recognizable

I haven’t felt like writing about my life so much as I have been (& wanting to) actively participate in living it.
Other outlets for my creativity have become available.
Or… maybe I am just avoiding sitting with myself and getting honest in this space. I’ve been busy creating in other ways.
Therapy helps but there’s a lot I don’t say because of time, or just I don’t feel like talking about it so it gets skipped or skimmed.
Here, there is no time limit and I don’t have to exert so much physical energy getting honest. I can do the work and be in complete control.
And no one digs around and asks me questions…

Very recently I was standing in the kitchen cooking and began a conversation with Shayne. I was listening to a song from an album of one of his favorite bands and said out loud, “I’m not sure how many of these you would’ve liked.”
And I couldn’t feel anything. I started to cry. It felt like I was talking to a void.

I remember early on in this, when he hadn’t been gone but a few weeks even months, I would talk out loud to him all the time and distinctly hear his voice.
Every decision I was faced to make, everything I did for the first time, every place I held him in my hands and sprinkled him, every plane I caught, on the toilet, in the car line, …I was speaking to him. I had a direct line. Sometimes it felt more like I was leaving a voicemail, but in the beginning I still felt so connected to who he was, his essence, his spirit. So clearly I would feel the vibration of his voice and inflection and tone.
I could sense his facial expressions, the way he would move. His presence was felt, almost all the time. I had several dreams about him and always felt a calm, “I’m happy for you, go baby go” energy. So typically Shayne.
I feel like I’ve lost my connection with him, the last remaining one I have, and it made me hurt. I said out loud, “You wouldn’t even recognize me, would you?”
I then felt guilty for changing so much.
I felt sad, maybe I have gone so far from who I was and where I was when he was alive.
I felt like if I saw him and had a chance to talk to him I would feel differently about him, or …vice versa.
All that was felt in a matter of a minute. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
It was me that had fallen short and thats why I can’t feel or hear him anymore.
I don’t deserve or need to hear from him because so much time has passed, I love and care about someone else, and just like everyone says, “Its time to move on.”

Maybe the truth is, I don’t recognize myself. And the useless and unnecessary guilt I am holding onto is cutting my connection.
If I look back on the last 2 years, there’s still a bit of “I can’t believe it…” about the choices I have made and haven’t made.
Was it grief making my decisions or was it really me?
He was my true north for 10 years and the growing up years of my 20’s. He was all I knew to draw comfort, confidence, and clarity from. And it has all been me since two and a half years ago.
I look at myself, now having colored my hair back to blonde, and think, “Who do you think you are?” Not in a snarky way. But, really. Who are you, and what are you doing? Who are you becoming? What’s with all this? I have caught myself looking in the mirror and sort of laughing to myself, “I don’t even recognize this person.”

I ..still.. miss him and who he was to my life. But lately it really is… I just really miss my life.

I understand he is gone, that’s not the confusion. I miss him.
But I also miss my entire life prior to April 16th. My old life, my day to day. The friendship that turned into a love story that turned into a family of four. That was it. Nothing extravagant or dramatic.
I didn’t just lose the most important person of my life, I lost my whole life! The home we were living in, eventually a lot of friends and connections were lost, I stopped doing the work I was involved in, the daily routine I had fostered as a stay at home/work from home parent was gone. No stone of my life unturned by alteration. All because, the one person I revolved my days around, died.
My predictable, calm, centered, simple life…done.

That has been another level of grief rising to the surface I have been feeling heavy on me lately. As I settle into a new normal, creating a new routine, in an entirely new place, with new people, new family, I feel a pang of heartbreak louder than ever that yes… damnit. I miss my fucking life. And thats gotta be okay. And I need room to miss it, so I can set down the guilt and move onward.

We didn’t have everything figured out but we had each other. A history, too. A slideshow of ups and downs, but that in itself held wisdom and understanding of each other and where we were heading. So yes, I do. I miss my life.
I miss having my friends close by and a community of people I was in connection with through my work. I was living in comfort and familiarity at that time in Houston. My family were minutes away. I saw my close friends often and our babies were growing up together. And any changes that were on the horizon I knew would be carried out with our wings attached. At the very least, I wouldn’t have to stumble through anything alone. Such is a great comfort when you’re married and love the one you’re with. That knowing, that comfort, that “I got you no matter what.” Do you have that? If you do, appreciate it. Actively appreciate it.

