Today marks what would have been A’s 51st birthday, our 32nd spent together. (It would have been our 33rd had it not been for a trip to London with my then 15 y.o. daughter and her friend about 8 years ago.) I knew this day was looming and have been trying to prepare myself, yet here it is and I feel so completely caught off guard. No matter how I tried to brace myself, the closer it got, the more raw I became, and the tears have been hovering just below the surface ready to break free with any minor provocation. The last 24 hours or so, it has been difficult to hold them back.
Although it has been several weeks since I’ve cried for most of my commute, or immediately upon waking, that is precisely where I am right now. Even though I understand where it is coming from, I can’t help but feel I’ve gone backwards in the process. I know this isn’t true, and I honestly recognize how far I’ve come and that this is a minor setback – not even a setback, really, but more of a speedbump, a slight detour, a pit stop, maybe – but this heavy-hearted feeling is so unwanted.
It’s as if I have spent months suffering through a seemingly endless Winter and had finally witnessed the first signs of Spring when suddenly hit with another bitter snowstorm. When you’re smack-dab in the middle of months of brutal cold you generally aren’t thrilled, but you bear down and get through it. Then one day you look around and realize the days have become a bit brighter. A bit warmer. You realize that the worst may be behind you. You hope it is. Then when another cold snap reaches out with icy fingers, it is somehow worse because you had begun to remember what the warmth felt like.
Perhaps it’s because I was starting to feel quasi-normal again that this almost feels more difficult to accept. I’ve been in some deep, dark places these past months; I know how they felt, how I felt… and I don’t want to go back there. It’s almost as if I’m more cautious and apprehensive about the pain because I know what it did to me.
When this whole thing was foisted upon me, I really didn’t know what to expect. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting anything. It was thrust upon me and I was simply experiencing, trying to survive and keep my head above water. It was more of me clinging to the life raft and praying to make it through. Now that I see the swirling rapids ahead of me again, the prospect of having to hang on again has me exhausted from the sheer thought, knowing everything that was taken out of me the last time around.
I know “this, too, shall pass” and I shall be better for it. I’m trying to truly accept that my scars will make me uniquely magnificent. Everything I have already been through, am experiencing right now, and will encounter in the future will influence who am I to become. Every crack, every slice, each hurt and pain inflicted on my battered, hollow heart will leave behind an impression, a mark, a permanent reminder that I am not the same person I was a year ago. I may have been broken, but when I heal and where I mend, there will be strength and beauty. My heart will be filled with scars, which prove not only what I have endured, how I shattered, but the love that was strong enough to ensure I do not remain that way.
I am headed toward a “new” me. Not necessarily a better version, not necessarily a worse version; merely a different one. I will get through this day. And the next. And the first Christmas without him, the first New Year, the day the will mark his first year gone from us. And we will experience new firsts – first wedding, first grandchild and the like. But no matter what we do from here on out, there will always be a sad, sweet, empty place in our hearts that can never be entirely filled until we can all be together again.
Until then, “my gorgeous hunk of male Greekness”, know that I love you and wish you love, happiness and peace…
© 2016 Many Faces of Cheri G All Rights Reserved