Fall is heavy for me because it reminds me that Mike’s death date is coming soon. But, really, what does it matter. Mike is dead. He isn’t going to become more dead; but, then again, he sort of does with each passing year. I guess maybe this is what is supposed to happen. I don’t feel badly or particularly sad about this the way I used to the first few years. Now, I see it as part of the evolution of grief.
Life is for the living.
Mike had his life.
And, now I need to focus on mine.
Only he died in 2016.
It would be a tragedy if I buried myself too.
This November 15th it will be four years that I have walked the Earth without Mike. Huh, wow. That is a significant amount of time. Without him, I am finding my stride, but I still don’t have a bounce to my step. I miss him. And, as the years come and I go, I realize that I miss him – even when I don’t. If I am breathing, I miss him. It is not something I choose to do, rather it is just part of life for me. *Sigh. I miss Mike and it shows in everything I do.
So, now what? All this missing doesn’t do a damn thing. I wish I could stop missing him, but I can’t. Maybe I need to stop fighting the missingness. I am starting to realize that time won’t change it. I will miss Mike for the rest of my life. I have to learn to live with this. And, thankfully, I am getting more and more proficient at missing him while I go about my life.
Despite all this, I still can’t seem to find my groove. I can’t get comfortable in my new life. Sure, I have come a long way since 2016 when he suddenly just vanished from my life; but, without him, I have been unable to recreate any type of sustained happiness or joy. I have had joy filled days and happy moments, but nothing lasts. Underlying everything, there is a pervasive emptiness within me. I am trying to rebuild my life around this hollowness and this is no easy task. Nevertheless, I am trying. And, I will keep trying until all my trying results in the creation of a big, beautiful life. But, fuck, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am exhausted. Recreating a life for myself, right in the middle of a fairytale that was beautifully unfolding, is an exercise of grit and grace that is for certain.
All summer long I have felt unmoored. I feel like I am drifting without any real purpose or destination. I haven’t felt this unsettled since the first couple years; and I hate it. As I am coming closer to his death date, I feel completely untethered again. I wonder if this process will ever end. Will I ever stop skimming through life? Will I ever be able to wholly engage in living. Will I ever be able to feel content again? I guess time will tell.
Part of my struggle is that I feel disappointed that I have not been successful in reestablishing happiness again after almost four years. Maybe my expectations are too high. I really thought I would be further ahead than I am… Outliving Mike is easily the hardest thing I have ever done. I am learning that I can not get my ducks in a row just because that is what I want. Reestablishing myself from the wreckage of our shared life is proving to be an elaborate process. But, I am learning a lot about myself as I claw my way back to life. As a student of life, it’s been a rich education.
I started my blog by mentioning the changing of the season; and, maybe, that is partly what is drawing emphasis to these feelings of discontent inside me. Or, maybe, it’s that at nearly four years, I am exhausted and I can not believe my lack of “progress” in this mess. Early on, I had no idea how much fortitude outliving Mike would require. And, I naively I thought that I’d be further ahead than I am by now. The truth is, I know that I have come a long way and there is still a ways to go. I accept that I can not have my old life back, so I focus on what I can do. I concentrate on the relaunch of myself. There are endless possibilities ahead for me and this excites me and fills me with hope. Mike used to tell me, “one day Stace, you will wake up and ask yourself what you want to do and the answer will be anything you want”. Well, bring it on. I am more than ready to live my best life. Once upon a time, a really good man told me that life can be “anything you want”. It’s about time I test his words. Wish me luck as I push forward with my relaunch. I know that Mike would love the “rebranding” of myself and my life that I have been working on. It is past time I put it all to the test…