Part of a series of interviews between Julia Ferrari and Jane Noyes
Ferrari: Beautiful snow outside and –
Noyes: Well, it’s glorious, isn’t it?
Ferrari: It is. Yes.
Noyes: Do you have a lot to do to keep yourself shoveled out, or plowed out or whatever?
Ferrari:Yes, I’ve got a lot of – plenty of shoveling out there. But I’ve been avoiding it a little bit. I’m going to get out there after we talk and shovel.
Noyes: But it’s not – is it, I mean, is it a challenge for you to do it by yourself? I guess you have been for a while.
Ferrari:It is. It is a challenge. Dan and I used to get out there and shovel together and it would take us a few hours. We used to have someone plow it at one point, but they would just sort of bang into the plants and bushes and knock stuff around. So then we would just go out and shovel our – we have a pretty short driveway, so we would just go shovel. But it is on a main road so it tends to be fairly packed at the edges and that’s the hard part.
Noyes: Yes, I know. When the plow goes by, it plows you back in. All the work that you’ve just done, and then it all comes back into the driveway.
Ferrari:Yes. That. Exactly.
Noyes: Other stuff too.
Noyes: We finally, after many years, got a snowblower some years ago.
Noyes: It works fine, but, you know, it just collapsed under this one.
Noyes: So my husband thinks he can deal with it on his own without having to trundle it off to get fixed by someone. But we’ll see.
Ferrari:Yes. I have a snowblower too, but it was not working and a friend was fixing the carburetor. However, it hasn’t been reattached. They were cleaning it.
Noyes: Oh, good luck.
Noyes: Might as well not have one of those.
Noyes: I know. It’s when they go – it’s like, well.
Noyes: What kind of storms are we looking toward?
Noyes: And I do it on my own.
Ferrari:Yes, exactly. I know I was saying to this friend, recently – before the storm was coming, I said, “You know, I could probably use that carburetor put back on that little machine – thing put on back.”
Ferrari:And they were like, “Oh yeah.”
Noyes: And it didn’t quite happen.
Ferrari:No. Didn’t happen. But it’s an old one, so it’s hard to start too.
Noyes: Oh my God. You know, we did that for a long time. It was either these hand-me-down ones or, you know, purchased from a neighbor. And of course – You knew why the neighbor had sold it. So it’s not much fun anymore.
Ferrari:Yes, hard to crank it or whatever.
Noyes: Oh, yeah.
Ferrari:Pull it on, right?
Noyes: Yes. Well, is there – you know, when you’ve got a snow like this – like this one too, it’s a really heavy load for anything so.
Noyes: Like those motors, anyway.
Noyes: Anyways, the snow is beautiful. I –
Noyes: I’m glad for it.
Ferrari:Yes. Me too.
Noyes: I like it. Do you want to do what we were going to – talking – what was I talking about last week? So quick a transition.
Ferrari:No, we could just that little bit actually, I think. You know I –
Noyes: About your –
Ferrari: I spent a little time thinking about it, but I wrote to a couple of Dan’s friends and I asked them to let me know what they thought.
Ferrari:Memory of Dan, you know.
[3:31] Memory of Dan
Ferrari:Tell me who Dan was. And then a friend of mine – tells me, “I just want to hear from you,” and know who I was before, you know, before I met Dan, which was fun, actually.
Ferrari: Interesting. The outcome is that both Harry, who was Dan’s best friend, and my friend, Shelly – both talked about things that were in sync. It was music, art and poetry that both – Harry said something about – I’ll have to read you his. It was quite beautiful, actually.
Noyes: Nice to have that, too.
