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    I thought I’d update anyone who is interested in what has happened since Don died May 10th of this year. I decided that moving was not really something new since he and I had planned to move so in Sept I sold my house in Spokane and by October 4th I was in Port Townsend, WA. I moved myself with the help of a U=haul, driver and my daughter who helped me pack. It was an herculean effort since the gal who bought the house wanted to take possession in five weeks and I had to go out of town for a wedding during one of those weeks. But I got it done and I’m moved into a rental and so happy I decided to go ahead with our plans.

    I miss Don but have been surprised that I haven’t cried more. I tear up but have never just had a sobbing session. I guess I was thinking in movie terms or in the terms of books I’ve read. I’m not the sort of woman who falls apart, I usually just move on so I guess that is a good thing.

    The things I miss surprise me too, I miss the drives we used to take just going nowhere. I’ve tried it a couple of times but it just isn’t the same by myself. I can’t listen to pop music from the 60’s/70’s, makes me tear up every time. I miss having him to email back and forth. We used to sit in the same house on different floors and email back and forth. I miss having someone to share “Tundra”, having someone who puns a lot, someone who called me ‘babe’ even though I don’t think I’m any longer one. Just the everyday stuff.

    On the other hand, I decided to get involved right from the get go and to that end have joined a Unitarian church, a quilt group, gone to several movies by myself, go walking at least four times a week and I think this will increase with spring and summer.

    So I’m doing well. I wish anyone who was here and listened when I wrote in during the hard times from October to May in the last year a good year ahead.

    Susan Sawatzky


    Catherine Poole

    Hi Susan,

    It is so good to hear from you! Wow, you’ve accomplished so much. I try to think of that part of mindful meditation where they say that you should just accept where you are, right now, in the moment. And that is what you are doing so successfully. I hope you find some solid community which is difficult for any of us to do. The things you miss about Don really touched me. I know those feelings well. So please pop in once in a while and let us know how you are doing.



    So great to hear from you and learn about your plans and activities. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. You are a great inspiration to me, a forward thinking and moving woman! I wish you all the best! Thanks for the update, I have wondered about you.



    Susan from Port Townsend,

    So good to hear from you and find out that you have been so bravely moving on and making changes to your life. You are an amazing, strong woman! I too have thought of you often and wondered how you were doing.

    My best to you in the holiday season and in the months ahead. Do keep us posted once in a while!



    Hi Susan

    I still check in occasionally and so pleased that you are doing well.

    I have been doing pretty well too having lost my treasured mother in April 2012. Today being Christmas has been so hard and you realise what you are missing. It is good to read people’s comments about moving forward even though I find that so hard – letting go is so hard to do. I miss so much the way that my family was the most important part of my mums life. I don’t think anything will replace that. I am crying as I write this but I suppose it is all part of the journey……

    Wishing you all the very best.



    Susan, So glad to hear from you! I think about you both & have been wondering how this last year has been. It was a really hard time & you were so honest & open & helped us all. I am so glad to hear you are doing well & feel that his spirit will be there as you navigate this new reality. You probably never knew how close I felt to you both – we both had our “Don” & both were finishing ipi & the total fear as we waited to see “would it work?” Wishing so hard it would be all of them. Take care- much love going your way, Karen



    My goodness I find it great to hear from you. I’m glad you’re moving ahead with determination. That is a gift, one I’m sure you shared with Don.

    Everybody grieves differently I’ve found. I still get my sobbing “moments”, usually in the mornings and/or evenings. Like pop-up thunderstroms, there’s the flash of lightening (what I call the sudden, clear, hot memory, hyper reality monemt), the rumble of thunder (the saddness), followed by the rain of tears. They last a couple of minutes and like aftermath of a brief summer storm I actually feel calm, cool and refreshed. Odd as I’ve come to look forward to them ( I always did like thunderstorms).

    Like you with Don, what I miss the most about Rachel are the quiet, simple things and routines we had and did together. Nothing fancy, just ordinary but intimate stuff like talking, holding hands while watching TV, walking and when we’d meet someplace, her saying “There’s my boyfriend”. I miss her next to me at night too.

    I’ve always admired your quiet determination to keep going Susan. I bet your kids are the same way.

    A Happy New Year with continued peace and progress to you Susan.


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