Saturday, June 09, 2007

Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone

My plans for the weekend fell through. It's a long and convoluted story, but I ended up spending a significant amount of time by myself for the first time since Dale's passing. I put some jazz on and cleaned the house. It's been awhile and it felt good to rid the carpet and bedding of cat hair and scour the bathroom. The kitchen is sparkling and my drawers are organized (for the most part--though my socks are still mismatched).

After I finished my household chores I put As Time Goes By: The Best of Jimmy Durante into the CD player, set it to repeat and shuffle, and sat down to continue reading Tuesdays with Morrie, a book that Dale had suggested I read several months ago. Since his death it had been recommended to Wolf and I several times and the timing seemed right for me to finish it today.

It was emotionally draining to read, but I'm very glad I did. The lessons in this book are beautiful:

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”

“As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.”

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

I think I needed to hear exactly that right now.


threecollie said...

Hang in there, Laurie. Our Becky read that book too and thought it very moving.

Mary said...

It is a wonderful story, isn't it?

I think you needed this day - to yourself - and to remember.

KGMom said...

Oh, Tuesdays with Morrie is a wonderful book. Interesting that Dale urged you to read it. Morrie is clearly a man who had come to terms with his own death, and that freed him to live more fully in the time he had.
And I heartily agree that house cleaning can be very therapeutic.

Anonymous said...

He's speaking to you, huh. I'm glad you read the book, that's more than Dale could have said to you the last couple of weeks.

So how ARE the cats?

Gawpo said...

"Death ends a life, not a relationship."


And so it goes...

Thinking of you, Sweetie.

thailandchani said...

Very true statements.... I read that book a while back and that is probably the most sustained lesson from it.



Anvilcloud said...

Good book, and the tv film version was good too. Mitch Albom was on Dr Phil recently, btw.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Some poet once wrote that it is the day after the loss of someone we love that the real mourning begins: the world goes on, just as before, except the person we love in no long in it and so the world will never be as it was.

Laurie, it sounds as if you handled today well.

Much shalom to you.

NatureWoman said...

Oh boy Laurie, that hit my emotional spot today (sitting here with tears in my eyes). Thank you so very much for those words. I needed to read them. Glad you had the day to yourself.

TigerYogi said...

Sending good thoughts your way... :)

MsLittlePea said...

Cleaning can be so therapeutic. Books and music too.

I haven't read that book so now I'm going to remember it next trip to the library.

(my socks are mismatched too!)

Cathy said...

I've not had the courage to read this book. It's enough for me to hear the gleaned wisdom from those who have.

Laurie - I've read your narrative: the lessons you gathered while walking that path with Dale. I imagine it's affected me much as a reading of "Tuesdays With Morrie" affects people.

We lived the journey you made with Dale - and that has made all the difference.

Gina said...

I haven't read it yet.

And I am glad that you were able to find comfort from the book. Not to mention a clean house!

caroline said...

Hi Laurie,
It sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do. What a gift to know yourself that well.

Anonymous said...

I had just assumed that Dale would get better. I was already looking forward to the conversations about music we would have.

It's kind of an odd feeling, missing someone I never met.

"Good night, Mr. Peterson, wherever you are…"

Laurie said...

Threecollie, it is very moving. I am glad I read it.

Mary, I agree, it was badly needed.

KG, Dale was an avid reader. He recommended many books in the months we spent together. I am going to read every one of them.

Butterfly, the cats are just fine. Sleeping at the moment because it's rather warm in the house, but I'm sure they will be wide awake when it's bedtime. ;-)

Gawpo, thank you. You are a dear man.

Chani, I agree with you.

AC, I will probably watch the movie at some point as well. Thank you for the recommendation.

Nick, perfectly said. It seems so odd to me that the world continues to turn and that people go about their daily lives as if nothing has changed. Thank you.

Pam, I thought of you as I was reading the book. Bless you dear, you've been through so much.

Tiger, thank you so much.

Littlepea, I'm glad I'm not the only one that has a drawer full of mismatched socks.

Cathy, thank you, sweet lady, for being there for us in so many ways. You are the dearest of the dear and I love you.

Gina, the cats will have their hair spread all over again in no time, but it's nice while it lasts.

Caroline, when all else fails, I clean or read. It usually works.

Thomas, so did I. I never doubted it. I also never doubted that you two would be great friends when all of this was over.

Thank you again for the wonderful CD. My son inherited Dale's music collection, including that CD and I've bought copies for everyone else that was close to Dale.

It's all he wanted to listen to in the last several weeks of his life and I want all of us to be able to enjoy it now.

You sending it meant so much to him. I can't explain how much, but it did and the final line of your comment is something I have said every night since Dale died.

LauraHinNJ said...

Hang in there, Laurie and continue taking time for yourself.

Ur-spo said...

love is beyond time; it is always a present thing. never past.

Pam said...

I knew this book would touch you and help you through.

KC said...

It's been a long time since I read the book, but I remember how powerful it was.

I'm glad you have some time to yourself. Take care of yourself.

Pink said...

What a lovely thought.

And I definately believe it is true.

Bonita said...

I'm glad you spend time tending to the drawers, the cat-hair, and to yourself. It is amazing how important how these little tasks are, to just simply help put us back into place after we've been unsettled by something. Little blessings, all of them.

Squirl said...

I hope you're doing okay. I've never read the book but I've heard about it a lot. Death is such a terribly difficult thing for us to deal with. You just need to take your time to heal, however that happens, in your own way. I dealt with mine by becoming numb for a while. I went through the emotions, but looking back on it now, I was really in denial of my own feelings.

You just do what you need to do. Know that we're still all here, hon.

Carol said...

Dale will always be with you, Laurie. Those shared moments are part of what makes you who you are. Cherish this time. Thinking of you as always.

Menchie said...

That really is a beautiful book. I read it some years ago.

Sending positive thoughts your way.

steve'swhirlyworld said...

Beautiful. I think it was the perfect book for you to read.