One evening, six weeks into construction of our retirement home in the North Carolina Mountains, my husband confessed, “I never wanted this house. I never wanted to be here. This is all your dream and I feel like I’m just along for the ride.” With those words, my life as I knew it ceased to be. After a heart-wrenching week of trying to understand, it became apparent that we were separating and headed to divorce – a 29-year relationship gone in the blink of a teary eye.
Letting go became my daunting challenge and the main focus of my life. I battled intense feelings of betrayal, loss, confusion, grief, hurt and loneliness all while being forced to let go of my dream life on Three Top Mountain.
It was as though my husband and best friend had died. I fell into a dark and lonely place that I call, “the Abyss.” I found myself living in a camper on the side of a mountain, abandoned 600 miles from everyone I knew, without a home or a job. I suddenly realized I had no house to live in with winter approaching.
Although barely able to get through each day emotionally, I began to hunt for a house. After an agonizing search, I settled for a log house for me, my two old Labradors and three aging barn cats. Ironically, it was the antithesis of everything I wanted, but I knew it would keep us safe. One by one, my aging animals died creating more devastating loss, which necessitated further letting go. Fortunately, my new Labs, Hana and Saba, and my dear horse, Stormy, keep me smiling every day.
My education in letting go began in 2000 when I lost my father, mother, aunt and uncle in less than a year’s time. Although following the natural order of life, the sense of loss was immeasurable. For 20 years, my folks lived on the farm with me, so their absence was felt every day.
Four years later, letting go reared its head again when I moved with my veterinarian husband from our beautiful horse farm in central New Jersey to our dream mountain property. Even though I was following my heart, leaving my home of 27 years was a tough change to embrace without some sorrow. Little did I know how consumed I’d become with letting go in order to survive my husband’s betrayal.
With the help of my friends, family, and animal family, I clawed my way out of the Abyss and entered into “the Tunnel.” While maneuvering through the Tunnel, I started writing about what I was experiencing in hopes of understanding why I was 600 miles from all my friends, divorced and alone.
What began as a journal to find truth and understanding turned into a two-and-a-half year project that resulted in the publication of my book, Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation. Encouraged by friends that I shared portions of my writing with, I transformed my very personal account of these devastating events into a book. My friends convinced me that I had unearthed wisdom and insights that others would benefit from.
Over time, I realized that while the details of my experiences were specific to my life story, the lessons I was uncovering and my methods of discovering them were universal. They are truths and lessons for all – women or men alike. Ever since Letting Go was published, I’ve been busy trying to get it into the hands of those that can benefit from it.
Each time I read an email from a reader sharing their personal story and how much Letting Go has helped them see things more clearly, has helped them learn what they need to let go of, or has helped them to truly let go of their pain, I know that my choice to write was truly serendipitous. The numbers of people struggling with hurt and pain saddens me, but my honest expression of the pain I experienced allows my readers to relate to the hardships of unplanned loss and change, to face it and to learn and grow from it.
By the time I finished the first draft of the manuscript my healing was nearly complete. Today I’m truly happy and love my work as an animal communicator and healer. Letting Go doesn’t owe me a thing. I don’t need to make a fortune from it. I just want others to learn more efficiently; thereby shortening their time in the Abyss and Tunnel. Based on my readers’ responses, Letting Go is doing just what I hoped for.