So, almost exactly 6 years after my husband's sudden death, and after about 2 years of endless dating and even more endless heartache, I have met someone. Not just someone. THE one. Or, as Michele refers to love after loss: "my next great love." He has finally arrived, and isn't it about damn time?
It is very early on in our relationship (2 weeks and 2 days, to be exact), but neither of us has ever experienced this type of "knowing" that it's love, or this kind of intense and yet HEALTHY chemistry. Feelings have developed fast, but nothing feels rushed or forced or unnatural in any way. Plus, it is the kind of relationship where we both are inspired by the other to strive to be the very best version of ourselves that we can be. He is not widowed, but he knows of loss. He has had multiple losses in his life, and hardships, and so we are both in this place of experiencing new things together. For the first time.
Its such a strange feeling. I have been in love before. My husband was my best friend, my forever love. But I am different now. I have crawled out of the grief of this loss as a different person than the one I was when I married Don. Pieces of me still exist, sure. The core of me is there. But so much about me is darker. More aware. More enlightened. Empathetic. No tolerance for people who dont support me. No patience for anyone who doesnt have my back. A deep appreciation for life as we know it, and for tiny little moments, which are actually the stuff of life.
So, new love, THIS love, feels different. It IS different. I am in it, with the awareness that things and people I love can vanish into thin air and disappear into nothing, any time they feel like it and for no reason whatsoever. I feel every kiss, every sadness, every hug, every bite of ice-cream, every note of music, with all the fragments and corners of my soul. I say the words "I love you" over and over and over. I cant stop. I just want to keep saying it, because what if one day, I cant? What if, one morning, I wake up, and there are no more I love you's to say? What if this insane joy all goes away, before we even get a chance to live it? All of this terrifies me. But I cant let it rule my world. It took me this long to get to this place. It took years to be able to feel this kind of love again, and also, for the very first time.
And Im going to sit with it,
and marinade in it,
for a very long time to come.