A Sad Goodbye.


Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer, almost four years ago.

At first she was told it was stage two and most likely completely curable.

Two months after that, it was not.

The cancer jumped straight to stage four and all treatment was stopped to be replaced with something of a more palliative nature.

It all seemed good at first. Sure, there is no other stage past four but some people live years with metastatic breast cancer. Surely that’s how it would be for her!

And it was, mostly, with little squibbles here and there, until the cancer got into her bones, ate away her spine and required surgery to literally shore her up with rods and cement. That was in the late Spring of this year.

My darling friend Carolyn, died yesterday.

I read the news this morning and was hit instantly by the heavy tiredness of grief. I am so sad she’s not of this earth anymore and I’m so sad for her family.

I’m glad she’s been released from all her suffering. May she be safe in the arms of her ancestors.

I met Carolyn, many years ago, through another blog I had at the time. I cant even remember when but I’m pretty sure it was over ten years ago!

We hit it off straight away and had a great internet friendship for the longest time, until I finally went to meet her in real life one day.

I went, by myself, to a stranger’s house, in a whole other country.


And had the greatest time! Her family treated me like gold and I was lucky to return the favour a year or two later.

Carolyn had the greatest laugh. Big and booming.

She smiled and laughed, a lot.

She was welcoming . So welcoming she invited a stranger to her home. Ha Ha!

She could make you feel safe and reassured and complete in who you were. She accepted every part of who a person was.

She was silly, goofy and funny as hell.

Carolyn was sharp and quick and clever and witty.

She was WISE. Oh wow was she ever wise. She was patient and kind and understanding and tolerant too.

She loved her kids and she loved her grandkids. Those girls look just like her 🙂 Carolyn had pretty blonde hair, curly! And the most amazing blue eyes.

She loved animals too and was owned by many a cat and dog. When I went for my internet stranger sleepover we slept on her deck, in a tent, with her cats and wee little dogs 🙂

People everywhere just loved her, she was a rock to many of us. She was loyal and supportive. She had integrity.

For almost four years Carolyn fought her illness bravely and with cheer most of the time. She was able to change her diet completely in her quest to live longer for her family, even though she was a sugar fiend, just like me 🙂 I hope, wherever she is now, she’s having herself some cake! I’m baking cupcakes today in her honour ❤ Butter, sugar, fat. LOVE.

She was also authentic and honest about it all, too. She told me cancer was a mind fuck and that dying really fucking hurt.

Oh it all breaks the heart.

Hug your loved ones then get out there and live the heck out of your life.

Dream Your Own Death.

One of the possible side effects of taking melatonin are vivid dreams. Since I started micro-dosing myself I’ve had a few but because I knew to expect them AND because I know that vivid dreams mean I’m in that lovely restorative REM state, this is A-OK with me! I’m not overly bothered by them.

Well, except this one.

On the very first night of micro dosing, I dreamt I was in a room full of people, perhaps 15 of us all together.

The room was white and sterile, with overhead lights that flickered and buzzed. The general mood was somber. There was a woman and she was not having a time! She was really carrying on, crying and wailing. Pulling at her hair…a staff member sat beside her and was trying to calm and console the poor dear. My curiosity got the better of me and I rudely interrupted them to ask”What’s her problem!?” in the snottiest voice ever!

“Oh, she’s just learned how she’s about to die” the staff member says, nonchalantly.

I openly scoff at this poor women’s distress but quickly realize that I have also been collected and made to gather in this room… I’m starting to catch on but still, I’m full of cheek ” How am I going to die?”

Staff lady turns to me, looks me dead straight in the eyes and says with a steely glint ” YOU, are going to have a medical event.”

My heart pounds! Pressure in my head builds and builds as I stare at her in horror. I start to hyperventilate as my head explodes in pain and then I wake up.


“I’m dying! I’m dying! ” are the most coherent of the many jumbled thoughts racing through my head. “What about my grandbabies? What about my garden!? MY JOURNALS!!” I’m sputtering. Actually sputtering! ” I haven’t done all the things I want to do!” I wail in my head.

That last thought clears the fog because I actually have done the things I want to do…this must be a dream…Holy crap! Some dream!

Gradually my heart stops racing and the stroke pain in my head clears. I get up to pee and have a laugh.

I am an end of life care doula! I read about death every single day. I live and breathe death and help people with theirs…and yet here I am, dreaming about my own and freaking out! Too bloody funny.

