I never really knew what the lyrics meant when Three Dog Night belted them out in the late 60’s. I sang along to the catchy tune, never realizing that one day I would know exactly what they meant. It has been 554 days since I became “one”. It has been a long and lonely 554 days.
The most difficult part, for me at least, is when I open my eyes in the morning. As the grogginess clears, there is it, like a punch in the gut, Rick is gone. Oh I never forget, trust me, but the refuge of sleep is the only time that I don’t live it, breath it, grieve it, and miss it. I miss my life as I knew it and I miss Rick. Along with that, I miss all the plans we had for what should have been “retirement”, when life would slow down and we could do whatever we wanted together.
We had planned Spring into Fall on the boat, relaxing with Lucy and making memories as a new chapter unfolded. It would be a time to enjoy each other, life would be simpler, time would not matter. Weekdays we would take Lucy on therapy visits to cheer those who couldn’t get out. We would watch our grandchildren grow and learn and we would be at every event they participated in. We would cheer them on in whatever they did and we would be a safe place if they needed us. We would have shoulders and tissues for that first broken heart. There would be birthdays and holidays to celebrate for years to come.
The world would continue to turn and we would grow old together. Our hair would grey, our joints would ache and sometimes we wouldn’t be as clear with our thoughts, but as hard as that sounds, it would be ok because we would do it together. I had my “person” and he had his. With all the storms we had weathered, we would live out the rest of our life cherishing the memories made, in peace and tranquility…or so we thought.
Of course, as life goes, this plan, our plan, wasn’t meant to be. We would not rest on the back of the “Linzi-Lu” watching the sun set. Our sun went down on April 20, 2019 and from that day on, it’s just me “the One” in the song. I wake alone, I eat alone and I go to bed alone. Everything is different and I long for the days when we would bicker over silly things, only to end up laughing at each other. I long for the feeling of being a part of something special, something uniquely ours. I long for the future we planned together. We worked so hard all these years and when it could have been easier, it ended.
This blog is not for sympathy or to make anyone worry, it is just plain, simple fact. One is lonely and that is that. I am doing ok and I am living my life. I feel happiness when I am with my family or getting sloppy, wet kisses from my dog. I feel valued at my job and appreciated by many. I have enough to eat and a roof over my head and anything I really need. I have found a wonderful church family who teach me something with every encounter. Isn’t that enough you ask?
I guess the hard part for me and those in my same situation is this. Where do I belong now? How do I go through life without my “person”. There are no answers, just more questions. What is going to be is going to be. No one understands because they aren’t supposed to. You can only understand your own experience, not that of another. You only understand how you felt in a similar circumstance, so this is a trail you must blaze on your own. You are the only one that can change things for you. It must come from within, deep inside from the very core of who you are.
So what now? Try not to look too far ahead, it’s scary out there, try to enjoy moments in time, don’t expect too much of yourself. Do what you need to get through the day. Do what brings you joy and avoid what brings you pain. Embrace the obvious, the future is just that, the future. The only thing you can change is today. Try to go forward at a pace that works for you, baby steps at times, and giant leaps when you feel you can. Grief doesn’t go away, it doesn’t heal like a wound heals, it just allows you to live for now and love what was, all at the same time. Love is what brought you here and love is what helps you survive.
The maze is thinning now and the light is obvious at every turn. You know you can leave whenever you want, being able to return when you need a safe place, a place that lets you feel, let’s you cry, let’s you grieve what you’ve lost. Feel free to be afraid and feel free to express that fear. Feel free to take a moment with your grief away from the world. It is ok to miss that person and it is ok to acknowledge that. After all, you loved them before you lost them, you still love them now.
Darcie Sims said “May love be what you remember most.”