Goodbye 2011

Last year at this time I was blogging about going to a boat access only community to celebrate the new year. I made masks for a masquerade party and we had the BEST time. This year we’re leaving town again, although this time unexpectedly. Cam’s step mother and her best friend were killed tragically in a car accident. She lived in the Bulkley Valley and we’re heading there tomorrow to be with Cam’s sister, who’s just flown in from across the country, during this terrible time.

We’re doing okay. Cam didn’t have much of a relationship with his step mother ever in the more than thirty years she was a part of his family. Perhaps uncouth to speak ill of the dead but she could be a very unkind person, especially when Cam was young. We lost touch completely after Cam’s dad died suddenly and she gave all his dad’s cherished fishing and wood working items to her own sons and saved nothing for Cam. She tossed out most of his dad’s things, including the journals he wrote in every day. Cam and his dad were both very sentimental people and Cam has little left to remember him by. It was really wrong what his step mother did and not at all what Cam’s dad would have wanted. Hopefully Cam will be able to now get his father’s ashes, at least if they can be found in the shed where his step mother apparently kept them. Cam would like to see his dad’s wishes honoured and spread his ashes at his favourite fishing spot, which was also where he died almost eight years ago.

In many ways, Cam’s step mother’s death feels like a relief in it’s finality and yet I’m so sad for those suffering from this loss. Strange conflicting feelings.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

We will go and be with Cam’s sister this week. We’ll go for a ski or two, maybe some walks in the snow and spend time with friends around the wood stove. Through it all, we’ll remember all the things we’re grateful for. For our friends, our health and happiness.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Please read an update to this post here.

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10 Responses to Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

  1. natalie says:

    Annie, I love how you bare it all and bring it back to what’s important. Take care. xo

  2. erin says:

    walk softly, my friend and know that it’s all okay, all of the feelings are real and very unique and so very okay. grieiving can be such a healing period, one that can last a lifetime, i suspect, as it ebbs and flows.

    may your time away bring some closure, some connection and much peace. all of our best to cam and his sister, annie and you all too. :)


  3. Sarah says:

    As a long time friend of Cam’s step brother I found this post rather hard to stomach. Previously, I’ve enjoyed your blog and had no idea there was this connection. Publicly airing these opinions strikes me as “senseless”.

  4. Annie says:

    Thank you, Nat and Erin. xx

    Sarah, your reaction is fair and valid. I can imagine your surprise recognising the connection and reading my words.

    My blog is an outlet for me. I write about my feelings, thoughts, point of view and experiences as they are, even when they are sometimes difficult to write about. Regardless, they are always honest and it’s often a tremendous release for me to put it out there. To me, this is not senseless.

    I certainly wasn’t sharing my thoughts as a means of hurting you or anyone who may have known my husband’s family. As far as I was aware, there weren’t people with a shared connection reading my personal blog. I can see that it would have been easier for you or others who are connected to the family to not have differences aired but it is what it is.

    I suppose you are now faced with a choice, you can disagree with my writing about this and stop reading my blog or you can share what I wrote with Cam’s step brother (directly or indirectly). I imagine the latter will be cause a lot more grief that the former.

  5. Magda says:

    Hugs Annie. Hugs to you and Cam.

  6. Ginger says:

    Aw, Annie. I respect your honesty.

    Blogs are complicated, aren’t they? Part journal and part show-and-tell. And what good are they if they are not genuine?

  7. elementsofmylife says:

    Hello Annie, I’m so glad that you live close enough to all be able to travel back and reconnect with the rest of Cam’s family. Hopefully there will be some healing and closure to come from it.

    Reading your post yesterday was a bit like deja vu. We had just returned from spending the weekend near Kev’s dad’s family home and I had spent some time reflecting on how sad and ugly things are with his step-grandmother. She’s the only one who still lives there but all ties have been cut. There is so much resentment from the actions she took when K’s grandfather died. I can only imagine how different things would be if he were still around to speak up for what happened.

    Take care on your journey.

  8. Caroline says:

    Warm thoughts and peace for all of you during this time!

    I’ve read your blog for a while & kept meaning to leave a comment. I’m sorry that this is the occasion I chose to leave a comment, but sometimes a word in a moment of sadness is better than one in a moment of happiness (I have no idea if what I wrote made sense as I am sleep-deprived, but hopefully it sounded as thoughtful written as it did in my mind).

  9. Lee-Anne says:

    So sorry to read this post, Annie. So many difficult feelings can surface at the time of the passing of a family member. You are so right to describe the “strange conflicted feelings” that you are experiencing. I completely understand, and appreciate your honesty. I hope you are all able to come to a place of peace and shared understanding. Grieving can be such a wonderful heart-opening experience. (Today is the first anniversary of the death of my father for whom I had a simple love, but a very complicated relationship so your words had a special poignancy).

  10. Annie says:

    Thanks everyone. We’ve just arrived home from a wonderfully renewing time away. We saw family and I think it .was. a time for healing and peace. Lots of tears shed and plenty of shared laughter! I’ll blog more about it in the next few days.

    I appreciate all your comments more than you can know. Thank you! I feel heard, understood and loved!

    Caroline- I’m so happy to meet you! Thank you for taking the time to write.

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