I know it’s just a dream and dreams aren’t reality but the whole thing made me wonder this- If I’m not lucky enough to die in my sleep, if I am made aware of the details of my death, is this how I’m going to react? Goddess, I hope not. Who wants to spend their last moments in a panic?!

This is just like the time I dreamed of spiders and had to remind myself that I wasn’t actually afraid of spiders. And I’m not, under most circumstances, ha ha. I’m only afraid of them when they move quickly.

It seems I’m only afraid of death when it moves quickly too.

Monday Ramble, Sun, Storms, Food, Bears, Death.

HellOO Friends!

Thank you SO much for your patience with the dead air here on HeartStyle and my personal inattention! Something happened last week that switched my brain into sad mode, so … I was sad and let those feelings reign.

This weekend wasn’t sad though. I woke up on Saturday and it was SUNNY! It’s been storming for AGES here and the day felt like waking up to Spring all over again. So I read an excellent book and went for an excellent walk and bought a Slurpee that was SUPPOSED to be excellent but was not.

Because instead of Lime, I got MELON. Yuck! I should have known by the colour. The sign said Lime but it was lies. ALL LIES!

OH well, it was cool and I was hot!

On Sunday, we went to K-Days here in the city and that was fun. We walked around and ate all the things:

These are just what I took pics of. I also had a brisket sandwich and a Butterbeer cone and a Beaver Tail…I may have to go back for the fried chicken skin! We got into K-Days for FREE thanks to our library cards. So thanks EPL! We had fun and I appreciate the treat! ( K-Days are formally known as Klondike Days and it’s basically an exhibition and fair)

Sooooo, what made me so sad?

One of my husband’s drivers was killed in a crash while working.

He was on his last trip of the week, heading home.

He was young and married to his beloved. He loved motorcycles and cats.

His death was so shocking to everyone. Like a lightening strike out of the blue. And so damn sad. The rainy, stormy weather at the time definitely matched the hearts of all who learned the news.

This experience taught me a lot. My end of life doula skills came in handy in supporting my husband and hopefully through him, the driver’s wife, but sudden death is a whole other thing all together. I knew that….but I did not KNOW that. I’m forever grateful for the lesson.

And you know, it felt “good” to be sad. To allow myself to be sad. I didn’t know this fellow but he was still a part of my everyday life through my hubs. It felt like feeling sad was a way to honour that he had lived. It felt like a very important thing to do.

Today the rest of us are alive, and the sun is shining again.It’s supposed to be HOT. No thunderstorms for the next little bit but just in case:

I kind of like the idea of yelling Bring it on ASSHOLE to a tornado, ha! That’s a whole mood right there 🙂 As is the last don’t too…everything changes.

This is also a MOOD! Although you know, I was outside with tons of people yesterday and I loved it! I think fairs are one of my favorite things. The delicious smells, the clacks and clicks and clangs of all the rides. The music blasting. The little kids. The people dressed in all sorts of different get ups…Mind you give me TOO much of that^ and I’m right back to this meme again, ha ha.

Well. THAT answers that question. 🙂 Have you ever seen bear poop? It’s pretty neat stuff, especially during berry season. I accidently touched it once when I was checking to see how old it was. One of my many claims to fame 😛

I haven’t tried that new aging app thingy because all I need for that is the mirror but still, this made me laugh. Then cringe. Then ponder…

Only if you’re lucky. My newest, fondest wish is that I die peacefully in my sleep. That’s my wish for all of us. Happy being alive day, to YOU ❤

Love & Squishy Hugs.

Happy Lune- 2019

Lune – the month I renamed in honour of celebration, gratitude, self love and ..erm…myself – has arrived and I’m so thankful to be here to celebrate another one!

My birthday is sometime in June -hence all the fuss- and Lune started as an act of self love . I grew up believing there was something deeply wrong with me, like so many other folks do, for so many different reasons. (It’s all BS BTW. You’re actually, really cool ) ANYway, this one month out of the year became a way to dispel that myth! I’ve found the benefits of Lune spill out through the other months too. I treat myself better. I don’t allow others to treat me badly. I set better boundaries and have a better appreciation for all the little wonders in the world.

My unapologetic celebration of self inspires others too. I’m the only one with a month long birthday celebration but my friends respect and admire my tradition and tell me it brings them joy and gets them thinking about actively loving themselves too.


Celebrating anything brings joy and happiness and really is an expression of gratitude. Gratitude can be an antidote to a lot of things that ail us so while my birth month shenanigans might seem silly and frivolous (Even to myself sometimes ) I will fiercely celebrate ALL THE THINGS anyway. My little anarchist heart in action ❤

As I grow older , my celebration becomes less about celebrating me and more about celebrating being ALIVE. A side effect of being a Death Doula I guess 🙂 HA, and middle age too probably!

