This past weekend my friend from British Columbia flew to Ontario to come to visit me. I haven’t seen her in a year since we last did a road trip together. I’ve written about her before on my own personal blog about her being The Friend I Never Wanted. She is an amazing and inspiring person. She’s a young widow too and an incredible support. We have been navigating life after loss with very similar timelines across the country.
We talk on a regular basis but it’s different actually being together. We know we’re both moving forward, and we talk about our lives now, but it just feels so much more obvious when we’re together. Our visits are like a timeline of progress in grief, to me anyways. Much has stayed the same but there’s also been change. For example, when I was asking what food she wanted as I grocery shopped for her visit she commented that she doesn’t think she had food in her house the first time I visited. At that time we were both in the first year of loss. We then tried to remember what we even did during that first visit. It all seemed like a blur. We talked about our trip together the last time we met up, just over a year out from the death of our husbands, and how we struggled to come up with a plan between the two of us. We had joked that between the two of us we had a total of 1 working brain and we hoped that would be enough to manage everything.
Now this time we are both just over two years out. We talked about our husbands and how we miss and love them but we also talked about what our lives have evolved to now and the struggle and also happiness in that. We talked about making new choices about our lives and what we want to do, worrying about forgetting, changing relationships, travelling, anxiety, dating, being open to new things out of our comfort zone (she hung out with 2 big dogs despite being afraid of dogs!). She even met David and hung out with him too.
Things have changed. It’s good but it’s different and it takes more adjusting. We’re not in the early stages where the only things we can talk about are our memories and pain. Our worlds have expanded. It’s a bit frightening. The time elapsed from our loss grows bigger and it feels more obvious being together. It personally makes me nervous. I’m reminded that I’m out of my comfort zone again. But we’ve been out of our comfort zone for so long anyways. It means growth. Scary, unknown, but necessary growth. Growing ourselves and growing our friendship. I don’t know when we’ll be able to get together again (we joked that we’ll walk to Alaska next ha!) but I know when we do we’ll both have changed again and it’ll be different again. It might not feel it right away but it’s a good thing. I’m very fortunate to have her in my life.