Finding Love Again

I’ve gone through a couple boyfriends since Mark died.

One was just for fun (George – he was my happy place) and the other I thought was my chapter 2 (my Metalhead Poet) but wasn’t.

I’ve hurt.  I’ve cried. I’ve gone on a number of crappy first dates through Plenty of Fish.  I had almost decided that I’m not destined to find love again.

And then I did. I found my Sexy Chef.

I met him on POF. Had a date.  Threatened to kill him. (literally – I said to him “I’m going to kill you if you don’t let me sleep).  Had another date.  Got into a fight type thing.  Told him flat out that I didn’t want to date him, and that I was happy to be friends but for a number of reasons (the fight being one of them) I didn’t want to date him.

We became friends. We talked.  A lot. And then… I started to fall for him.

He traveled six hours to take a chance that perhaps we might have a real connection.

We do.

We have an amazing connection. I’ve fallen in love with a man who is kind, considerate, respectful, loving, caring and so passionate and supportive about me being me.

We mesh well.  We communicate well. We… … do other things well. We are very compatible.

This weekend, I met his family – most of them. We spent a night with his mom and step-dad, his brother and his sister-in-law and his niece and nephews.

They are lovely people. Really freaking awesome people. Despite my overwhelming anxiety before I got there, I was quickly made to feel welcome and I felt at home.

It’s amazing, finding love again. Finding the place where bliss and joy meet in a potential future. And discovering that I can open my heart again.  Being able to place my heart in someone else’s hands, and trust that he will keep it safe… that is an amazing thing.

I have found love again. And it’s beautiful. And he loves me. In all my beautiful broken-ness.

One Day

 

 

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That Moment When…

You have a meltdown because it’s the day before your husband died.

You fall apart completely because it was the day that your husband decided he wanted to turn off the machines.

You sob uncontrollably because you can’t shut the memories off and they just keep hitting you over and over like you’re in an angry ocean that keeps slamming wave after wave into you.

You are a snotty, teary mess because it’s 4 years since he died.

And you’re doing it all in the arms of someone who is new in your life, and he’s perfectly ok with it.

That moment when you think… just for a moment, that the person holding you might actually be perfect (he’s not, not really but for that moment it felt like it)

And after, when you’re blowing your nose and apologizing for turning a lovely sexy romantic morning into a grief storm, he tells you that it’s ok, that you need to go through the emotions, feel them, express them because if you don’t you can’t heal.

It’s that moment when you feel, for the first time since your husband’s death, that you have solid footing under you again.

Turn On the Light

Juxtaposition of Past & Present

How is it possible to feel such joy and such pain and sorrow at the same time?

How is it possible to look into the eyes of my present and possible future and melt with love then be devastated by a memory of the past that is no longer?

How is it possible to be so very happy and so devastatingly sad at the same time?

I have found love again. He makes my heart sing. He’s understanding, kind, caring, considerate, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to be there for me while I grieve intensely at this time of year. And when he was talking about me to someone he works with, his word were “I can be her next chapter, she already had a great chapter before me… I get to be next” (or something along those lines.  I was so shocked and so much more instantly in love with him when he said that that I don’t remember his exact words)

And… I want to tell Mark.  I want to tell him all about this new guy. I want to tell Mark how the new guy makes me feel. I want to snuggle up and see him and tell him all about the things that make my new guy so amazing. Because Mark would understand.  He’d be happy for me.  He’d want to hear all the details. He’d want to meet the new guy.  Because he was that awesome.

How do I reconcile the absolute joy I have found in my new love with the devastation of not having my husband?

It’s a strange juxtaposition. One I never expected to be feeling or working my way through 3 days before the 4th anniversary of his death.

I’m devastated and sad and grieving.

I’m happy and in love and enjoying life.

What. The. Everloving. Fuck?

Stages-of-Grief

19 Days

19 days.

In 19 days I will have been a widow for 4 years.

19 days.

The blanket of sadness, the heaviness of grief, it pulls me further down each day.

19 days.

My world changed forever that day. Everything I am, everything I wanted in my life, it all spun out of control and flipped me upside down.

19 days.

There’s a new someone in my life. He makes me smile.  I’ve smiled more in these last 5 days than I have in a long time.

19 days.

Each moment that I get closer to that point brings me further from him. Brings me further from being Mrs. Mark Smith.

19 days.

Each day I spend with the new someone… brings more smiles and more joy.

19 days.

The grief does not end.  It does not stop hurting. The wound may have started to heal, but it still reminds me, if I move the wrong way, that it is very capable of being ripped open at any moment.

19 days.

Interspersed with the grief is the joy and anticipation of what’s new and exciting.  The anticipation of what may be.  The now of what is.

19 days.

Nothing will stop the passage of time. Time will keep moving me towards June 26.  And I will, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, remember and grieve over the loss of an amazing man, incredible father, and wonderful husband.

19 days.

Nothing will stop the passage of time.  Time will keep moving me towards June 26. And I will, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, enjoy the fuck out of the smiles I’m getting with my new someone. I will enjoy the hell out of the joy he’s bringing to my life.

19 days.

In 19 days I will grieve, hard and heavy, over the loss of my old life.

20 days.

I will wake up on day 20… and embrace the new.  Because as much and as hard as I grieve over Mark… I want joy in my life again.  And joy and grief are not incompatible.  I can live an amazing life, experiencing them both.

Tucked In MY HeartNew BeginningsMoving on

Good, Bad, Ugly

How do I express the way the last 2 weeks have made me feel?