Ha Ha True Story.

My end goal is to get myself to the place where I celebrate life every single day, even in a small way and it all starts in Lune.

What does that even look like?

Stay tuned, I plan to document the WHOLE thing.

There will be presents. And delicious treats. And fun adventures!

In the meantime, here’s some inspiration to get you thinking about your own life. It’s longer than your average video but well worth the watch. I promise.

Love & Squishy Hugs to YOU! ❤

R Is For *Rituals. A-Z Challenge

As an End of Life Care doula we are taught to recognize, develop and honour rituals as we empower our clients and their families do the same.

We all have rituals in our daily lives

Rituals offer us comfort and familiarity.

Rituals help us make and take time to just be. Rituals bring us together and empower us in our aloneness.

They motivate us and give us a way to focus our attention and intentions.

They help us mark life events and give us opportunities in this crazy world to acknowledge the present moment with a reverence that doesn’t seem silly while allowing us to recognize the sacred of the day.

Here are some of mine:

  1. Morning stumble to the bathroom, morning greeting with the dogs morning cup of coffee while I sit on the couch with my Hubs.
  2. Thursday flier reading and grocery list writing.
  3. Birthday celebrations. Mine and others. The cake, the candles, the presents.
  4. My daily walk.
  5. Watching the Sun rise and set.
  6. Writing in my journal.
  7. My evening personal well being check in with myself.

Think of some of yours.

I’m thinking about rituals because as a doula with the dying, it’ll be part of my role but also because I’m going to need my own ritual to help me cope with the losses I’m going to face.

Every single one of my clients is going to die. Sure, I’ve signed up for this and I wouldn’t do such a thing if I thought it would be an impossible task BUT I am still a human being. A sensitive human being and I’m going to need my own way to move through those losses that’s meaningful to me, and honours something about them personally.

But here’s another situation where a death ritual can be helpful.

Someone will die and while we don’t know them, we know of them, and we feel sad about their death. It’s a loss.

We might feel silly for this but those feelings are real, no matter what anyone says and it can be therapeutic to do something to honour them.

When George Michael died, I sat in the bathtub ALL DAY, playing his songs and mourned him. I was also mourning all the memories that went along with those songs. Our feelings can be pretty complicated.

You should have seen me when Princess Diana was killed…

Your emotions are usually about that person and something personal to you too.

ANYWAY, I’m not suggesting you go run a hot bath and cry over every person that dies but it can be very nice to do this:

Write the person’s name on a piece of paper. Hold them in your mind and think about what it is you so admire and appreciate.

Think about anything they gave you- Prince gave me Purple Rain and that gorgeous achey feeling I get every time I hear it. Luke Perry gave me Monday night doughnut parties with friends -and light yourself a candle. Then just let it burn for a bit.

( Please watch it. Don’t burn your house down)

Whenever you feel ready( keep a fire safe dish at the ready) light the paper on fire.

Thank the person, yourself and the memories with love as the paper burns. Do what you will with the ashes. Witchy Lael might suggest scattering them to the wind or burying them in the Earth. It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that you’ve now done something, a small thing, a meaningful thing and allowed those feelings to be. Expressions of grief and honouring the dead are important and healing rituals. Hopefully this helps you. I find, its helped me.

Tell me about your daily rituals! What are your favourites? Do you have any sacred ones? Please share if you feel comfortable! ❤

P is for *Protest. A-Z Challenge.

I started going white, just in the front, when I was 21. I dyed my hair at first even though I really liked my white streak. Why? Peer pressure mostly. I didn’t want to look “old” because old was something that was frowned upon. Grey hair on a younger person meant I had given up on myself somehow. Dying the grey out meant I was “fighting” growing old.

This idea is HILARIOUS to me! Like dying my hair somehow hid me from the Grim Reaper. Like dying my hair showed I was doing my best to stay alive or something. Like dying my hair made me immortal.

I eventually decided to stop and embrace my grey and now I’m grey on purpose.

Seriously. I’m not grey enough to have a full head of it yet, so I put in light streaks and my hairdresser and I have been toning the shit out of my hair to get it match the natural tinsel that’s growing in.

It’s glorious and very freeing. I LOVE my hair, the greyer and whiter it gets, the better. My work kids tease me and say “You look like a Grandma!” which makes me laugh as I say ” I AM a Grandma! And Grandmas are the BEST kind of people!” We gotta teach these little ones young.

