I was so happy in my marriage that when I look back and remember that time, it almost seems surreal.
My incredible wedding day, filled with so much love, feels like a dream to the point where I start to wonder if it actually happened. A beautiful, delicious dream that had me walking on air for 45 days. I'd found a soul mate and we'd made the perfect match.
I was still getting used to this incredible feeling of being so blessed when I lost Dan to depression and it was all ripped away. The bubble popped.
You know that feeling how when you have something so wonderful, that you can't help but be scared of losing it? To the point where it distracts you from actually enjoying it. And then when you do happen lost it - for whatever reason - there's almost a sense of relief that you don't have to be afraid anymore? Well I think a tiny part of me never believed it would be possible for us to be as happy as we were.
It was almost unfair, we had it that good. I would wonder sometimes how I'd fall back to earth. Would we have infertility issues? Would we come up against financial hardship? Would our house burn down? If so, regardless of what our challenge was, I knew we'd deal with it. We'd be happy with each other and focus on our blessings. But I couldn't shake the fear... what would it be that popped our bubble?
I convinced myself there'd be a car accident. I lectured Dan about the dangers of using his phone while driving and beg him to be safe. The day he didn't come home from work I immediately suspected this is what had happened and called the police to ask if there'd been any accidents involving my husband.
I never thought I'd lose him to suicide. Even when he was diagnosed with depression four weeks before he died and I knew he wasn't well, I couldn't consider that he would reach a place so dark. But when the police came to my house that night, many hours later, and shattered my heart with those devastating words - a little voice said 'there you go, there it is' and the other shoe dropped.
What was it that made me believe I didn't deserve to be that happy? I'm a good person, I'd waited a long time for Dan. I'd paid my dues, put in the hard yards as the single girl at the party, waiting for the right boy to ask her to dance.
This is what bugs me now. We were good people. This was not a fair and I shouldn't have to assume that being ridiculously happy has to come with some kind of penalty or pay off. I don't want to worry, every time things look up for me, that some kind of morbid, cruel karma is going to come along and take me down a peg or two.
Maybe I just wasn't used to the level of joy and security. If we'd been given longer, years, decades, maybe I would have stopped feeling so uneasy in my good fortune and settled in to a sense of stability. I hope I have that opportunity again in the future to feel that level of happiness that Dan instilled in me. And I hope I have a longer period of time to enjoy it and grown comfortable with it and learn that it doesn't have to come with conditions or an expiry.