Sometimes the tears sneak up on you. Sometimes you are just going about your morning, having a cup of coffee, watching the news, having no thoughts in particular to the past or about missing anyone… and suddenly something goes right into that wound and touches it. Touches the loss in a way that makes you erupt in tears.
This very thing happened to me this morning, when reading our Friday Writer and my good friend Kelley’s post here. It was this part, so eloquently written, that got me:
“... And still, at the end of each day, no matter how long it's been, how happy I may be, or how much life keeps spinning - it always comes back to this: You are not here, and I miss you.
Still. Forever. Always.
The missing of you lives inside me, in the same way that stars light up and live in the sky. It's just there, like a baby napping or a child wanting ice-cream. It's there in the same way that all familiar things remain, and yet, it's depth and it's hurt still surprise me every time. For love does not end. It only begins, and then begins again, over and over, taking new and different forms. I love you. I love you today, tomorrow, and for many lifetimes into the future, where I will miss you still.”
I broke into tears when reading this. I’ll admit, it took me by surprise to feel so strongly out of nowhere. No matter how many times it happens, it always surprises me and leaves me amazed I had so much inside that needed to come out. But that’s what triggers do - they touch something deep inside us that likely needed a release. And they always seem to leave us blindsided or, in the least, surprised.
So there I am, crying into my coffee profusely and feeling almost ridiculous given that I was totally fine moments before. Plain and simple, I missed Drew, and her post made me realize it. It did not make me want my current life less. It was just… there.
My life is good now. Not easy, or simple, but good. It is filled with new joy and new love, new challenges and new adventures. I love the life I am sharing with Mike and truly feel that he is the person Drew chose to be in my life now. I also love the person I have become and the other people that have come into my life since Drew’s death. I wouldn’t want to trade any of it. But I will always miss that life, and him, sometimes still to the point of tears. As Kelley said, I love him. Today, tomorrow, and for all my lifetimes into the future, I will love and miss him.
Even though I have been dealing with loss and grief nearly all my life, I am still learning. I am still learning how deep both the pain and the love run. As soon as those tears began to pour out of me, I realized that I have been so busy living life lately that I haven’t really slowed down long enough to feel certain deeper parts of my sadness. In a way, that is miraculous, because there was a time that this very sadness took up every last cell of me… it was all I could feel. It filled my lungs and was all I could breathe. Somehow, almost 4 years later, the sadness is now something that sneaks up on me in quieter moments in between the busyness of new adventures. And I should think, this is how he would want it to be.
I called Mike in tears this morning, telling him that I just really missed Drew. He reassured me, and comforted me. As we talked a little while, I realized the most painful part now is that I cannot actually show Drew this life. He always hoped for me to be living the sort of life I am now. He did all he could in his time here to support me making a transition to being an artist. He bought me my camera, and most of the lenses I still use every day. He assisted me whenever I needed it and believed in me even when I didn't. And though I am still in the early stages of a career as an artist, it is one of the most heartbreaking parts to not share with him. I hate that cannot ever again call up my best friend and share with him all of the happiness that is now in my life. Happiness that I know he wants for me.
I swear, sometimes there is still a part of me that forgets that I can’t just call him again… and when she remembers she can’t, there is such sadness. What I wouldn’t give for just one more phone call to share all the wondrous adventures that his death has taken me on these years. I know he's still here, in me, in everything. I know he is connected to it all. But sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes I still just want to pick up the phone and hear the sound of my best friend smiling proudly on the other side.