Our Relationship Hasn't Died. It's Just Changed Shape.

Noticing, Listening, Feeling.

Hi there lovely Newsletter Family!

Thank you so much for your lovely return emails and messages regarding my letters to Doug.

Megan Devine says “We help each other by sharing the truth about our experiences”.

So, in that light, here is this weeks open letter. Xx

Hey Doug!

I climbed into bed the other night as the rain started. The steady kind of rain that farmers love.

There were few things you liked better than the sound of rain on a tin roof at bedtime.

Always a farmer.

Those were the nights your painful body relaxed easily into sleep has you held my hand.

How many nights would we have fallen asleep together listening to the rain, I wonder?

Yet I had no gratitude for all those times in that moment - because you weren’t there with me, right then, in that moment.

Gratitude… I wanted no bar of it.

Tears fell. Could you hear the sound of them on my pillow? I eventually fell asleep... without you.

I lost my nerve Doug.

I deleted my last letter to my Newsletter Family. The one with the audio narration of me reading my letter to you.

I talked about paid subscriptions.

It just didn’t feel right.

Despite the long and beautiful phone discussion I had with my soul sister J, about writing and future directions (a conversation I so needed and am so thankful for), something wasn’t sitting well with me about pivoting to paid subscriptions.

So, the letter is gone from the website and subscriptions shall remain free.

And I feel better.

The conversation with J sparked other writing ideas and more conversations with another beautiful human.

I’m so thankful for people like J and S in my life who support me unconditionally in countless ways and encourage me to keep writing, to keep storytelling.

I could change my mind about it all tomorrow though (insert dramatic eye roll).  Indecision plagues me daily concerning even the slightest mundane things.

Another grief symptom apparently.

Grief and loss - so many unforeseen stumbling blocks, more than we could have ever prepared for Doug.

Last Friday was your birthday.

Many lovelies randomly crossed my path on the day. Did you send them?

I had lots of hugs. Meaningful. Heartfelt.

Phone calls too.

The day was a little sad… and it wasn’t.

It was beautiful… and it wasn’t.

We weren’t big on celebrating our birthdays you and I. Why was that?

Neither of us liked a fuss, I guess.


Oh, except for sippers with your mate whose birthday is the day after yours. Years of birthday laughs together over an alcoholic beverage or three.

You are missed in more ways than you could ever fathom.

In other news

Last week the ladies at Centrelink were very kind. Did you send them too? (Yes, still on that treadmill - no good getting cranky with them - they’re just the messengers of a complicated, fecked up, ambiguous system, to say the very least).

So helpful was the lady I opened my arms wide, from my side of the impersonal plastic guard between us preventing airborne lurgi germs from entering each other’s body orifices, and asked her to accept a big virtual hug.

She virtual hugged me back. Such a sweety. I gave her a good wrap in the after-interview survey.

Centrelink would not be such a chore with more like her around.

Oh, I just remembered there’s been an Ibis walking around the house boundary every morning looking for food. He is not perturbed by us moving about at all.

He’s crapping all over the verandah though. His poop is GINORMOUS and gross. What the hell do they eat to have such huge revolting bowel movements?

The pressure cleaner has been getting a work out that’s for sure.

Our little magpie mate (who’s not so little anymore) warbles away most mornings from the gum trees close to the house.

Do you send her too?

The time you spent talking to her in the front garden has made her so at ease with us.

I remember her chortling away, inquisitively turning her head from side to side watching you.

I’ve heard it said that when someone passes away your relationship doesn’t die, it just changes shape.

I can’t say I feel you around all the time Doug but I can say the unshakable bond we were privileged enough to experience during our life together extends far beyond any physical realm.

I feel it reflected back to me multiple times a day in a myriad of interconnected woven ways.

I’m noticing, I’m listening.

And for that I feel immense gratitude. I’ll take all I can get.

Until next time,

All my love, Sandra Xx

Feel free to share this newsletter if you believe it may resonate with another in some small way. With thanks and much love, Sandra. Xx

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