I’m going to get straight to the point. Tomorrow, I am boarding a plane, flying to Texas, packing Sarah’s possessions, and driving her back north to Ohio. I am incredibly excited, anxious, and happy about this.
But, I’m a widower. I have a beautiful 8 year old daughter who has lost her mother. I miss my wife, and I want nothing more than for both Megan AND Sarah to be here. Shelby is the same. She asks multiple times a day “how many more hours until Sarah gets here?”, and in the very next breath, talks about a fun memory with Megan.
I haven't balanced that out yet. As I write this, I am sitting ten feet from Megan’s ashes. I am surrounded by pictures of her, us, and her family. I know she’s gone, but it’s still weird to think that I’d love her to be watching Sarah and I turning the page to a new chapter. I can only imagine her joy when she sees how Shelby’s face lights up when the three of us are doing something.
I did not have any friends that Megan didn’t like. She became friends with most of them herself. Some of them arguably were closer with Megan than they were with me. She was always an expert at telling me to invite friends over or getting me to go out with them, because she knew that we would all have a great time, with her usually being the keystone to it all. She would arrange nights out with my friends, because they were her friends as well.
And now, Sarah is my best friend, just as Megan was. That’s what makes this move, life, and love so damned confusing sometimes. Megan will never have the chance to become friends with Sarah, just as I will never have the chance to become friends with Drew. I know that the two of them would be close, probably united in talking about (and making fun of) my weird idiosyncrasies. More often than not, that is the thought that creeps into my head when I think about Megan not being here, that the two of them have to miss out on a wonderful friendship.
The fact of the matter though, is that this week, my focus is not on how much I miss Megan, or wishing she could meet Sarah. It’s not on mourning her loss, being angry at the card she was dealt in life with her disease, or even remembering fun times the two of us shared together. I am sharply focused on making sure everything is in order for Sarah’s move, and being excited that I will be seeing her in a little more than 24 hours. There is a piece of me that feels incredibly guilty, as if I SHOULD be missing Megan and grieving her loss right now. To be frank and gut-wrenchingly honest, there is no grief this week...there's just not, because there's no room for it. The excitement of bringing Sarah home is overwhelming any and all other emotions. I refuse to feel guilty about being happy.
But, I know Megan is lurking anyway. I am always acutely aware of that. She’s watching all of this, and I feel like she’s enjoying it. In a sense, this is just as big a deal for her as it is for me. She might not be able to interact with us physically, but what I’m coming to realize is that her influence, love, and legacy have been interacting with us the whole time. Perhaps that’s why it has been so easy to not grieve her loss. I’m by no means “fixed” or “over it”, and I never will be, but it’s becoming more apparent that I haven’t lost her.
This is the beginning of a new chapter in Megan’s book as well; one that she has been ghostwriting posthumously through me. I can't wait to read it.