I wrote this July 09, 2018. A lot of time has passed since I penned these words. And, so much has changed in my life. Grief evolves. I am proof of this and I hope you know that you will not be the exception to this. Grief evolves because nothing, not one thing in life is constant, including grief.
It goes without saying that I miss Mike. He was my life companion. My best friend. My lover. My Soul’s mate. He was my person. The one who championed me. He was the man who loved me to the depths of my Soul – from the depth of his own.
But, now he is dead. And, I am here missing all that he was.
To say that I miss his love is an understatement. When he was alive, Mike introduced me a love that was big, bold, and beautiful. I long to have our love back. And, a piece of me will always desire his love because it is impossible to have been shown a love of this power and immensity and not want more of it – to want it to last forever. Suffice to say, Mike made me a life long fan of love. And, today, like every day, I continue to crave his physical presence in my life.
Simply ‘sensing’ his presence is not the same for me. Continuing to love someone in separation -across dimensions- is possible, but it is different from loving each other in the physical world.
I don’t know much, but I know that Mike still loves me from afar, from wherever he is. But, now, his love is no longer tangible to me. I know that his love has grown deeper since he died; but, now, his love is not something I can experience with all my senses. I struggle because I want his love to still be enough to sustain me – for the rest of my life – but it is not enough. I wish it was. But, it just isn’t. As a human being I need more; and, it is crushing to admit this to myself.
I was 43 years old when Mike took his last breath. I was young. I am still young. And, age aside, I can not imagine living the rest of my life alone. And, this isn’t because I am afraid of being alone. I’m divorced – I’ve chosen to be alone before. And, again, as a widow, I will chose to remain alone unless true love comes for me. But, for reasons I can’t explain, I know that love will find me again one day – in some capacity.
Since Mike died, I’ve accepted that I need a palpable love. I know and respect that some widowed people are content to remain alone. They are satisfied with their choice and I am envious of them in some ways. I often question why I am not completely happy without being in love. I don’t know the answer to this. But, after 602 days, I accept that I need a type of love that the man I love can not give me anymore. I need a love I can taste with my lips. A love I can see with my eyes. A love I can hear with my ears. A love I can touch with my hands. I want to be drunk on a love like this – again- before my life is over.
Mike wants me to be happy. (And, today January of 2022 I can tell you that I am happy once again.)
Mike wants me to live. (And, today, I am living a full life again.)
Mike wants me to love and be loved again. (And, this is true again too.)
I want these things too.
But, this is not easy stuff.
Or, is it?
Outliving your spouse is many things, and simple isn’t one of them.
It is complicated. All sorts of complicated.
But, at the same time, it is actually very straightforward too.
I did not die.
And, neither did you.
I am still breathing.
And, so are you.
It’s that plain.
I can make his death as complicated as I want to, but really it is simple.
Mike died. I didn’t.
Reduced to it’s simplest form, it still remains a lot to process.
Fully realizing the death of the person you love requires lots of hard work. And, at times, accepting the permanence of death is suffocating. This stuff isn’t for the faint of heart. Grief is demanding. Grief insists that you taste pain. It forces you to experience the full flavor of suffering; and, over time, you learn to recognize it’s bitter aftertaste. The robust, pungent flavors or grief must be absorbed again and again, over your lifetime, until they can be properly digested. At first, grief turns your stomach; and with practice, you learn to ingest it with more ease. I don’t think grief ever becomes palatable. Grief is never pleasant; but, with time, and repeated servings, I am finding that it does become more digestable.
Since Mike has died, I have spent a lot of time consuming my grief. I have been connecting to the thoughts inside my head; and more importantly, the thoughts inside my heart. I have asked myself many difficult questions. And, through the clumsiness of grief, I have come up with some answers. And, even more significant, while mulling over my thoughts, I have come up with more questions.
It is unsettling at times to have so much weighing on my mind; but, this is just the way I’m made. I have always thought deeply about things. A well examined life is the type of life I choose to live. It’s not effortless, but I have never been the type who is satisfied with easy living. I want the best. I want my life experiences to match my capabilities. I want to live a life that spreads a smile across my face just thinking about it. I had this life when Mike was alive. And, I know that I will have it again.
Early on, I decided that if I have to live without him, I should still live well. I am not exactly sure how to go about doing this; but, nonetheless, I know that this is what I will accomplish. Since Mike died, I have worked to know myself more deeply. I am consciously attempting to see myself through Mike’s eyes. And, in doing so, I am learning to appreciate and love myself – more. I am beginning to love myself in the way Mike loved me – fully and completely, to the depths of me. With a deeper appreciation of myself and my worth, I am slowly coming back to life. Extending this type of self love to myself is far from easy. It does not come naturally to me; but, I know that the effort will be worth it.
Right now, I am at the end, and I am also at the beginning. It is a daunting place to be because of the uncertainty; and, also because of the magnitude of opportunity. I’ve thought about it, and I am choosing to view this stage of my life as the beginning because although beginnings are uncertain, they are filled with possibilities. And, for right now, my broken heart has to I believe in the magic of new beginnings.
Standing at the beginning of the end,