Ferrari:It is nice It was relatively brief, but very poignant. He said:
The basis of the friendship between Dan and I was the sharing of the sense of what was important. In that sense, there is no before and after. What was important to us when we were younger remained important throughout life. In this sense, you knew Dan completely. The details of the sharing are things you know well: music, art, poetry, consciousness, political freedom, humor, fun, troublemaking, the natural world. Also, I believe that individuality was relatively unimportant to us in this context. The importance lay in what needed to be done. Doesn’t all of this sound like the Dan you knew so well and loved? Also, of course, we each have our private parts. Parts not to be shared and Dan and I respected this boundary between us. About that, there is no more to say. So I hope that I have sensed rightly that you are not looking for anecdotes and stories We can share those into the future as appropriate to events at hand. If I had to give a single descriptive word to the abiding basis of the shared relationship I had with Dan, it would be respect. Respect for each other and for what each other felt was important and meaningful. I don’t have much more to say that would not somehow dilute what I felt I needed to say, but I’ll try to respond to your wish to honor your partner’s life whenever you request.
Ferrari: So it was – there it was.
Noyes: Well, what a –
Ferrari:With love, Harry.
Noyes: Well, what a beautiful and kind and kind of really, really just what you were asking.
Noyes: That’s so great. It’s almost – I didn’t know Dan at all, but it sounds like something Dan might have answered if the shoe had been on the other foot.
Noyes: They clearly understood each other well.
Noyes: And it’s you and Dan, too. I can imagine you writing something like that too.
Ferrari:Yes. Well, it was very comforting to think about – to have that point of view, you know?
Ferrari:That the things that were important were still important before and after and it was really nothing like the person changed, which makes sense. And yet it’s interesting to see – I was talking with some friends last night about this and about your question and how things overlapping – you know, you suddenly see that there was a mutual interest in art, poetry –
Ferrari:And music. And even political consciousness and even, you know, troublemaking and the whole gamut there that he mentioned.
Ferrari:Because my friend said similar things about me. You know, she says, “What I remember, before you met Dan, was that you loved the outdoors, the arboretum, the woods.” She said, “You would even walk around the arboretum at night.”
Ferrari:And then she says, “You’d love talking about intangible things like dreams, Jung archetypes and poetry.”
Ferrari:Then she says, “You had music, you were active in music. What I heard was musically inventive and expressive.” So that’s, you know – I can suddenly see that’s why I kind of connected with Dan, because we had similar interests. Nature and the arts.
Noyes: Oh, for sure. And yet even a kind of way of being, too. I like that the first thing his friend had said about – I don’t – how did he say it – “I don’t think you’re interested in stories or anecdotes.”
Noyes: You know, in other words, right to the chase, which is, from what you’ve said about Dan, is how he would be anyway. That’s just the thrill that’s extra rich. And material in a way, the real guts of it is that –
Ferrari: Uh-huh. And then so, talking to some friends last night, again about this question that you posed, I suddenly realized, well, there probably is something that changed slightly in both of us that brought our two interests together and wove them together into a piece.
Ferrari: And that’s interesting to see that they were coming – they were both fairly developed and yet came together and created, you know, this interest in Golgonooza.
Noyes: Oh yeah.
Ferrari: And arts and making books about poetry with nature and all that stuff.
Noyes: Right. It works so well for both of you without either one giving up or not having brought a piece to it all.
Ferrari:Yes. And I think I haven’t, thoroughly really, been able to sit down and think deeply about how it changed us. Or how we – what happened when that – two forces of those two people, you know, coming together, created that. But I guess it was, you know, in terms of intellectually, I haven’t really thought about that. But you know, it created that life and created that energy and that momentum and that energy of creation. All of which is still existing now, in some strange way.
Ferrari: Without the two of us, because it created its own sort of place and level of vibration and I think that that almost still exists in a way. I perceive that it does and it exists – I guess it exists in me, but it almost – some of it in the physical space too, of the print shop, because it’s still potent with that energy.
Ferrari:I guess I aspire to – that’s why I aspire to keep it going.
Ferrari:To keep that vitality alive.
Noyes: Right. Well, it sounds – oh, a poor bird just smashed into the window.\\
Ferrari: I heard that.
Noyes: Oh yeah, did you hear that?
Noyes: Yes. I guess it’s ok. I have flocks of cedar waxwings.
Ferrari:Ah, wow! Can you see out the window and look – is it down on the first floor there where he flew into?
