Since he died, I have reestablished my life with the exception of my love life. Around the three year mark, I realized that I had to address this missing component of my life without Mike. I acknowledged that I desperately miss being part of a couple and I accepted that I would do something about this. It was no secret to me, I liked being in love and I longed for the feelings that go along with being madly in love. Daily, I have been missing this intangible stuff of love. I continually hungered for what I lost when Mike died. And, for me, I knew that I could not be wholly satisfied alone. I remember how much richer my life was with Mike and because of this I am simply not satisfied on my own.
Whatever is left of me has been reclaimed. I have been slowly and steadily undergoing a rebirth of sorts. It has been painful and tedious. But, I’m doing it. I am steadily rebuilding myself from the wreckage because I have to. I have no other choice. I love life too much to just sit here and waste what I have left. I love him too much to never try to live my best life again. And, nothing, not one damn thing, will make Mike happier than if his girl can smile again. It might take everything I’ve got, but I am trying to find a way to live in a world that he is gone from. I owe this to myself. I deserve to be happy again and you do too.
My life feels hollow when I do not share it with someone I am in love with. Beside, why would I waste my skillset? I am really good at being in love with the right person. Mike taught me what love sounds like. He modelled what love looks like for me. And, he showed me what it feels like to be in love. He was a good teacher and I took his lessons to heart. I am good at love because of Mike. I want more of it because of Mike. This desire for love that lives inside me is Mike’s fault. I blame Mike. He made me a Fan Girl of Love.
Four years later, it is time to focus on the life I have, not the life that was supposed to be. But, this is much easier said than done. I don’t know much for certain, but I can say, I’m not as lost without him anymore. I don’t know why or how, but I am able to live without Mike with more ease now. I have finally accepted that Mike died and he is never returning.
I originally wrote parts the original blog, “Marry Me”, two years ago; and the good news is that my grief has changed since then. Sure, I still imagine our life in my head, but I do it in a less “desperate” way. I’m less frantic now. I’m more at peace, thankfully.
I know and understand that the life I shared with Mike is over. I accept the finality of it. I never thought I would, but I finally have accepted his death. I now can accept his death in my head AND in my heart. Wow. That’s the first time I’ve ever admitted this in writing. It’s taken me, nearly four years but I’m finding my way back to life again.
Now, at 3.6 years, change is no longer just something I think about. It is something I NEED. It has become a requirement. I must action change because I am slowly dying here in suburbia.
I can not stay still any longer than necessary. In order to be a good mom, I have to make changes next year when my youngest son graduates. I have to take a leap of faith and just move forward into an uncertain future. I feel it. I am brave enough to finally just go for it and live my life. I am not sure how everything will unfold, but that scares me less than staying here in suburbia. I was made for bigger things. I feel it in my bones…
I am still dealing with the fall out from Mike’s sudden death.
Death is heavy stuff.
It takes time to sort through the wreckage that follows the death of your spouse.
Mike’s death left me with so many questions. I had to recreate my identity. Wow. Yikes, that is a bit daunting at the best of times, never mind in the middle of the shit sandwich that is grief. Figuring out one’s identity is a humongous task. I spent hours and hours sifting through the fragments of me that survived his death and I carefully and thoughtfully mixed those pieces into my new psyche.
Even while weighed down by the heaviness of early grief, I knew that I had to figure out who I was – without him. I had to rediscover my being. The woman I am without Mike is pretty fabulous. I like her a lot and I know that he would love her very much. I am many of the things I was when Mike walked the Earth, but I have evolved into so much more.
Mike’s death has taught me a lot about living. Ironic isn’t it. That is the beauty of life. It is one crazy ride. I am forever grateful to Mike for influencing my life and who I am. And, that man continues to love on me from wherever he is now, I feel it.
When he died, he was in the processing of teaching the boys how to do many of these tasks. Mike thought he had time. And, then time ran out. Death robbed us overnight. And, I find this ironic because Mike was a police officer. He was supposed to protect us from the injustices of life. But, sometimes things just aren’t fair. And, lousy things happen to good people; and, then, they are forced to somehow gather themselves and limp forward.
