The One Year Anniversary

Ok here we go. It is the anniversary of Michael’s death. In meditation I felt the warmth leave his hand all over again and watched his last breath disengage him from the last vestige, his body. I felt Orien, unbelieving and a bit in shock, as I pronounced what she was seeing also. This time last year friends were outside in a circle and some remained inside with me meditating.

I have done with it though. I have experienced such wonderful grace and peace today with the meditation I did with Vita. It took me through the landmines of the grief bombs, through drifts of thoughts, along body tensions and pressure and back out to the nectar of Love and Compassion and Connection with Michael and then with another friend who died recently and another friend who is at risk of dying from the cancer he is living with.

Being on the far side of death isn’t a problem, I think, I sense such sweetness there. It’s all this other stuff we, the temporary survivors, are left with. Michael’s death was “easy” by comparison to most others’ and even though this year was the hardest of my life many other people have it far, far rougher.

Comparing hardships is not what I want to do though. It’s just to share the gratitude for the energetic universe.. where all the emotions and awful hard realities come into a perspective that is really beyond the calculations of the mental brain.

It has been a week alright– Our 13th anniversary was rocky with grief bombs exploding in inopportune moments. I went to the End Zone, sports bar, scene of our football watching dinner last year. The place was practically deserted and I had dinner and wrote in my journal until my friend Laurel came and she helped both distract me and extract me. My biggest regret was that I could not recall what Michael and I talked about on our way there and back home– our last chance for lucid conversation.

Shasta 3-13 018

Each day of the week I replayed the year-ago corresponding day. I went up to Mt. Shasta on Wednesday and camped til Friday at Panther Meadows below the old ski area where we used to ski above where the road is closed off in winter and where we always camped in the camper, at Bunny Flats. The camp ground was full and I shared a site with a Canadian woman whose birthday is exactly 6 months from me. I felt it was auspicious to have my opposite there to balance me. On the first night though I didn’t sleep at all and it really did seem like one of those “dark nights of the soul” miserable experiences. In the days though I hiked, or rather meandered, with Selkie on the trails nearby. I took myself to a movie in town, like we used to do. On Friday, I climbed the ridge to the wilderness boundary, where we used to ski down with him gracefully telemarking and me fearfully making wide shallow passes and kick turns while Michael patiently waited for me. In the stiff sweet wind I let go more of his ashes, which blew off toward the East. (And I send love to his family who I have not heard from for months…I know their thoughts are with him today too.)


It was poignant and for barely more than a second the musk of him showed up in the fine oxygen of the 8000 foot breeze. I’d reviewed and reexamined all that I could recall about the week of his death and really found peace in the pure mountain air, where he had originally wanted to climb down into a crevasse and pull down his rope when he first considered what his death would be like.

Tonight was the Blood Moon, total eclipse and harvest full moon. I spent a long time outside maneuvering to get good views of the moon. I am exhausted with this day now but I actually enjoyed myself tonight. Amazing grace to have survived this week and have the treat of the eclipse to oogle at and wrap up the fullness of this difficult year.



5 thoughts on “The One Year Anniversary

  1. Tanya Henrich says:

    Sending you my love. Thank you for your sharing. As you know, not everyone is so fortunate to have a deeply loving partner in life. It makes grief so much more profound when one gets yanked away. Horrible stuff. You are doing wonderful things to honor his memory. Wish I were closer so I could just embrace you round the clock. I like being in bed and crying, talking the dark nights away with Heidi. Seems hardest when you first wake up…..go for the COFFEEEEE. Much love to you Chris 💖.


  2. Thanks Karen, Tanya and Michelle. I know I’m not the only one with a story to tell but I appreciate being able to tell mine when I need to and have people care. Love surround you in your challenges also. I am grateful to know you.


  3. Katie Irwin says:

    As always your words paint a picture and bring me into the moments with you. you experiences are so real and I am grateful for gift of sharing what is… the difficult, the raw, the unexplainable that can barely be tolerated to be felt. I feel the closeness of your love with Michael and am so thankful for that having been and being in your life. You words add a grace and reflect the beauty of you alls love. Thank you for sharing. So much love and compassion your way.


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