Nine months. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. It was around this time I was wandering around my kitchen asking myself why I had such a bad feeling. I actually said out loud, “why do I feel like this.” It wasn’t long after that when I received the news.
“The boys were in an Avalanche.”
How do you move forward? How do you ever accept losing the love of your life? How do you ever feel happy again? Here are nine things I have learned in the last nine months:
1. Love is healing and far more valuable than money and material things. I have had truly horrific days and didn’t think I would make it through, and not once was it something tangible that I owned that helped me through it. Each time I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed, or couldn’t put food in my mouth, or couldn’t make it through another painful day, it was love from others that lifted me up. Somedays all it took was to see the tears on their face to understand how much they loved me and why it was so important that I dig deep for the strength I needed to hold on. Love is what directs our lives in a positive direction, and I am so blessed to have so much of it in my life. My heart is full, and I have so much love to share with those who need it.
2. I have little control over most things. I have been given so many black roses in the last nine months and some days all I can say is, “are you fucking kidding me? When am I going to catch a break?” I say that, and usually, as soon as I say it I feel guilty because who am I? Why shouldn’t I have some hardships in life? I am not alone; there are so many people who are dealt just as shitty cards as I have been dealt and some much worse. But the truth is that isn’t enough to make a person feel better. It is still my life, and it has been so fucking hard. But at the end of the day, I do not have any control over what I am dealt; I only have control over how I respond. Today was okay but tomorrow will be better. That is my mantra each night. It’s the only thing that keeps me going.
3. Once you experience true pain, you are capable of experiencing true happiness. I am not saying you have to experience pain before you can experience happiness. What I am saying is, for me, I feel everything so much deeper now. Love, happiness, laughter. All those emotions I feel so incredibly different now. Sometimes I can’t name what I am feeling, but when I have a day where I am excited, happy, and motivated, I take a moment to honor that. After you have experienced pain that is so crippling to the point you want to end it all, you begin to really appreciate the days where that pain is replaced with hope and joy.
4. The present moment is all that matters. You are not your past, and you are not your future, YOU ARE NOW. This is probably one of the most important lessons I have learned and one that I have to remind myself of every day. I have had so many days where I feel like giving up, where I feel like none of this is worth it. Then minutes later, or hours later, or the next day, something amazing happens, or I receive a phone call or a text message, and everything changes. People like to say take one day at a time, and sometimes I say that too, but sometimes I think taking one hour at a time is a bit more realistic on those extra hard days. One bad day does not define your whole life, and neither does one bad experience.
5. Loss can bring unexpected blessings. I think I have talked in depth about all of the blessings I have experienced over the last nine months. I have experienced the meaning of family on a whole new level, and it is truly beautiful. I have had moments and conversations that I never thought in a million years I would have with my closest friends, who I have been with for years, and they have exceeded the definition of a true friend. I have met people who didn’t know Nick or me before this, and they have selflessly helped heal me and motivate me to move forward, and I don’t know where I would be without those people. All of these things have restored my faith in humanity, and I can only hope Nick is feeling all of the love that I am feeling.
6. CRYING IS THE BEST HEALER. I have become very good at crying absolutely anywhere and with absolutely anyone. It is not comfortable for everyone, but I have realized that when you hold it in, it hurts so bad. I have also learned that sometimes people are just waiting for me to cry, so it’s okay for them to cry and these are some of the most amazing moments. By the way, it is always okay to cry with me, even if I am not crying. I don’t only cry when I am sad, I also cry when I am feeling blessed. Sometimes I will get in my car after a visit with someone or hang up the phone after a call, and I will just cry because I feel so grateful. Crying is healing, and those tears need to come out.
7. Follow your inner voice. My inner voice tells me to do some pretty crazy things. Some don’t always agree with what I say or what I do, but I have felt far less anxious over the last couple of months because I am finally following my heart and not my brain. My inner voice is always telling me what to do, and sometimes I argue with it, and that’s okay, but at the end of the day, that inner voice is your angels reminding you to follow your heart. Selling my house is a perfect example. My brain kept saying don’t sell it now because the market is crap and you will end up losing money. I listened to my brain for just about two months and lived in this cage because it was the “smart” thing to do. When I came home from my trip, I followed my inner voice and put my house up for sale. Guess what? It sold this week, and although I have so many mixed emotions; I feel like I am making a huge step in the right direction. Follow your inner voice.
8. Don’t be afraid to say what you mean, but ALWAYS mean what you say. I have always been known for my stubbornness and willingness to say it how it is. I try to be graceful when I do it, and it is never my intention to hurt anyone, but if we are always afraid of making someone angry or if we are always trying to appease everyone, we will never be able to be true to ourselves. Don’t be afraid to share your voice. You were given that voice for a reason, and I truly believe things will be better when people learn to speak truthfully but at the same time remain humble and kind. Just like Tim McGraw says. 😉
9. I will never stop loving Nick, and I will always have a desire to make him proud. My relationship has changed slightly with Nick since he is no longer a physical being, but my relationship with him feels so strong. It feels more powerful than it has ever been because Nick is in my heart fueling my fire. Everything I have done in the last nine months has been possible because of the love that I have for Nick and the love that he had for me. It still hurts that I can’t hold him, and I can’t kiss him and that I am alone physically, but I have started to accept that this is just how it is and I am learning to embrace the connection we have now. It brings me to tears as I type this because this is an acceptance that has been very hard for me to reach but I think Nick has been trying to tell me that it’s okay.
It has been nine months. I was hoping to be a married and pregnant woman by now but I am not and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. In nine months I have learned so much, and I know it’s only just the beginning. I have so many firsts yet to come, and I truly believe that for me to survive this and move forward, I have to let go of the things that “could” have been, and embrace the things that “will be”.
“Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably” -James Dean-