To Judge or Not to Judge?

Something has come up recently that I can’t seem to put away. Of course while writing this my intention is to teach and to remind, but in doing so, it may appear like I am a bit bothered.

I am.

As you are all aware, I have met someone. I have introduced him, and you now know him as Scott. I have been quite open about this relationship right from the start, and I have been so happy to share this part of my journey.

The early days of my grief consisted of very heavy posts. Truths about death, grief, and excruciating pain and truths about loneliness and loss of hope. I have been brutally honest since the beginning of this blog, and I am not going to stop now. I have made it my mission to share the things I have learned and the things I have found intensely meaningful on this journey, and I am going to continue to do so.

So here we go.

One of the things that I have struggled with the most since Nick died was the fact that he died with demons. He died with unsolved issues in his heart, and he died with the idea that he wasn’t good enough and that he would never be good enough.

Nick always wanted more. Nick always wanted more money, more friends, more space, more love. Nick wanted people to accept him for who he was, and Nick always felt the need to impress, like he needed to “do” something to be liked.

I believe this stemmed from his feeling of shame deep with in his soul and this hurt my heart so much to witness. I have been extremely quiet about much of Nick’s personal life, and I will continue to keep most of that hidden within my heart, but I can tell you with one hundred percent confidence, Nick wished that he would have had more people who cared about him. Who genuinely cared about his heart and who wanted to protect it in a way that made sense.

There were people who, to put it bluntly, were assholes to Nick and have still referred to him as a “good friend,” and as a “brother” since he died. This has ripped at my soul since his death and even before then, and I have been told; “Meg, that’s just how boys are.”

No. That doesn’t make sense. It didn’t make Nick feel good, and it didn’t make him feel like these people were his friends.

It didn’t make sense.

Nick did, however, have genuine friends, but I think somedays he didn’t realize it fully.

You see, we often forget to tell people how much we love them or how proud we are of them when they are alive, and we don’t realize it until they are gone. Maybe we realized it before, but we never make it a priority to acknowledge.

Nick had some amazing friends. Trust me. I know this because they have continued to befriend me and walk with me since he has been gone. Nick was lucky and had admirable people in his life, but unfortunately, while he was alive he had no idea how much he meant to them.

We are all guilty of this. Even me.

So here I am today in a new relationship with someone much like Nick, but also very different. Someone who completely sells himself short and has no idea how remarkable he is.

Scott isn’t perfect. My god, he is not perfect, and he has a few interesting qualities that drive me crazy, but even those imperfections have made me fall in love with him.

These imperfections are what I would miss the most if he were gone.

Scott hasn’t had the easiest road through this journey called life, and he has certainly made mistakes. At times he drinks too much, he doesn’t shower, and some days he completely forgets the beauty that exists outside of his four walls and hides within them.

I without a doubt understand how easy it is to do that.

Our new relationship has not been easy. I have cried more with Scott then I ever had with another man. I have cried more “for” Nick since meeting Scott than I have in the few months prior, because quite honestly, being in a new relationship reminds me just how much I miss him.

I miss him every second of every day, and it is such an unusual feeling because somedays I wish he was with Scott and I while we are enjoying the beauty of each day. I think they would have been good friends had they known each other.

How would that work exactly? 😉

I introduced Scott to two of Nick’s friends the other day. Katie and Kyle. I call them Nick’s friends, but the truth is they are my friends, and I value them so much because of what they have done for me over the last year. I have written about some of the most surreal moments I have experienced with them, and I find it beautiful that this relationship has been built from tragedy.

When some walked away, Katie and Kyle leaned in.

The best part of the evening was that it felt so comfortable. So normal. So right. They hit it off pretty much instantly, and we ended up staying there until almost two in the morning.

This was the first time I spent time with Katie and Kyle where we didn’t talk about Nick or something relating to Nick’s death. As odd as this may sound, I am so happy about that. I am so excited to build a relationship with the two of them that is built on life and moving forward instead of death and heart break.

