Figuring Things Out

For the past two months, I’ve been dealing with a situation I can’t write about. It’s outside the scope of this blog, and the people involved would be terribly hurt if I were to make the drama public. It’s a sadly inevitable predicament, with roots dating back to my childhood, and without being able to write about it, I haven’t had any way to deal with my grief over the situation except walking. And tears.

I’ve foundDesert paths myself crying at odd moments, and it’s been comforting, being in the embrace of this old friend. Like most people, I used to think tears were a sign of weakness, but now I know they are a way of getting rid of the hormones that build up with stress. They are also a way of connecting to one’s inner self, as if that self is saying, “There, there. Everything is going to be okay.”

And maybe things will be okay. Eventually. I’ll figure out my dilemma, if only how to deal with the fallout of the situation.

Today I went out walking earlier than normal to try to beat the heat, and apparently that’s what many others did because I saw a lot of people out and about. I don’t like meeting other people when I walk. Walking is my private time, a means of getting in touch with myself and my surroundings, a place to open myself to inspiration and mystical thoughts, a way to deal with my problems, and people disrupt all that. Since the foot traffic kept me away from my usual route to the desert, I took a different direction to get to the back trail I prefer — the trail is a demanding walk with lots of ups and downs and in certain areas a cool wind comes drifting down the hills. Also, for some reason, it’s where I talk to my deceased life mate/soul mate. (I’ve never been able to figure out why I associate him with that particular area. He never liked the desert, he hated the heat, and he’d never been within a thousand miles of the place.)

When I found my way to that back trail, I said aloud to him, “See? I figured it out.” And then I realized how true the words were. During all these years of dealing with the dying of my life mate/soul mate and my ensuing grief, I’ve had a lot of trauma thrown at me, but I figured out each step. I had to deal with funeral services people, get rid of his things, clear out the twenty-year accumulation in our home, store what I wanted to keep, get myself to my father’s house so I could look after him, learn to live with grief and all its torments, deal with the challenges of the book world and of the world in general.

Although I worry too much (I call it weighing my options), and don’t always know where I am headed, when it comes time to take action, I do manage to figure things out. And I have no doubt I’ll continue doing so, which is a good thing. Life isn’t finished throwing challenges at me — besides my current dilemma, there’s still my father’s decline, my need to restart my life when he’s gone, the vicissitudes of aging to deal with alone, and a host of other difficulties that will be sure to taunt me — but I will figure things out when I get there.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

15 Responses to “Figuring Things Out”

  1. Deborah Owen Says:

    Once upon a time I told Mom that the challenges of life never seem to end. As soon as we get through one thing, something else pops up, to which she replied, “That’s because you’ve never been where you find yourself today. No matter how long you live, you will continue to find yourself in new sets of problems, with new challenges to meet daily.” Someone else put it this way… Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present. > Sometimes it’s very difficult to be thankful for today.> The depths at which you know yourself never cease to intrigue me, Pat. You’re a trailblazer. You have inspired me time and again. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Deb

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Isn’t that the truth, Deb, that sometimes it’s very difficult to be thankful for today. Thank you for the reminder. No matter what happens today, I will be thankful for the day.

  2. Joy Collins Says:

    Pat, your life is paralleling mine so much right now. I too just went through a “thing” with some friends – who no longer are friends because of it. But I talked to John and I weighed my options too and I got through it. Of course, it’s one more thing to mourn, one more loss on top of so many, the worst being losing John, of course. But maybe that is what is supposed to be happening right now. In any case, I so understand.
    Peace to us both.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Joy, Yes, exactly, one more loss to mourn. I don’t believe in destiny, but it does seem as if this is the way my life is supposed to be going, though I have no idea where I am headed. I hestitated about writing even as briefly as I did about my current situation, but I’m glad I did. As with every other step in this journey, it’s good to know someone understands.


  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Depending on where you live, you might’ve walked into a Native American holy place. I hear those are great places to think and figure things out. You think that’s what happened?

  4. leesis Says:

    love this Pat. Sorry for your struggles but yes…you will figure it all out and I hope you continue to share the journey.

  5. Coco Ihle Says:

    Pat, my heart goes out to you today. Reading this blog of yours sounded so familiar to me. I, too, face similar circumstances and your act of walking and believing all will work out is the way I deal and find solutions, too. I’ve also been reminded lately of others who have had even bigger challenges than mine and that reminder helps put things in perspective for me. Please know that you are not alone. I, for one, am on your side with love and hope in my heart. Blessings to you!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Coco, It’s a good reminder that others have bigger challenges than we do. A friend who works as a cashier told me about a woman she waited on, someone who had only stumps for hands and feet. Makes my particular challenge seem small by comparison.

      Thank you for being on my side and for the blessings.

  6. dellanioakes Says:

    You amaze me at every turn, Pat. Good luck working through your current troubles. As frustrating as the situation may be, you’re coping, and that’s the important thing.

  7. Robert Pace Says:

    Every day, every single day, I do things I don’t want to do because I must. I think things, because I cannot say them aloud. I hold my tongue and my temper and I die a little. It is depressing to have your life held hostage to what you MUST do, and to watch the seconds, minutes, hours, days and months you thought would be a time to relax and reflect slip away, knowing they can never be recovered, relived or repaired. But every single day I get up and do it again. Because I must.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Robert, your comment reminds me of that Thoreau quote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” So many of us our doing what we must, dying a little every day. I hope you will find ways of singing your song.

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