Note: This was written in November 2019 while in Nicaragua, about 16 months after my husband died.
The loss of my husband means the loss of his perspective, a sharing of life experiences, discovery and ideas. This sharing with someone else, whether family, friends, colleagues or community members is valuable because it expands our life. Ideally it breaks down barriers, forges understanding and encourages creativity. Not just connections to other people, but to all of nature and creation – animals, plants, landscapes, seascapes and the stars above. It also deepens connection with your inner self, with thoughts of what it means to live, spirituality, what happens after and contemplation of God.
I am writing from a remote beach in Southern Nicaragua, where I can see the green hills of Costa Rica in the southern part of the cove. We are perched on the edge of a cliff, with the intense greenery of the forest surrounding us, bird life flying from branch to branch. A monkey family is teaching their babe how to climb and hop from tree to tree. I hear chattering, calls and whistles. The air is warm and softly humid.
I am here with family, at a family members retreat that is usually used for travel clients. It is Thanksgiving 2019. After months of persuasion I finally relented and took the trip to join them, flying on my own. In the midst of grieving I was not sure I was ready for this.
But this is part of moving on. I am imagining us, a husband and wife in a 33 year relationship, as two meteors flying past the stars, kept together, moving forward through the gravitational pull, with love binding us, to an unknown future. But he has fallen behind, stopped and I must keep traveling on. Life is so much like a relay race, and he has handed it off to me.
We are not in this alone, we are in this together. In this time, which has the appearance of being consequential, we need to bring our voices and visions together. Sometimes it may feel like you are yelling into the deep reaches of the Grand Canyon, you can only hear the echoes of your voice bouncing off the walls. The value in connecting with others is really the differing the perspectives, not just your commonalities. The problems we face in life, in community, in our nation and around the world are better faced with an understanding and if possible blending of views. At the most fundamental level we all need to feel valuable, useful, and we need to give and receive love.
Traveling through Nicaragua I see farmers driving their horse drawn carts on the highway. I go into a large and lively market in Managua and see people selling their well crafted and well created wares, making a living. I sit in a restaurant patio area restaurant for lunch and see the local business people and families enjoying a mid day break.We go into a grocery store and it feels both culturally different yet the same.
The double vision I shared in my marriage was not a duplicate vision but complementary, we were not identical in mindset or views, but with enough differences to try new things and learn. This time in Nicaragua is a welcome pause and also a bridge to the future. This time here is a welcome pause to reflect and feel a measure of optimism.
We sat on the beach one night, around a fire. The stars were ablaze, the waves rolled into the soft sand, and crabs crawled over the beach, content with the business of life. It is called the universe for a reason – not single-verse. We are in this together. I want to face life as clearly as I can, which may take a bit of bravery, humility, gratitude and love.