Noyes: It’s right out the window here and it’s – we have some kind of little ornamental cherry.
Noyes: Covered with all the little cherries. And they’ve been coming in these flocks last couple of weeks. And robins too.
Ferrari:Because if you find that a bird has been knocked out a little bit by hitting a window –
Ferrari:If you got out and give them a few drops of water on their beak –
Ferrari:It wakes them up and they survive.
Noyes: Oh my God, that’s great.
Ferrari:Yes. I had that with a kinglet one time. It hit the window and I went out and there’s this little bird laying there looking really dead.
Ferrari:But I put some water on its beak and it woke it up and –
Noyes: Off it went?
Ferrari:Yes. Well, he woke up and sat there for a while.
Noyes: Uh-huh. Kind of came back to himself.
Ferrari:Recovered. And I picked him up and he was still in shock and I brought him over and I held him in my hand. It was so tiny; kinglets are tiny birds. The wind blew and it responded. Like, it looked around; it felt the wind, as if that was part of its – like a fish in water, you know?
Noyes: Right. A bird in air.
Ferrari:And then another bird flew over. It was probably checking on him and it looked up and it was like – another thing that I noticed – it was like suddenly aware of other flying beings.
Noyes: Mhm. Mhm.
Ferrari:It just sort of sat there still in shock, but then I put him down and then, eventually, he flew. He flew.
Noyes: It’s happened here over – we’ve been in the South for 26 years and it’s happened a number of times. And I’ve seen that, where you’ll think that they’re gone, and yet, then – I guess the most I’ve ever done is move them out – it’s mostly Summertime – I move them out of the sun.
Noyes: And then, I just kind of leave them and then, they’ll go.
Noyes: Sometimes, not often, they will die.
Noyes: But it’s pretty amazing how what it takes – what they do to kind of just come back again and go.
Ferrari:Yes. Well, if you take a little cup of water and you use your finger to drip off your finger onto their beak, that actually sort of shocks them a little bit awake.
Ferrari:I read that and I tried it and it worked.
Noyes: Oh, I’m going to remember it, because I always felt terrible when that’s happened, especially when I can see that one is really down. Right now, I don’t know if I’d even be able to tell.
Ferrari:Right, because they would have gone down into the snow?
Noyes: Yes. And just sort of the way the circumstances are, I’m not sure that I could tell, but a lot of times I can if it’s on the other side of the house.
Noyes: Anyway, there you go. Another metaphor.
Noyes: Well, it sounds like that was great. You know, it was great that you went and asked others.
Noyes: Were there thoughts for a richer exploration, I guess?
Ferrari:Yes, I think it’s probably something I’m going to think about for a little while, because I’m a slow thinker and I’m going to probably just let those things sink in a little and perceive, you know, what really did happen – what does happen when you have these two human beings come together and then, of course, when you’re parted, because – it’s interesting you had that question last week, because that was the first question I asked myself, after Dan died. I said, “Who am I now, without Dan?”
Ferrari:It was the first question I said out loud to myself.
Noyes: Yes. Well, suddenly, you were there alone. I mean, one who had a rather remarkable and unusual life, I think. You know, it’s not most of us who have that much total together time working towards the same goal, you know?
Noyes: And, oh my God, it would be like you had your, well, had your body removed – half your limbs – you know, cut off your leg, cut off your arm, now who are you?
Ferrari:Yes. Or like losing a twin, I guess, or something, too. Yes. Some being that you are very – had a vital connection to that –
Noyes: Oh, that is an interesting kind of concept, because of course, I know some twins and they have their own way in the world and certainly their own way that they communicate with each other and at such a nonverbal level.
Noyes: And kind of unnecessary. And we’re so separate from them – both of us are not – we’re not twins.
Noyes: To even guess at what that must be like, or what it is –
Noyes: And yet twins could never go through the world knowing what it’s like to be a single.
Ferrari:Yes, that’s right, because that –
Noyes: Unless one were to lose the other, I guess, in a sense of the position that you’re in.
