It goes without saying that I miss Mike. He was my life companion. My best friend. My lover. My Soul's mate. He was my person. The one who championed me. He was the man who loved me to the depths of my Soul - from the depth of his own.
But, now he is dead. And, I am here missing all that he was.
To say that I miss his love is an understatement. When he was alive, Mike introduced me a love that was big, bold, and beautiful. I long to have our love back. And, a piece of me will always desire his love because it is impossible to have been shown a love of this power and immensity and not want more of it - to want it to last forever. Suffice to say, Mike made me a life long fan of love. And, today, like every day, I continue to crave his physical presence in my life.
Simply 'sensing' his presence is not the same for me. Continuing to love someone in separation -across dimensions- is possible, but it is different from loving each other in the physical world.
I don't know much, but I know that Mike still loves me from afar, from wherever he is. But, now, his love is no longer tangible to me. I know that his love has grown deeper since he died; but, now, his love is not something I can experience with all my senses. I struggle because I want his love to still be enough to sustain me - for the rest of my life - but it is not enough. I wish it was. But, it just isn't. As a human being I need more; and, it is crushing to admit this to myself.
I was 43 years old when Mike took his last breath. I was young. I am still young. And, age aside, I can not imagine living the rest of my life alone. And, this isn't because I am afraid of being alone. I'm divorced - I've chosen to be alone before. And, again, as a widow, I will chose to remain alone unless true love comes for me. But, for reasons I can't explain, I know that love will find me again one day - in some capacity.
Since Mike died, I've accepted that I need a palpable love. I know and respect that some widowed people are content to remain alone. They are satisfied with their choice and I am envious of them in some ways. I often question why I am not completely happy without being in love. I don't know the answer to this. But, after 602 days, I accept that I need a type of love that the man I love can not give me anymore. I need a love I can taste with my lips. A love I can see with my eyes. A love I can hear with my ears. A love I can touch with my hands. I want to be drunk on a love like this - again- before my life is over.
Mike wants me to be happy.
Mike wants me to live.
Mike wants me to love and be loved again.
I want these things too.
But, this is not easy stuff.
Or, is it?
Outliving your spouse is many things, and simple isn't one of them. It is complicated. All sorts of complicated.
But, at the same time, it is actually very straightforward too.
Ringing in the new year without you is something I never want to do. This year, or ever. No matter how much time passes, no matter how my life changes; and no matter where I am standing on New Year's Eve, I know that I will always pause and think of you. I will always want you to still be alive, here with me. And, always, I will want to kiss you at midnight.
I can not find it in me to 'celebrate' another year that you will be missing from my life. New beginnings are bittersweet for me now because part of me always wants to go back to the time when we shared our life together. Moving forward is hard for all people, and it's especially difficult for widowed people. I resist celebrating New Year's day because in my mind it puts more 'distance' between us. The time when you were alive gets further away from me and I feel desperate to somehow return to the life I used to have. When I get nostalgic I feel like my memories are more alive than me. This mindset is dangerous because when you live in the past, you are not present and you are not living the life in front of you. So, today, when you visit the past, go there and remember that:
The life you lived together is still there somewhere, suspended in time, untouched, and unchanged.
What you were to one another, you STILL ARE.
Know that the love you share doesn't disappear just because you can't see them anymore.
In the words of Rumi,
"Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.
Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation"
I am learning that the past doesn't need me to stay there and be a permanent caretaker. It's not going anywhere. I do not need to stay there and tend to it. The past is always there untouched and unaltered. It is there whenever you need it. I visit my past life all the time; but I know that I can not stay there forever. I can not rebuild my life there. That life is over. Maybe if I say it again and again and again I will finally accept it...
I know logically that Mike isn't somewhere hidden in the past; but, still, thirteen and a half months later, I can't stop myself from endlessly searching for him. As I wander looking for him, I know that he won't be found anywhere but in my memory.
I know that Mike is actually here, in the present, "with" me as I move through my life. But, honesty, it feels empty, even when I believe what Rumi says about there being no separation. For me, it is not always enough to have Mike "with" me without his physical presence. I feel badly admitting this because I feel like I'm letting Mike, Rumi and myself down somehow. But, it's the truth... I still desperately wish that Mike could take my hand and lead the way again...
Today we are forced to consider the year ahead; and as difficult as this is, it is necessary.
As you say goodbye to 2017,
Stand still, and listen to the sound of the sun going down.
In that moment hear what is in your heart.
Take your own hand and lead the way...
New Year's Day is a time to reflect on the year that passed; and, more importantly look forward to the possibilities ahead.
Last New Year's Eve was particularly punishing for me because I did not want to say goodbye to the best year of my life. I will always think of 2016 as our vintage year. The year of us. This was the year Mike asked me to be his Wife. We had an accepted offer on our beautiful new house and we were so excited to live together under one roof as husband and wife. The boys were beginning to feel excited about our new life; and, the girls and I were planning weekly family dinners. We were busy creating new traditions that never got a chance to be. We thought we had the rest of our lives ahead of us; then Mike died, and our future died with him.
Last year as the clock struck midnight, I stood alone on a friend's balcony,
I was broken and bewildered.
I looked up at the stars and wondered how the hell the best year of my life had come and gone.
This wasn't real, it didn't feel like this could be true, except it was.
As I began my life without Mike, I felt like I just landed in a foreign country and I could not speak the language. I stood at the baggage claims area and I didn't know where to go from there. I wanted to ask someone for directions. I needed help. But, I was not sure how anyone could help me. Mike was dead, no one could fix that. So, I stood frozen in place for a long time.
Now, just over a year later, I'm standing here alone. I've got my baggage sorted out, but I am still aimless. I still don't really know my destination. Where am I supposed to go? Where the hell do I want to go? Someone, give me directions, please. I don't want to follow the crowds so I guess I will have to figure this out myself. Really, there should be a traveler's guide for widowhood, or an App because nothing prepares you for this new life. Initially, I ...
It's official. Last night, I signed a lease agreement for the rental house. (As you can see, Mike's daughter Shelby is just as excited as I am) So... as of the end of next month, I will be packing up everything I own and moving to Ohio. This whole thing is so surreal and honestly doesn't feel real at all. The house is amazing... twice the size of anything I've ever had. It sits at the end of a beautifully wooded street on the outskirts of town, with small 5 acre farms and little ponds dotting all along the road. For a gal who's only lived in 600 square foot city apartments her whole adult life, it sure is surreal to imagine waking up to a view of trees and gardens and ponds and flowers. In the winter, fields of fresh snow blankets will stretch out several acres from my front door. I can hardly even imagine this little slice of heaven practically jumped into my lap. I've been totally terrifified to move so far from home, but I really do feel like all of this would not be aligning if it wasn't meant to happen. So despite my fears, I am trusting the universe, letting go of the fear, and leaning into it.
So, how does this feel, to be leaving behind the state I have lived in all my life and all the places I built memories with Drew before he died? To be leaving behind my closest friends and some of my family? It felt really sad at first, I've cried a lot in the past few months over the prospect of moving far away. Until I got up here and realized... I'm not leaving any of that behind. We'll still talk all the time, and I'll still be sharing everything that happens on this new adventure with them. And in that way, teveryone back home is always with me. Similarly, Drew is always with me too.Read more