|I don't know what kind of bird it is|
I got somewhat behind in my routine last week, since it was such a busy one. Having been in that class both days last weekend started me off with the feeling of being behind. Since both days were simply beautiful blue sky days, I wished I had spent some time in the garden, but I was cooped up learning about death doula duties. When I wrote last week's post, I was halfway through it all. Sunday was spent learning how to prepare a dead body for a vigil. In the old days, the person's body would be displayed in the parlor for a day or two before being taken out to the cemetery for burial. Nowadays it's all different. I learned about advance directives, so that I can make my wishes known and followed upon my death.
Having prepared our wills, my husband and I thought we had taken care of all the details of the death process. No, it's not true: there's more to be done. Although the rules for disposition of your body are different for every state in the US, you can download a copy of the advance directives for your own state here, at Caring Connections. I learned about the green burial movement and other options. I had planned to have my body cremated, not realizing that embalming regularly takes place beforehand. It's all rather confusing as to why in the world you would need to embalm a body that will be incinerated and not viewed, but apparently funeral homes often find numerous ways to charge the grieving family for services they didn't realize are not required.
Anyway, by the time the two-day class was finished, I was overwhelmed with all I had learned. For one thing, I learned that most of what a death doula does here in Whatcom County is related to the immediate dying process and the days that follow death. When I volunteered for Hospice, by the time the dying person had reached that stage, my job was done; I simply supported the primary caregiver by staying with the person while he or she took a much-needed break. I'm going to have to rethink what my part might be in this process. Take a look at the website for A Sacred Passing and what is offered. For now, I am in the process of preparing my own advance directives and figuring out what it is that I want for myself. That is taking some time.
Of course, as soon as the class was over the weather turned rainy and blustery again, so the garden still remains untended, which is weighing on me as planting should be done soon. And then the next fine day, Wednesday, I drove down to Skagit Valley to visit the tulips and spend time with a wonderful family in the tulip gardens and fields. I put up a bunch of pictures on my other blog here, but still, my day was filled to the brim. No time for the garden.
Thursday was spent on my regular hike with the Senior Trailblazers. It was a hard one, more than ten miles and lots of elevation as we summited Stewart Mountain on a poorly maintained trail. It was another beautiful day, and I collapsed when I came home with little desire to do much more than rest from my exertions.
And then the weather turned rainy and blustery again, just when I had time to garden. Yesterday was totally uninviting, with wind and heavy showers interspersed with moments of sunshine. I went on my usual Saturday walk anyway and got pretty wet. Then I went to the movies with my friend Judy and saw Woman in Gold with Helen Mirren. Although the reviews have not been stellar, we both enjoyed this true story very much. If you go to that link, you'll see that the audience enjoyed it much more than the critics. Sometimes I think I'll stop reading reviews before I head off to the movies, since I cannot figure out what critics are looking for in a movie. But what am I thinking? Birdman won Best Picture this year, after all.
Looking back, this week started off feeling off kilter because of the class, and then it just got more so as the days went by. Now I am starting a new week, and the process of writing this post has already helped me put into perspective what has caused me to have the sense of being behind and struggling to catch up. Partly it's because my entire schedule has been altered by events, with little chance to get my regular exercise (and we all know how much I depend on it for equilibrium). Driving around a rental car for the past week also didn't make me happy, as it was so different from my own car. I am NOT a fan of cars without much visibility out the back, making me totally dependent on the side mirrors.
My own car, which I picked up Friday, looks beautiful with its shiny new bumper and headlights, and now that I've gone through that particular unpleasantness, I can start fresh. And this is a brand-new week, with what I hope will be lots of routine and some actual time in the garden. Today I might jump ahead and get out to the garden store to buy some flowers and vegetable starts for the upcoming planting. It will make me feel better, I just know it will, even if the plants don't get into the ground for a few days. Who knew that digging in the dirt could make me so happy? Certainly not this person who is just getting ready to experience her fourth season as a gardener. I'm still a neophyte with much to learn, but it's wonderful to pull out weeds and see lots of worms and rich dark earth under my hands.
And look! Another post written, even if it's a bit uneven this week. It has been a perfect mirror for me to look into and figure out how I want to proceed with this brand-new day, looking ahead to a Sunday that belongs completely to me, to spend however I choose. My only scheduled task, this post, is now behind me. It's time to say farewell for this week and to wish you, my dear readers, the very best of weeks ahead. It's a beautiful time of the year in both hemispheres. I am sending you a virtual hug, since it's the best I can do through the internet, and I do hope you pass it along to someone you love.