In recent weeks, I’ve been asked the same question by a number of friends and loved ones:
Are you happy, Karen?
Each person seemed hesitant to ask under the circumstances, and I guess I can understand why. The short answer is: Yes, I am happy.
Do I wish things were different and that my husband and father of my son were here with us? Of course I do. I miss that man and cry for him every single day, over big things, but especially with the little things that I know he would get a kick out of. I still get angry that the man I loved was robbed of this experience that he worked so hard to make happen, but I am deeply grateful to have landed here, safe and secure. I half expect him to walk out of the trees, but I am learning to carry on without him.
I don’t believe in ghosts or angels. However, when my son asked the important question of where Daddy is now, I told him that nobody knows what happens after we die, but I like to think he’s all around us.
It’s true: I do like to think that, and I look for signs that support my narrative. It helps to keep him with us, part of the daily conversation, always with us, poking someone with a stick to get a reaction. He’s my forest imp now, my own personal Puck, up to his old mischievous self. Playing tricks like dumping snow from a branch on someone’s head or making the campfire smoke chase me around in circles, but also watching over us and rooting for us as we carve out a new life. Maybe I’m fooling myself, but who cares if I am?
Nature heals. And nature inspires.
I’m happy. We’re happy. My son is thriving in his new school. We are forming new relationships here and continue to welcome old friends and family to our home just like we always have. We have the dogs and the cat we always wanted. My back feels strong. We’ve explored our surroundings by foot, canoe and snowmobile, and have only seen a fraction of what’s out there. I’m writing again, and making a strategic plan for the future. My stress level is significantly reduced; certainly nothing a drive on a country road or a walk in the woods can’t take care of.
Yes, we’re very happy. Coming here was the right decision. Thank you for asking.