Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear Greg

I keep a "Dear Greg" journal where I write letters to him, to get whatever I'm feeling out on paper. I hadn't written in it in a while, when the one year anniversary of his passing hit I wanted so badly to write something poignant, but I had spent all of my energy on the last song I wrote him which REALLY took it out of me, and it felt like I didn't have any more words to put down.  Finally tonight I was lead back to the journal, and this time I wanted to share what was written.  I think an important epiphany was had... I hate phrases like "moving on" or "getting past it", etc. because they insinuate that I should have to "get over" it which I don't think is the way this works. I'll never be over it. But I will learn to move through, live with it, and have new life experiences. Life is already proving that to me after a year. If you'd told me before he died that he was going to die, I would've told you I'd die too. That I wouldn't be able to last at all. But I've proven that notion wrong, though most days I don't know how... as I tell everyone who asks... "you just do." If you'd asked me the day I got the news, I would've told you it was going to be impossible to get on with life. But eventually... again.... "you just do." It's not always easy... at first it's days and days of "this is impossible. I can do nothing." Then there are moments of clarity and "okay" peppered in. Those "okay" moments start to come more frequently and stick around longer... eventually okay turns back to normal (ish), and after much time passes, your good moments outweigh the bad moments. The bad ones still come, and they still hurt, but it's a more manageable pain most of the time. You learn to live with it. And that's where I'm at. But tonight, new realizations and feelings came out and that is what I wanted to document here.
I don't know why I feel compelled to share my grief. I just know it helps me, makes me feel less alone in this awfulness. And who knows, maybe someone else who has to go through something similar (which I wouldn't wish on my WORST enemy) can draw some sort of comfort from my ramblings. I've certainly drawn comfort from reading of others' experiences.


Dear Greg,
It has been almost 13 months since we lost you. You birthday (11-14) was hard. My birthday (11-18) was hard. The one year anniversary of your death (12-18) and the days leading up to it, were some of my worst yet. In a way, a year later I was no longer in shock, no longer numb to what had happened... the reality of the nightmare being completely true had set in.  So all of the super heartache and actual PHYSICAL pain and sickness were felt FULLY by the time the one year rolled around. The way I thought I should've felt right after it happened, took almost a year to be felt. For weeks, I couldn't breath. Not kidding. I went to two different doctors insisting that something MUST be wrong with my lungs. They took X-rays, ran tests, put me on a slough of different antibiotics and meds, diagnosing all sorts of possibilities. None of the meds made any difference, because I didn't have any sort of sickness they could cure. My heart was broken, and causing my lungs to have to work overtime and therefore make me short of breath. I was in a constant state of super anxiety that was barely recognizable sometimes. I couldn't always sense it or feel it in my head but it overtook my body and was affecting me for weeks. I'm still not 100% convinced I haven't magically developed asthma, because it still happens sometimes. Anyway that's not the point. The point is- I miss you. Over a year has passed since I last heard your voice (alive), and I miss it. And you. People have grieved and mourned, offered their condolences, some of them have checked in here and there, and now a year has passed and they have moved on with their lives, as they should. Me... I'm doing the best I can. I live every single day to the best of my ability... some are harder than others but I am trying to seize every opportunity I can to do great things and SO much of it, I do for you. I want to make you proud. Still. I try to live every day giving myself the advice that I think you'd give me if I could call you as I so desperately long to. I'm fortunate enough that our almost 4 years of conversations gave me enough insight into how you thought and spoke that if I concentrate real hard, I can hear the things I think you'd say. But God do I miss your calming voice, your jokes, your words of encouragement, your "I love you's". All the time.
           I was just going through Michelle and Joe's wedding photos. The wedding you should've been at with me, instead of just your picture on a memorial table.  When I got to the first look part of the album- I started to tear up. The looks on both of their faces- breathtaking- how HAPPY they looked. How very deeply in love. How lucky they are. I couldn't help it, to the empty room I'm in I opened my mouth and said "God, I want that." Then out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the picture of you (of us) that I have on my nightstand next to me and my heart broke all over again. I started to cry and added "I wish it could have been with you." The myriad of things that got in the way and made that ending an impossibility-- don't matter. It doesn't mean that deep down in my heart I didn't dream about it, long for it.  I'd be lying if I denied that.
         Here is where I'm stuck though. It's a new year. This year i'm working hard, trying to learn about manifesting the things that I want for myself.  There are two biggies that I've come up with. One, which you were my biggest support system for, Broadway- obviously.  The other, which I'm having more trouble with- is love. I am torn. Obviously I WANT what Michelle and Joe have.  I want those breathtaking first look pictures. I want to look at a man that way and have him looking back at me feeling equally as blessed and in love. That man can't be you because you are gone. But I still feel bad moving forward. I know I need to and I know someday I will... but I don't know how.  Because it seems like the true test- the task at hand- the only WAY to find love again, would be to find a way to release your hold on my heart. And that feels a lot like having to LET GO of you, and just writing those words makes my chest tighten all over again.  How do I do this?  How do I move on without you?  I watched a gut wrenching documentary tonight in which someone said "Grief is loves unwillingness to let go."  Truer words, never spoken.
        I am still grieving.  I don't know how to let go of this love. Those words sound WRONG. So what do I do? What would you tell me?  I know you always wanted me to be happy. You always wanted me just for yourself, too. But you're not here to be with me anymore.  So what would you have me do? How can I move forward into looking for the kind of love I know you always wished you could provide before things got hard... but simultaneously honor you and your legacy, our story and the love you left behind?  I guess I'm writing you to ask for guidance. I wouldn't be having these thoughts and feelings if they weren't being planted in my head by the Universe, my Higher Power, and maybe even you.  Can you be there for me, through whatever new partner I eventually find when the time comes?  I hope so.  Even though your death SHATTERED my heart into a million pieces, your part in my life made it grow twice as big from the day I met you til the day you left... and eventually when it is done healing, that is what I'll have to give... and we'll both owe you for it.
                                                             I miss you. I love you.

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