Everything is jumbled inside me. My life has been muffled since you died. My thoughts of you are so loud that they quiet everything else in my mind. Tender thoughts of you hijack me from my own life. (It must be sad for you to watch.) Ruminating about you sends me in a tailspin back to the past – to a point in time when you are alive. Mike, I love my memories of you, but I can not continue to relive our life in my head. I can not continue to journey backwards. I can not keep returning to this place where I keep you suspended in time. I need to take flight and move forward. I know full well that life is not lived in reverse. Dammit, I know this but lately I feel like I am losing traction and slipping backwards.
Covid-19 is complicating my efforts to reengage in living. Now, like everyone else in the world, I am stuck in a holding pattern. I can’t exactly make bold moves and reenter life with any real passion right now. The whole world is paused. We are all standing still. Collectively, we are waiting. Standing still. Waiting…
Humanity is waiting until it is safe to reenter life. And, I am just one person lost in this stillness. This lack of momentum reminds me so much of early grief. It is feels far too familiar to me. This stillness the world is collectively participating in has returned me to the habits of early grief. I have begun ruminating about you again. Thought of you consume me. And, these persistent thoughts are robbing me of my own life. *Sigh. I am so fucking tired of being stuck. I feel like I am held hostage by my thoughts about a life that died with you. I desperately need to find respite from my rumination of you my dead lover. You are the dead man who keeps me from living. I know this breaks your heart. I’m trying to change this.
Still, I can not believe how drastically different my life is without him. I still ask myself “NOW WHAT?” … What the hell am I supposed to do without him? I don’t have the answer. In truth, I have more questions than answers and I think that’s okay for right now. It has to be because it is what I’ve got.
Maybe, I will find the answers to the questions I ask in the stillness and in the quiet of the lockdown Covid19 has created. Maybe, while distancing from others, I will become closer to myself. And, perhaps, I will “hear” what my Soul has to say while I retreat into mandatory solitude. Maybe, I will figure out the direction of my life when I am forced to be alone – sheltering in place without the man I love.
This blog features my tantrum against his death, and that’s okay because life isn’t always wonderful. Sometimes it’s cruddy and messy. Sometimes life is a work in progress. And, sometimes, big lessons are learned while you roll up your sleeves and get dirty doing something very ordinary like yard work. This is what happened today.
Grief and yard work are both labour intensive and each thing demands your attention at various times. On Sunday, I gave both the yard and my grief the time they demanded and I’m better for it.
For many years, I chose to exist safely. I needed to pause and reestablish my footing. And, thankfully, I did outgrow the comfort of the limitations I have created for myself. But, I will never forget those early days of grief. I was so unhinged because of his death that I couldn’t manage much more than limping through the day. But, as time has progressed, I understand that this was staggering was necessary. I had to experience the process of faltering and coming undone, in order to move forward. I now understand that I needed my toes to touch the bottom before I could re-surface. That was part of the process. It was unavoidable.
I know that, eventually, I will find the momentum to get me to where I need to be. I’ve come a long way these last 3.5 years and I don’t want to undersell my success. I see what I’ve accomplished without him; and more importantly I feel it. I like the woman I’m becoming. And, he’d like her too.
I have always had grit. And, if I ever doubt my capability, I remind myself that once upon a time I was his. And, he loved me because I was solid. There is nothing hollow about me.
I am unsure how to sustain myself on self love alone. I grew used to regular servings of Mike’s love; and, now, I am adapting to a strange sustenance that never seems to fill me the way his love once did. No matter how much love I feed to myself, I am never fully satisfied. I am not content on a diet of self love. The love I have for myself is hearty and solid, but it does not appeal to me like Mike’s love. His love was pure and my version of self love feels manufactured. At best I am force feeding love to myself. It feels awkward and lacklustre; and it is nowhere near as good as the love I shared with Mike, but it’s what I’ve got. It is a start.
Recently, I felt like I was gaining traction. Finally, after 3.4 years, I felt like I was starting to reenter life. And, then, COVID19 forced me into the familiar holding pattern of early grief. I feel the paralysis of fear taking over again; and, this feeling of being frozen by doubt and trepidation is all too familiar. The emerging anxiety and unease are definitely affecting my psyche. I feel myself sliding into the familiar landscape of early grief and it scares me.
I wake up each morning, and like in the days following Mike’s death, I just lay there because I have no desire to rise from my bed. My familiar routine is lost and this has me in a tailspin. Once again, my life has been shaken up and I am not responding favorably to the changes COVID19 is forcing on me. Right now, I feel like my life is on hold. Only this time, I am forced into a holding pattern because of a deadly virus, not Mike’s sudden death.