A Solitary Excursion

Fear of loss is a devastating sort of dread to live with. It consumes…

Each person’s healing path is different and unique to that individual. My own has grown out of a basic need to survive this final episode, based not only on personal experience and new-found resources discovered along the way, but on the knowledge that it is critical that I not completely shut down subsequently shutting everyone out.

There exists in me a strong determination that I cannot allow my girlfriend’s death to kill me too. I have a daughter who needs me and there is still so much love in my heart to give and so much more that I want to receive eventually. I am overflowing with a need and a desire to reconnect; to feel loves unwavering strength again and that has not changed. I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing; I am living through the pain. Pushing it not aside but to the forefront so that I can conquer it and replace it with spiritual gain manifesting into positive energy.

My girlfriend’s death was a rude awakening from a  comfortably lazy slumber. I realize that I am left wide open and somewhat vulnerable in the aftermath. I’m definitely outside of my element while existing in this unfamiliar physical and emotional state. My consciousness not colliding was singularly dependent upon expressing the most raw of emotions during the initial grief stage. I went all out; I cried to the point of exhaustion, screamed into my pillows at night, felt intense anger, loneliness and fear at moving on with my life without her by my side, etc. I am still dealing with the process but with the realization that it does get better and I am more than allowed to feel all of these things.

As far as grief and pain go, I was a book that no one wanted to open let alone read because the cover was in such disarray. But that didn’t stop people from reaching out to me anyway. I felt such anger at the loss of the only life I’d known. The anger has now subsided and I’m not even left with a hole where it once was. That hole began to fill immediately upon coming to some terms, and I am left healing. I wonder if it’s happening too fast, too slow, too soon, too this – too that. In the end, we all take our own path and we heal in our very own right and that’s that.

Healing goes much faster when the pain is smothered with love.

To keep some semblance of balance, I’ve relied heavily on my strong sense of self. Forcing my emotions to stay in check has caused my spirituality and faith to realign once again. My connection to the universe, both positive and negative, has been the life force working  the energies through and within me.  I feel them daily on such a considerable level. Totally awed to be inspired by ones own mettle.

I consider being in tune with my spiritual needs to be the liberating force in my ability to see myself through this damned grief. I consider that spirituality to be sacred, untouchable and lacking any religious under or overtone – it is simply that which has allowed me to stand strong and to value everything good and bad in life even through death.

I suspect I will never quite reach the end of my longing for what once was. I have loved and lost in the truest sense of the word and for that I am grateful to have experienced the extremes of both. But, ultimately, I am forever changed. I see everything differently now – and that takes some getting used to.

In the midst of simply living I constantly remind myself that there are others around me grieving for my late girlfriend too. All of our lives, as they were once defined when she was still alive, will never continue as they once were. We are all changed and the way we live our lives follows suit. We are all navigating uneasy waters using survival skills we’ve accumulated along the way.  Trying to live as if nothing has changed makes it damn near impossible to actually advance and progress from this varied emotion-filled state, and it is highly not recommended to live that way. To add, not recognizing that it’s impossible to carry on as before can eventually lead to self-destruction.

My girlfriend use to always say, “You have to live life to the fullest,” and that’s exactly how she tried to live on a daily. I always thought it impossible, but it was always the thought behind the action that counted. I get it now. In the aftermath of her death her words have stuck to me in a different light, and they challenge me to move on carefully in my new life. One day at a time. Until I accepted that, I knew I would be living a very sad existence for God knows how long rather than living the life I am now becoming accustomed to.

One and a half months have passed and the transition to this new reality has been more fluid than I initially imagined it would be. I miss her and think of her every single day. I still mourn my life with my girlfriend but I also realize that that life is over. A part of you dies with the person you so loved. My girlfriend was so special to me and I can honestly say she will never be replaced.

I look forward to the day when my most meaningful memories of her no longer invoke pain, but instead are realized as a natural part of who I am and most importantly who I once was. This promise of what’s to come has afforded me immeasurable strength.

Our hearts are big enough to deal with grief and happiness and we don’t have to deny ourselves one to feel the other.



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