personal demons and begin my transformation process in this latest cycle of my life.

Firstly, I needed to get back into a routine that was totally mine that was no longer shared by Ron. I got hooked on watching YouTube podcasts that I started watching daily and quite accidentally found Dr. Jordon Peterson’s positive motivational videos. Soon this became something I did every morning for the first couple months as I needed a male voice that would help me as Ron’s deep melodic voice was no longer there for me to listen to. So, thank you Dr. Peterson, you were the voice I heard every day those first few months that got me started on my path to recovery. Bit by bit I got organized in my space, and yes, I cleaned my room, and yes, I made my bed, and learned how to stand up straight like a lobster once again. (taken from 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: Peterson, Jordan B.: 9780141988511: Books – )

My health was a whole different ballgame, however. This is still an ongoing process for me. I needed to change my diet, lose weight, get back into some type of exercise routine. So many diet routines later and I’m now on an elimination diet that’s a bit of the carnivore diet combined with intermittent fasting. It’s the only thing that seemed to work with all my IBS symptoms. I sold all of Ron’s wheelchairs, medical equipment, and some office equipment, furniture, and managed to buy a used Elliptical machine and I now use that machine daily up to 30 minutes at level 6 I might add. I’ve lost 30 pounds so far and things are gradually healing with the digestive issues. No more kidney stones either, thank goodness.

Becoming ‘The Hermit’ Learning to Love Solo Living

A common characteristic of most caregivers is that we often forget to love ourselves because we’re so focused on giving and serving our loved ones. I didn’t realize until Ron had passed away how I had totally forgot WHO AM I. Every day I devoted my life and love in caring for my Ron. You see Ron was legally blind, a double amputee, a kidney transplant recipient, and a type one diabetic who was insulin dependent. Despite all these health challenges he was an amazing man that I admired greatly. He was able to study and work in a whole new career as a Certified Hypnotherapist. He did all this despite being told that he was unemployable and should just be happy living on disability as that was all everyone thought he could do at the age of 50 when all these unfortunate health issues started.  Then he met me, and I left everything that was ‘me’ to be his support, companion, friend and business partner. I never once regretted this decision and never complained nor felt unhappy. We spent every day together, laughing, loving, talking, planning, and working on our business together around our life and our family.

Would you believe that before I met Ron I had done ‘stand-up comedy’ 5 times at open mics, I was learning boxing at the ‘Y’, and I even jumped out of a plane learning to do ‘Free-fall Skydiving’, but unfortunately broke my left leg on my first try.  Yeah, before we met, I was going through my personal ‘bucket list mid-life crisis’ because of turning 50. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do the naked bungy jumping that was also on my list because of breaking my leg from the skydiving…darn! (WildPlay gave Free tickets on Feb 14th if you went naked!) Then I met Ron on our first date, me with my walking cast on my left leg and he with his prosthetic leg on his right leg at that time. (he didn’t lose his left leg until 2018) It was an unusual first date as you can imagine. The rest is history as they say.

So, 14 years go by, and I have forgotten the person that I was and more importantly how to love the person that I am today. And all I know is that what I thought was my purpose in this life was taken from me. My heart and soul were in pain, and I didn’t know how to heal from this heartbreak and get back to being me again and more importantly, what is my purpose in this life now? I figure I got 30 or so years to go, I better make the best of it.

Being a hypnotherapist, I have done quite a few past life regressions and so I’m a strong believer in reincarnation and I truly believed that Ron would be advanced from this earthly experience to a level of guide or teacher in the heavenly realm because of all the Karmic challenges he experienced in this life. This probably sounds strange to some of you reading this, but I needed to know that he was okay and that he had his legs back again, his eyesight back, along with his strong body and big-hearted smile.