It wasn’t easy to get to this age positive, grey positive place. There was pushback from friends, hairdressers, society of course. My husband even, in not so many words of course. I wield a mean frying pan plus.. divorce.

But I was angry and I was defiant so I pushed through that NONSESNE fueled by one little experience that shaped a whole portion of my life.

My father in law, in one of the few times he ever made me angry, said this of an elderly neighbour lady:

” Have you seen Wilma’s hair?! It’s so long and scraggly. Grey too. She needs to cut and dye it. She looks like an old sea hag!”

A nasty comment, right? Usually I was able to let his misogynistic B.S. float in one ear and out the other, but there was something about this time, or maybe it was something about me at that time , that didn’t allow that happen.

That comment circulated in my brain as I watched this lady out in her garden enoying life and hurting nobody. How DARE he judge her like that? What gave HIM the right to decide what she did with her f8cking hair? Hadnt she earned the right at her age to do whatever the f8ck she wanted?! And why was it ok for him to be OLD and have GREY hair but not her? Dad wasn’t that much younger than Wilma, did he forget that fact or was this a judgement only reserved for women?

Oooooh, I was mad!

I turned to him, eyes blazing I’m sure and said ” I think it’s beautiful! It’s HER hair and she wasn’t placed on earth to please you. ”

Silence. Dad was known for being an asshole when challenged and not many were brave enough to do it.

He raised an eyebrow and I forged on, my mind made up in an instant ” I HOPE I look like her when I’m that age. You may call ME a Sea WITCH!”

And that was that.

I would have my grey hair. I would wear it proudly in PROTEST of all our stupid cultural beliefs and expectations. And f8ck anyone who tries to tell me differently.

I told you I was mad.

I’ve been a greyling ever since.

Protest hair. It’s a thing!

D is for *Death. A-Z Challenge

You might think as someone who’s training to be an End of Life Care Doula, I’d be completely comfortable with all things Death related.

Future Worm Food.

I have spent time in a cardboard coffin after all and Death is my number one focus in life, behind reading and food. I must be so chill. I must be so brave and strong. I must not fear anything to do with Death at all!

Ha ha ha!

Yeah … NO.

Just last night, I woke in an absolute panic, chest pounding, mind racing because … I don’t have money set aside to pay for my funeral.

Once I calmed down, I had a good laugh at myself. I can immerse myself in Death but I can’t escape all the complicated emotions that go along with it. I have dreams like this with great regularity. The other night it was men in hooded black robes trying to hack their way into my house with farming tools and the night before that I was trying on some really fashionable shrouds.

I find it worse now actually. The further I delve into my practice, the more things come up for me. I’m grateful because I’d much rather work this stuff out now, than in a frenzied panic on my death bed.

(If I get a death bed. )

Some days, I even declare a “death free” day, as much as I can control that of course, because it all gets to be too much and I need to take a soothing break.

Most days, I’m Ok. I can think about it and read about it and learn about it and while I realize the gravity of it all, I am able to live a normal life, just like everyone else. But some days … some days I am ridden with anxiety and disbelief.


People die.

It happens to the “others”.

It’s going to happen to me too!


What is up with that?

I want to be open because I want other people to know that their feelings of fear et al, are completely normal and can be worked through. I might wake up in a panic sometimes, or cringe when I imagine the world without me but thinking about death and working through those feelings are valuable to me too. It’s a trade off for sure, but I’ve only grown because of it.

Death clarifies life.

It motivates me. If I realize I only have a finite period of time left to do the things I want to do, I’m going to do them! That’s why I went to Peru, even though I was scared to travel alone. That’s why, I went to Tanzania rather than buy myself a car. That’s why I stopped waiting for a perfect time to educate myself . I only have so many years yet. And none of them are guaranteed to be good or comfortable. None of them are guaranteed at all.

It puts all things into perspective. I’m not going to fight with people over stupid sh*t. The energy output is not worth my precious time.

This includes arguments with myself too.

I’d rather spend my time loving rather than hating, and just ignore the nonsense as best as I can. Hell, I even ignore the nasty weather. I hate it, that’s for sure but I’ve found my life is better if I just keep it in the background. Instead I focus on how good hot tea is or how nice fuzzy socks are. ( This is huge for a natural complainer like me. )

Death helps us live in the now, intentionally. I became the captain of my own ship. I choose. I decide. When you live intentionally you take responsibility for everything in your life and that my friends is freedom. Freedom is my jam.

