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Surviving Suicide – Part 35

November 8, 2010


Wow! It’s been almost two months since I last made an entry to this blog :(. I’ve been procrastinating, for many reasons, one it dawns on me is because of the question of what will happen when I’m finished? What will the ending to my story be? Will I be able to fulfill my goal of turning this story into a book? How will I go about finding a publisher? Should I self publish or get a publisher? If I get a publisher, how will I know it’s the right one? You can see I ask myself a lot of questions! lol!

Either way, I’ve been strongly called to continue on and let go of having all the answers. To just finish the process I started this past May, just so that I can say it’s done! It’s accomplished, I did what I said I’d do. Originally I wanted to do this, turn it into a book, figure out some way to take my lessons about suicide and use them to help others. I belong to quite a few suicide prevention pages on FB, I see daily the pain that pours out through fans making posts, telling of their losses, or stating how much pain they’re in. I know there is a need to be filled, whether I can help with that or not, I believe I must finish this story to see what may show up.

I so wanted the fairy tale ending of being able to say I’ve got my life in order, that I’ve overcome all the obstacles that I’ve faced since losing my husband. The simple truth is that I have not, and I’m coming to the slow realization now, that it will most likely be a continuing journey of healing, learning and growing for the rest of my life. I learn from each and every person who comes across my path sharing this common bond of suicide. The pain we all experience seems to draw us inexplicably together. The bond that is formed is very real, very heartfelt, very genuine. There is something about sharing something like suicide with another who has experienced it that just feels right. They know what you’ve gone through and although it may be a different relationship they’ve had with the one they’ve lost, they know.

So it is for this reason that I must continue, I must trust in this process that laid dormant quietly in me for almost 10 years now. I am trusting in myself that when I’m done, I’ll know it. That when I’m done, I’ll figure out what the next step is and that the right people will show up to help me. It’s not usually in my nature to forge ahead without a definite, clear plan on what I want, but maybe that is part of this journey of mine – for me to learn to let go of knowing, of having all the answers, to just do it and see what happens.

Oct. 2002 – Life Goes On!

I left off with my last entry at Sept. 2002. This was the date that I shut down my failing business that I’d shared for 17 years with my late husband. Part of the reason I put off shutting it down, even though I was funding it personally was because this was my world, what I knew, my last bit of routine – and to let that go was sort of letting me go. I had convinced myself that I was smart enough, strong enough, capable enough of turning things around – by closing my doors, it was in a way saying that I was wrong, that I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or capable enough to make a go of it – and for me, at that time – that felt like I myself was failing. Even though I knew that that wasn’t necessarily true, it was a program running in my brain at the time playing over and over again.

Although it was a huge relief knowing this chapter of my life was now closed, it was also very scary to think “now what will I do?”. I didn’t allow myself the luxury of wallowing and just accepted this was meant to be, that I needed to carve out a new path for myself, and even though I didn’t have a clue what that path may be, I just had to do the best I could. It came to mind that so many define themselves by what they do. I didn’t think I included myself in this group, but several years later, many lessons learned through self development, I realize I too did define myself as an entrepreneur, a successful one while the business had done well and although rather tumultuous, a part of a husband and wife team. Now who the heck was I?

As always, I didn’t have much time to ponder as life always continues on with its many challenges that I had to address. I was very focused on getting the boat sold, it had become my number one priority. I was also beginning to get a few phone calls at home related to the old business, but luckily most did not have my personal phone number. October 10th I received a fair sized deposit bank draft for the boat. It felt good to know that I’d finally be able to close that chapter too.

I had chosen to run the deal through a broker I’d been dealing with, even though it was a private sale. I felt he’d been good enough to help me, I’d give him something for his time and let him handle the paperwork so things would be easier for me. The amount of the deposit bank draft was $5K less than the buyer had told me it would be. The broker delivered the draft to me at my home and he was acting a little odd, wasn’t looking me in the eye, seemed in a real rush to get away, etc. I mentioned the shortage, the broker got very uncomfortable and said that’s all he’d been given.

My instinct told me something was off so I called the buyer. The buyer, a member at my old yacht club told me that the broker had advised him to hold back the $5K for their protection. I was livid! My broker, who I had graciously and voluntarily decided to give a $10K commission to was now working against me? I thought about how I was going to handle all of this, knew I’d have to confront the broker, but got the draft deposited and cleared before doing so.

Oct. 17th I called the broker, told him I knew he’d lied, that he’d advised my buyer to hold back the $5K, that he in fact was holding the $5K in his account and that the buyer had given the full amount as a deposit. I reminded him then that he worked for me, that I had no obligation to let him broker this private sale but had wanted him compensated for what he had done previously for me and was appalled that he’d do this. Don’t remember how that call ended, but it couldn’t have been pleasant. He didn’t think well on his feet to say the least.

Later that same day, Oct. 17th, the wife of the buyer contacted me by phone and all 3 of us decided to not deal with the broker anymore. It left us all with a bad taste in our mouths. The wife faxed me a new Offer to Purchase that was identical to the original offer that all 3 of us had signed, the only difference being the broker was now deleted. Both the buyers signed this new offer dated Oct. 17th.

