The Next Journey

While packing I found money in my dolphin purse which we use to travel. I felt it was a gift from Ken and that he was taking care of me on my next journey. It was a nice way to start the trip.

On the flight to LA, the stewardess asked me about Ken’s necklace I was wearing and what it was. She said it was scary because it looked like a skull (note that the necklace resembles the scandinavian porter I bought in Ken’s honor later in Hana).
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To tell the truth I’m not sure what it is, maybe an animal skull or something from Mexican culture that he bought on our trip to Ixtapa, Mexico. On later passing she asked if she offended me and of course I told her she had not but it made me think about what offends people and what doesn’t. I’m simply wearing a necklace that means a great deal to me because Ken wore it, it makes me feel closer to him. This is how Ken was, rarely offended & he didn’t care what others thought about him which resonated in the stories told at Ken’s celebration. Several of the shirts from past heavy metal shows that I gave to the guys to wear carrying Ken’s ashes into the meeting space had offensive language or scary pictures on them. I remember when he used to wear them that he would get lots of stares and dirty looks. It makes me think how shallow we are for judging people by what they wear or what they may think because we will never know and why do we really care? Ken was struggling with dealing with “people” and he increasingly wanted to separate himself and be closer to nature.


1st day in Maui. Got 4 hours sleep after 17 hours of travel and drove in the dark up the windy & steep road to the Haleakala Crater which is 10,000 feet above sea level with Ken – this was important to me repeating the visit we made 10 years ago to see the most beautiful sunrise in the world.

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Kebo & me

Running on adrenaline, the trek felt both special and extremely sad. I don’t want this post to be too negative but in some respects I don’t think there is any way to get around it. Yes, I’m in Hawaii so I should be extremely happy, etc., etc. but I am surrounded by honeymooners, old couples still in love & happy families on vacation. I did force myself to take this excursion in the hopes that it would give me a sense of closure and to do something special with Ken’s ashes.

I snorkeled for 2 hours at Makena Landing (left water-safe bag & snorkel map at house and fin strap broke at snorkel site). Instead of getting frustrated with so many things going wrong I didn’t give up & found a dive shop where they fixed me up with a new strap & some ziploc bags to store my keys. When I finally got in the water I saw a baby octopus & turtle. This gave me extreme peace as I feel most at home in the water. When I got home to the Star Lookout, I watched my first sunset without Ken & saw a pack of 20 apex deer (I felt the wind envelop me & brush past my left side which gave me comfort, it was Ken telling me he was here & to not be sad). Afterwards I went for a long walk with a full moon & passed Oprah’s property, simply beautiful. She had a rock wall constructed along the path which reminded me of England. While this may seem like a lot to pack into one day, and it was, I had to keep moving because when I stopped the sadness seared through me revisiting the spots we went to 10 years ago. Shopping for groceries alone, cooking & eating alone. It doesn’t get any easier being in paradise. But in a way I hope that it’s healing. Being in the water was the most healing part floating. Hearing a gecko squeak in the house, cows mooing in the distance. I feel so close to heaven, the sky, to Ken.

On Sunday I ended up going the wrong way to Hana thanks to GPS, taking the treacherous route and having to navigate passing tourist buses, backing up on one-way roads and bridges, whew! Made it safely to beautiful Hamoa Bay House where Ken and I stayed 10 years ago.

I got up early to avoid the tour buses and hiked the 4 mile hike up 650 feet to the 400 foot Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai Trail. I stumbled upon the most beautiful 80-year old banyan tree & decided to place some of Ken’s ashes there in the roots at the base, it felt right. I also scattered some ashes along the walkway in the enchanted Bamboo Forest. Mind you this was quite difficult as it was raining trying to navigate doing all of this while not getting caught by other people or park rangers.

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Yesterday I snorkeled Hana Bay swimming under the pier to an isolated calmer area. The swim was difficult but necessary. I saw a red eel and other interesting fish native to Hawaii. I went to a yoga class at the local community center where we did some pranayama breathing & meditation after the class during sunset, very lovely. Then I stopped by Koki beach, something drew me there, and two Hawaiian Monk Seals were on the shore! I spoke with some locals for an hour who told me that one was a female who had just given birth on Molokai and the other was a male suitor who she was definitely disinterested in. I couldn’t help myself and I returned to see if they were still there at 6 a.m. and they were there. I watched them for another 1.5 hours in the rain and then pushed on to the seven sacred pools in the park. I was able to be sneaky again and put some of Ken’s ashes in one of the pools. I returned again to check on the seals and this time they were almost back in the water. I stood in the glaring sun to watch them for 2 hours return to the sea. This was very sad for me.
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15 responses to “The Next Journey”

  1. Carol Sealey says :

    Thank you so much for sharing your “next journey” with me. Although it made me cry throughout reading it I also found it extremely beautiful and positive x sending hugs and love x

  2. Carol Hotmail says :

    Thank you so much for sharing your “next journey” with me. Although it made me cry throughout reading it I also found it extremely beautiful and positive x sending hugs and love x

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Ancy says :


    Great…you can only do like this…Peace to you

  4. Chris says :

    Beautiful. Beautiful tribute, beautiful gestures, beautiful person. You’re wrapped in love and prayers.

  5. Juanita Krisher says :

    I want to thank you SO much for sharing your journey. I too don’t care what people think, I’m married to a “Ken” he got me there. I’m a survivor of another type of brain tumor, facilitated a group a long time ago and wanted to hear how your journeys went- truly beautiful and raw!
    A friend of mine makes jewelry out of ashes, I’m wearing some close friends and relatives. Imagine THAT conversation stopper. To each their own.
    Ken will be bound to you and the earth he loves, with peace.
    Love you dearly!!!

  6. Laura Biggio says :

    Really enjoyed hearing or sad but beautiful story. Thank you and my thoughts and prayers are with you!

  7. Anonymous says :

    Thank you Tina for sharing your journey, breathe in every breeze passing by… Ken is with you. Keeping you in my thoughts!

  8. Kev Ulp says :

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Bresthe in every breeze that passes by…. Ken is with you, keeping you in my thoughts.

  9. Anonymous says :

    Beautiful, I shed many tears as I travel this journey with you, loneliness is difficult, watching other couples knowing we have been robbed of the same happiness. I admire your strength and determination. Thank you so much for keeping this blog going. Truth being I am concerned as how you are copeing. I have great friends and family to help me through this journey, although I still have many difficult days. Wonderful tribute ken will be so proud.

    Marilyn. Xxxxx

  10. Heather Wilson says :

    Tina, You are perfectly entitled to everything you are feeling–even negativity. You are not one to stay there too long but giving yourself permission to feel it is also part of healing. Being in motion is a good distraction but dont forget to be kind to yourself when you are still. Being still can be even harder.

    I feel gifted for having met you both. I have learned much from Kens journey and now yours. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

    Peace, love and healing to you my friend.

  11. taniamacleod says :

    Wow Tina! It’s so inspirational and amazing to watch and be a part of this awesome journey! So incredible. It sounds like you weren’t alone at all! I don’t think Ken would have missed that trip for the world!

  12. Carol Weddington says :

    Beautiful, brave lady. I, too, think Ken is right there with you. I love that you are placing some of Ken’s ashes in your favorite places. May your travels give you peace and good memories.

  13. Bill says :

    Thank you! My wife is fighting the GBM fight. Ken and now you have been an inspiration to us. Please continue to let us all know how you are doing.

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