Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The trip started today and I feel like I better understand the path that I'm now on. I was really scared up until the time that I actually left. Until I started in a direction. All that apprehension has somehow been replaced with purpose and understanding.  I get where I'm going and how long it may take and I am ok with that. I’ve found comfort. I cant explain it, the realization, but I know its there. Its ok for me to be sad, happy, depressed, scared, excited etc. etc. It’s ok for me to feel anything that I'm feeling. Meghan showed me who I am, the strength that I possess and what I am capable of. I will be ok because of her.

This, all of this, is going to get huge. Meghan has so much to tell future generations and I wont stop until there is a record, a very permanent record of what she has shown us about living life. We have a lot to accomplish still together. And we will.

It’s hard to watch the world continue on without you or refuse to slow despite how badly you need the break. I think it’s important to not be crippled by that. It’s important to keep moving, to pick a direction and go. You may not be sure it’s the right one but at least it's not where you were. At least you're  not in the same sad place, not trying to make things better for yourself. Movement is healing. It’s better to be out searching for the right path than to be stuck without one.

I am actually doing it. After all the planning and stressing and talking, it is underway. I do feel alone but I feel great to be alone. Unafraid and ready (I might regret saying I feel ready later on) to start actually doing these things for Meghan. The more I move, the more is accomplished. It's amazing that all of this is sort of unfolding in front of me because of her, amazing and reassuring. I think a lot of you were right in that I might not need some otherworldly encounter to know she's still part of me. The fact that this is happening and will continue to grow because of her and how she affected others should be proof enough.  Meghan doesn't want us to stop. She doesn't want us to complete a goal and get complacent. There is always more, there is always better, there is always up.

It's important to continually challenge yourself to move on, and do more. At the very least, to move forward. I feel ok with where I am right now. I feel ok with what I’m doing and where I’m going. This is a good path and Meghan would be happy with the progress I've made in her name.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I started a week ago driving from Detroit to Meghan’s cottage in Tobermory, Ontario. Its without a doubt not getting any easier the further I get from Meghan. The cottage is absolutely her favorite place on earth. It’s where she went to recoup and relax, to sort things out and to spend time with family. We spent every one of her birthdays there as long as I knew her and I’m fairly certain, every single one before I knew her. It was also where we were going to have our big wedding ceremony and reception. I knew what I was getting myself in to by going up there, but I also knew the pain would be slightly buffered by having our close friends with her family and mine this past week. None of this is getting any easier.

We spent the weekend doing things Meghan would’ve wanted to, playing board games, canoeing, drinking and talking. Saturday was the hardest. That was supposed to be the day of our ceremony. I spent as much energy as I could trying to keep my mind occupied and not think about it. I can’t decide what hurts more, to avoid thinking about something you know is there or to fully accept it for what it’s supposed to be. To pretend that everything is normal and that Saturday didn’t mean anything because it’s just another Saturday, or to take it head on. Go and sit under the tree where Meghan kept her hammock and where the ceremony was going to be. Let my imagination go and think about how she would’ve looked or how the day would’ve gone. I chose the former although im not convinced it was the wisest choice.

We went into town and wandered around for a bit, took pictures and in general tried to enjoy ourselves. We went to the lighthouse and saw a couple taking wedding pictures with all of their friends dressed up and milling around. That was pretty hard to see. Being jealous of people’s happiness is a strange thing to go through. It felt unfair. It still feels unfair that Meghan never got to be that girl having her picture taken in her amazing dress. I hate that I couldn’t make that happen for her somehow.

For me the trip took a nose-dive after that. It was so much fun and so great to have our friends there, but I couldn’t get over why we were there and what that week was supposed to mean. Everything hurt. Everything I do reminds me of, or makes me think about Meghan. I miss her so much. I want so badly to feel her next to me or just to hold my hand. I would give an appendage or any possession just to know and feel that she is still here in some capacity with me. So many friends and family have these experiences where they’re convinced the animal or butterfly or star is Meghan signaling to them that she’s still here, still a part of all of this. I would literally give anything for that. Just to feel and know in my heart that tie isn’t broken because
she isn’t physically here anymore. Anything. I don’t want to lose her or forget the small things about her that no one else knows. I want to stay attached. I want a deer to walk out of the woods and put something in my hand or for once in my life have a dream that I remember or one that has meaning where Meghan tells me something important. I’d love to believe in any and all of this. I’ve looked for reasons to believe this, but nothing happens ever. I still sleep poorly. I don’t have dreams that I remember. I don’t have amazing encounters with wildlife or nature or people. Everything continues as it was. I waiver between being depressed and trying to pretend that I’m fine and don’t feel anything.

All of the friends left late Sunday and I spent the rest of my time doing things alone. I went for a really great hike that I did two years before with Meghan and her family to a secluded swimming spot. It was definitely refreshing mentally and not altogether sad. Its hard coming to terms with being alone. Its like these things we used to do are somewhat nice but don’t really bring me any closure or closer. I have to move forward and move on to come to any sort of
rationalization of everything that happened. If I stay where I am, or where I was, Ill never be able to deal with it all.

I left the day before Meghan’s birthday mostly because I was scared to be at the cottage for it. I knew I couldn’t handle her not being there, not waking me up in the morning to play scrabble with her or giving her presents or having her grandmother sing her happy birthday. That’s been the hardest part, the things that should be. The big and the small that Meghan should still be here for. We spent her birthday doing things that she liked to do around St. Catharine's; exercising, drinking gin 'n tonics, hiking, Japanese food, her favorite pub and then going to bed early. It was somehow easier to not be sad there. The place was still full of memories of and with her, but this was easier than the cottage. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is.

