Tears streamed down my face as I sat on side of a raised flower bed in my garden, watching blue Ford take my partner Nick’s planer and other carpenter tools away. Nick had died 2 months before; it was time to remove some of these remnants that I would not be using. I felt all alone, grieving as those first things were sold.
For first 3 months after Nick’s death, my grief felt like a red hot brick sitting in middle of my chest. I cried often and at oddest places, like seeing Nick’s friend at a banquet where I was accepting a donation for organization I represented. In most cases, when I felt sadness and tears, I expressed them. Heck, there was no way of holding them back!
After 5 months I felt a weight lifting off me. It felt like I had lifted a very heavy blanket or coat away. I had more energy and felt alive and happy. I started to pay attention to details of winding down a business that Nick had run. I considered how to manage acreage where we lived including an addition to our house that was only roughed in.
I pondered my future: What now? What was I going to do alone? What did I want? Was this a time to be celibate? I had been studying a yogi who considered celibacy as best route for spiritual and personal growth. As I mulled it over, I realized that I wanted a relationship again.
One Saturday 5 months after Nick’s death, there was a notice pinned to corkboard at a restaurant that my girlfriend and I favored, advertising a vision workshop. We decided to go.
There were 12 to14 of us, both men and women. We discussed setting up a vision for things you want in your life and managing fear that surrounds new beginnings (I had an image of transforming my fears from ferocious tigers to tame, meowing pussycats at my feet).
I considered what my beliefs were around relationships: I believed that men and women could have wonderful fulfilling lives in relationships; I believed I could be a good partner.
I felt I had something to give in a relationship, With Nick, I learned a lot about my anger and wanted a relationship where I could do it different, I had seen how it had affected Nick, who was frightened when I became angry. I had had times of great outbursts, and I could see how Nick, not being available emotionally, to discuss my needs had contributed to it. I decided not to feel guilty about how I had acted. I knew I had good communication skills but needed a partner who was willing to listen.