Sara Whitman

First Few Steps & Many More to Go

Filed By Sara Whitman | July 05, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: end of relationship

Last week? I dove in. It was hard, but I found myself in a surprising calm. I don't know what is coming next, and for once? footsteps-in-snow.jpgThat's okay. I can't possibly know. Struggling with it only keeps me from the moment.

I do know I have three great kids. Zachary and Jake have been off visiting cousins. It is a great tradition with Jeanine's family. Ben is on a journey. Outward Bound for 28 days, and I will only say I am hopeful for him, and miss him terribly.

I even watched Mob Wives the other night. Well, I watched for about ten minutes and thought, why does he like this?

In a few hours, Zachary and Jake will be back. I can't wait to see them.

What I learned in my week alone is that I'm never really alone. I have kids and friends. I have family, although not family of origin, I still have family. Loneliness is not fun but also not impossible to sit with.

I went and had my tarot cards read in Ogunquit. A beautiful woman of about 70 sat me down and placed the cards on the table. She told me my job would change, that I've done the work of a man and of a woman, and that I suffered a great loss.

She said, Now? You need to stay away from women. You left someone... yes?


You loved her very much. But... you need nine months. You need to be whole. You are not. You never have been, that's why it doesn't work.

You will change where you live but no moving... (she shook her finger at me) No moving.

You give too much. You are kind and generous, but you give too much. You have always been old. Never young. I can see you were never a child.

Nine months. What you seek is inside you- not in someone else. No one can give it to you.

I know. I know that everything she said was true. She also said I look mean but am a big softie.

I didn't think I looked mean. Yikes.

I held, close, the reality that no matter what I did, my sister would have been unhappy. It wasn't my job to fix her. I couldn't. It's not my job to fix anyone. A piece of guilt wedged in my chest grew smaller. As it did, I had more room to simply feel the loss.

I realized I've held on to her things because I haven't wanted to let go of her. The things end up being weights, and I toss and turn in anxiety about what to do with them. They are only things. It's time to let them go.

I know that when they are all gone? I will have more room for the love and sorrow.

The tarot card lady was right. I need to be whole. I've taken the first few steps. I know I have a long road ahead.

After last week? I can say without hesitation, I am not afraid.

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I sent you an email last week. Not sure you received it. Take care and please be in touch when you're able to do so.

You can do this. You are a very strong and intelligent woman with more than enough guts to be as strong as you need to for yourself. I support you.

Sara, I only know you through your writing but I see a brave, loving and sometimes deeply angry woman who seems afraid of her own strength (and anger). Please remember and sit quietly with not only your pain but also the love and admiration of all of us, the usually nameless ones who care so deeply about you. I would recommend that you read and contemplate the piece by Fritz Perls, psychologist, "Desiderata".