Monday, February 13, 2012


From here

I'm sitting in my new apartment while I type this. Soon, I'll have to go get ready to leave. Today I have to drive back to the house and work on clearing what I want out of the place before I can have an estate sale. I don't want to leave my new place, and this surprises me. I've lived here a week and already it feels like home. It's amazing how adaptable we humans are.

That's not to say that I don't still feel a bit lost here. I think there's actually a bit of shock, too. I feel an "out of body" sensation quite often. As though I'm seeing myself from outside of myself and I just shake my head in surprise. Wasn't I married, living in the country and teaching only 9 months ago?

But I'm here now. This is my home for the at least the next 6 months. I'm meeting people and the cats are settling in nicely. And to be honest, wherever they are feels like home, anyway.  I'm sleeping through the night, something that has always been a gauge of my emotional state. It's easier to go to the grocery store because there's less danger of running into dangerous memory traps.

I don't think longingly of that house itself all the time, like I worried I might.

I'm mourning the loss of an entire life and a person I'll never be again in addition to the love of my life, and that's the hard work, but actually transitioning to living here wasn't as bad as I thought SO FAR. As we all know, in the grieving process, we can always expect the triggers to be coming for us.

I think the move itself and selling the house was a good thing. I think I needed to be in a space that was all mine. I needed to see what was possible outside of my safety zone. I think most of all, I needed to prove to myself that I could do this on my own.

Best of all, I like Portland. It's fitting that I moved to a place with the only city wilderness in the United States. There are 29 different hikes for me to try in Forest Park. If you live in Portland, come join me. I'm going to check each one off until I've hiked 'em all.

And the other day, I spotted two hummingbirds soaring up and over my apartment building. It felt like a blessing.


  1. Cassie, this brought tears, for all you have been through in such a short period of time. You are such an inspiration! Good for you!

    At almost two years, I have that out of body experience this really my life or is someone else living in my body????

  2. Cassie, welcome to Portland! It is awesome for hikes and such (and I'd love to join you in Forest Park...) As a native of Oregon, I hadn't - until last summer - really explored Forest Park and all it has to offer. It became an important part of my life when I went there on my wedding anniversary last summer, when I was only 3 months out.

    As a young widow on a similar timeline as you (10 months was yesterday for me), I find myself in out of body experiences all the time. I am back at work, continuting to live in our home, and going out and meeting friends often (no kids... which makes for very quiet days and nights home). I have made new friends, but have also further developed friendships I never thought possible. I will never, EVER, forget my childhood sweetheart and the love of my life, but most of the time - now - I feel okay. Until one of those big emotional rockets comes barrelling out of the sky, that is....

    And then I sit back, look at myself, and truly wonder.... Is this my life now? I learned how to, mostly, let go of how things were "supposed to go" after helping Greg battle Lymphoma for almost 5 years... but is this really where I am, at 34? What is it I really want in this life?

    All questions to be answered... but the timing sure is interesting. I wish you the best in your new home, Cassie... and would welcome a hike with you anytime. :)

    1. Shana, can you look me up on Facebook?

    2. I'd love to! What is your last name?

  3. Thanks for sharing, Cassie and well said. I also love the hummingbird picture and that you saw 2 hummingbirds today. My husband, Stephen, had a hummingbird tattoo. During the last week of his life, we had many hummingbird flying around outside of the house. After he passed, I got the same tattoo, so hummingbirds are special to me. I wish you the best in your new home!