I come from a tribe
of survivors who love life
more than the hardships
they’ve been dealt. And
we have found each other
the way rivers find the sea.
—Mark Nepo, “Lifesong with Two Trumpets,” Three Intentions Weekly Reflection, 14 May 2018.
Oh, my Wadie, you have weathered many storms.
It has been a big journey.
The coves and shallows – a safe harbor – are now beckoning you.
You will not believe how beautiful your life will be. You can rest now.
—Karl, 30 November 2016
As I write this Epilogue, an essential stage of my healing journey is concluding. I celebrate and bury my sweet Beloved, I sell the rural property in Nimbin, move to Brisbane, survive a terrifying flood, lose or give away almost all of my belongings and move permanently to Canada.
I am embracing my new life. I find love and a sense of community.
I navigate the currents of my grief, battling injury, illness, depression, and trauma. Many loving friends and family members support me. I accept the harsh reality of my new circumstances, grateful for the life I now have. I forgive myself, Karl, and others the best I can. I take my grief into positive expressions of road safety activism, with dramatic and positive results.
I finally settle my injury compensation case. I must finalize the negotiations myself (with two loving, volunteer senior lawyer friends), exasperated by my compensation lawyers’ incompetence.
I receive a payout for my pain and suffering.
The insurance company’s actuarial calculations determine that I will live no more than 14 years.
I am an old woman now.
I have no job, no career, no prospects, no real future. No prospects.
I am past my use-by date.
What absolute rubbish!
I am alive and making changes in my world. Primarily because of our collective lobbying, Tweed Shire Council undertakes massive repairs to the stretch of Kyogle Road, where Karl (and five other people) died. When that repair work begins in mid-2018, my email inbox overflows with photographs and congratulatory messages from former neighbors and Uki residents.
“Well done, you!” captures the essence of their messages.
In early September 2018, John Bevelander sends me this jubilant message:
Hey, Wendy, Just been down to Uki to visit the site and noticed the Tweed Shire are moving half a mountain of earth on the bends to straighten them out. Thank you so much for your determination and passion in seeing this through to the end. So grateful that others need not suffer the fate of our loved ones at this location.
John and I organize Bless this Road on 30 September 2018 in Uki, to build community capacity about road safety, to honor our loved ones, and to thank those who helped us and who helped to get the road repaired.
I have nearly completed the blog of a second book (a memoir about my midlife journey).
I dream of becoming a full-time writer — a dream I am confident I will achieve.
We might have an inspirational book here...
Wherever I am, I sense my celestial assistant’s love, guidance and support.
Many months ago, Karl says:
The writing is good. I have more to contribute if you ask me when you’re writing, too. I do know a thing or two about storytelling. It’s in my deeper nature.
Later he confides:
I now think we might have an inspirational book here. I do feel that this book will be a huge step for us. It will have a huge impact. And I want that for you. I want you to have the life you imagine. And our book is definitely part of that dream. It will be the vehicle to take you into your new life as a well-regarded writer. You know you have material for several books to follow. This one will position you where you need to be.
Not long ago, Karl exclaims:
I’m dying (excuse the pun!) to see how our book looks.
* * *
In early February 2016, as I was inches from drowning, an unseen power handed my life back to me. As I navigate the currents of the deep river of grief and loss, I have a constant companion, “Big Karl”. Together, we birth this book, our blog and its four-part healing model, designed to support the emergence of a grieving person’s Reconciled Self. This book is our child. We send it out into the world with our blessings — and our most profound hopes.
The tsunami of loss, grief, and trauma can be a shocking experience. Sadly, many of us will have such an experience in our human lifetime. (Many in Australia as I write are experiencing the torrents of grief brought about by the bushfire emergency. That whole country [and all who love it] will be crying out for healing from trauma for many years to come.) Sadly, many of us will discover that our Western society knows little about healing from loss and grief. If our humble offering — our story and our healing and reconciliation model — can soothe one human heart, it’s been worth it.
Actually, that has already happened
My journey with Karl through the four Gateways of Wisdom has already healed one human heart (mine).
And one soul in heaven (Karl) basks in love and gratitude, his loss and pain salved by our communication, my love, and our collaboration on this book and this blog.
Holding each other close throughout our journey of reconciliation, passing through the four Gateways of Wisdom, we celebrate our “Big Love”.
As that new form of love deepens for us, we enter the wide river of expanded consciousness. Karl guides me, supporting and nourishing my courage. Now, for me, nothing is out of bounds. There are no limits. All my dreams are worthy of consideration.
Indeed, I am nothing but dreams.
How can I ever thank my sweet Beloved?
I will honor our love and cherish the blessings of our extraordinary communication.
And I will seek every opportunity to share our story in the fervent hope that hearing our story will heal other lives.
Some days Karl is so close, I can reach out and touch him as he nestles by my shoulder. Inevitably, I experience his presence as warm and comforting. Reassurance.
Never to be forgotten.
To order my recently published ebook, please go to: https://amzn.to/2CR6q29