The other day my Facebook memory was the blog I wrote one year ago, “Go Rest High On That Mountain.” I wrote this blog the day after we got home from taking Nick’s ashes back to Golden.
It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I carried the love of my life up a mountain in a back pack.
“The love of my life.”
Today I reflected a lot on that day. In fact, I have been reflecting a lot on that day for the past few days because it truly amazes me how far I have come. Burying Nick’s ashes in the snow was surreal and when I think back on that day now; I am blown away that I survived such a debilitating moment. I honored the love I had with Nick the best way I could, and it was beautiful in a way, but that day will have a lasting impact on me, and the thought of ever having to do something like that again terrifies me.
I didn’t really put a lot of thought into that fear before because I was quite convinced I was never going to love someone again. For me that made me feel safe and protected, but now, I am opening my heart up again, and that fear is making it’s way back into my life.
I remember just before I had Nick’s face tattooed on my shoulder my Mom sat down with me and asked me if I had thought about what might happen if I met someone in the future. I know my Mom was only playing devil’s advocate and wanted to make sure I was making the right decision, so I am thankful for that, but at the time I remember telling her it was never going to happen. I remember saying that the only way I would ever be in a relationship with someone again is if they fell right in my lap and I felt in my heart that Nick sent them.
It has only been 14 months since Nick died and I met someone completely out of nowhere as if Nick dropped him right in my lap and it has created a shift in my grief process.
“The love of my life?”
Is Nick still the love of my life or was he the love of “that” life.
I have read a lot of articles on dating after death, and I can tell you confidently that there is no rule book or guideline for dating after the loss of your person, and I can tell you there is nothing easy about it.
Any man who is open to being with a widow should be admired because it takes a lot of strength, patience, and the ability to set aside the ego and allow the person they are falling for to miss the person they love and will always love, who just happens to be someone else.
The love of “that” life.
A man who is willing to be with a widow has to overcome moments like, meeting the parents. This type of event is difficult enough as it is, but so much more difficult when you are meeting the parents who still very much love their deceased son in law. The parents who have watched their daughter break in a way that can only be described as horrific. The parents who want there daughter to move forward but also want to keep her close.
I remember introducing my parents to Nick. I remember when I told them we were going to get married and I remember when I told them he died.
I was terrified to introduce them to Scott. This man who is willing. I am terrified of the reality that just because things are beautiful now does not mean they will stay that way forever.
Some may say you can’t dwell on that, but the truth is I am so incredibly grateful to know what I know because I have no choice but to embrace the “now” and be “mindful” of the unknown and the possibility that it may just not turn out how I plan.
That knowing is a gift.
The other day Scott showed me a wedding invite he got in the mail. Luckily I was in the middle of desperately trying to pick a sticker off of a plastic storage container, but he very quickly realized that the tears weren’t a result of my frustration with the sticker.
I don’t see wedding invites the same as I used to. I see them as a distraction, as a waste of precious time, as a way to showcase your love rather than experience it. I say this is in a non-judgemental way I assure you, but at the same time, that wedding invite only represents to me the invite that many people received right around the time I was telling them Nick died.
We should never have placed an entire year between our engagement and our wedding date. It’s such a common practice, and at the time it seemed like the right thing to do but now; now it is one of my biggest regrets. I will never get that moment with Nick, and that is what that wedding invite Scott showed me represented to me.
Being with a widow is not easy. Knowing just when to grab her hand and squeeze it while watching Casper with two little girls, is one of those things you need to notice and you need to be able to do.
By the way, Casper is far more sad now than when I watched it twenty years ago.
Being with a widow is knowing that when she cries out for her lost love, it has nothing to do with the love she has for you. Knowing that when she says she misses her lost love does not mean she would change anything that is happening now and knowing that when she talks about her lost love almost every single day, it only means that you are worthy of knowing him.
I have been having a lot of out of body experiences lately. I am happy, content, and so excited for my future but lately I have been having to bring myself back to reality because I often feel like I am watching someone else’s life unfold. It is so hard to explain what I am living right now, but it is a life that just happened unexpectedly and some days I forget this is me. This is how it is supposed to be. It is okay to be okay, and it is okay to be happy.
I feel blessed but at the same time the guilt is creeping back in and grounding myself is something I have had to do a lot lately because I SHOULD NOT feel bad.
There will always be a bit of sadness with every moment of joy. There will always be survivors guilt with every memory I make, but deep down I know that this is exactly how the Universe planned it, and I have been very consistent with only doing what my gut tells me to do, and right now;
this is my life, and I love it.
I have wanted to write a lot lately, but I have been very focused on my schooling and the development of FMR. I am so excited about this adventure and I have the best fucking team in the world. . There are some other things that have come up in the last week that have set me back that I will eventually share. For now, I really wanted to take the opportunity, to show my appreciation for those who “choose” to “be” with a widow and who allow each moment to just happen at it’s own pace.
I am so grateful.
“It’s easy to love in the good times. It’s loving in the difficult times that counts.”