Every single facet of my entire life drastically changed. And yeah, if I’m honest, I get tired. Real tired. Tired of the rebuilding. I was laying in bed the other morning thinking, I am so allthebadwords TIRED. Its an emotional exhaustion I can’t even type into precise words. I just want to really, I mean REALLY… GTFO my own head sometimes and go way out somewhere and just be still. Physically, mentally, emotionally, in all the ways… just stop. Everything just stop. And give me a minute to just be. No time. No alarms. No expectations to be anywhere or anybody or do anything. No nobody in my lane or in my bubble. Just everything go on pause and let me catch up. My life has been moving in a direction I can’t comprehend for the last two and a half years, let me catch up to all this! Is that even possible?
I have rebuilt my/our life so many times, over so many moves and years with Shayne.
I just want to stop with the rebuilds and relax and settle into an auto-pilot, manufactured life sometimes.

And there’s the missing, the thing I can’t shake, and overwhelms my chest sometimes. Missing familiar faces and places, but more so the people that knew me and my life before.
I miss sitting across from people who knew me before this happened.
I miss not having to explain to them who I am and what I’m doing here.
I miss sitting with people who know and knew how genuine and amazing Shayne is and understand why I miss him the way I do.
I miss being around people who still recognize me underneath all the external changes, because they see my heart and spirit has remained untampered.
I miss being in company with people who knew us together, and witnessed who we were together. I miss laughing and talking about him to people who knew us and sharing inside jokes they too understand. My therapist asked me at my last appointment if anyone talks to me about Shayne… no, very rarely does anyone ask me anything about him. (Its important that if you know someone who lost their spouse, please say their name and ask about them or bring up a funny or heart-warming story. Doesn’t matter where or when. I promise, no matter the amount of time that has passed, it is much more appreciated than not bringing them up at all. Place yourself in another’s shoes and think about how you would want people to talk about you or your spouse if you/they died. Love them, speak them, through life).
I miss sharing space with people who understand me beyond that I am Shayne’s widow, but really know who I am and have seen me before and through all of this.

I am so grateful to actually have those people in my life. I know they are there, and have been, loving us. Lots of them. Just not in proximity.
And now I am realizing the healing power of staying close to people who know your heart and can hold you in those times of drastic change when you don’t even recognize yourself. When it gets confusing, and the life you knew it is gone and everything looks different and you’re making sudden movements and decisions and in shock, its good to come in contact with the earth and get grounded.
And be with people who wouldn’t judge you even two and a half years later, and still would gladly sit with you in tears because it all just still hurts.
Understandably.
It is powerfully helpful to sit in a hug with someone who, without words, can remind you who you are and what you’re made of when you don’t see it in the mirror.
A handful of my closest friends come to mind, and I am very blessed they have stayed in my life in the best way they could. In this moment, however, I miss being in their presence.
I am missing very much… familiarity.
That doesn’t mean this place doesn’t feel like home or where I am supposed to be. I chose this, all of it, and I am very grateful I did. However, I could not have anticipated feeling each level of loss when I made the leap.

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I want to see me before this, before the hurt and anger and all the guilt and shame, and remind myself… I’m not fighting to get my old life back, I can’t. As much as it hurts, it died with Shayne.

But what I can do is, create a peaceful one I was always deserving of.
Because… I don’t need someone else familiar or be in a familiar place to sit with me and remind me I am a good person who deserves to be happy.
Whatever that looks like.
The missing everything that died with Shayne might not go away. But I can create my version of happiness to override the emptiness feeling that accompanies the missing.
Regardless of what I lost, or how many times I move, or reinvent myself and shave or color my hair… I deserve peace. Thats the feeling I want out of every turn of this page.

I was going to become the person I was meant to be no matter what. People and places have influenced me along the way, but my true self is going to emerge.

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