I’ve spent the past 7 hours alternating between binge watching ‘Wallander’ (the Kenneth Branagh ones – love Magnus), on audible listening to ‘The Body in the Dells’ by J.R. Ellis, and reflecting on my inner journey the past few weeks, especially my well being.

Yeah, okay, work/life balance and emotional, spiritual, mental and physical health. Any one still reading?

Being around me at any given time, I doubt anyone can truly measure my well being. I doubt I can measure yours.

My ‘act as if’ performances are pretty good. And when I am with you I genuinely like being with you. I laugh, carry my part of a conversation, ask fairly good questions, and then I may hit a wall.

If I don’t pay attention and push on, my well being plummets. I can become insolent and demanding. (10th step to Ace.)

Like most of us, grief is huge in my life. I lost Champie last Wednesday and today, February 9th was Jude’s 50th birthday. Jude’s been gone for the past 19 years. For 18 of those years we’ve had a ritual.

First we go to the Morrissey Safeway for two white latex balloons with plain white ribbons. Our next destination is the fence behind the Santa Cruz Surf Museum. The Lighthouse was Jude’s favorite place.

(N.B. that fence/barricade keeps getting closer to the Museum each year. Supposedly it’s there to keep us civilians safe from crumbling rocks or waves. I absolutely love watching surfers jump over the fence with surfboards tucked under their arms.)

With the balloons tilting with the wind, we say a few words. This year I wished him Happy 50th Birthday and wondered at the mile stone-ness of it and hoped that he and Champie got hooked up and would he please take the dog fishing.

The last thing we do is release the balloons and watch them float upward, sideways, straight ahead for as far as our eyes can trace them. I always feel a deep melancholy when I can no longer follow the balloons.

As we drove home today I felt a missing, a yearning, a loss, a sadness. I wondered who would Jude be at age 50? Would I recognize him? What sort of relationship would we have now?

I came home, had lunch. With my pent up emotions needing release, I vacuumed the house and mopped the kitchen. When I got to my office after depleting my frenetic energy my plan was to do yoga and then write.


What happened instead was that I crawled into bed. I gave myself permission to just let go emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. When I am able to release everything and everyone, every place, every worry, every plan, every desire, every loss the magic replenishes my well being is energizing, creative, hopeful.

The secret is for me to pay attention to give myself that space.

I carry Jude in my heart and he is part of my daily life. My grief is still present. Most of the time my grief no long hijacks me. Instead it sometimes tiptoes up to me ‘hey, how about really noticing me for a bit?’

I really work hard to honor those moments because if I don’t the grief leaks out inappropriately, and you all know what I’m talking about.

9 February 2019 – Balancing Loss

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