Noyes: Yes. So it’s very interesting. I was going to ask, just since you were talking about another question that I would have, that was prompted by what you were saying – if that question – if I had posed – well, the question that I did pose – from your point of view, how would Dan answer that?
[17:03] How would Dan answer the question, “Who was I before meeting Julia?”
Noyes: You know, both looking at you, without having known you before, but a sense, I guess, of you, and also himself to answer, “Who was he before you?”
Noyes: And he cannot, for himself, answer that, but it would be interesting from your perspective, to wonder what – how he might have answered that. Given those really thoughtful responses that you had from these various friends you’ve had, I bet it would be interesting.
Ferrari: Yes. To think about that, as the next thing to layer on the process of thought and contemplation.
Noyes: Yes! Well, it sounds like a place that you easily go to. And as you said, you are a slow learner, but I don’t think that means – I think the slowness allows the depth.
Noyes: You could be a fast thinker. I sometimes think I’m a fast thinker, but it’s because I flip, like these birds out my window, and I can’t concentrate sometimes and put that thought to the next thought.
Noyes: Hard to go to a deeper place sometimes.
Ferrari:Well, you know, I sort of had this perception – it’s hard to put it to words in a way, but when Dan died, that, you know, there was this – in a certain sense, there was this development that happened for each of us, as human beings, by this coupleship that we engaged in. You know, this partnership, that we engaged in.
Ferrari:I think, somehow, the other person can help you to – with some of the rough spots in your life. Because, you know, no couples are perfect, I think, and everybody’s – because no human being is in there for – you have these things that you struggle with and I think – my feeling was, almost from him after he died, was this feeling of appreciation that was being expressed somehow. That, you know, this was something that was really valued and that we didn’t always put to words while we were alive.
Noyes: Mhm. Mhm. As in sometimes you didn’t need to? It was sort of that – almost like the twin thing – of being so kind of understanding itself?
Noyes: Aware on a nonverbal level.
Ferrari:Yes. And if you think you’re not going to lose something then you’re appreciative of it, but you don’t – it doesn’t pass through your mind quite in the intellectual sense, you know, you’re just aware of it. I think that was something, for both of us, we perceived the appreciation of each other, of what we had.
Noyes: Mhm. Mhm.
Ferrari:But I have the distinct feeling this isn’t one-sided. I’ve said this in my grief support group that I felt the physical – I felt the world of that spirit – that person that I knew being also – having also this sense of not wanting to have been pulled away from this life.
Ferrari:Which I would not have ever thought of before, because I never thought like that. You know, I think, in our culture, we think that once that’s gone, that they’ve gone to some complete other void – other place – and there may be interaction through some kind of dream or other sort of spiritual dimensions. But I never thought that there could be this yearning from the other side of the veil and I perceived it, almost – I felt –
Noyes: That’s very interesting, isn’t it?
Noyes: I mean, until we have the experience that you did, it would be hard to imagine what it will be like, what it could be like, anyway.
Noyes: But you have the feelings so strong to make the distinction, kind of what to believe of before, and what the reality was for you.
Noyes: That’s pretty interesting. What sort of – do people respond when in the group or did you just kind of each sort of report?
[22:18] Grief group
Ferrari:Well, one woman, who was a guest – she was the daughter-in-law of some people that are in the group who was actually the wife of the person who had been lost.
Noyes: Oh, yeah.
Ferrari:She said that she agreed that she had felt that too.
Ferrari:That, you know, there was this sadness that this had happened, you know, that this – they didn’t want to leave too. That’s the perception. It’s like that person didn’t want to be separated – almost the two people pulled apart by death.
Ferrari:And yet because there’s such a deep connection that that is not wanted.
Ferrari:And she said she felt that too. She felt it: this deep sadness coming from the other side that they didn’t want to leave that person. It’s, I think, the early stages of loss because, obviously, my – you know, things change in the perception of that energy.
Noyes: Yes, a bit.
