It’s almost the end of the year. In a few days, it will be the 8th time I have welcomed a new year that Drew will not be alive to share in. The years have now stretched on for so long that it has all become so surreal. Eight years used to be something I was so afraid of. That first year or two, I could not fathom being 8 years away from him. Having that kind of distance of time between us. It felt so painful to think of the fact that I had absolutely no power to stop the distance of time from becoming greater and greater.
Now, on the eighth year I am about to embark on since his death, it doesn’t feel painful. It doesn’t feel like there is a greater distance between us at all. In some way, over time, I feel as though I’ve settled into a new relationship with him, and once I arrived there, I have not felt greater distance from him through the new years. I believe 100% that he still exists, in some other form, and that he is still present very often. His death changed our relationship, but it did not end it. And that is solidly what I feel…
Over time, I suppose I’ve let my active imagination create a story that works for me. And that story is that we live different lives, in different realms, and on occasion our worlds do overlap. On days when I see signs or feel him near, I know those are the days that our worlds have moved closer to one another. Like two planets that orbit the same sun, every so often our paths cross in the vastness of space. There is some comfort for me in that idea.
Over these years, I have found an acceptance with the way our relationship is now. It may have to do with losing my mother when I was young – I created, as a child, the same ideas about her. I believed that she was guiding me, watching me, and every now and again that she was closer by. I think I took those same childlike ideas and adapted them to my relationship with Drew when he died. For that, perhaps, I can be thankful to my mom, for the things that she taught me after she died have become invaluable to me all these years later. With that in mind, its hard not to believe that those we love who have died continue to teach us lessons and influence our lives for the entirety of our days. My mom died in 1991, and she is still teaching me. In that way, I know that even though Drew died now almost 8 years ago, he is also still teaching me. His death is teaching me as is his life.
So I never quite feel like I am bringing in a new year “without” Drew. Or my mom or dad. I will always wish I could embrace them physically. See their smiles and hear their laughter. There will always be parts of them that I will miss. But there are also always be parts of them that will never, ever leave me. And on this New Years Day, I will imagine their worlds orbiting closer to mine once more.