Olivia Arnold

2 Years: Gone Today and Everyday

Sunday will be 2 years since Mike died. I keep thinking that I am getting it wrong. It can’t possibly be 2 years already. I feel like I just saw him. But then I feel like I haven’t seen him in an eternity. The whole while I still can’t believe I’ll never see him again. I see his picture and I think, “how can I never see him again; that doesn’t make sense; that can’t be right.” It feels surreal. Yet, May 20 marks 2 years since he died.


What to do on the 2 year mark has been on my mind a lot. I don’t really want to make a day of anything or do anything special at all. I just want it to be a regular day that I go about my life and try to do things that make me happy, as I usually do. Maybe go to the gym, go for a hike or a bike ride. I might do something extra nice for myself but that’s about it. That’s what I’d like to do. I know that may come across in a variety of ways. Maybe it seems that I’m insensitive, in denial, like I don’t care, or even that I’ve “moved on.” That’s the reason why I keep contemplating what to do on the 2 year mark - I don’t want to seem like I’m cold or “over it”. That’s not it at all.

To me, it’s another day without Mike. It is my regular. I miss him everyday. As one of my good widow friends says, “he’s not anymore gone on that day.” It’s a day I think about him and miss him but so was the day before and so will be the day after. Maybe if I didn’t think about him all the time it would make sense to me to set aside a day to think about him or even a day to think about the day he died. But that’s not the way my grief works. My mind will involuntarily retrieve every little detail of May 20, 2016 and the emotions that go with it as if it was happening right then whenever it feels like it. I feel like I am there again. I can feel my gasps for air and my heart beating throughout my whole body. I can feel my weakness as I lay on the floor. I remember the phone calls. The morgue.  I can see people’s faces and hear their voices. Everything. It’s imprinted in my mind. It is horrible torture. I can’t remember anything else in my life in so much precise detail as I can that day. So why would I set aside time to do that to myself? It’ll still be there to ruin me for another day.

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Pretty Lucky

I’ve heard that when you feel you are struggling with your writing it is because you are writing what you think you should write instead of what you truly feel. I can’t find the actual quote right now (it was much more eloquent than that) but that idea has been on my mind for a while. Since I saw it really. I’ve wanted to write and share about something but I’ve been nervous. Anxious for a whole bunch of reasons. Nervous that it’s too easy and good to be true. That it’ll soon disappear. Anxious because I’m less cautious than I use to be and although I like it I’m still getting used to myself. Nervous because with change comes emotions and more changes and I’m adjusting.

But at the same time, I want to share. It’s what is on my mind a lot and it’s hard to write about other things when it’s not really what I’m thinking about. I’ve mentioned here and there about it but not really fully shared.

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Doing things a late twenty-something woman does...as a widow. Re-creating my life and identity, being outdoors, adventurous and active, teaching, laughing and crying, and living my new life a little less seriously.
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