Ferrari:And that spirit or life force or energy, I think, doesn’t just hang around forever feeling bad or feeling loss – it moves into its next stage, but it was very distinct for the first, oh, I would say, at least month or so.
Ferrari:Maybe couple months. I felt it. And now, I don’t feel that anymore and I don’t feel that loss of having not perceived because I did. You know, it was very real and I felt it and I knew that that was something – I perceived it was something real and genuine in the world and I don’t need to keep feeling it, because you experience it and then you know that that was something that was true for you and for that, perhaps, other soul. And then time keeps moving forward and you keep getting these new challenges and this distancing happens. I felt that too. But – I’ve said this in my group too – I have this distinct way that I connect to Dan which is within my heart. That I have this feeling that I can go to in my heart. I describe it as two hearts in one; I can feel Dan’s heart within my own heart.
Ferrari:And I think, part of that – if I was to verbalize it – is I go to the place that I remember the love that I felt for Dan. And I can feel it, distinctly, as a place in my heart. I can go there, almost. You know, when I think of him, I go there. I don’t sort of feel this emptiness; I just go there, but it’s within me.
Noyes: Yes. Well, that’s, I guess in a way, simply the part that can’t be taken away.
Noyes: I mean it’s the reality of – well, the physical reality changes, but you can’t change that other part.
Ferrari:Yes. It’s like something that’s an indentation or something that’s written on your being.
Noyes: Oh, that’s a great way of putting it, yes, right.
[26:11] Engraving of self after loss
Ferrari:It’s sort of engraved into your heart matter.
Ferrari:Or soul matter. And I actually don’t, sort of, like, feel this incredible loss in some sense with Dan in the sense of if I feel his presence or not. Because I know – I have this distinct impression that that writing on the soul – that depth in there – is still there.
Ferrari:Even if he is whatever – wherever that soul is – that that’s still there.
Noyes: Yes, and it’s, I guess, kind of an evolution of the whole process.
Noyes: I think, for some, there’s – well, I don’t even know why I worry about other people may think or how they may go through it. But I think – well, it seems that you have always – well, you both have had this in you, I think, these deep feelings for a deep level. So why wouldn’t it be the same now? You know, of course.
Noyes: It can be very hard, because they aren’t able to live in that realm anywhere, anytime in their lives.
Noyes: It’s very hard for them to get to that, because they never, kind of, had it before.
Noyes: Which, I think, makes the whole thing so much more difficult and complicated and stifling, or not stifling, what’s the word –
Ferrari:Oppressive, maybe, where you’re feeling the loss and only the loss, but not the gift of what you’ve been given.
Noyes: It’s like there is – that’s exactly right.
Noyes: Yes. I guess that’s where you’re hoping people can get to.
Ferrari: Mhm, because I have this overwhelming sensation, which is this, almost this duality where I feel the incredible loss and the pain, but then the pain comes from not being able to have that person physically present, to not be able to talk to them and enjoy their presence – enjoy the comfort of their presence. But, at the same moment, it’s like – I feel odd, always, when I say this, because I worry that sometimes people misconstrue what I’m saying, but I feel, simultaneously, that it is this great gift.
Ferrari:Because you – it is something that happens to all of us. It kind of had this ability – this magical ability – to go into the deepest of our hearts and minds and feelings.
Ferrari:And how often do we get to experience that, you know?
Noyes: Hopefully, what if we were sort of avoiding that?
Noyes: You know, I think many of us have this kind of fear around that, in a way.
Noyes: Not wanting to have to come to a point where you’ll have to do that.
Noyes: Or not have to do it, but you’re wondering if you can or if you’ll believe or if you’ll be able to get there, somehow, I guess, the acceptance part.
Noyes: Yes. That is kind of transformative if you can. It’s not just, okay, you finally got through that stage, lucky that you did.
Noyes: It’s so much bigger than that.
Noyes: And you’re pointing out, I mean, I love the gift thing.
Noyes: Yes. I mean, it makes a whole lot of sense to me and I feel for people who can’t get there.