I in turn faxed this new offer to my lawyer to have it checked out. Got his comments back by fax advising me to delete some of the terms like “Financing Arranged”, “Sea Trial” and “Survey” as all these conditions had been met. Prior to this new offer, I’d not involved my lawyer much, but now that troubles had surfaced, decided it would be in my best interest to have him involved. My lawyer spoke to my buyers’ bank and lawyer and said it still looked good for the deal to close. My lawyer advised me to get the remaining $5K holdback that the broker had as well as the boat key.

I had been advised by the buyer that they’d had access to my boat because the broker had told them the key was under the mat. I had just started to hear via the grapevine at the yacht club that both the husband and wife (my buyers) had been on the boat on weekends. I was pretty upset about this but didn’t want to rock the boat so to speak ;).

I contacted the broker Oct. 18th and asked for the $5K and the key as per my lawyer’s instructions. Two days later on Oct. 20th, the broker hand delivered to my house a cheque from his brokerage firm but he did not have the key. I deposited the cheque lickety split!

While all of this was going on, I also had dealings with Bridgestone/Firestone Head Office. They were causing problems too wanting to hold back about $3K on a Letter of Credit that had been required when we’d first bought the franchise. They also told me I had to get my shop equipment out, car hoists, shop tools, etc.

Amidst all of this chaos I had scheduled a Girl’s Weekend at the cottage I rented Oct. 5th so that was a wonderful reprieve and much needed. Had an absolute blast, enjoyed my girlfriends immensly and just let our hair down so to speak. The following weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving, I’d also invited some good friends, my brother and his partner and some of their friends attended and I noted “Nicest ever!”. It was such a saving grace to have these occasional moments of fun and friendship interspersing the chaos and helped very much in me keeping it together. I was able to put whatever ailed me behind for that moment, and to just be present and enjoy the moment.

October 24th I spoke to the husband (buyer) and was told their bank had okayed the loan and that a cheque for the full amount should be available October 31st – I was elated! October 29th I found out much to my horror that the buyers had switched my boat insurance policy to their name even though they’d not paid me in full for it. I was absolutely shocked at finding this out, immediately called my boat insurance broker which coincidentally my buyers also used for their boat, to get this rectified.

I asked the boat insurance broker how on earth this had ever happened! He didn’t have much of an explanation and he sure didn’t seem too perturbed about it either, even though had their been a fire or total loss, the damn buyers would have been paid off! I had required the buyers to pay the premium for the insurance, not to switch the policy over to their names. My boat insurance policy had come due Oct. 26th and because their financing was taking so long, I asked them to pay the premium, but never once was it suggested that the policy be issued to them. The boat insurance company never notified me of this either.

The boat insurance broker said there’d obviously been some confusion (now that’s an understatement!) but not to worry, he’d change it back into my name immediately, but that I should send full payment in now. Totally mindblowing, but thankfully got found out without ill effect.

October 24th I’ve noted that Bridgestone/Firestone okayed an auction to be held at my old shop to sell the shop equipment so that was a big relief too. The auction took place on October 30th and I must say, the auctioneer was incredible! He was spot on for what he’d valued the equipment at, I wasn’t required to be present, and at the end of the auction, he’d pretty much raised what he said the equipment was worth. This was such a satisfying transaction to deal with professionals who not only knew what they were doing, but followed through and got the results they said they would.

October 30th my lawyer faxed the boat buyers’ lawyer the requested paperwork for the deal to close. Everything looked as if I’d finally get the boat sold.

All in all, October 2002 was quite an eventful month. Full of trials and tribulations, emotionally draining and I remember wondering if I’d ever be rid of the “stuff” acquired by Rob or for that matter, to ever be free from him. I was feeling a little “victim” at that time I guess, I did however realize even then, I was responsible for signing up for all of it too. Even worse was the realization that I had enabled all of it, I’d been the one to figure out how we could afford it, I’d arranged all financing, etc. It’s what I did in the relationship. Lesson learned!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan Hollywood permalink
    November 8, 2010 8:04 pm

    Hi Barb,

    Its been a while thats for sure. I know what you’ve been going through at that time was very rough for you, and all the memories probably still make it sometimes hard to handle. But, as I’ve told you previously, I am a Christian Chaplain and I’ve learned over time that most times you have to let God handle things sometimes, he expects us to do our part but if we are Faithful he will make the situation good. In our program and in the Twelve Step Program itself Step Three is turning our Lives and Wills over to the care of God, Its hard for most of us to do that, but you’ll feel such a sense of Freedom when you are finally able to do that.

    I hope it does not take two months for your next installment. In a bit of news I’ve recently become Engaged and will be getting married the first week of April of 2011. I hope that you will finally also meet your future mate soon, you are a very strong Woman and I’m sure that the right man is out there for you.

    With God’s Blessings

    Dan Hollywood

    • November 8, 2010 8:14 pm

      Hey Dan! Congrats on your engagement! How exciting for you both. I’m setting the intention to have my blog completed before year end if possible, so must keep at it in order to accomplish that. Thank you for your very kind words, I’m hoping there’s a good man out there too, I’ve put my order in ;).

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