Saturday, March 28, 2015

Birthdays & Beginnings

Today was my fiance's birthday. The third year without him here. You always think it's going to get easier. And you never really have any clue how it's going to hit you. That's no mystery to me. I've been dealing with the milestone of my mom's birthday for over 20 years now since she died... and some years are just harder than others, for no real reason at all. I gave up long ago trying to understand the "why" of all this.

I feel like this 3rd birthday has been even harder than the 2nd without him. Maybe this is because it is the same amount of birthdays I shared WITH him... we only had 3 short years together. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking it has a lot to do with it. This officially kicks off the first of many milestones this year that are going to be even harder than last year, for that one reason. By June, I will officially be entering into having lived more time after his death than I actually had with him. It's heartbreaking, even now just thinking of it. And it's weighed so heavily on my heart today that I've scarcely even had words.

There were some highlights to the day. My mother-in-law and I went to get pedicures in the morning. Cute toes always make a day better. We did a little shopping and then had a blast out on the ranch ridiculously exploding a pink pony piñata - because sometimes you just need to blow some shit up. I will admit, that felt crazy good. And afterwards, my in-laws and I went out for a really nice dinner. There was a lot of good in the day actually, I have to admit that.

But still... under the surface has been that feeling of the lurking 3 year mark. And that's not the only new thing that's entering into my life right now either. Simultaneous to this whole 3 year milestone, I have also met someone.... new.

There has been wonder and joy and excitement again with this new person. And warmth and support and understanding. It has been so beautiful. He cracked a beer at midnight with me last night - just to celebrate Drew's birthday. He gets me. And I have laughed more in a few short months than I think I had in the entire past 2 1/2 years.

But there also days when I've just had to run off, and create distance from this new person, because being vulnerable feels too hard. And moments when I've been paralyzed by the fear that I will let this person matter so much, and then he will die too. There have been times when I've wanted nothing more than to fall into this new man's arms... And times when I have wanted nothing more than to fall into the arms of my fiancé again - not this new person - because that is truly where I feel the most safe. All of this, the great stuff and the hard stuff, its a lot to take in. To put it plainly, goddamn, this shit is just terrifying.

One of the worst aspects: I hate knowing that - for the rest of my life - I am going to have this fear of the person I am with dying on me. I really, really hate this. I miss the innocence of believing blindly that the odds were in my favor. Now, I know different... and I wish I didn't. I wish none of us did.

This post is really sort of a rambling mess, I didn't plan what to talk about or think through this at all. It's just whatever is going on in my head right now. I am confused, and a bit scared right now. About life. About death. About what lies ahead.

In a few months, I will be exactly as far away from his death as I was the day I met him... and I think this realization has been bubbling up under the surface for a while now. Well, I know it has, I've feared it since he first died. I still cannot even fathom hitting this landline of a mark in June. I cannot even fathom how difficult a time it is going to be... and how much I may regress back into my grief - which makes me want to distance and turn off from the world and be alone. And then I think of this new person, and how much I'd like him to keep being here, but also how scary it is to bring someone else into my world at a time when I may really need a lot of space. I'm confused, and sad tonight. And all I really want is to talk to my best friend, to tell him Happy Birthday, to talk about this new man with him, and to express how scary this year's milestones are going to be. God, why can't we just pick up the phone and call each other?


  1. Yup, Im your first comment again, cuz Im a creepy Sunday stalker who starts her day with coffee and Sarah blog ... I find that the birthdays - THEIR birthdays, not mine or yours, but Don's and Drew's, are the absolute hardest for me. And they do seem to get harder each time. Think about it. Each birthday is another year they never got to live or see. Its heartbreaking every single time, and MORE heartbreaking as years and milestones go by. I can actually get through my own bday and even the death day okay now, but HIS birthday and our wedding anniversary kill me every. single. time.

    It is terrifying. New love. Forever love that isnt on earth anymore. Trying to mesh them together in a world that doesnt make sense. Its scary. And it sucks that we have to do it. And it sucks that we fear people we love will die. But like Michele says 'you can't unknow what you know." And in a lot of ways, living what we have lived makes us better, more aware, more alive and thankful in our new relationships going forward. I know youre scared. Lean into it . Let your new person help you and be there for you, as we both know he is very capable of doing and wants to do. When you need time alone, take it. When you need to be with Drew, be with Drew. Those birthday days and other days will probably always be just for you and him in some way, and that should be honored. Take everything one breath at a time. Being scared is okay, but having love while scared is always better to not having love. Lean into the scared. Lean into the love. You will be okay.

    1. Thank you, and of course you are right. And wise. And know all the best things to say. I'm so glad you stalk me on sundays! ;) love you my friend!!!

  2. Dammit. My last sentence is all screwed up. It should read "having love while scared is always better than NOT having love."

  3. As I approach an April birthday, I realize I will be older than my husband. Numbers shouldn't mean anything, but we let them get under our skin, just as dates do. 5 year dod hit me really hard this winter, how the heck did that happen? How can I have survived these days which have added up to years? His birthday comes this summer, I so hate to think about it even tho it's months away. I think you're correct Kelley, when I think about all he's missed, it just breaks my heart again and again.

    Sarah, so nice you have another person to lean into. Yes, every person you are with may die on you, you now know that it can and does happen. I just took a vacation with 7 others, and one friend died ...can't get away from it no matter where one goes. Be in the moment, that's all that really is. Can't go back, can't predict the future, be present in the now.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Kathy - wise words. Those milestones are definitely a bitch aren't they? I'm wishing you the best as you traverse through the summer months. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

  4. I so relate Cathy…as I approach another birthday that I will be older than my husband made it to….but no one understands that part of my sadness. Of course they don't, they haven't had to go thru it. I am going on 3 1/2 years and I don't know where they went except to grief and sadness…I can't seem to get out of the mode….or maybe I don't want to, for then I inch toward forgetting my pain? I also think about all he has missed…and I miss my old self.