My new neighbour is playing heavy metal — not loud enough for me to hear when I was indoors, but very audible now from my back yard. Which is good. I like heavy metal. I'm not so into it that I could name bands, but I quite enjoy hearing it when I come across it. If that's his taste in music, I can happily co-exist.
Luckily I am well-trained in Transcendental Meditation, which I've practised (on and off) for about 40 years, and was able to do my morning meditation despite heavy metal in the background.
Now I have moved from my meditation chair to my writing table — both outdoors. There are indoor options too if the weather isn't right, but I love to be here in my little courtyard surrounded by trees.
I find I am liking a number of things about my life alone. Many of them, of course, are things I also enjoyed in my life with him. So I guess what I am experiencing is some easing of grief, to recover that enjoyment even in present circumstances. Then again, this home was the scene of his decline, and during that period I had little time or opportunity to sit in this back yard to meditate or write. Now I can savour these enjoyments more.
Acceptance increases, as I start to go further back in my memories than those final years. I was recalling the other day what an independent man he was, most of the time I knew him. It allowed me — finally — to be thankful for his Alzheimer's. (Of course, that would not be possible had it not been so mild.) There was only a fairly short time when his restrictions, such as having to stop driving, felt intolerable. Then the childlike aspect he acquired allowed him to live with them. They sometimes irked, but he was able to adapt and be in the moment.
Then, although his mind became confused sometimes about present reality, it was still full of dynamic ideas and passionate ideals, still a place where he could engage with fascination and joy.
I am continually led back to knowing that all happened for the best, no matter how hard that was to grasp at the time.
I am sure it helps that I also believe in reincarnation and karma. Indeed, I think of it not as belief so much as knowledge. I don't view karma as reward and punishment, but as both achieving balance and experiencing all there is (which could scarcely be fitted into one lifetime, no matter how full). I realise that he was not only involved in working out the karma between the two of us, of which I have some awareness, but also other karma which had nothing to do with me.
I believe, too, that the soul chooses its own life experiences before an individual incarnates.
These ideas reinforce the notion that all was for the best, no matter how it looked or felt at the time. But it is one thing to understand all this intellectually, another to absorb it deeply, as I have just done in relation to Andrew ... and do over and over again, regarding various bits of what occurred.
I don't get one big epiphany and then everything's all better forever and ever. I am sure I'm not done yet with crying and (literal) heartache. But I do have epiphanies, and something of each one stays.