“When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” In that moment life changes. 8 years. 96 months, 35,040 days, 840,960 hours, 50,457,600 minutes, 3 billion seconds. Somedays it seems like a minute ago. Somedays it seems like forever. Yet. The facts remain. You’re gone. Forever. Death changed me. The loss. The pain. Death forced me to face my toughest choices. I spent 40 years of my life envisioning my whole future with you. We were going to grow old together. Plans. Build memories. In a flash they were gone. And I had to choose. Fall apart. Or be better. Find the strength. To keep going.
What do I miss most? Normal. Simple moments. Talking. Sharing. Holding hands. Kissing. Cuddles. Watching TV. Sunday coffee. Neighborhood walks. Costco/Target shopping. You. Just you. And everything about you. Silly. So silly. But, oh so simple.
Grief. Never fixed. Dormant. Concrete. It ebbs. Flows. Hitting hardest in unexpected moments. Lessening over time. It never goes away. Buried under layers of love, memories, pain, and loss. I grow. I get stronger. I adjust. I accept. I function. Day by day, month by month, year by year the weight lightens, lifts and I “go on.” Life goes on for the living. And so must I. I smile. Laugh. Attempt to love. But, the grief, the pain, never goes away. At any moment, it emerges. Striking my heart. Creating salty tear drops from my eyes. I’m okay. Doing the best I can. It’s a moment. And I need to be. In that moment. To feel. Sad. Lonely. Lost. Alone. These moments never go away. They will always live within my soul. Because I live with the “love you left behind.” A love I will never forget. I was lucky to find my soul mate. A love I will cherish forever. A love I was blessed to share with you. “You’ll survive. That’s the first thing they tell you after you lose someone. You know what, they’re right. In time, we all find a way to pick up the pieces and move on. What they forget to mention, however, is survival and happiness aren’t always the same thing.”
8 years. How can that even be? I saw this the other day. “Your choice and why. Blue door: you go back in time and change one thing in your past. Red door: you get 10 million in cash tax free.” No Brainer! BLUE DOOR! We would not go to Hawaii! Would that have changed our lives? Would you be here today? Would we be living our best life? I will never know. The why’s and what ifs haunt me. I was supposed to bury them. With you. They sneak up. It’s hard not to think. Wonder. But we can’t go back. Life is forward. Breathe. Accept. Love. Be grateful.
I think of you today as I do everyday. I try to live my best life. I see the best of you in your children, grandchildren. Life’s blessings. I am forever grateful. And always will be. For our time. Shortened. But beautiful. “Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was not finished.” Our story ended but the love carries on. Forever in my heart. Today, tomorrow, always.