Ferrari:Yes. Well, I had this experience where when I feel the sadness, which, of course, comes regularly – less regularly the further you get away from the time, but it’s – nonetheless, it happens regularly.
[30:55] Opening to the pain of loss
Ferrari:What I have found, because the depth of my loss was so complete, the only thing I can do is open to that pain, because the pain is the experiencing I can have of that moment of thinking about that person.
Ferrari:So I don’t shut the door to that; I open it. I had this experience in the shop – maybe I’ve told you this before – where I felt, you know, I felt this incredible pain, because something came on the radio and it reminded me of some event that we had done in the shop and connecting to Dan and I just started to cry. There’s a constriction that happens in your heart and when you feel pain, it just sort of constricts really tightly.
Ferrari:But, at the same time, you’re opening to let it just come in and I did this thing where I tried to open to the pain and yet let my heart open and not constrict. It wasn’t easy, because my heart just kept wanting to constrict, but there were moments where I would just sort of let go of the constriction – tightness – and just open in sort of like – almost gasps of letting the heart open and feel the intensity of that.
Ferrari:Actual just pure feeling, pure emotion, pure, you know – and just let it wash over me without having the heart clenched. It was very hard to do. I couldn’t do it but for, like, an instant here and an instant there and an instant. But what a different – for me, it was just another – trying to have another level of opening to the pain – to have it be – transform out of pain and feel the next level of not having the clenching of the heart, but having the heart just be open.
Noyes: Yes, it’s like a paradox, what you describe.
Noyes: And yet, hm. It kind of keeps things in a sort of feedback loop, though.
Noyes: Whereas something – the other is to just feel the pain and never to be able to get past or to turn the clenching into and opening.
Noyes: Just leaves you on these parallel tracks that never converge, somehow.
Noyes: Yes. I don’t know why I try to put words to this.
Ferrari:No, that’s good.
Noyes: It’s an interesting thing and I think people must want, without knowing that it could even exist.
Noyes: And I’m just thinking how much people suffer and suffer for a long time.
Ferrari:Yes. Just to be clear about myself, I have had many times in my life of all kinds of things where I can just easily go into denial about it – don’t want to think about it – just –
Ferrari:You know. I’m no saint in that respect. But with this particular – in this particular instance – and you know, just to back up, my brother died six months before Dan and I have not, in some way, been able to grieve thoroughly about that. So I don’t understand that, but I think it was just too much to go into – you know, I went right back to trying to take care of Dan and it was too close, in terms of its –
Noyes: Yes, couldn’t get the space for it.
Ferrari:Yes, because it was the same illness, essentially.
Noyes: Was it really?
Ferrari:But I think it’s because I’m surrounded all the time by reminders that I have to – I think that’s the why – and because it was a whole part of my life. Almost every part of my life. Not quite, but almost.
Ferrari:Then I think that I’ve just been doing this thing where I let it wash me and don’t want to really run away from it, because then, I don’t know where I would run. I don’t have any other place to –
[35:42] Not running into denial
Ferrari:You know, to run into denial about it, because it’s – I might as well be here and feel it.
Noyes: Yes. Well, right, and I mean, the alternative is to leave you with nothing, in a sense.
Noyes: I guess.
Noyes: Yes. That doesn’t seem like a path.
Noyes: It leaves you less of a human being.
Noyes: You know, I had forgotten that about your brother and he died six months before Dan?
Noyes: So, excuse me, but he had been, I gathered, diagnosed and you knew he had this illness before Dan knew he had his?
[36:15] Dan’s and Julia’s brother’s illness
Ferrari:No, his was much more sudden.
Ferrari:He came up in August of that year and he didn’t look ill to me at the time, but Dan saw it and he told me, you know, he said, “He looks really tired. There’s something wrong there.” And Glen told us that he had been not feeling well and having this pain in his stomach and things going on but he – I guess he’d been to the doctor and they hadn’t found anything. It got so bad that he went and they discovered it was cancer and that it had completely moved through his whole body. They couldn’t tell anywhere it had originated.
