It was February of 2007. Four years had passed since I ran from the wreckage of widowhood in Los Angeles. In my native Toronto, people knew the Tambre who loved life, not the Tambre who sometimes wished for the numbness of death. I’d left Los Angeles hoping to heal from the grief and my time there had helped. But once again, I had come to a place of feeling unhappy and needing a change.
I began inventorying my Toronto life, deciding what parts would follow me back to Los Angeles and what should be left behind. Even after years of donating, tossing out and passing onto others, I still carried three things it might be time to let go of: Gary’s wedding band, my wedding dress and our wedding album.
These precious items didn’t have an obvious resting place. What did one do with a husband’s wedding band? Should I pawn it as I had the watch I’d given him on our wedding night? Could I bear the thought of another walking down the aisle wrapped in the silk of dreams now ended for me?
One answer came to me in early May like a whisper from the universe as I prepared to leave for Kathmandu to prep a documentary film. I was to take the ring with me. In the months prior to my departure to Nepal, I had befriended a contact there. Bobby was a local film liason. Though our relationship was built on emails flying across borders and thousands of miles, we understood each other. He became my guide to a land I knew nothing about.
Bobby also became my spiritual teacher. When I lost touch with my faith that things happen for a reason or doubted my strength to endure the pain of my loss, Bobby reminded me of my role. “The tears you shed on earth are a cleansing process – not for yourself but for others less fortunate than you. You do not lack faith – you are simply human,” he wrote.
I took Gary’s ring from my jewelry box and secured it on a chain around my neck. I then sat down to send one last email to Bobby with my special request. “Please,” I wrote, “find me a special place where I can leave Gary’s wedding ring so I can finally let it go.”
Letting go is a significant part of the process of grief recovery. Each person needs to follow their own timing and design what feels right for them. Letting go isn’t just for those who have lost loved ones ~ it is a part of the evolutionary process of life. Change happens to all of us. Whether it is something we’ve invited in or a circumstance that has happened to us, there are things we need to release.
We continue the journey to Kathmandu in Letting Go in Kathmandu ~ Part 2.