In the last several days, I was tagged in a new relationship status on “the book of faces”. Yes, at my age, I find myself in a new relationship. Well, new in the sense that this portion of it is new. I’ve known this person for thirteen years, and as geography has us separated at present time, we spend a great deal of time of talking. During several of these talks, we’ve come to realize that there was always something between us, although we’ve always been close friends and never thought that would morph into something else.
It’s interesting to find myself in this situation. For twenty-two-and-a-half years I was a wife and partner to my husband, and I loved and still love him very much. Never in a million years did I ever picture myself with someone else. Yet to be with someone who knows almost everything about me and still isn’t scared away is pretty amazing. And while I could wax on about what a great guy he is, and what it’s like to have these feelings, that’s not what this blog is for.
I was talking to one of my friends last week about it, and her comment was, “Well, (your husband) has been gone for two years.” Uh, no…. He’s been gone almost FOUR years. But time makes no difference. Some days the wounds are still fresh and raw, while other days I can step back and look at my life now and realize just how different it is. There’s very little about my life that resembles four years ago.
The point is, the grief spiral doesn’t magically go away with a decision to continue forward. As happy as I am these days, and as much as I feel for this man, that doesn’t mean I no longer love my late husband or that I’ve forgotten him. I can honestly say, however, that I have no doubt that he would want me to be happy and would be happy I’m not alone. It will be interesting, as things move forward, to see if I feel like I’m cheating on him, or if I can truly separate the two.
I’m blessed that this man understands all of this, and is a great support. Having suffered some loss himself, though not the same sort, he knows the pain never truly goes away, and I know from past years and conversations with him as I was traveling this path, that there’s really nothing I can’t talk to him about, including the ugliness of grief.
This particular week is a rough one. It’s the anniversary of our last family trip four years ago, which means the anniversary of his death is about six weeks away. It’s the anniversary of my father’s death. And the basketball tournaments that hubby always worked are happening now, as well. That overwhelming sense of “he should be here” is still there. And his birthday is coming up, too. Yet at the same time I’m anxiously awaiting the next visit from “my guy”. It really is a double-edged sword.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that as this new relationship moves forward, that I don’t have to forget everything he and I shared or sweep it under the rug. It’s because of him and his love that I am who I am today, even though some days I’m not sure who that is.
On top of all this, the time has come to move out of our home and into something else. This decision has nothing to do with this relationship, but instead is the reality of life almost four years post-loss. I just can’t afford to stay here. It’s another heart-wrenching decision that I know will be difficult, but it’s also one that I can say with certainty that it’s time.
Onwards and upwards!