Tenzing the cat left this little gift (a dead shrew) at the foot of my bed a few nights after we lost Doug. It was so comforting (not) to step on it with bare feet when I got up the next morning. Notice he dropped it right beside Doug's obituary. It was on top of a list of predators I'd been working on for an article for my newspaper column before this happened. I'm just grateful it wasn't a larger critter.
Tenzing is an indoor cat. However, since the back room was up on jacks and there were gaping holes in the foundation, Wild Things are able to enter his arena.
Since this happened (still can't say the "d" word and Doug in the same sentence), I have been given gifts of many colors.
- Hugs (I do miss the sweaty ones from Doug)
- Shared tears
- Time and patience - to blather, obsess and weep and wail
- Cards. Hundreds of them. No two alike. All beautiful and touching.
- Condolences and kind words
- Donations to organizations Doug believed in
- Stories about Doug, some of which I had never heard.
- Photos of Doug.
- Beautiful plants for inside and outside the house.
- Eulogies at the service from co-workers, friends and family. It not easy for anyone.
- Hard labor
- Complete meals and beverages. A lot of it much healthier than I would typically eat. I did not have to cook for an entire month. This was especially great since I had family staying with me.
- A journal (which I write in every night)
- A flag flown over the State Capital in Doug's honor
- A memoriam from the General Assembly
- An Official Statement from the Governor of the State of Connecticut
- A handmade wooden double-heart bowl made from local wood we used to collect cards at the wake and Memorial Service
- Soothing, aromatic bath salts. Doug and I took a lot of baths together in the claw foot tub he installed in our restored bathroom.
- Information (e.g., from the heroic first responders)
- Links and books to help me through the grieving process (including a moving book For Those Who Give and Grieve, A Book for Organ/Tissue Donor Families from LifeChoice)
- Visits. Company. I did not have to spend one night alone here for an entire month. It is hard to sit on the porch alone - Doug and I spent so many fun hours out there, relaxing, talking and eating.
- Outings (walks, lunch) to get me away from my sorrow for a brief moment.
- Errands. Picking up supplies.
- Letters - including some from complete strangers
- Poems. Some homemade (see Jean's)
- Emails from Efriends
- Flowers - wild and beautiful arrangements
- Phone calls from near and far
- Sage advice (when solicited)
- Deep thoughts
- Space when I needed it (including answering phone calls and greeting visitors when I was in no shape to talk)
- A box of cards I can send out
- Editing this website - finding all my typos
- Music. Emily John and Elinor Donahue performed our wedding song (Grow Old Along with Me). Jeff Davis played Ashokan Farewell at the service. (See videos). Elinor put together a CD for me. My brother John is writing a song to go with little poem I wrote for Doug many years ago.
- A film festival organized by the Woodstock Historical Society in Doug's honor
- People telling me how Doug or his loss has changed their lives in some way
How can I ever thank people enough?
Why isn't Doug here to witness all of this?