The porch light

I printed off some photos of my grandpa but they are in odd sizes and I can’t find a photo frame that works. In the meantime, I’ve left my porch light on, since I turned it on for some odd reason the night of his death.

Last night, after taking 7 full days off of work, spending a lot of time alone, grieving, resting, practicing yoga and meditation, coming to terms with such a huge loss in a year of losses…I turned off the light. I also taped up the photos of him, so it’s the first thing I see when I come home.

More than a month after his death, I felt ok enough to turn off the light. I’m sure there’s 900 pages of symbolism and what it means that I could write about…

Maybe later.

Praying he is at peace and truly in a better place, watching over us.


So very thankful to my ex for letting me take the dog. This 5kg of fur has been such a blessing in my life. I drag her everywhere, I pulled out her tooth, I've accidentally kicked her in the head about 13 times during my workouts, I leave her alone 3 days a week for 12-14 hours at a time, and all she asks for is a little bit of cuddling every day & a few walks. 

I don't know how I would get through the last three months without her. 


It's like a broken leg.

Sure, it hurts a lot at first, but the pain subsides.

You wear a cast for awhile.

It's awkward, doing everything takes longer, is more difficult, often seemingly impossible or requiring a significant amount of assistance.

The cast comes off, but still, those everyday tasks are different, difficult, and requires adjustment & time. 

The injury stays forever. On a rainy or cold day, the pain is there, long after you've recovered.

I've been trying to focus on the good. No more suffering, a long life lived, a happy life lived. But everything feels off. Sleeping, walking, working...

Today I completely broke down to maybe one of the smartest people I know who spoke to be about the similarities between grief and a broken leg. It completely resonated with me & I love the analogy. 

I'm trying to remember I'm hurt....injured...recovering...that this will take a long, long time. And that's ok. 

Doggy Dentite

I’m a horrible pet owner. But I thought I’d post a Maggie story…and lighten things up a bit. My greif stories are getting a little heavy.


Yesterday, I put my non-existent vet and dental training to use. 

Maggie has been kind of eating weird lately and yesterday scratching her face like I’ve never seen. The last time I took her to the vet, they recommended that I start brushing at least with a qtip to get used to the feeling and that in 6 months’ time she should have a professional cleaning done, because of her age and how her teeth looked. I put it off because….well…divorce, moving, vacationing is kind of a money pit, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it.  They have to put her to sleep and that freaks me out. She’s less than 5kg….


Anyway, I took out the qtip and started to “brush” her teeth. I saw that one was so loose, it was almost all of the way out. Like, really, really almost out. Now I understood why she was eating funny, she has a tooth half hanging out. I know that she’s lost a tooth before maybe a year ago because I saw blood on her toy and we found a tooth. So, I pulled it out. It wasn’t my funnest moment, but it was very easy, since, like I said, ten times, it was seriously falling out. 


But then…there was a little bit of blood…and I got worried about infection. Sure, I could take her to the vet on the weekend or even tomorrow if required, but what about now?!? So I did what I thought was best, got out my Listerine and tried to get some on the tooth wound. This exercise involved me basically dumping ½ of the bottle of Listerine on Maggie, getting a few drops in her mouth, her making a fuss, and then me encouraging her to drink lots and lots of water.


And then I went on line and Googled what to do when your dog has a lose tooth. 

1.       Don’t pull it unless it’s causing her pain (grey area here)

2.       Dogs’ mouths are very clean and do not use any mouthwash as some of the ingredients are poisonous to dogs. (SUPER SUPER SUPER STUPID OF ME)



So, I called the vet, who gave me the emergency vet number, and we chat, and I had to wait for the doctor to call me back, which took a good half an hour, who said that Maggie should be fine, but I should watch her. Which means that I got up every couple of hours, poked her in her cage (she prefers to sleep in her cage….trust me I’ve tried to get her to sleep in my room with me!!), saw if she could get up, and then go back to bed. She’s probably like, B*TCH, you pull out my tooth, try to get me drunk, and then wake me up every couple of hours? Dontcha know I have my dog walker tomorrow and I need my freaking beauty sleep!?!



Anyway, Maggie was fine this morning, she played with her toy, and I got a glowing report from the dog walker….who probably thinks I’m a little retarded.

My email to a friend

Dear Friend, 

Thanks again for coming to the funeral. Everyone thought it was very nice.

I go over that day again and again...& the prep work, the morning seriously felt like a wedding. We were all running around picking up ice, trays, etc....I really didn't help out much because my brain was like...on another planet. I think the only thing I did to help out was slice buns. Everything just kind of happened around me. 

Honestly I am so flattered & honored that I got to speak about my grandpa.  I can barely remember the moment...but wow...that slide show killllllled me. The photos were amazing. The music (especially the first solo!!!!) was wonderful.

I had to go to the church library a few times because it was all so overwhelming. The first time I went someone followed me. I didn't know who but I put my head down on the desk and cried and cried and cried while the mystery person rubbed my back. I turned around finally and saw that it was my friend, Stephanie.  

Everyone was so nice & I had so many people I've never met come & thank me. Or tell me how great I was or how great my grandpa was. It's still overwhelming how nice people are being to me. 

I'm writing to you...because I'm kind of lost. After you lost your loved one...did life just feel totally different for awhile? It's like I feel like I'm walking around with an arm that got cut off...but no one can tell. I'm waiting for people to react or be shocked...but no one notices.

