In just a few weeks, I will be hitting the three-year mark of that horrible day when my best friend and the love of my life died. Suddenly. Without warning. As that day comes to pass, I will have also begun a new chapter of this journey - of living more time on this earth with him dead than I shared with him alive.
I have wondered for three years now what this will be like. How will it affect me? Will it send me spinning again? Will the holidays and special events have a new kind of sting to them that I have not yet felt? Will the triggers become more intense again? I don't have the answers to any of this yet. All I can do is wonder, and trust that if I've made it this far, I can conquer the great big unknowns that are to come.
I have been going over old blog posts today and marveling at the what I am finding there. Very seldom have I gone back to read all the many words I have spent hundreds of tireless hours recording. This one in particular, in reference the the image above, had me in tears:
“Decades from now, when someone wants to know how I became who I am - it is this picture that I will show. It shows the death of both of us… and it shows the tender beginning moments of the woman that I would go on to become… that I am becoming day by day.
Whenever I lose sight of everything I've been through or begin to be too hard on myself for not being stronger or doing better… this is the photo that puts everything back into perspective for me and reminds me of exactly the woman I am dealing with, and to be gentle with her heart… for she has endured enough and needs only and absolutely love - now and forevermore.”
It has been a year and a half since I wrote that piece... and cried for how deeply and clearly it reminded me. I cried for how bluntly it showed me myself. For this is the same woman I have put immense pressure on and been far too hard on for the past year or so. And for what? All because I haven't “figure out” my new life yet? How undeserving she has been of all this pressure.
It was a rude awakening for me to remember to be kind to myself and to honor this difficult path... particularly as I reach the three-year mark and begin to go forward on yet another leg of the journey. Hopefully, it will be a reminder for someone else too. Be kind to yourself, and do not forget how difficult a journey you are on.