Let me ask you something. Could you imagine meeting the friends of your new girlfriend’s dead fiance?

This brings me to the point of my blog today. To judge or not to judge?

I am well aware that there are people out there who question my relationship with Scott. People who wonder why I would want to be with someone who has been in a dark place or why Scott would want to be with someone like me.

I am well aware that people believe that Scott is only my interim and that I will end up finding someone else because Scott most certainly can’t be “that” guy that sweeps me off my feet and makes my life beautiful again.

I am well aware that people find Scott to be broken, dark, or whatever other negative description you want to come up with, but I need people to understand and be aware of one thing;

I don’t care.

Scott has brought a light to my life and a smile to my face, and together we are facing this life head on, and we are enjoying every minute of it. I don’t judge him just as he doesn’t judge me.

Yesterday we spent the day in nature. We both feel a sense of peace being outside, and we both have a connection with the mountains and the magnificence of this earth. We went and sat by the river and ate beans and hotdogs and watched my dogs play in the water and slip around on the rocks.

I felt bloated, hot, and certainly far from sexy but while we were driving down the highway, Scott told me to pull over next to a set of train tracks. He wanted to take some pictures of me. I was hesitant and felt far from photogenic, but he insisted and basically in the nicest way possible ignored my concerns for how I looked.

It drives Scott crazy when I tell him how overweight I feel and how I have let myself go. I can see it whenever he tells me, in what his daughter would call his “love voice”, to shut up because I am beautiful.

He told me to sit on the tracks and then at one point told me to lay down. The first thing I thought was “sure why not.” There is something about lying in the middle of train tracks that feels so liberating, so powerful, and so healing.

I didn’t see the photos he took until we got home and he uploaded them on his computer. The photo I have attached to this blog brought me to tears.

I said to Scott, “this is what I felt like doing six months ago.”

I compare this photo to the debilitating thoughts I had, not that long ago. I wanted so badly for the pain to be healed and for a while there I had no hope. I contemplated suicide, but deep down I was hoping it would just happen naturally. I didn’t want to go on, and I didn’t want to “feel” anymore because feeling hurt.

It hurt so bad.

This photo made me think about how many times I thought Nick’s death was going to destroy me or kill me but it didn’t. It was like laying in the middle of the tracks waiting for the train, but the train never came.

I was ready, and I wasn’t scared to die, but the train never came. I had no choice but to get up off those tracks and keep going. The train wasn’t coming, and I had to keep going.

Scott reminded me last night when he showed me that photo just how beautiful I am. He reminded me how powerful I am because of what I have overcome and how possible it is to keep going.

I have been so bothered lately about the act of judgment. I am so bothered that people find it important to make comments about someone else’s life or motives simply because they don’t understand. I am so bothered that because Scott has been to a dark place, he is not allowed to grow into a better person, and something he does now that is beautiful, may be looked at as unauthentic, because it wasn’t who he was “before.”

Before what? Before he grew into the best version of himself?

These are things that have come up in the last couple of weeks, and I want so badly to remind people that judgment is unhelpful.

I still have nightmares, day dreams, and full on anxiety attacks when I imagine what Nick must have thought to himself while he was dying in his hole. I have been blessed to know someone who has been there, and he has made it very clear to me the thoughts that go through your head moments before you take your last breath and he has taught me so much about what matters in this life. You know who you are 😉

As much as I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone I wish I could provide the perspective to everyone.

Before you judge, or present an opinion on something that you know nothing about, ask yourself this one question;

Is this benefiting anyone?

Instead of paying attention to someone’s past, embrace their future. Be happy they have come out of the dark and pray that their life stays bright.

I have been on those tracks, and I am telling you it is hard as hell to come off of them, so if you haven’t been there, please don’t judge those who have.

“No one has the right to judge you, because no one really knows what you have been through. They might have read the stories, but they didn’t feel what you have felt in your heart” – Simple Reminders-

<3 Meg

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