I have now lived four years and one day without him… There isn’t a lot I can say about this. It is a fact. I have continued on without Mike. I have done what I did not think I could do. I live and he is dead. *Sigh.
All of this madness seems impossible – even four years later. I don’t think time will ever right the facts in my head or in my heart. But, with lots of hard work, I have accepted his deadness because I have no other choice. *Sigh (again).
It is ironic, Mike dying has forced me to see myself in the light he saw me in. With this reflection, I now have the ability to fiercely love myself – the way he once did. What a wonderful way to honor the big love he had for me. In his absence, I can love myself wholly and madly for him and because of him. This is how Mike’s love lives on in me. This is big, powerful stuff.
Loving me so completely and unconditionally, Mike unknowingly gifted me the ability to love myself. By loving me, he taught me how to be loved and “be” love. This gift of self love remains with me, even when he is gone. And, in this way Mike’s love for me is everlasting.
I have been loved more fiercely than most human beings are loved. I was completely spoiled by Mike’s love. And, in retrospect, I realize that the whole thing between us is really bigger than me or Mike. Him loving me has given me the ability to be the love others need. He taught me everything I need to know about love. He showed me real, true love; and, now, without him, I minister love to others. And, I also nurture myself with self love using the lessons Mike taught me about love. The gift of loving him is enormous. And, after four long years, I am finally beginning to understand the immense power of his love.
I am learning to love ourselves might be the most important love affair of our lives.
Yes, I miss him, but it is more than just missing Mike now. I miss what he brought to my life and who I was when he was alive. And, it bothers me that without him, I seem unable to manufacture my own sense of happiness. I miss all that I was when I was his. I miss sharing my life with a man who utterly adored me. I miss being wildly and madly in love. I miss all the richness Mike brought to my life. I miss the woman I was when he walked the Earth by my side. And, I hate that it is so ridiculously hard to live without him. But, I am doing it because I was not given a choice. We are all persisting and living forward because life demands that of us, but it sure is weighty stuff wouldn’t you agree.
Fulfilling my obligations and responsibilities is one thing, but living forward with real purpose and joy is another. I can’t seem to move forward in a meaningful way and this makes me disappointed and frustrated. I have grown tired of grief stealing my life and, in year five, I refuse to allow this tragedy to continue.
Thankfully, my grief is becoming less powerful. My grief is less consuming now. I have learned to incorporate the sadness into my life – into my being. Today, as I write to you, it has been exactly four years to the day since Mike died. On this day, I am not drowning in sadness like I have in years past. Today, I am just existing with the same amount of emptiness that always exists inside me since he died. Four years later, Mike continues to be dead. And, sadly, this feels normal to me now…
Today, I did notice that Mike’s death date has shrunk in power. Now, my grief has evolved into something much more personal than just missing Mike. These days, much of what I grieve has become about me. I no longer simply miss Mike the man. I also desperately miss the woman I was when he was alive.
It’s enough to say that as I enter year five, my grief is about the loss of my self identity. My loss of direction. My loss of belonging. My grief is all mine now. In short, I miss who I was and who I had the potential to be when he was alive. I miss living a full and fulfilling life. My grief has evolved and grown into a “grief of my own”. My grief is not just for Mike, but for me too. My grief has come full circle. It has come back to rest with me as I begin my fifth year without him.
I recognize that there is a lot of untapped potential inside me. And, I know that a good portion of my strengths survived his death; but, still, I mourn deeply for the parts of me that are now absent and not as easily assessable. I write to you with a full appreciation of my capabilities; but, with the very same pen, I concurrently mourn the loss of some very lovely parts of who I used to be as a human being. Mike’s Girl was a wonderful person and I miss her a lot.
However, the woman Mike loved is gone now. She vanished just like he did. There is no escaping it. When he died, big parts of me also disappeared with him. The foundation of who I was still exists, but the way I had to put myself back together, in order to survive Mike’s death, has permanently altered who I am. I used grit and tenacity to rebuild myself, but the way I put myself back together is different. I still resemble myself; but, inside, I had to change things because the pieces just would not fix together like before.
It has been hard, but I have accepted that there is no returning to who I was. In the fifth year of widowhood that is before me, I will try to focus on who I am becoming. I will continue recreating myself. And, I will work to become more comfortable with who I am. While I become this new woman, I recognize that both my potential and lost possibilities coexist inside me. This is one of the hallmarks of widowhood. Another dualism I acknowledge is that both grief and hope can coexist in the same heart.
This old heart of mine is betting the house on hope,