Well yesterday’s post really generated quite a response. Funny, when I posted it I felt pathetic and whingey. But apparently what was relatable was the feelings I described. And how you feel is never pathetic or whingey. It is just how you feel.
I think what I was trying to say, is that I feel like the grief almost becomes a new lover. Like you do the work to let the person go, the object of your love, but then somehow in that process you kind of fall in love with the grief. The grief is such an all consuming companion for so long, that you aren’t really sure how to live without it.
I have hiked, cryked, camped, dated, not dated, eaten, worked, lived with my grief for so long now, that I am not sure where I end and it begins. It is like it is part of me and allowing it to morph into something else, or God forbid, leave, makes me feel just a tad bit unfaithful.
It seems that there is something about loving someone. Something that changes you. It alters you as a person. It makes you into someone better than you were before you knew that person. You become a better man/woman because this other person loved you and you loved them back. And once that person is no longer around, it is almost like they take some of the version of you that you liked so much better with them. Like somehow, they now possess a part of you, that is still yours but feels inaccessible because you have no contact with them anymore.
Perhaps that is what I am still grieving, the me that loved so freely. The me that was all in. The me that was vulnerable, present and in love. Perhaps that is what I am really grieving, this version of myself that I haven’t seemed to have access to since he left. Perhaps that is why I went back to him so many times, not because of him, but because I fell in love with who I was when I was with him. I liked me better. I also like us together. But perhaps, just maybe, I liked what he saw in me. Perhaps I fell in love with that, the person that he said he saw. The woman he thought I was/am. He used to tell me how amazing I was all the time. He would send me songs, lovely, passionate, emotionally charged songs that communicated the depth of his love for me all wrapped up in a catchy tune. I have an entire playlist of “our” songs. It took me three years to be able to listen to it without sobbing. Now, I can listen to it and it mostly makes me remember how good being loved by him felt. Not just a painful reminder of what I lost and have yet to find again.
I miss being loved like that as much as I miss loving like that. We were all in until he wasn’t. And the irony is not lost on me that I never loved like that my whole life because I was so afraid that I would and he would leave. I am still trying to sort that out. What do you do when your greatest fear comes true? It wasn’t just fear, it was an actual reality. Fuck that was hard. And likely serves as the biggest block to me moving on...what if it happened again? Fuck me. That would so blow.
But if there is one thing I know for absolute certain, I have never, ever been wrong in loving someone. The love that I have given to those I have loved in my life was never wasted because it made me a more loving person, and them a more loved person. And that just can’t be wrong...ever.
And perhaps the best by-product of my loving him, is that I came to know a better version of myself. I came to love me in a way that I never did before him. I saw things in me through his eyes that altered the way I saw myself. And today, I can say, that I do really care about myself. I have found a great deal inside me that is worthwhile and worth loving. Things that before him maybe were harder to see and accept.
So at the end of all of this grief talk, there is relief. I am happier even if still grief stricken. I am a better version of myself. I love me more and better than I ever have. I am not angry or bitter at him, I am super incredibly grateful for all he gave and all he took. I also kind of have the feeling that I can let go of this phantom grief that I am living with soon. It is scary to think that I do not know what I would be left with, but somehow I know that nature abhors a vacuum so it won’t be long that the grief subsides and some other new emotion comes to take its place. This is just the natural process of feeling...we feel something, then it passes to allow for some other feeling to come.
Perhaps it is time that I allow my grief proxy to go. Perhaps it is time that I do my best to allow the fear, the longing and the love to just fade into the past, and have the courage to move forward without it. Allowing him and it to take its appropriate place in my past. To be honest, it is terrifying. Who will I be? What will become of me? What will I think about? Who will I love?
Well dear reader, that is the fuck of it! I haven’t a clue. But I know that I will move forward one moment at at time, into whomever I am next to become with a more loving heart, a more generous spirit and a more peaceful soul. I am better because I loved him. And I will likely be better still when I allow the grief to pass and wait for what comes next. Perhaps, just maybe, grief is simply love's unwillingness to let go...