Grief by far is one of the most inconsistent, frustrating, and unpredictable experiences I have ever had to endure. Don’t get me wrong I have experienced grief in the past as a result of deaths, break-ups, and other various reasons but never to this level.
Friday was May 20th, three months since Nick died. These anniversary days are proving to be tough because all it does is reminds me that more time has passed, and Nick is still gone. I spent the day in a chair with my feet up and my arm out while a tattoo artist created a memorial piece in honor of Nick. This experience was very much like a counseling session, and I found the pain quite therapeutic. The tattoo is nowhere close to being finished, but I can already tell this is something I needed for part of my healing. I wake up every day telling Nick how much I love him and how much I will always love him, and I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than have it marked permanently on my skin.
After my appointment was finished, I made the trip back home to Medicine Hat for the May Long family bash. I don’t want to say I wasn’t looking forward to it because I love my family, but traveling back without Nick is, and will always be, so painful. The whole drive home I kept thinking about the topics we may have discussed if Nick was still alive such as our upcoming wedding and plans for babies and so on and so on. The last time all of us girls were together (before the funeral of course) was in January when we were wedding dress shopping. The last time we had a family get together, I was trying on and showing off beautiful dresses and this time, I am showing off my memorial tattoo for my dead fiance who will never actually get to see that dress. If you have never experienced this type of shift in your life, you will never truly understand how hard it is to adjust to what is supposed to be your “new normal.”
I managed to get through the first day of the family get together and only shed a few tears. I realized how lucky I am to have still so many people in my life that I love and who are alive and well. Part of the reason I didn’t want to bail on this event was that I for one know how quickly things can change in our lives, and I did not want to miss out on something that could potentially cause me regrets later on. I know some people want to ignore the reality that our time could be coming sooner than we think, but this is something that I wonder about every day because I have experienced that last goodbye and it is now very apparent to me how we just never really know. I enjoyed some snuggles with all the babies and even chased my cousins and nephew around in the dark with glow in the dark silly string. Note to self, do no buy glow in the dark silly string from the dollar store. But it was fun.
The first day went okay but this morning I woke up in an entirely different emotional state. I missed Nick so much. I miss Nick every day of course, but there are days when the physical ache is so much more excruciating. On these days I lay in bed, and I replay the words, “Nick didn’t make it”, over and over in my head and although I know I need just to get up and try to carry on with my day, I just can’t pull myself together. I think about how five months from now Nick and I would have been married and enjoying our honeymoon in Nashville, and instead, I am trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life and my thoughts are overwhelming. The scariest part is this is something I have to walk alone.
The one thing that I have been reading a lot about lately is what happens to our souls after we die? What is the meaning of all of this? Why is Nick gone and I am left here to pick up the millions of broken pieces that our now my life? Why do my days have to be so unpredictable and painful when this was supposed to be the best year of my life? I have read a lot about different religions over the last three months, and I am going to be quite honest, a lot of that religious stuff doesn’t make any sense to me and usually leaves me with an uneasy feeling.
Some of what I have been reading has been more focused on what angel readers and mediums have shared from their experiences and the experiences of their clients. Let me make it clear before I go any further that I strongly believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and I am quite certain many people will read this and think Meg has officially gone crazy, and that is okay.
The one thing I have learned from the widows groups I am in is that everyone has their own individual way of coping and sometimes that involves religious or spiritual beliefs and sometimes it doesn’t. This is something that widows and other people who have experienced devastating loss completely understand and accept because we are walking through this and we know how painful it is. We understand how important it is to find something that works for you and something that brings you peace.
I read something recently that reiterates how important it is that we “believe” what makes us comfortable and at peace. A medium was talking about what she has learned from spirits, and that is that our souls may know when we’re close to death, and the memo can slip through the conscious mind. This made sense to me. Did Nick’s soul know he was going to die? Many of us who spent time with Nick the week leading up to his death have pondered this question multiple times. Sometimes our lives get busy, and we often put off doing certain things until the weekend or until we have more time. The week before he died Nick made an effort to see and talk to as many of his close friends as he possibly could. Coincidence? I don’t particularly believe in coincidence but I do know this made a world of a difference for those who got to see him.
Another thing I read from a book written by a medium is that our souls visit this earth to learn certain lessons and that we choose a pre-determined window of time where we will leave and go back to heaven. (I am sure this is where many of you are thinking I am nuts). This also made sense to me and not only did the book say we choose when we visit earth and how many times we will visit, but we have the ability to choose who we visit the earth with.
When Nick and I met, we instantly felt like we had known each other forever. I remember talking about this on multiple occasions because we never felt the awkward stage or the need to try and really “impress” each other, we just sort of worked. Nick and I were born on the same day only hours a part and when I read this idea that our souls choose when we enter earth and with who, it made sense to me, and it made me smile.
The mediums also say that our loved one’s souls are always with us, and they know what is going on.
I guess what I am trying to say is, this is your life and when you go through something traumatic you enter “survival” mode, at which point you need to find something that makes sense to you, and that helps you feel peace otherwise you won’t make it. If you want to believe that we all turn into butterflies and just fly around until the end of time, go for it. If someone else wants to believe, we just go into the ground, and our souls become non-existent than that is your right, and I will support you.
“What happens next” is something I have struggled with right since the beginning of this journey because the thought of Nick no longer being with me causes me extreme anxiety. On days like today when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and stop breathing, the one thing that always gets me through is knowing that Nick will give me time to cry and feel the pain of missing him, but he will only let it go on for so long. I know and “believe” that he has learned whatever lesson it is he was supposed to learn and now he is going to walk with me while I learn mine.
At the end of the day, no one “really” knows what is going to happen when are time reaches the end but for now, this is what works for me, and if it is all nonsense then I guess I will find out when the time comes.
May 20th entry on my Calendar from Nick reads as follows:
“Your purpose may not always be obvious, but always remember that you do have a purpose.” -Rodney Williams-
I don’t believe in coincidences either … Your thoughts and courage to share I hope can bring you moments of peace during your journey. I also believe loved ones are always close to us during those travels providing us their strength when we don’t think we can find our own and reminding us of how present their love will always be.