I am quite certain I have mentioned before how quickly things can change on the grief journey. How one moment you can feel like the entire mountain has crumbled on top of you and then the next moment, you are on top of that very same mountain.
My facebook memory today was my blog post “Marriage and Babies.” I wrote this exactly one year ago today, and when I read it back, the tears were flowing. I remember that day like it was yesterday, in fact, I was just talking about it in the last couple of days to someone who is learning more and more about my early days of grief.
“Nick is in heaven, and I am in hell.”
That was an excerpt from that blog. I was in a place so dark, and I remember it so well I can feel it. My poor Mother that day. I remember it so vividly her sitting at the foot of my bed begging me to get up. I had nothing to get out of bed for. My life was over, and my one and only was gone.
“I don’t want love again. I had the most amazing love with Nick, and I can honestly tell you when I see him in heaven again, there will be no question that I am his. If I am lucky enough to go to heaven sooner than later, then dress me in my wedding dress because I will be marrying him as soon as I get there.”
I read these words of mine from one year ago today, and it hurts my heart in a way I can’t even describe. That poor girl. I remember that girl, but now I feel like I am reading the story of someone else and I can feel it so deeply. That poor girl had everything ripped away from her, and all she had left was a pile of plans on her kitchen table. Wedding plans and funeral plans. I remember looking at it and thinking what a horribly fucked up site. How dare the universe make it so visibly clear to me how much my life just changed.
I just cried, and my Mom and I cleaned my house because there was nothing else I could have done at that moment to make it better; or to “fix it”.
So now I read this blog, and I can’t help but think how wrong I was.
I will find love again, and I will want it when I do. I know this now because…….
I have met someone.
It has taken every ounce of courage I have to share this. I have wanted to share it since the first day this man gave me butterflies. I told him he had me at, “there is bacon left for you on the table.” This might make you laugh, but this is the exact moment I felt it. I felt that feeling I never thought I would feel again. My first thought was, “Oh fuck.”
To be honest, I thought I had felt something since Nick for someone, but it was nothing comparable to this. Here I had a man who was being nothing but his authentic self and allowing me to have my moment of grief on the porch and then return with no feeling of judgment or awkwardness.
He had no idea how he made me feel at that moment.
He had no idea at all in fact when I text messaged him a couple of days later to tell him the truth about the butterflies; he was blown away. He told me he thought he left a bad first impression when in fact it could not have been better. It was real and natural, and neither one of us saw it coming.
Trust me if I was prepared for this I probably would have showered, put some make-up on, and maybe left my flower pants at home.
I think it hit us both like a ton of bricks.
So here I am now one year later from the day I wrote about never loving another again. Never wanting anyone else because I would forever be Nick’s. Not wanting to live and not caring if I die.
Here I am now feeling those feelings again, but this time it is so different. This time it is beyond terrifying because this time I know how amazing if feels to have those feelings but also how excruciating it feels to experience sudden loss.
This isn’t just hard for me to work through. It is hard for everyone who loved and still loves Nick. I am not replacing Nick, I am living for Nick, and for me; but it’s so different.
Now when I receive a text message that says “good morning beautiful” all I can think about is that last message I received from Nick on the last day he was on this earth.
When I experienced that first kiss, I wonder if that will someday be one of those memories that I hold on to so tight because it is all I have left. When I watch as he walks in front of me by the river and turns around to smile, and I instantly have a flashback of the last time Nick smiled at me as he drove away that day.
Anyone can tell me not to think like that and just to enjoy the moment, and it might be true, but at the same time, I am so grateful that I am noticing and acknowledging those precious moments.
The first time he held me, and I had my head on his chest I cried. I cried because I heard his heart beat and I know exactly what it feels like to not hear that heart beat anymore. I acknowledged it, and I told him how grateful I am to hear that beautiful sound.
The sound of life.
We talk about Nick a lot, and it’s so comforting. He knows that I am who I am because of the love from Nick and the pain I endured through his death. I still wear my wedding rings so it’s a reality he can’t deny. He knows that I will love harder and fiercer because of what I have lost and I will appreciate and embrace everything this universe gives me because of what I know.
I know the fear of living, I know the pain from loss, and I know the fragility of life. I will not take this for granted and I will always be honest.
I am in a really good place, and I am excited about this new adventure. It is intense, and it is scary, and it is complex. There is so much more to this that I am not ready to share yet but it’s going to be a challenge that we have both accepted with open arms, and I think it’s going to be worth it.
Life isn’t easy as we have all learned many times before, but it seems like just when you think things will never get better; they do. Sometimes it requires putting away those things that cause you grief and making room for those things that will bring you joy. I feel like I can say this with some authority because this is exactly what I have done, time and time again since Nick died.
I have not allowed things that cause me anxiety and stress to stick around for too long. I have let go of things that have brought me negative energy, and I have embraced the fear of doing so.
Life has so many curve balls, and the Universe has so many plans that are so unknown to us, but I have learned that although life is hard and complex, I am choosing to be grateful for those beautiful complexities because that is what helps me to continue to grow.
“They tried to burry us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”