In a few weeks we will hit the four year mark of Mike's death. Four years. On that day I will have survived 1,460 days without him.
I only got 5040 days with him.
Life for those of us left behind continues to speed by. Some days I panic a little that grief has stolen so much time. Then I realize how much grief has taught me, and how much I have grown during this period.
Life is beautiful. But it is also ugly and painful. Mike resisted the ugly parts when I was with him, and he taught me to see, experience and relish the beautiful. But I have seen so much ugly again since he died.
Many friends have been asking me what my plans are now for my life. I tell them, well, this year, I am limbo girl. Before I travel back to Kona in early March I will have been here in Virginia helping deal with my dad's decline, and the resulting changes for my mom, for two and a half months. That's a pretty long time, and it doesn't even count the six weeks I was here last fall. But I am blessed to have connected with family and some truly beautiful friends while I have been here. And when I get back to Kona I will be again with more beautiful friends, but also dealing with more potentially ugly and difficult things like losing my house, packing up to move, figuring out how to deal with my dogs, and my relationship.
Inside, I am fighting the ugly. I spend time each day savoring the possibility of beautiful, for my future. I am still discovering the new person that is being born to experience a brand new chapter of life. In middle age, I will be moving thousands of miles away from the place I shared for so many years with Mike. I will be embarking on a new career, in a new city, hopefully meeting new people and finding new things to enjoy. Mike taught me a lot about visualization and abundance. That it is about tuning in, not about something we acquire. Plentitude can be there for us if we choose to see it. It is definitely a skill to practice, because in our world of haves and have nots, we are barraged with messages that we are not enough, and do not have enough. And having this type of loss on top of all of that can make it even more of a challenge.
He also taught me a way to live by walking on the path in front of us, even if it is not the path we imagined. That what seems like the wrong way can end up being the right way, if we allow ourselves to see it. Lemons into lemonade, silver linings and all that. We plan and God laughs. Let go, let God. Allowing the divine to move in us and around us instead of struggling to control everything.
That's not always easy either without him around to remind and coach me, but my skills are getting better again. So, I choose to see limbo land as an opportunity. Possibilities are wide open. I have time to work on myself and the person I want to become and what I want to give out into the world. I already notice that I am much stronger than I was a few years ago. I know more clearly what I want, and I know there are certain things I want to change - and I feel strong enough now to stand my ground. And I know there are other things I cannot change.
A work in progress? Definitely. Miss you, Mike. And thank you to all my friends and family who continue to support me in this time of transition.