Welcome to what is a public experiment of sharing a very private experience!
I’m Lisa Booth. I just turned 50 years old. I am the founder/ executive director of an animal rescue and a former writer-by-trade turned loves-to-write’r. On July 30, 2018, two weeks before my 50th birthday, I became a widow.
I’m no stranger to loss. My wave of loss began a couple years ago when my adult son disowned me. (I have a 30-yr-old daughter who I see regularly). It took me a while but I finally accepted losing him and my grandchildren as a death of sorts. I couldn’t cope any other way. After that came a string of losses; beloved dogs, my two old kitties; sad rescue cases. And then, my dad.
My father passed away on Feb 22, 2018. It was and is a very hard loss for me. I am the youngest of 5, and our family became irretrievably broken over the years. And when the dust settled, always…always, by my side. Or in the background. Or up ahead. My dad.
Losing my dad was hard, but perhaps the hardest part of all was hospicing* him. Watching him die, and hands-on caretaking, was both a gift and a traumatic experience. I will always cherish the time I shared with him and the conversations we had, and I KNOW what a gift I was given. I was aware of that every single day and I thanked my dad every single day for sharing his life and his death with me. And now, looking back, I have so much more to thank him for. Little did I know, that he was training me for what lied just a few short months into my future. Little did I know as I cried for my dad’s wife. Little did I know as I whispered to myself, “I can’t imagine. Look at this house. Look at it all. HOW is she going to go on? WHERE will she start?”, little did I know. I COULD imagine it. I could do one better. I could experience it for myself. I was about to be thrown into hospicing again, I was going to lose my perfectly healthy (we thought) husband. And my dad, always the thinker and the teacher, made sure I was ready. He was still being the dad. Thanks, Dad.
Now, I long for the days when I “couldn’t imagine”. Oh, and I NEVER say that phrase anymore. It is not allowed in my vocabulary ever again. Think you can’t imagine? Don’t say it. Don’t. Say it. I went from Can’t Imagine to being 5 months behind my dad’s wife in this hell.
My husband Michael passed away on July 30, 2018 at the age of 58 after a short and aggressive battle with cancer (7 weeks from first symptom to death).
He was a loving, lovely man. We had been married for 12 years, together for almost 15. This was a second marriage for us both (both divorced). It was a good marriage and it proved to me that there is a spirit-mate out there for everyone. That’s how I think of him. Soulmate doesn’t do it justice, really. There was a deep connection between us that I can’t describe as anything but spiritual. I don’t even think I knew how deep it was until he was gone. Over the course of our relationship, I was loved completely, wholly, and unconditionally. I was safe and centered. I was emotionally and spiritually supported. My spirit was home with Michael.
I now live alone with our (my) 4 adorable doggies. After raising kids, it’s the first time I’ve lived alone. Ever.
And this…has been a fucked-up ride. The first few weeks were a sedated blur. Now, it’s a sedated blur. Less sedated, but still relying on some mommy’s little helpers to keep me alive and functioning and stuff. I don’t know what to expect. Day to day, or even minute to minute. You’re riding along with me. I don’t know what I’ll say, do, or post next! Welcome to my world. I’m learning as I go. I’ve experienced some seriously deep revelations, and been to a very very dark place. I’m still there sometimes. MANY times, honestly. This is not for wussies and it’s not for the sensitive. This shit is real. It’s ugly. It’s horrible. It’s a nightmare. Nothing helps. Nobody can comfort you. It’s an INCONSOLABLE time. It’s unimaginable. Indescribable. And I’m alone. Not alone. Help is out there. But I’m alone. If you’re going through this, you know exactly what I mean. If you know someone going through this, this is how they are feeling.
I’ve disconnected from social media for now, except for this blog.
I’m a girl who normally very much has her act together, or wait…who USED to have her act together. There’s no normal anymore (note to self – STOP saying what is “normal” – that’s allllllllll gone). But after realizing that my brain is scrambled eggs, my judgment is non-existent, and that my emotions are not anywhere close to being in check, I decided it was time to focus on me. I’m on a leave of absence from the rescue and I’m taking some zen time until my head is straight. Whatever that looks like. I’m lonely, but company doesn’t help. I’m getting texts from friends checking on me. I don’t mean to worry anyone. I have always been hyper-responsible and this is the first time in my life I’ve ever done anything like this (taken a break from adulting). I’m putting my instincts in charge. I’m not over-thinking things. I’m not planning things much. I’m just kinda along for the ride. And where my head is taking me is bizarre. I cannot believe the things I have done and accomplished (all good, but just excessive) and the things I’m learning about myself.
Beliefs: Yes, I believe in God. But you won’t see biblical stuff here. I believe very much in a higher power, and my tendencies lean toward Buddhist principles. I’m not a bible-reader, and I probably wouldn’t call myself a card-carrying Christian. I truly believe that I will see those who have passed away again. I respect all beliefs and I ask that you respect mine. I feel very strong spiritually, and I’m happy with my relationship with my God. So please, no preaching. I won’t if you won’t. Deal?
I hope you enjoy coming here and I hope this experiment gives you something. Anything. For me, it’s therapy. I hope you learn here, and I hope I do too. I hope you grow, and I hope I do too. I hope it helps your understanding. I may share other articles that say things better than I could.
Thanks for tuning in. 🙂