Noyes: Wow, yes.
Ferrari:But I guess his body had been strong enough that it had not gotten sick earlier and that was August and he died in November.
Noyes: Oh, I see.
Ferrari:It was three months. We only had three months to know that he was –
Noyes: That he was sick.
Ferrari:Yes, less than three months, really.
Ferrari:And I remember reading about what he had and reading, you know, that it was – that people with that would have six months to live and being kind of shocked. And it was much less than six months. Then, you know, I think it was hard for me to grieve and I don’t know when I’ll ever catch up to that and I hope that I will, but I was down for the funeral for my brother and actually got to be with him before he died.
Noyes: Oh, you did?
Ferrari:Mhm. After he passed, his wife, Charlotte, said to me – looked at me and said, “This is going to happen to you now.” You know, something, kind of a bit shocking to me and I was really unprepared for that because I was – and I’m sure she was just in shock herself. But it was, like, wow, bam, it hit me right in the stomach. It was like – you know – and that suddenly became my next focus with Dan.
Noyes: Wow. So when had Dan learned about his?
Ferrari:About a year before.
Noyes: Oh, okay. So he’d been living with that, as had you.
Noyes: And yet you had this – spent this sort of time without knowing what that really meant.
Ferrari: Yes, and it was supposed to be two years. It was only one, but we didn’t get morose about it. It was a shock, certainly, but we didn’t get morose about it because we kind of felt – both of us talked about it and we realized, you know, we’re going to continue to live our lives the way we’ve been living our lives.
Ferrari:And we’re going to have – we’re going to just approach it with hope.
Ferrari: And we did. Pretty much right up until the last, oh, I would say, few weeks.
Noyes: Mhm. Mhm.
Ferrari:Until we suddenly realized something’s – it’s not working – this is starting to slip. Because they’re very subtle in the medical, you know, profession or connection there. They’ll tell you certain things, but they’re sometimes not absolutely direct about some things. They try to soften it a little bit, of course. But there were a hospice people too – nurses and hospice volunteers – and they would come in and talk to me and I would get very depressed when they came in, because they would come in and – at one point, Dan was in some kind of ICU because he had had an infection and everybody coming in had to wear these gowns.
Noyes: Oh yeah.
Ferrari:I would be in there with him. They would let me – they let me stay there.
Ferrari:But they would come in – there would be two women and they would come in and they would be wearing these yellow gowns and I felt like they were the angels of death.
Noyes: Oh God, they sound like it.
Ferrari:And they’d come in and talk to me about, you know – have I – I can’t even remember – I think I blocked it. I couldn’t handle it at the time.
Noyes: Yes, I bet.
Ferrari:I would just be really hopeful and then they would come in and I would be devastated, because they would basically be telling me the truth. But I didn’t want to hear it.
Noyes: Of course not.
Ferrari:And I think it just would’ve been really hard to be that depressed all the time around Dan. I’m glad, in some way, that my defense mechanism was not to – I guess that’s where I had my – what do they call it when you’re putting something off, pushing it off – my mode of – oh, not remembering –
Noyes: Yes. Not denial.
Noyes: Oh, is that – oh, yeah.
Ferrari:That was where I had my denial – was before he died. I couldn’t go there, couldn’t think like that.
Noyes: Well, you know, I guess we all are going to go to wherever our, you know, our souls take us.
Noyes: Well, I guess I’m just sitting here saying I guess we can’t make a judgment. Or why am I even saying that?
Noyes: You know what, as if there’s some perfect pattern – people are supposed to go through this.
Noyes: And I’m not – of course not.
Ferrari: Everyone’s different.
Noyes: Yes, everyone.
Ferrari:But yes, that was the way it happened for me. I kind of allowed myself denial in the form of hope. And then afterwards, no denial – I didn’t go there anymore. I didn’t want to.
Ferrari:Didn’t need to after that.
Noyes: Didn’t need to.
Noyes: Yes. Well, probably on some other level, it was – you knew – I mean, you knew there was no –
Noyes: – denying. It was just a matter of hope.
