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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go

The morning that Trevor died will forever be one of the most sacred experiences I cannot explain.

My hand on his chest, I felt his heart stop beating, felt his body take its last breath.

Almost instantaneously, I felt enveloped in sadness, a sadness that was bigger than my own.

I know he was sad too. I know he didn't want to leave. 

In the next instant that sadness was a feeling of love, so deep and so tangible, that had I turned around I would have sworn Trevor was standing behind me with his arms around me.

I know he loves me, deeply, eternally, completely.  I know I love him. 

And in the next instant, it was as if he was whispering to me, "I have to go." The impression was not the way we think about talking with one another, not like a secret shared in my ear, but the sort of communication that happens between souls. It isn't verbal. It isn't even something I can possibly find the right words to describe. 

I know he wanted to stay. I know he could see more than I could. I know he had to go. 


My dear friend Katie, helped to write Trevor's obituary because I didn't know where to start. And it bothered me so much, a woman who has essentially written for a living for her entire adult life could not find her way into writing the obituary of the man she loved most, the man who loved her writing. I was agitated at my inability to capture the essence of his life, and with the deadline for submission to newspapers pending, she sent me away from the table while she began the foundational draft for what would be the most beautiful obituary I truly have ever read. 

When I came back Katie had written the most perfect line:

Trevor was many things to many people.....and now Trevor is a spirit exploring a new and wonderful wilderness. 


Trevor loved the wilderness. He loved the mountains. 

For his funeral, Trevor's mother wrote, and his family performed a song centered around one of Trevor's favorite quotations from John Muir, "The mountains are calling, I must go."

I have only heard Trevor's family sing the song maybe half a dozen times, and I sang it with them at his grandmother's funeral. But the words are trapped in my mind and float through my brain so often---especially lately. 

May 29th somehow impossibly marks one year since that morning that I felt his heart stop beating. 

The impossible year has passed. 

Sometimes there is peace in this milestone, sometimes there is more horror in it. Most of the time I try to find the mountains in it. 

Trevor wanted to stay. He couldn't. Other mountains I cannot see yet were calling, and he had to go. 

There are mountains calling me too.

Mountains of challenges in raising our children, in honoring his memory, in finding joy and happiness and embracing this life with a hole the exact shape of Trevor inside of my heart. 

I've struggled to know how to mark this first anniversary of his death. 

I've worried about making the day too centered around his loss, how that impacts the kids who can't yet connect the significance of this date to our family. 

And then one day, it all made sense. 

The mountains are calling, and I must go. 

We will spend May 29th each year hiking. Doing something Trevor loved to do, something that our family loved to do. 

And if you want to, wherever you are I hope you'll join us. Find a trail calling you somewhere are go. 

And as you go, if you knew my angel husband, think of him smiling or laughing, or teasing or arguing or teaching, or just being. 

If you didn't know him, think of someone you love, feel everything just a little more deeply. 

I hope the mountains call you. If they do, snap a picture and send it to me or post it on my facebook timeline--that much collective energy doing something that my Trevor loved to do would mean the world to me. 

If you are in Idaho, we will be hiking the Cress Creek trail at 10:00 am Sunday morning, May 29th, with Trevor in our hearts. You are welcome to join us. 



















4 comments:

Mel Eppich said...

I love this. What a beautiful tradition.

Gurney Family said...

You are a very talented writer - amazing. You had such a short time together. So sorry for your loss. On July 20th it will be 1 year since my husband left suddenly, after almost 52 years of marriage.

Gurney Family said...

I would so much like to hear that song, "The mountains are calling, I must go." Is their any way the audio could be posted on your blog?

Chelsi said...

I will have to try and get the audio to post it on our blog. Trevor's funeral was actually posted on YouTube by one of my neighbors, and if you watch that video you can find the song at about 27:43

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URrBrce--mA