Into The Woods (Part 1 of 2)
“Life is a mystery…everyone must stand alone…”
- Madonna. 1989
Back in October, I was sitting on the couch after the kids went to bed, sort of watching a movie while keeping up with a Messenger thread where a bunch of girlfriends and I communicate. We were exchanging GIFs of the most inappropriate kind, I’m sure, when one of my friends mentioned that she was going to head up to Whistler in a couple of weeks to stay in the cabins there, get cozy with a change of scenery and hit the outdoor baths at the Scandinave Spa. “Who’s in?!” she taunted?
She didn’t have to convince me it was a good idea. I reached out to my mom for childcare, looked into the accommodations and within about twelve minutes everything fell into place and we had six of us confirmed for a girl’s weekend up in the fresh mountain air. So exciting! I DO love it when a plan comes together and I revelled in how effortlessly and rapidly the whole event had fused. “Wow” I thought to myself. “How often can a gaggle of busy moms and entrepreneurs actually make a plan in less than half an hour?!" As I pondered that question for a hot minute I concluded that something was up. I know that things like this usually occur when there is a bigger plan in place, dictated by the universe for the highest good and delivered on a silver platter. I firmly believe in divine timing and as I began to question the purpose of this adventure, it finally came to light that a trip in this direction would have me heading right past the forestry road where my husband took his last drive. His last walk. His last breath. Fuck.
I was pretty sure I promised myself I would never go to Squamish or Whistler ever again in my life. I had written those off as no-go locations. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirts. (All of the t-shirts because…shopping!) I had promised myself that I never ever had to go near that part of our province again. I mean, I just couldn’t. How could I EVER? It would be torture. And yet, here I was, enthusiastically making plans to go up there for an entire weekend, already knee deep in menu planning and spa bookings before it even occurred to me that I’d be landing right in the place I was MOST fearful of in the whole world. The place that had haunted my dreams almost every night for over a year. The place I dread. The place that holds all the mystery and none of the answers.
I flip flopped back and forth for days. Could I go up to those mountains without making a pilgrimage to the actual spot where he left this life? It felt odd to think of being in the vicinity but not visiting the site where his car had been found. It also felt odd to WANT to go there and revisit all the terrible memories that are attached to my vision of that location. It would be like choosing to feel the pain of this tragedy all over again. Like choosing to walk over hot coals.
“Why on earth would I ever GO there?” I asked myself. The answer should have been a hard NO. I should have cancelled or planned to just drive right by and not look back. But in my heart of hearts, I knew exactly why I had instinctively jumped on board for this excursion without thinking it through. I knew exactly why I would do it. I would do it for the same reasons people walk on hot coals. I would do it to show myself that it was possible to face my fear, head on, and stand in the eye of the storm…MY storm…without losing myself. I would do it because, somewhere in my soul, I knew that although I wouldn’t find the answers about what happened to Darcy out there, I might actually find the last missing parts of myself instead. And that was more important.
The fact that I didn’t even get triggered, initially, by the idea of taking a trip up to the mountains was a sure sign that I was healing. I had peeled back so many layers of this life experience, found peace with so many parts of the horrific mystery. I had cleared so much of the chatter around a need for closure that I’ll never get. And now it seemed I was ready to walk on fire. I couldn’t deny that it was time. The opportunity had presented itself, divinely. I couldn’t NOT go.
To Be Continued…