This week, I have been clearing and cleaning the home that I shared with my beloved husband, and, in doing so, I have rummaged through the drawers and boxes that contain the artefacts of his life. I have given away his posters and much of the artwork that hung on our walls. I have let go of his record collection. I have organised his seemingly endless myriad of computer bits and wires and mouses and cables.
I have been unable to go through this process, until now.I knew that it would resurrect the poignant and painful memories of our life together, and, until now, even the thought of going through his things would send me into a swirl of sorrow.
But I am getting the house ready for painting and sanding, and it felt like the right time to organise a bit, and create some order.
Sorting through the remnants of our love has been difficult and sweet. It has brought forth memories that I have set aside, in order to function. It has filled my heart with his presence. It has reminded me of how much I have lost.
I have gone through a myriad of emotions the past few days. Mike is down this weekend visiting me from Ohio... it is the first time he is meeting my family and a lot of my closest friends. It's one of those big and bittersweet and totally surreal steps forward. Even more so because he is coming for a special event – an annual camping trip that my friends and I have each year in honor of my late-fiance, Drew. It's so surreal to be inviting a new man to this particular event... and to be camping for the first time with someone new too.
For those who don't know, this is my first relationship since my fiance Drew died 3 years ago. Mike and I have been dating long-distance now for several months after meeting at Camp Widow – both of us widowed. We've had a few trips together, one in which my mother-in-law was able to meet and spend a day with him, but this is the first time one of us is entering the other's home turf. IT. IS. STRANGE. And beautiful. And heartbreaking. And surreal. All in the same breath.
I’ve spent the past week at a holistic healing and yoga retreat in Bali, Indonesia and planned to tell you all about it today. It was an incredible week. I’m still processing everything that happened and trying to work out how to put it in to words.
On top of that, my 6-hour flight home landed in Brisbane at 4:45am this morning so I haven’t slept a wink (seriously, who are these people who can sleep sitting up on planes, surrounded by strangers!?) so it’s proving challenging even stringing a coherent sentence together.
I’m tired, emotional, a little shell-shocked and don’t yet feel ready to summarise my week at the retreat. Therefore, I’m going to abandon that plan and talk instead about how freaking incredible it felt to drag my sleepy arse through the exit gates of the Brisbane International Airport at such an un-Godly hour this morning to see the huge arrival hall empty… except for one person. My incredible sister, who had set her alarm for 4:30am so that I would be met by a friendly face.