January 25, 2018
And now the first year of loss is past. My doctor sympathetically called it a “lost year,” maybe referring to the fact that I have ignored medical appointments for quite some time, but her phrase brought home the blurred feelings, the shifting identity that happens when you lose someone close. Chuck, my best friend for 54 years and husband for 50, passed away on January 21, 2017.
They say you should wait a year before making big decisions. But waiting is itself a decision. A decision that can close doors, erode self-confidence, and make inertia a habit. I kept moving, proactively engaging with friends and family, traveling, and buying a house of my own. A trip to see a close friend up north brought me to Elkhorn Slough last May where I saw sea otters in the wild for the first time. And there I learned a new word: thigmotactic. I’ve been pondering it ever since.