Friday, December 03, 2021

Two On Earth, Five Together

Tuesday of this week marked the second anniversary of my husband's passing from pancreatic cancer. Irv took his last breath at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2019 as I held him, and it feels like only yesterday that he left us and went on ahead.

To say that life without my soulmate is painful is understating things and then some. There are no words for describing the situation. I loved Irv more than life itself, and it is difficult to wrap my mind around the notion of years of life without him. Flourishing without him is probably not in the cards. Just surviving is hard work.

For many years, I was married to a guy with a razor-sharp mind, a dry wit, a fine sense of irony and a great laugh. The natural world was an endless source of delight to him, and he never wearied of its grandeur and its beauty. He was passionate about trees, rocks and rivers, fields and fens, birds, bugs and woodland critters, sunrises and sunsets, full moons and starry nights. He loved his tribe unconditionally.

He loved this island earth deeply, and he loved rambling its wild places. Ramble we did by golly, hand in hand and all over the place, packs on our backs, notebooks in our pockets, a camera around my neck and our beloved doggy sidekicks trotting along with us. I could not have had a more wonderful companion if I had written him into being myself, and I simply could not believe my good fortune. I look back on our life together with amazement and gratitude.

Now it is Beau and I who wander through the great wide world together, in the flesh anyway. Cassie and Spencer, traveled beyond the fields we know long ago, but they are right here with Irv, and all three loved ones are walking along in the woods with us. There will be five of us on the snowbound trail this winter, but three of us will not need parkas and snowshoes or leave paw prints in the white stuff.

I stroke Beau's silky ears and hold him close, keep putting one foot in front of the other and breathing in and out. I tell myself that Irv is no longer in pain, and that I will figure out how to live with this broken heart. There is a small measure of comfort in knowing that we will walk these hallowed hills together forever, and that our canine companions will be with us. A fine untrammeled wildness dwells in our blood and bones, all of us.

4 comments:

Lilian Nattel said...

Oh Cate, Irv sounds like one of a kind. I'm so glad you had those years together and my heart goes out to you in the ongoing pain of your loss.

Marsha said...

I have felt as you feel, and can say that you must listen to yourself because you are right. My heart is with you. And your words and images each day do much to improve each day for me.

Marsha said...

And in my experience, the second anniversary is the hardest . . . I was surprised by that. Your love comes through so clearly.

Maggie Emm said...

You had a good one for sure Cate -makes it all the harder. Love and strength to you x