Asking Karl to help me accept my new reality

Communicating with Karl in the first few months after his death helps me to accept my new reality and to ask for help in private ways. Sadly, I am finding that not all my calls to friends for help elicit the desired responses, as people are getting back to their lives, and some of my friends simply cannot handle my grief.

Six weeks after his death, I confide in Karl about my new circumstances, declaring, “It’s confusing: how to get on with a ‘happy’ life after such a tragedy.”

I also thank him for his many contributions to our shared life.

On April 5, I write to him, “I am cleaning out our house. I am remembering you, building the Ikea kitchen cabinets. And then I remember you standing in the kitchen in a half-built house, role-playing and pretending to be cooking: chop, chop, stir, stir. It does make me smile.”

During our years together, I always asked Karl for help. He was my first source of advice. And, of course, he was a great practical help to me.

So many different ladders! So many tools!

Now we are having a totally new form of communication. Before long, Karl is mirroring my attempts at acceptance and reflecting on my progress in preparing the Nimbin property for sale. He says:

It’s good to be going forward. I am working with the laws of synchronicity — so don’t be surprised if things work out in magical ways. 

In our conversations, Karl’s positive foreshadowing stirs the coals of my innate optimism and boosts my flagging spirits. I often wondered what my true destiny would be, as I always believed I was meant to do something exceptional in my life. Could I now have the opportunity to turn this tragedy into something different — even into something good?


One powerful reality check for me – that results in a massive wave of acceptance – is Karl’s openness (after he died) about our sexual relationship. Early in our life together, I christened him “The King of the Gonads” (“Goney”, for short) because of his irrepressible sexual energy. I am 50, and he is 45 when I meet him. I am entering menopause and am a full-time PhD student. Even with the last of my lifetimes’ estrogen and testosterone coursing through my body, I can hardly keep up with him.

Suddenly, maybe four or five years before he died, Karl’s expressions of sexual desire dramatically diminish. And then they pretty much stop. His capacity for loving seems to expand, however, as does the range and depth of his communication with me. But his desire: Nada. Because we have so much on our plates, I try to be philosophical and accepting of our sex life. We are now in our sixties and seventies, after all.

Maybe I should just abandon that project altogether and not worry. But I do worry. We’ve been such enthusiastic lovers, and I do not think it is anyone’s fault.


What happened to my sex drive?

So I feel reassured to read Karl’s poignant explanation, as I transcribe this message in March 2017, just before I move to Canada:

I know you are puzzled by what happened to my sex drive. I was, too. Now I understand it better. As I got older, I got more in touch with my ‘inner guy’. I guess you’d say that I became more ‘spiritual’ – more at ease with myself and with God. My strong, almost relentless sex drive was my way of avoiding that connection – it was so powerful then. As I became more connected to the true meaning of life – and of love – I think I sort of ‘over-corrected.’ I could not easily manage both energies.

Please do not think this was about you, my darling Wadie. That would be totally wrong. I love – and still love – your delicious and juicy body, your soft curves, and all of your feminine sweetness.

A few weeks later, apparently anticipating my finding a new lover in Vancouver, he savors another sweet reminiscence:

Oh, Wadie, I miss your soft breastlings. I know you miss me loving and fondling them. Let’s remember that with warmth and happiness.

Again, from his language, I know Karl is speaking.

Early 1993