Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m still alive. I wished for death in the months after Dave died. Lightning from the sky, t-boned at an intersection, a meteor or some other form of natural disaster – I didn’t want to have to deal with the anguish that had over-taken my whole being and life. The pain of losing him was nearly unbearable in the beginning – not completely though, or I really wouldn’t have survived. I’m still surprised by that outcome. There are things in life, so I’ve learned, that I have to deal with whether I like it or not. And maybe that’s why I don’t feel so prone to writing about my anguish these days. Maybe time does make a difference. Maybe I’m healing and the anguish is dissipating from my heart – like a slow leak in a balloon. Or maybe even it’s the opposite – maybe love and happiness is finding it’s way back into my heart – like the trickle of a creek filling up a large lake. Whatever is happening, I’m letting it happen. And it feels good to want to live again, even though I’m kind of at a loss with what to do with the rest of my life.
It’s been strange. Life has been strange. Sometimes I don’t know who I am anymore or why I do what I do. I don’t always know exactly what my intentions are, or how to explain myself. Me – the wordsmith, at a loss. As much as I know it doesn’t make sense, I’m trying to understand what I’m still hiding from or ignoring. Everything in my head – my reason, my beliefs, my systematic thinking – everything got so screwed up and it has been a struggle, albeit an interesting and tormenting struggle, putting my head back together. I don’t feel all together yet. I don’t feel 100 per cent. I don’t even feel much like I remember I used to. But I suppose we can never have it all together. And everything changes. And sometimes it’s us that changes entirely.
The other day I caught myself wondering what I would want in a man. I have to take this to mean that I’m still open to companionship or love or something along those lines. I tried dating, but I think it was too soon. I’m not sure I’ve quite mastered how to hold my love for Dave in my heart with the pain of him not being here – and hold my heart open at the same time. I’m not even sure if it’s ajar. There’s a certain amount of fear of it all happening again – of losing the love of my life – of losing a piece of myself – of rupturing my heart and falling into some nether realm of oblivion – again. But I’m also scared I won’t recognize it or I’ll ignore it or I’ll be too afraid and let it pass me by. I think everyone worries about that, but I have to believe that I still have a chance of being in love again in this life. I will always love Dave. But I need someone to love me back.
A year ago tomorrow I flew to San Diego to see Dave. I never knew it would be the last time I would see him alive, but we spent our time well. We had each other for four wonderful days. I slept better than I had in months. He didn’t sleep at all. He used to say that I fucked his shit up. He’d say it with a big smile and then squeeze me close. It’s hard to believe that was all one year ago. It’s bewildering how much life can change in one year. I think maybe I’ll start writing again more, just maybe I’ll focus more on growth and beauty than the pain I was trying so hard to work through. The writing helped – and everyone who read along with that struggle helped me understand how to keep going. So here I am – eleven months later. And I’m gonna keep going.