When she let go of her old life with Gary and began creating a new life without him, she began a year of travel through 11 countries, including two road trips across the US from Washington State to Florida and back, with different routes each way; a Caribbean cruise to Turks & Caicos, the Dominic Republic, and the Bahamas; and international travel to the UK, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.
Along with his ashes, to spread a little wherever it felt right, she also took along Gary’s journal, a beautiful leather-bound journal with a dragonfly that she had bought for him when she was in London in 2015. He only used the first 32 pages, but within these pages, and his other journals, she found amazing words of love and inspiration that he wrote to himself during his battle with cancer.
These words helped her to mirror his experience, as he wrote to encourage himself about the loss of his health, which she then used to help rewrite her new life story. She took comfort and courage in his words, to support her in accepting his absence and moving forward into a new life without him.
As the year of travel ended, the global Covid-19 pandemic began along with major social unrest around the world. She was able to use the tools and strategies of navigating her grief with Gary, to deal with the grief brought on by the pandemic and social unrest. Along with everyone else, she was confronted with losing her freedom, losing her normal life, being thrown into the unknown as she was just getting her business off the ground, and waking up every day to the same reality. She realized that this was the same kind of grief that she experienced with Gary’s death.
The circumstances were different, but the mechanics were the same! Grief does not discriminate between tragedies and losses, nor does it care how big or small, it shows up regardless, making its chaotic entrance. While it wreaks havoc in our lives, there is always hope for a better future. Grief encourages us to look deeper within ourselves, to discover who we truly are, and in this illumination of self, we realize how powerful we are and can embrace the gifts that grief has to offer us.
In this adventurous tale around the globe, Paula begins each leg of the journey with a quote from Gary’s journals. Then she shares fun stories about her travel escapades, always finding the pearls from each experience.
Next, she shares a flashback from her life with Gary and the wisdom she’s gleaned from this past experience, that’s helped her to rewrite her future story and claim her new life! And finally, for you, she shares an idea to contemplate with a simple exercise, so that you can begin to heal too!