After the funeral I felt a sense of peace that I hadn't felt in a long time. We really celebrated my grandpa and he would have loved it - especially the pastor!!! But now that im back...I'm waiting for a sense of normalcy...and I still feel so, so, so weird & off.

I know it's ok to be sad, my grandfather was a very, very, very important person in my life. I know it's ok to feel anxious, confused...

But I never thought that I'd feel like my entire life was shaken. 

Goodbye with memories

I'm proud to have spoken at my grandfather's funeral. How I managed to make it through the eulogy without crying is a mystery....maybe he was up there helping me. 

It is truly an honor to be standing here in front of you and talk to you about my grandpa. 

I am one of the luckiest people I know to have had a grandfather like mine for 35 years. 

As a child I always had his love, his hilarious jokes (that we heard again and again) and always someone to tease me!! 

As a teenager, I still have that crucial and unconditional love, plus the fact that I've the toughest looking grandpa around. 

As an adult I had a friend but I also had someone I could count on no matter who, what, where, or why. 

All of us grandchildren had that and many of you here today felt the same way I'm sure. 

Today is a celebration. We had enough sadness and my grandpa wouldn't want us sitting around crying!!! He was the life of the party and the funniest one in the room and let's remember him as such. 

But what words can I put together that will do him any justice? 

Do I tell you what the time when I was younger… He was raking and burning leaves at the first yellow house at the lake. He added some gasoline on a huge pile of leaves. Grandpa waited a bit too long and the gasoline fumes buildup. He lit the fire and boom!! An explosion higher than the powerlines blew him back 10 feet, untucked his shirt, and messed up is always perfect hair. I watched with my mouth wide open and you bet grandma heard about it the very second she stepped foot into the house. 

Or do I tell you the time that he "babysat" quote me for a week? All us grandkids were constantly hanging out at our grandparents house so I'm not sure why this week was any different, but he decided that, at eight years old, he was going to charge me $10 a day. Not my parents but me! An eight-year-old! 

I'm sure he didn't love the idea that he had to drag me around to the hardware stores or whatever errands he had to do but at the same time, I know that my grandpa loved my company.  My grandpa's family was his greatest asset and he we always knew that.  And....let me tell you that to the day he died he never let me forget that I owe him $50 for the week that he babysat me. 

Or do I tell you about his softer side? How when my grandpa was surprised with his first trip to Hawaii when I was 12 or 13 he burst into tears, not quite sure what to do with his share gratitude and emotion. My grandpa never expected much and he was in shock that he would be treated with such a thoughtful gift. 

Or, do I tell you about my most favourite memory of all? I got to go on the Hawaiian cruise with my grandparents. On one of the islands we went to go tubing in some caves. I really don't think my grandpa wanted to go, but my grandma and I really wanted to go, so he donned his helmet with flashlight and hopped on the tube. He had a blast!!! I love telling all my friends that my 74-year-old grandpa went to grafting with me. And are fun didn't end there! We rented a dune buggy, him riding upfront and me in the back with my grandma. I know my grandpa would tell you that he so lucky to have spear experience those moments but really I'm the lucky one. My last and best memories are with my grandpa am on the cruise ship partying it up with a Diet Coke with an umbrella in it. 

Grandpa, in the unlikely event that you never knew how truly loved you were, please know it now. Take comfort that we share the same love for grandma and will take care of her as she took care of you. Grandpa, in the end like unlikely event you never knew how much you were needed even with all those times you moved me found me furniture took care of me (for free or for $10 a day), know that I need you every day and I carry you in my heart. And most importantly grandpa, know that now it's time to rest. You worked hard you played harder and you were your happiest when you're making everyone in the room laugh and you made everyone feel special. Now it's your turn, Grandpa. Rest in love grandpa. 

When my grandma asked me to speak today, part of me wanted to get up here and just come up and ask if anyone that wanted to share special memory of story about my grandpa. But then I realize the line of people would be all the way out the door and we wouldn't leave the church until well past midnight because everyone has a memory of him. He was just one of those special kind of people. 

He was a very strong man but he was also as kind and a soft as they come. You needed help moving? You needed help painting? You needed your laundry done with everything washed in hot water and bleach and dried on the hottest setting even if it was all your favourite wool sweaters? He was your man. 

But today I'm sharing only my memories and my stories of Nelson. I'm going to ask something from all of you. As you exit my cousin Jamie will be handing out envelopes with my address on them. Please take one of them home put pen to paper and write to me. Tell me your favourite moment or memory of my grandpa. Please no condolences...we are all very appreciative for all of the love that we have received but what I'm asking you is to help celebrate his life. Right or email me your favourite our best memories of my grandpa and please send me back those envelopes. 

Once I received all your responses I'll put them in a scrapbook that I'll give to my grandmother. My grandma can pull out the scrapbook when she needs to feel close to my grandpa. My aunts and uncles can pull out the book and read about the memories when they're sad and missing him. 

But most of all, my cousins and I will be able to read it to our children and our future children. So that deservedly so, for generations to come, the memories of my grandpa will live on and on. We will truly remember him for all the man that he was.

Back in Montreal

I'm so so so very fortunate that I have never experienced such grief before.

I am feeling much more at peace & so happy I made the decision to take the dog with me.