Noyes: Did it mean you should stop living now or that, you know, you should change how you live or – you were being forced to change, anyway.
Noyes: And, you know, that was enough of a non-denial kind of thing.
Ferrari:Yes. Well, it’s interesting when you’re living out a life with a death sentence, so to speak, where you’re – you know that there’s a certain amount of time left, you know.
Ferrari:How do you spend that time?
Noyes: Well, that’s a really good question.
Ferrari:Do you, you know, live with total sadness because of what you’re losing or where you realize that this is what you have and you haven’t quite lost it yet? And yet, despite all that, you’re still on this runway where this – you know, you’re approaching something.
Ferrari:And it’s all really very tenuous and undefined and there’s no floor to it, but yet you’re there and you can’t be anywhere else, you know, that’s where you are.
Ferrari:I guess that’s why sometimes, you know, you hear people in couples, when someone gets terminally ill, they leave. You know, they can’t be with that person anymore.
Ferrari:I guess that’s part of what happens to them. You can’t stand being on that runway where life becomes tenuous and yet moves forward to the unknown.
Noyes: Right, and yet, I don’t see how you could really – I mean, it still follows you.
Noyes: The past.
Ferrari:True, yes. If someone was to go away from a partner that you loved or you know –
Noyes: Oh my God, I know, it’s like, how to talk about afterwards – it would be so difficult afterwards.
Noyes: How could I have done that?
Noyes: Because you’re still going to face all this stuff.
Ferrari:Yes, you still have emotions.
Ferrari:You don’t trash those. So, in a way, I think going through the pain, going through it, like, with your eyes open and your feet on at least – with – even if you’re not standing on solid ground, it’s still – you go through it and you just embrace that, you embrace whatever it is that’s coming at you.
Ferrari:And I think that’s how I’ve – that pretty much sums up how I’ve been dealing with, you know, death.
[45:38] Going through loss
Ferrari: With loss. You just go through it and you embrace it.
Noyes: Yes, and find the openings that – like the amazing one that you spoke of, you know, when – who would’ve guessed or how could anybody have told you this will be your experience where you could, in yourself, find that way rather than that clenching of the heart, just sort of open and see the gift.
Noyes: You know, I mean – and of course, ahead of any of that, you would have said, “I don’t care. I don’t want him to do that.” But that’s all because you’re not there with an option.
Noyes: I mean, in a way, you did have choice.
Noyes: In how to feel, I guess.
Ferrari:Uh-huh. Well, when you’re in that place, you kind of know what to do. You know, you know what – how to heal yourself, I think.
Noyes: Or you don’t. I mean, I think some people just struggle because they just can’t get to the place where they know what to do or that even the denial or the something.
Noyes: It’s so in their way.
Ferrari:Yes. I think that can happen. So, if you’re living your life where you’re, maybe, trying to be open and aware of your intuition and aware of your life and then your intuition tells you, this is how you need to go through this, you know, this part of your life. This is this opportunity, you know, don’t turn your back on it.
Ferrari:So yes, it probably does come from all the choices in your life where you have to face the difficult or the painful or try to tune in a little bit to your intuitive faculties.
Noyes: Yes. I think you’re right. Wow. Well, we’ve covered some more amazing territory today.
Ferrari:Yes, it’s probably time for you to go.
Noyes: It’s probably time, because it is. I’m not under the gun, but I do have to kind of keep track here.
Noyes: Let’s do this next week again if we can, if you’re free another hour.
Ferrari: Yes, I am.
Noyes: Okay, and well, I’ll think further and you think further. You’ve taken me to some pretty interesting places here.
Noyes: I’ll start thinking of other things I might like to ask.
Ferrari: Okay, that sounds wonderful. I really enjoy talking with you.
Noyes: Oh, I’m so glad. And I really enjoy it too.
Noyes: It’s really great, a great thing, cedar waxwings. Out the window.
Noyes: And now I’ve learned something new if I see one that does go down.
Noyes: Well, thank you.