Yollana’s first visualization

With Karl’s support, I reach out for help to sell the Nimbin property. Of course, I do not own it, but I need to sell it for Anne so that I can move on. I cannot live alone on a rural property.

Photo: Denny Thornborough

My first port of call is Yollana Shore, a fierce and gentle, spiritual soul half my age, who was my professional assistant and confidante for several years. Later she becomes my mentor. Yollana sends an email to hundreds of our friends, asking them to visualize a successful conclusion to the house-selling process. I imagine them lighting red candles and praying for a positive outcome in response to Yollana’s evocative entreaty.

Yollana Shore

Of course, it is successful. The property sells to the first person who views it.

My first Quest for Life grief retreat

Karl’s presence is palpable during a week-long Quest for Life (QFL) residential grief retreat I attend south of Sydney in July 2016. I write to the founder, Petrea King, in desperation on 14 March 2016, little more than a month after Karl’s death:

It’s just excruciating — this grief. I miss my Beloved. I know you know all about it. I am just trying to keep my heart open. I do not know what else to do.

Petrea replies by offering me the healing retreat as a gift.

Petrea King Photo: Ben Dearnley

As tight cords of grief begin to loosen in my being, I announce to Karl,

We did the best we could, sweetie, and we could not make it last forever. You did so much. I honor and respect all that you did.

Then comes his predictable reply:

We did it, Wadie, against such massive odds. You did well. And so did I.

Accepting and reframing my new reality

A couple of weeks later, feeling confident about the property sale, I finally begin to accept my new reality and to reframe it: “It’s funny how what seems like a complete tragedy can be transformed into a great opportunity for a beautiful new life. I will be able to be a writer. I will love my new life.”

In several messages to Karl, I reiterate:

I also feel that I did my best to love you, and you fully reciprocated. In all our woundedness, we found a way to have a profound and loving relationship – especially, astonishingly, in the past 20 months.