Today is my friend’s birthday. It is her 44th birthday. Unfortunately, she died nearly 2 years ago. So today I’m feeling sad. Sad about the future she won’t have with her family, sad about the joy they won’t experience with her and sad that I’ll never see her again and enjoy her laugh and great humor and depth.
Funny thing with my grief though is no matter how much I think of her and her family, it always brings me back to my own loss. It reminds me of the future I won’t have with my husband, the time my boys won’t have with him and missing his laugh and depth. Any other day, I have those ongoing reminders of my loss – an elderly couple walking their dog down my street, a boy playing with his dad in the park and other everyday things that remind me that my future, the one I believed would be is gone. Now folks might say that there is a plan and this is part of my plan and that I’ll have all of those things again someday. I wonder though, what if that was it for me? What if my love of my life has been played out? What if I will never grow old with someone to hold my hand?
Those are the thoughts that float through my head. I try to just let them float by, but sometimes they stick and haunt me for a while until the next distraction comes. I am still sad about the future I won’t have with the person that I chose to grow old with…that still is something. People don’t like to hear that I’m still sad, but I can’t control that. I think I’ll always be sad or angry about that. He was really it for me…I don’t think it’s that strange to think that maybe that relationship was it for me. If you look over a lifetime of dating and relationships the successes are few, the ones that stick are few, the ones that really work are few, so why should I expect to get another one?
Why shouldn’t I plan on it just being me and the boys? Why is it that the nagging in my soul is that this is it? that he was it, isn’t true? Maybe it is my life lesson to really learn to love myself and be only dependant on me. Maybe that is the hardest lesson of all – I often think – what was it in me that drew him to me? Some of it I know, some of it I don’t know. Some of it is tangible, some of it is that mystery of love that is/was hard to verbalize. All I know is in our time together I was probably the best me I ever was. I grew, I took on challenges personally and professionally and I felt like I always had someone in my corner.
So, today on my friend’s birthday, I think of her family and am selfishly thrown back into my own loss. Today I think of what has been and what might be and hope that this pain that I feel will go back into hiding tomorrow. I hope that the longing for my husband, to have him in my corner, to have him hold me will be back to manageable again and not up front where I have to think about it, feel it and recognize it.
Tomorrow, another birthday will be celebrated, another elderly couple will pass me on the street and I will be able to say hello and move on – to where – who knows? I hope that it is a place where healing continues and hope is ever present.