Approaching the five-year anniversary of his death spurs so much reflection and realization. He’s really
not coming back. In my mind, I always knew that, but in my heart, a little part of me continued to hope. I’ve reached that important juncture, which most widows reach at some point. I have to accept reality and stop clinging to that little piece of hope left in my heart.
The reality is that I must complete this life alone. It’s taken me almost five years to accept that fact. I am not a young woman anymore. The most difficult part of accepting reality is adjusting what I believed most of my life. Like the indoctrination I often condemn – I, too, am indoctrinated. I’m indoctrinated to believe some part of the fairy tales I read, you know the kind. The kind of fairytales where everyone lives happily ever after and the future is bright and cheerful. That’s not reality. It may happen for some, but not for all. The reality is that happiness comes in pieces and all one can do is cling to those pieces and cherish the moments. They do not last. People leave. People change. People die. That is reality. Happiness is fleeting, and sometimes, all those pieces appear in one big chunk and that is all there is. There’s no fairytale ending; there’s no chance of a random piece drifting your way again. Acceptance, strength, and endurance replace bliss, love, and optimism.
I was one of the lucky ones. For nearly 20 years, I shared a love so special and so rare that many never find such a depth of companionship. For me, the only way to survive the emptiness that inevitably appears when it is over is to accept that it was the highlight of my life. Instead of whining about how there is nothing to look forward to, I should concentrate on looking back and recognize that something in my destiny allowed me to experience 20 years of happiness. And I should be grateful I had that. I was one of the lucky ones. But he is not coming back and it’s over. The future is merely an obstacle course that I must complete alone. No one can help me with that task.
I’ve endured a lot of criticism for my extended grief and for loving someone so deeply that the two of us were inseparable, but I can’t change that. I can’t change the love I feel for a man who I’ll never see again, not during this lifetime. He is dead. I can’t deny that a part of me died with him. I’ll never again be the person I was before. I’ll never truly laugh again. But that’s okay because I laughed for so many years. I was happy and I was in love.
I was one of the lucky ones. Then destiny threw tragedy into the mix. I had it all, and now I don’t. The beginning reads, “Once upon a time there lived a girl who was in love with a man who loved her back for a long time.” The conclusion reads, “The man died one day and she was left alone. She knew happy times were over, but she realized that she was one of the lucky ones and learned to accept reality and focus on the memories.” ~The End~
©2014 Relinda R.