When I live in the now, I’m really living my life, not just coasting through it wondering where the days ( months, years ) went.

So, facing death, even though I am as afraid as anyone can have its benefits.

These are just a few of the things that I think about. If you start using death as your advisor you’ll have your own things too.

It’s all OK. You can be scared AND still think about/ plan for/ talk about Death.

You wont die. Well you will, just not from that. 🙂 ❤

Talk to me about death. Are you fearful? Curious? Indifferent?

Love, & Long Healthy Life & Squishy Hugs!

Death Cleaning-Altars & Knick Knack Niches.

This task was easier than I thought. Perhaps my previous clean up successes paved the way for positivity. I reeeeeally thought this job would be harder because I loooove my little keepsakes! ‘Twas super simple and satisfying though, woot, woot!

The before:

Bedside altar, phone “booth” luck and prosperity niche and glass case ‘o crap…

The after:

I was pretty ruthless. I only kept the things I really love and am enjoying now. Having said that, out of these items I have FAVOURITE favourites too.

The little owl my son made me, my Dalai Lama photo and my rocks.

Wow, hey? That surprised me. Something tells me I’ll be doing this whole process again and again and again.

And I think that’s just it. Death cleaning doesn’t have to be one big purge in your late 60s. You can do it, again and again as you move toward death. It’s not really any different than the developmental stages of aging where one sheds their inner nonsense as they grow older and wiser…one can shed their outer nonsense too!

I’ve cleaned three areas thus far and am finding the process to be a good one. I’m impatient to get on with it, because there are other things I can be doing and learning from but I keep telling myself that this is important too. I don’t want my kids or husband to have to deal with piles of stuff when I die. That’s not fair to them. So onward I march! Err…clean.

Up next in our series, my art room. A hot mess of another kind. This one is giving me heart palpitations…

What Does It Feel Like To Die?

Do you ever think about what it feels like to die?

I sure do.

I’m not talking about what it will feel like if say, I’m hit by a car or if I develop cancer and have pain from that as it kills me.

I’m talking about what will it feel like in the moments when my lungs stop taking in air and my heart stops beating, in any circumstance. What will that all feel like? Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Will I know I’m dying? Will I care? Will I be anxious? Will I fight against it or will I go with it? Will I be happy, angry, sad or glad?

I know from near death experiences I’ve had that if death arises near me suddenly, I will most likely be in the moment, as it is. There won’t be time or care to think or be fearful. There is only time to observe it as it unfolds.

The scary stuff, or the funny stuff comes later. If you get a later! It seems like in that circumstance, death just is.

If I’m lying on my deathbed, elderly or ill or just living my life and I die in my sleep or throughout the course of unconsciousness will I even know it’s happening?

I’m just so curious about it all! Do any of you have yourself a wonder too? It’s OK to talk about it. In fact, it’s beneficial to talk about it. Good practice for when it’s our turn.

I read a really good article about one person’s experience in dying that really moved me. I sat there weeping with … joy and comfort as I took in her personal account.

Her name is Christen O’Brien and here is her story: What It Felt Like To Almost Die.

Have a read and let me know what you think! I found it beautiful, encouraging and oh so comforting. I hope you do too. ❤

Death Cleaning The Closet.

Part two in my series on Death Cleaning and Minimalism. Part one is here!

Originally I assumed this was going to be a giant task but the whole thing only took me around thirty minutes. Mind you I only did MY side and I only focused on clothing and accessories but still: Thirty Minutes! Colour me surprised. I had it in my mind that it would take forever.

I wonder if that’s why I kept putting it off? There is a lesson here!

ANYhoo, here we go!

Gigantic Pile Of Nonsense
Manageable Rack Of Nonsense.

I felt GREAT after I got it all done. Not only because it felt good to see the neatness of it all but because it was a quick and easy job. I see why the experts tell you to tackle your clothes first. I ran into some emotions-shame-but I was able to get through them by keeping Marie Kondo’s mantra in mind. Does this item spark joy? Nope? Then into the donate pile it goes. It matters not that it still has the tags on it! (Or that it doesn’t fit. Or that I hate it now and probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.)

I found it extremely helpful to have a set of rules and guidelines there to assist me. SO don’t scoff at them, they do work and serve a good purpose. This is emotional stuff.

The takeaway: When you set an intention, have a plan and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by your feelings, cleaning and organizing your messy piles of nonsense doesn’t take all that long to do.

Spring is coming! We’re all going to need to go a clothes switch. Why not take this time to give yourself the gift of a good clean out too?

Stay tuned for part three-Three Altars.