It is good to be home. After nearly a month in a tropical paradise replete with expansive sun-kissed beaches and balmy nights spent on my lanai—it is good to be home. The trip to the peaceful place was to be medicinal—a time to meditate, contemplate, and grieve. Still, I hadn’t much considered my arrival when I left—so caught up in the leaving was I. My departure, wrought as it was with so much emotion, had utterly obscured my view of things. I couldn’t have anticipated in my heartbroken state that as soon as my feet hit the sandy beaches the universe would level me with one command – Stop!

Stop? I didn’t know how. After so many months of perpetual motion the idea of stopping seemed inconceivable. Self-care, I learned, is far more formidable than caring for another. Putting the brakes on suddenly, jarringly—turning the focus inward to that place where all pain resides—it is indeed an almost insurmountable task—or so it would seem right now. The solitude and serenity so freely available to me at every turn, proved to be less than medicinal and instead awakened in me innumerable aches and pains, a virulent strain of anxiety, and a sense of foreboding I never before possessed. As it turns out, this trip to the peaceful place was a bit premature, coming as it did less than three weeks after her passing.

There was a restless, jumbled undercurrent running through me the entire trip that I just couldn’t seem to unplug. Cutting the trip short seemed the only solution. It just felt right. I realize now that stopping doesn’t mean I have to hit the brakes so hard my forehead cracks the steering wheel. Coming to a slow stop is much more my speed—easing into that place of new beginnings, unhurried and strong. Yes, I will get there but at my own pace. In the meantime, it is good to be home.