I left the following morning to drive to New Jersey to pick up a friend and then head down to my home in DC. I felt like a character in a Kerouac book. A seemingly random long list of events and people that blur together and never lose speed. It just keeps going. This is endless. The world keeps going. It never slows down because of how sad you are or how awful something that happened to you is. You don’t get breaks. You can’t rest. Fighting the current only makes you want to give up, it makes it all seem hopeless and worthless. You have jump in headfirst and without a paddle. I think Meghan understood this and that’s what kept her going. She knew slowing down, stopping, or wallowing in despair would only wear her out and keep her from her
goals. She didn’t stop because she knew going against the grain was worthless in this respect. It's important to embrace these seemingly impossible things in life. It's important to set your sights well beyond what you think you’re capable of accomplishing. Achieve a goal and make the next step twice as big as the first. Don’t save any energy for the return trip. There might not be one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

For My Hero

Today do something meaningful with someone you love and for someone you know needs it.

Raise that gin 'n tonic high, today Meghan turns 29.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I know how important it is to do interviews and be part of national media, but it all honesty, it makes me uncomfortable. My stomach churns for hours. Luckily the second it starts, I start to feel less anxious and begin to feel ok, but it's a pretty brutal process.

It's also difficult because I talk about Meghan constantly. It's really really hard and depressing to remember how exhausting it was for Meghan and the incredible struggle she suffered through. These people that I talk to don't know the half of it. I don't know the half of it. When I say Meghan was far stronger than I'll ever be, I mean it. Meghan literally, very literally went through hell and back. Twice. English doesn't have an expression big enough to convey that root strength that comes from something way deeper than most of us will be able to understand in our lifetime.

The effort fueled by nothing other than her will she put in to fighting cancer is purely the stuff of legend. Meghan could have run down a lion if she felt it important. And this is the part that's the heaviest for me. Few completely understood that about her. These interviews don't give me enough chance to make people understand. I'm afraid the interviewers won't get it or they're only curious because of what I'm doing. This isn't about MY story, this is about hers. I don't care in the least about the spotlight. I am not the important one in this. It's all completely, totally, entirely because of what Meghan started two and a half years ago.

Meghan is a hero, she put everything out there for others to read so they might find some comfort, strength or encouragement from her struggle. She was so private and shy. It was hard for her to do that. She didn't let many in, but felt it was important enough to let EVERYONE in on something that isn't easy to see, hear or talk about. She gave the world a great gift and deserves so much in her memory.

Meghan deserves to be talked about forever to show future generations what real, tangible strength, will and heart mean. Talking on camera or radio is hard (especially afterwards), but I know it's necessary and I know I can keep doing it. It's important for Meghan and it's important for others to understand her.

CBC Television Interview about Meghan

Monday, July 5, 2010

fire at night

It’s been exactly a year since I left DC for Michigan to be closer to Meghan. This has by far been the most trying year of our lives. Meghan had so many ups and downs. The effort she put in to being healthy and better is something I will never be able to comprehend. She so deserved to get better. I know there are other good people out there and I don’t want to lessen the impact of their lives or what they went through but Meghan really did deserve so much more. I read somewhere that we don’t necessarily mourn for the loss of someone but more the lack of future with them. I think there’s a lot of truth in that, all of the things they won’t get to do or be a part of. It’s almost too much. Going to see fireworks last year had an entirely different meaning. It was still about something coming to and end but it also meant a new beginning with someone. The one. This year it’s about a new beginning alone, but alone for someone. Its almost too much, to be alone and know you’re meant to be alone. I am completely overwhelmed. Not physically, but mentally. This is all real.... unfortunately real. I've spent the last two hours sobbing from complete sadness and partially from joy, I think. This journey is so epic and confusing for me. I feel like I don't even completely understand everything that I am doing. It's almost as if others are explaining it to me along the way. I gain clarity through engaging others about Meghan’s impact. I learn about Meghan from hearing how she affected others and what she inspired them to do. She inspires me through other people to go on. Not being able to live out our lives together will always cause pain and guilt in my heart. Somehow though, Meghan is still letting me be with her. I'll be connected to her by doing these things she wanted for herself, and for us. I get to keep her close. I still get to experience her on some level.

The joy I have is from Meghan giving me a path She pointed me in the direction I'm supposed to go. I know in the very core of my being, every last fiber, that I'm supposed to be doing these things for her. I'm not meant to be sedentary. I have to keep going. Setting out is really scary, bone shakingly terrifying to the core. This all means that it's real. I'm scared that it's real. I don't want it. I miss her more than anything. I miss the best part of who I am.

Meghan has given me this amazing chance to go to the far corners of the world and find pieces of her everywhere. To examine these situations I'll be in and look for the meaning she would apply to them. To be touched at the most basic level by the love exchanged everywhere I go will no doubt alter me. The knowledge that she and her story are actively and continually evolving others and myself to live inspired lives as better and more giving people makes this worth it.
She knew l wouldn't be ok if I stayed in one place. She meant for me to leave broken and return changed.
I fly into Vancouver on July 31 to start the cross-Canada train trip. I’d like to hang out in Vancouver with some of you and possibly talk to local media about Meghan. Help if you can and thank you for what you’ve done to become part of this all so far.
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