Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Letting Go...

Sorry I have been dark for a while...dealing with my feelings and just FEELING my last days in Hawaii pulled me away from sharing with all of you. The last three weeks of my life have been some of the most amazing days of it so far. If you know me, you know that there have been a disproportionate amount of amazing times, so I guarantee you that that is saying something.

Saturday the 24th of October, 2009 was a day that will live in my heart forever. It was 16 years to the day that Heidi and I were married and spoke our vows in front of family and friends. I did not spend much time planning for it, but it came together perfectly, which I sort of now have come to expect with regard to these things. Heidi and I, we ran the spectrum... for poorer or richer, in sickness and in health. These things always mean something to those that speak them but we have lived them to extremes that I hope no-one ever should. Or maybe the extremes were a blessing to us too. I don't know.

There have been SO many things that have helped me through this, some emotional, some physical and some just examples of pure love flowing our direction.

The latter of those things is many people have sent sentiments and wishes, good vibes and prayers, that I can never repay them (you). People have contributed money and time to our trip and to fixing up our home so that I did not have to deal with it. Again, I can not thank you enough. I felt an enormous drive to share with you the experience we had in letting Heidi go. When we returned from the boat ride to release her ashes, I NEEDED to post the pictures and share the story as much as I could on that day, because you WERE included in the events, your spirits and well wishes were there and the positive energy that was directed toward us manifested itself in the moments that passed on that boat. I don't know how to describe it any better or differently than that.

That day was huge for me. It was the end of a long journey. I had decided it was the last day I would wear our wedding ring. It was a harder day for me than the day of the funeral when I spoke for a long time to hundreds of people. All I said before I let her ashes go in to that beautiful azure water were these words, but I could barely get them out.

"Girls, this is where your mommy and I met. This is where we fell in love and this is where she wanted to be let go. She will always be here for you, whenever you want her. She loves you very much."

We recited the Lords prayer and had a moment of silence on the water. With that, I passed her ashes to each of them and let them, if they wanted to, hug those remains. I took them, kissed them, said goodbye, opened the bag and began to pour. The plume opened up in front of us in a beautiful cascade of sunlight and contrast. The cloud made shapes and sunk in various speeds that made the patterns look almost surreal. The lightest dust floated on the surface with the flower pedals that that the girls, family and friends threw out. It was awesome.

As we slowly circled the ever expanding flower pedals, a large sea bird flew over and inspected our little flotilla. She looked at us and the flowers and made a slow circle herself. We could all feel Heidi's presence as we seemed to feel the the "OK" sign and a feeling of serenity passed over me in a way that is difficult to describe. The beauty of those moments will live in my heart forever.

Many of you have sheltered me from as much pain as you could possibly have. There is pain that no-one can take away. Pain that I, we, have to go through regardless of anything else, but that pain is productive towards a new life and I feel it every day, knowing a new life is already here in some ways. I hope you will too.

Thank you and good night.

PS, I continue to read the stories of my friends and connections dealing with ALS and my heart continues to go out to you. Be strong. I love you guys and so much know how you feel. There is some light there for you even if you can't see it today. I promise.


  1. You have given new meaning to the statement "Thank you for sharing." It means so much to feel included--- I have no words.
    Even those of us who have never met you in person, feel such a closeness to your family.
    I grieve for your family as if you were one of my closest friends because I feel you are.
    You are one of the greatest people I have ever known.

  2. Sedg,
    Your journey with Heidi has been amazing...Thank you for letting us be part of it and grow - just a bit - from your experience and the way you've traveled it. I'm confident God has bigger, brighter, and equally amazing roads for you and the girls to travel. We hope we can be part of them too.

    God Bless,

    The Grays

  3. Bill, Such beautiful words as expected from you. I hope someday you will find the energy and strength to write the story of your journey in a book form. I believe it would be a bestseller and a heartening movie. You have so much to give to this world and to the cause of finding a cure. I know you need time right now to heal and to find your new life and I wish you and the girls the best of everything that life has to offer as I know you have given so much to the worst life gives us to bear. Stay strong, live life to the fullest and remember to give us a glimpse every now and then. I wish you and the girls the very best. I too feel as though I know you and your family and my heart hurts with you. I know the day will come that my family will go through what you are going through and I want to leave something to point them in this direction to help them get through the pain. Know that you are loved and fight on. You have so much to give.
    My very best to you and the girls,
    Nancy Stephenson