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it took losing my own lover to realize just how profound a loss this is.

for six years, i was viewed through his eyes.  he saw me as beautiful, i was beautiful.  he saw me as a deep thinker, a great mom, and his support and therefore i was all those things.  for six years i practiced my identity through him and because of him.  because of his love, i loved, because of his joy, i was joyful, because of his grief, i grieved.

now i am suddenly lost, confused, at odds with my own being.  a girl, interrupted.  am i this? am i that?  who am i really, now that i am so so lost.

so we do these minute, selfish things to bring ourselves back to par with who they knew us to be.

i bought new clothes to be beautiful, i cut my hair to be adventurous.  it's trivial really.  these small details.  a small stone cast into the ocean as if that will stop the onslaught of the tide.  moving, moving, always moving.  whispering to me "you don't know who you are without him"

i am left here to rebuild.  i have to rebuild, my entire fortress crumbled around me the minute he died.  my identity is gone, stripped away with the loss of my love, the one who knew me to my core and loved me anyway.

of course, i am left reminding myself that the core of who i am is still here.  who he knew remains, the strength, the stamina.  it's here.  born out of fire, born out of ashes.  beyond the trivial, beyond the minute details- the core of who i am remains.  it is he who is gone.  left to the rebuilding of my memory and those who knew him.  the sharp reality of his self forever gone, instead only memories, hazy with the interpretation of my mind remain.  a minute with him would bring it back as sharp as a knife, as consuming as a fire, but the haziness remains.  himself forever left in a fog, a mystery.

it feels as an all consuming fire, eating alive everything in its path.  burn, burn, burn.


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i get it.  i used to be like you too.  here are the most common views of suicide i either heard or personally held growing up:

that person is selfish
that person is crazy
that person is a coward
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they were depressed for a long time and finally went through with it
there are always warning signs, so people know it's coming
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there is this social stigma around depression, suicide, etc.  i can't tell you what it is like to not be able to talk openly about my husband's death.  to see people either openly or privately distance themselves from my pain, search for reasons that he did it beyond the fact that he was ill and we didn't catch it in time, connect dots that aren't connected.  all so they can convince themselves that they will never know the pain, and i honestly hope they don't- but it's possible they will.  i know people whose lives…

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as i navigate these next steps, the great unknown, there are many that have opinions and voices into my life.  everyone wants what's best for me and everyone has their own idea of what that is.
people... i don't even know what that is.  but i know what i want…

dating in 2016, also huge LOL at even posting this.

Half of me can’t even believe I am writing this post.  Dating is gruesome, isn’t it?  Like most of life, I suppose.
The weekend that Jim died I was standing there, a wreck, while my phone was blowing up.  Alayne goes “who is texting you so much?”
I respond “oh those are just my tinder matches” 
and I know that not everybody gets the hilarity and all I can say is until you are in the fire, you don’t see the need for a respite from getting burned.
anyways, i was talking to my therapist about dating and i commented “single, widowed mom, sole custody of two kids… it’s a tough sell” and it is.  
i have this story that literally leaves people speechless.  most people when they hear it don’t even really know how to interact with me much less get involved romantically.  and i know eventually it won’t be such a big part of my identity, this widowed, grieving mom, but right now it is and if i want anything to do with the person then it’s like they have to know it.  
again, it’s a tough sell.