So, I needed to see a medium so that I could somehow get assurances that he was whole again and to let him know that I still loved him and that I was sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye. So, the first thing I did was go to a medium by the name of Nicole Powell in Lake Cowichan in hopes of talking to Ron one more time. I did this about four months after his death, I couldn’t do it sooner as I wasn’t emotionally strong enough for the session till then.

The medium session with Nicole Powell went very well. Ron came through almost immediately and he was laughing and happy looking very young and healthy he looked to be in his 30’s, Nicole said. He wanted me to know that he was with me every day and that I shouldn’t worry about saying goodbye as he felt so loved and protected on the moment of his passing. He wanted me to take a holiday in Hawaii like we had planned before and take his ashes there and I could sprinkle his ashes wherever I traveled as a part of him would be with me wherever I traveled. After the session I cried all the way home as I knew this was the start of my healing journey.

The next steps I took towards my healing journey were what most everyone does to help themselves get through the emotional pain grieving causes, with the exception that being a hypnotherapist I had access to taking an online course for ‘Hypnosis and Grief Recovery’ which I did for myself in July of 2022.

Through that course on Hypnosis and Grief Recovery I took to heart the many suggestions given as ways to help me to go through the stages of grief recovery. Here’s a list of the many things I have accomplished in the last 23 months:

  • I created a new daily routine of self love, exercise, diet and meditation.
  • Cleared out Ron’s things, reorganized office spaces, sold and gave away furniture, clothing and personal items. Bought a used Elliptical exercise machine. Used furniture for my new Tarot reading room.
  • Sought out help from a psychic medium to contact Ron so I could tell him I’m sorry and that I loved him.
  • I wrote a love letter to Ron and hid it in his picture frame that I have of him.
  • Created a wonderful memorial for Ron and visited with family and friends and continued with meetups with a few select friends who have helped me tremendously. (I don’t want to name names, but you know who you are ‘A’ I love those Starbucks chats.)
  • Made changes to our website (this is ongoing) to set up a memorial page for Ron and new story line for myself and new pictures.
  • Took a Certified Tarot Card Reader course from Nov 2022 until Jan 2023 on studying the Tarot with Hay House online. And continued with my studies and am now reading my own cards daily. I have since purchased 13 different Tarot and Oracle decks and learning to make them my own.
  • I have presently filled over 6 journal books with daily journal entries that I started in January of 2023. This was crucial in helping me to heal and find myself again.
  • To learn more about my spiritual side that has been opening since I started studying the Tarot I have been meditating daily now since mid January of 2023 and I have my own personal way of navigating through my seven chakras in meditation. This daily meditation has slowly helped me to open my heart and to heal myself. My meditations are usually only 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Reconnected with my two sisters that live far away from me and Felt the LOVE once again!
  • Watching self-help podcasts on YouTube of all kinds these days I seem to be watching quite a few Tarot readers lately, it’s been very helpful for me as well as revealing.
  • Reading several books on topics about Grief, Tarot, Angels, Oracles, Sacred Geometry, A Study of all Religions in the World, Carl Jung, Fredrick Nietzsche, The Akashic Records, the Psychic Pathway, Book of Runes. I’m getting quite a collection it appears.

In Conclusion

So, I’m on my way through this journey of acceptance but it’s turning out to be more of an acceptance of the New Me transforming into who I used to be, but maybe I’m a new and improved version? One can only hope as my heart is now open to loving others as well as myself again not that I’ve forgotten my Ron but that I’m no longer as broken as I once was.

The fourth of the month will always be a day of somber reflection for me but now I’m remembering the good man that I knew and loved instead.  I hope my story is helpful for any who may be going through the heartbreak of grieving and maybe you might find some comfort to know how to navigate through your own personal journey too.

Tracy Lee Thompson AKA Aunt-T enjoys living and working as a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist since 2011 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Tracy’s goal is always to help people feel better and help them learn to let go of the past and just enjoy life. She’s very much a ‘Humanist’ in her belief in life and looks for what is positively human in all of us. Ta Da Everyone!