Restoring My Soul

I’m lying on the sofa in baby cat’s room. She’s cuddled up to me, purring, as I write. If I go too long without petting her or kissing her head, she presses her wet nose into my arm. The little stray is lost no more. I, on the other hand, am asea.

My neighbor left for California last weekend. There’s no one filling up the emptiness. I didn’t realize it was there until she left. That first night without her company, the grief pounced. I thought I’d made it through. Turns out I was just delaying it.

My brother has been dead five months. If we make it through two more months, that will be the longest I’ve gone without someone dying in my family since April 2012. Back in June, I was preparing for my mother’s death. When she went into ICU with DVT, I wrote a list of what I needed to do to wrap things up. The Death List. Cremation. Easy. We’ve used the same guy three times. Church for service? What’s one more time in that fucking chapel? Piece of cake. Cleaning out and selling the houses would take some work. My aunt in California loves the cat. And I’m becoming proficient at probating wills.

But my mom didn’t die. She went from ICU to intense inpatient rehab to a skilled nursing facility. She seems to have settled in well at the SNF. She has daily therapy. The psychiatrist visits. She’s getting some attention for the loss of her two sons and her husband. She got her hair cut in the salon. She gets manicures. (My mother never pampered herself. Ever.) She plays bingo. She goes to the ice cream social.

My mother didn’t die. At least not this time.

I leave in two weeks for the Great Bear Rainforest. I’ll spend nine nights sailing on a 54-foot boat from Ketcikan, Alaska to Bella Bella, British Columbia. I booked the trip shortly after my father died. I grew up sailing with him. We spent many summers at the family cabin in Ontario. Combining sailing and Canada shortly before the year anniversary of his death seemed like a fitting tribute. I didn’t know at the time I’d hit the trifecta, and have a third loss to grieve.

I’m hopeful the rainforest will restoreth my soul. For even a tiny sliver, I’ll be grateful.

Spirit Bear -- photo credit

Spirit Bear — photo credit

About UB Ella

UB Ella (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.
This entry was posted in Great Bear Rainforest, Grief, Nature, Sophie, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Restoring My Soul

  1. Tahira says:

    The sailing trip sounds truly restorative. I hope you find some of the healing you are looking for. Safe travels.


  2. blueviking says:

    I thought your trip was before mine, but apparently we’re both “out of country” at the same time. I hope you find peace and (mental) rest on your trip. Time to focus on YOU and your photography! Have fun!


    • At the same time? Neat! We’ll have lots of terrific photos to share. I won’t be able to share mine until I return. But I plan to write each night and then publish when I get back. I look forward to hearing about your adventures. Good for us for getting out of our comfort zones!


      • blueviking says:

        Yep, I’ll be leaving bright and early on the 31st of August, landing in Copenhagen the next morning. 3 weeks later I’ll be flying home from Norway. I won’t be able to post much in the way of pictures until I get back. I shoot photo RAW, and they need to be processed in Photoshop before they’re ready to show. Have fun in B.C.!


  3. The sailing trip sounds like just what you need – hope it salves your soul.


  4. gertmcqueen says:

    nature has a way of healing that nothing else can….lay back and allow the waves and wind smooth you


  5. I hope you have a wonderful, soul-soothing trip. You deserve it. Sending a virtual hug to you for all the losses you have suffered.


  6. David says:

    A sailing trip, that sounds cool. Hope it relieves the stress.


  7. I hope the trip gives you what you need xxxx


  8. Nothing like being on a sailboat. Your trip sounds wonderful. We’ve wanted to sail the San Juan Islands (thanks for the charter link) – it’s so different than sailing our warm gulf. Will the weather be cold? Strong winds?
    Surely a spirit bear is waiting for you.
    (You’d better take plenty of pictures – HINT)


    • It looks like it will be in the high 50s to low 60s with lots of rain. I’ve got rain gear and rubber boots, so I’m all set. And I’m practicing with the camera this weekend. I will no doubt have scads and scads of photos. Hopefully they will include a spirit bear.


  9. ryeder says:

    well, something is preventing me from access your comments….maybe the NSA….enjoyed your post and finding new adventures does rejuvinate the spirit.  Enjoy your adventure…


  10. Beautiful piece, May you find the rainforest healing. xo LMA


  11. free penny press says:

    Have a most wonderful trip and lots of pictures please!


  12. Geraldine says:

    I hope the trip is relaxing and rejuvenating. Stress can definitely take it’s toil, been there…to many times. 😦

    I’m glad your mom is better and is getting some pampering time too! We all need that.

    Hugs, G


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