Someone once said that it is knowledge sets us free, but as I’ve learned, everyone’s knowledge is different.
After Michael died I knew nothing but one thing in life. I could no longer answer questions on why or how things turned out as they did. I could not tell you right from left. As time has passed though, I have embraced the unknown and learned to accept it as a companion on my journey here on earth.
Still though, there are those times, those gut-wrenching, bring you to your knees moments in which the lack of knowledge of how one has ended up in the predicament they’re in, can run a muck on the soul we each carry inside of us.
I don’t know why I can’t hold the hand or kiss the lips of my one true love, I don’t know why his vehicle had to be the one to be absorbed by the 2,00 pound blast, I don’t know why I must sometimes wander in a world in which few understand me…and yet…as overpowering and heartbreaking as some of these things may be I can only return to the one true thing I know…the northern light in a world that sometime has no direction….
I know I am loved…but not only loved but in love with my counterpart…my chosen one…my compass.
It’s all I know in a place that sometimes feels like a dark alleyway.
And that is all the knowledge I need…it’s all I need….and I am free.
And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
I remember the day. It was two months after Michael was killed and I found myself sitting on our big red chair, laptop in hand. Tears welled up in my eyes as I scrolled through the hundreds of photos I had of Michael. It would take a moment till I finally realized what I was doing. As I passed through each picture I would only look at Michael. When I finally looked over at myself, the real pain settled in my heart. A pain that recognized that I had not only lost my soul mate, but along with him, myself.
The twinkle in my eyes, the smile on my face, the glow of having my love near-by…all those things were gone, and I felt like an empty shell staring at what it once was when a soul inhabited it.
I must say, three years later, I know that those expressions I shared in the moments where I looked up at him, kissed his lips, held his hand…those moments will never be recreated, as they were exclusive to the man that unearthed them from the person I was before his love came into my life. Yet on another note, as I’ve healed, as I’ve grasped back onto the core or who Taryn is, I’ve learned to once again love the life that still is before me. New expressions are exposed…expressions of love, laughter, happiness, and contentment.
I no longer mourn the loss of the person I was when Michael was alive. I can look at those same photos that once brought me tears and smile reminiscing over the feelings I felt at that very moment, feelings that manifested out of the rubble in a new form, shaped to the life I never thought I’d have, the life I will look back on in photographs with happiness…happiness over the person I once was, the person I became, and the person I continue to court on this strange, alien yet beautiful, life I call my own.
Being a widow is no easy thing.
From picking up the pieces , staring at them like they’re some foreign thing, and trying to create something semi-comprehensible….to the “outliers” (those are the people outside my situation), that try and put their two cents in…or in most cases…89 cents in, to what my life should be. There’s a lot going on. But if there is anything that I have learned, it’s to FIGHT THE POWER.
Create your own rules, take the path less traveled (Mr. Frost was on to something)! If someone asks you how you’re doing on a bad day, reply with “Really freakin’ horrible.” If someone tells you they’re sorry for you loss, tell them they shouldn’t be, because what you have had/do have is more then most will experience in a lifetime. Wear your wedding ring till you die. Take your wedding ring off after a month. Chop off your hair while eating a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s. Run a marathon. Remarry. Never Date. Jump out a plane. Stay in your house watching soaps. Get a tattoo. Travel the world. Make a daily bucket list. Redefine what others have tried to define for you. Scream to the high heavens that you are a widow and SO proud of it. Surround yourself by people of all walks of life; They’ll either guide you where you need to be or help reinforce what you already knew in your heart. MAKE YOUR OWN RULES!
The truth is, I have never read a whole book on grieving or widowhood…I knew for me, I had to do the one thing that has no manual, guide or rules…and that’s to follow my heart. Has that put me in situations that may have been awkward for others, if not only myself? Yes. Has it brought me joy? Yes. Has it brought me struggle? Double yes. But the thing is, every night when I go to sleep, every step forward or step backward I have taken has been decided on by me. Not “outliers”, not “How To’s”, not by family and friends….just me. It’s because of that fact that I never have regrets…because no matter what the outcome, I know that I was the one who decided, chose, picked, and did it. And no matter what….that willingness to have faith in myself is something I’ll never have remorse over.
Fight the power…grasp your chaos…savor your solitude…celebrate your company…live your life…embrace YOUR rules.
“All your life people are going to try to tell you who you are. And sometimes it’s going to be tempting to believe them. But you must remember that you are who you feel in your heart and your head and down to your toes. You are who you feel deep down in your soul and radiating out your skin, and no one’s opinion (except maybe your own) can change that.”- La Joie Dd “All your life people are going to try to tell you who you are. And sometimes it’s going to be tempting to believe them. But you must remember that you are who you feel in your heart and your head and down to your toes. You are who you feel deep down in your soul and radiating out your skin, and no one’s opinion (except maybe your own) can change that.”
– La Joi de Vivre
Three whopping years since it happened.
Since my soul mate went to the other side and I ventured out in the unfamiliar world called widowhood.
The Angel-versary is always a time where I look back on the time that has passed, things that have been conquered, feelings that have been realized, and growth that has taken place. As I drove in my car one evening, thinking of these things, thinking of THREE, one thing took precedent.
In the rehashing of all that has transpired, what came to mind the most were the three words that have got me through it all. Three words that he said to me for the last time on May 21st, 2007. Three words that have not only carried through my grief but helped me soar above it’s grasps into a life where smiles are more prevalent then frowns, and memories are recalled while making new ones.
Three words that on this three year anniversary will be heard in my heart and felt in my veins. Three words that have defined my being.
I LOVE YOU.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh?’ he whispered.
‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’”
I’d be lying if there weren’t moments where I begged for a sign, dream, feeling that you were here…around.
Like a detective I’d search for clues or signals…but my magnifying lens, in turn, seemed to blind me.
It’s not a matter of the physical…that was something I had acclimated to not having or needing long before you were taken. It was more of that sense that in my deepest moments of despair you’d appear out of smoke to wipe away my tears.
But I forced it.
I begged and pleaded.
And it equated to me not feeling what was there all along.
Your presence…unfaltering presence..in a place that I could not see with my eyes, or figure out with my mind…
but felt it lodged, deep in my heart.
I’m sure of you.
I’m sure of you.
I wanted to touch base on guilt, as I believe it has played a role in my grief with Michael’s loss.
The guilt that he died and I lived
The guilt of the things he never got to experience that I know have been.
The guilt of having eyes to still see this world’s beauty and ears to hear its melodies.
The guilt of knowing that he would have handled this pain, loss, and life better then I could, if it had been me to go instead.
The guilt that is created in my over-thinking mind…fictional and factual.
The guilt has sub-sided though, as I know it is a belt of weights I buckled around my waist…a belt that never was supposed to weigh on my hips, my being, my soul.
You see, guilt was never a component of our life (even though I may have used it as a defense mechanism in a disagreement…bad Taryn), so it makes no sense that I would make it a part of my life now, and the love that is still ours.
But I apologize, to Michael and the others around me, for the moments where I let guilt’s claws take their grasp on a moment that could have been put in the light it deserved.
Now I can’t say that it doesn’t creep up at moments where life is a-glow and I feel as if I’m surrounded by a bubble of positivity…but those are just the workings of my brain….
not my heart.
“Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.”