I got all heart stupid with the Metalhead Poet (he’s not MY Metalhead Poet, and he doesn’t want to be).

I got all triggered and shit over school.  To the point where I question whether or not I should continue the program.

How can I be a nurse if I can’t even get through the course without it throwing me into grief triggers?

I was bawling in the counsellors office.  I have moments where I am absolutely positive this is the path I want to take.

And then I’m shaken by something.  Or I hear something about my summer job.  And I’m devastated that I won’t be there this summer.

I didn’t know how HARD this would all be. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be able to just breeze through it.

How could I have thought I would?   We’re talking about DEATH.  And HEALTH. And HEART conditions.  And fuck me really? Grief and death on day 1?

How could I have thought it wouldn’t trigger me all over the fucking place?

Oh wait. I just thought I’d grieved enough.  I just thought I’d gone through enough.

If I quit, I lose funding.  Do you know how much THAT sucks?  I lose the opportunity to go to school. I lose the opportunity to do good.  To do different.  To have a life that will make a difference in my kids’ lives, for other people.

And so tonight… I am alone. I am lonely.  I am drinking wine.  And time is slipping past me as I walk through the pain and emotions.  I am not studying for mid-term 1 tonight.  I should be.  But I’m hurting.  And I’m not studying.

And I’m fucking ANGRY that he died on me.  ANGRY that I’m left alone.  ANGRY that the man I love doesn’t love me enough to say FUCK YEAH! Lets DO this!  And I’m ANGRY about it all.

I need to get back to a place of “ok with just me” because I know that when I am in that place… I am good. I am at peace.  I am happy.

I want to be happy again.  I want to enjoy things in my life. I’m tired of being angry all the time.

Because I don’t fucking appreciate this:

Stages-of-Grief

Still Grieving

I’m sorta dating a new person who is big on open & honest communication.  Who doesn’t get easily offended at me saying no or telling her how I feel.

We haven’t had sex.   There’s some discussion around sex that we had to have, so I brought them up.

After a while, December hit me.  If you’re a widow, you get it.  The “fuck he’s not here, my life isn’t what it’s supposed to be, I miss him, I miss the traditions, I miss being part of a ‘couple’ and this fucking HURTS” feeling.

So middle? Towards the end? of the sex conversation I pop up with:

Topic change… December sucks. In general. used to be my favourite holiday season, but now it’s not. It is, but it’s laced with pain and memories and sadness. and to top it off – the day he made the decision to turn off the machines was the 25th of June, and he died on the 26th. which means Dec 25/26 is exactly 6 months. So alway reminds me of 1.5 years, 2.5 years and in this case… 3.5 years. So my emotions are all over the place, one moment I’m feeling fantastic and sexy and flirty and the next, without warning, I feel like I’m back at square one again… except now I know that it won’t last for weeks on end and eventually I’ll feel good again. But December sucks because of all the all over emotions that show up at random times and in random situations.

Most people… a lot of people? I don’t know how many people.   But Death is an awkward subject for society in general.  And so there’s a lot of people who would run at that point.  Or change the subject.  Or blow it off with a “yeah that sucks”  “sorry to hear”  “it’ll be ok – you’ll get through it” offhand comment that would invite no further conversations.

However, this incredibly lovely person responded with:

My friend, you are still in the active grieving process – something that can take up to 5 years for a major loss such as yours. he was your world. He was your partner. You had a good relationship from what you’ve told me. up to 5 years for the grief to ease and move into the background. It will never completely go away – there will be moments, days, special dates, that will catch you again – moments that know the wind out of you or threaten to drown you in another wave. And then it will leave you as it found you. But you aren’t there yet. You are still moving through the process of profound grief. be patient. Ride the f’n ride and know that this sucky shitty icky place isn’t forever. Continue to tell his stories. Continue to honor him in whatever ways feel right for you. Allow yourself to be right where you are – don’t fight it or judge it. embrace the ride. it is necessary to get to the place where he becomes a comforting presence in the background of your life. One that brings you warmth and fuels the smile in your eyes adn you can feel the joy for having loved and known him.

Which set off a grief storm.

My silence (we were on text, I had put my computer away, can’t type on my phone when I can’t see, can type with my eyes closed on my computer) prompted another message where she apologized, thought she might have overstepped.   She hadn’t.

She did something that I wish society would do:  She validated my ongoing grief.

I’ve been told that I’m grieving too hard still.  That I need to let go of my past.  That because I’ve been with someone new, that I love again that I should be “over” it.

But I’m not.  I loved him for 14 years.  I was his wife.  I am his widow. He is not replaceable and I will not just put him on a shelf in the back corner of my closet and forget about him like a doll I loved when I was a child.

Regardless of where this relationship goes, where it takes me (we’ve already discussed that we’re on different paths in life) I am going to revel in the fact that I can just be me… in all it’s happy, in all it’s sad, in any confusions I may have… and that I can talk about those things without fear.

And that.. that is the most amazing gift.

Turn On the Light

Widowed Twice

I can’t imagine.

I literally cannot imagine going through it again.

The shock.

The pain.

The numbness.

The numbness wearing off.

The pain.

OH my gawd the pain.

I can’t imagine being in a place where you’re happy, your heart is full, you’re moving forward…. and just like that…. the rug is yanked out from under you again.

I can’t imagine.

And yet… a member of the widowed community… has had that happen.

She found her chapter 2.

She was engaged.  Blending families.  Looking forward to a life of love after the loss she experienced prior.

And just like that, her fiancé died.

My heart goes out to her and her family.   I can’t imagine.  But I can offer her love and support.

It's Too Late