There is something to be said for having the rug completely pulled out from under you. Your life is going well, you think things are finally looking up, and that maybe, just maybe, the peace you were looking for will be the end result you've been hoping for.
Then, out of nowhere, he's dead.
Almost 4 months ago, I was there. That space in between then and now was something that cannot be described to anyone who has not been there. I've tried, but it just isn't the same as actually living it. Hell? Maybe. I've never been one to believe in your typical fire and brimstone hell, but if there is a hell, that was it.
I'll have to go a little further back to explain.
I'm infamous for making very impulsive and not always the best decisions in my life. I know my parents are all nodding in agreement and also shaking their heads in exasperation about now, thinking back on all the sleepless nights, wondering what kind of BS I've gotten myself into.
Apparently, I was quite the independent soul from the beginning. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and never really cared for rules. Obviously, this didn't go well for me most of the time. Somehow, though, I managed to stay out of major trouble. See, not only was I good at getting IN to trouble, I was also good at talking my way out of it.
So, in 1999, when I met Phil on the Internet, a guy who lived halfway across the country, and after only him visiting me once and me visiting him once, I packed up my daughters and moved to Missouri, I am sure the parents, my siblings, and my friends all thought I had finally gone off the deep end.
What they didn't know was that there were only two other decisions up to that point in my life that were of any significance:
1. When I was 18, going back to the hospital after Heather was born to get her and stop the adoption.
2. When I was 20, not going on advice of in-laws and giving birth to my second daughter, Sarah.
When I was 25, going to Missouri was the third most important decision in my life. Everything else other than those involving my daughters were just impulsive. I had to go to Missouri. My heart, mind, body and soul told me to go. As I mentioned before, when I met him, my life fell into place and it was the first time I ever felt whole.
The first year was hard. Learning to live with him (and him living with me!) was difficult. We clashed on several things. We eventually learned to live with each other, although we definitely had some rough times. We fought like cats and dogs, but our bond was something that could not be broken. We loved each other with so much passion that I didn't care about any flaws that might have caused others to jump ship.
When he died, I was so tied to him emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, that I was not even a person of my own. Our lives were so synced that we could read each other's minds with just a look. How do you pick yourself up from that? How do you heal from that? How can you learn to be a person again on your own, especially since you never felt like a person on your own even before?
In the first 2 months after he died, I focused on learning to be just that: A separate person. Little things I did were big victories for me, like sleeping in the bed alone, sitting at the table for a meal alone, watching what I want on TV without considering someone else's feelings, going where I wanted without letting anyone know where I was or when I'd be home, etc. It was like I was just doing it all out of habit.
The next month, I focused on actually enjoying those activities. I was learning to realize that this was the first time in my life that I COULD do all of these things by myself without having to care for someone else first, without having to answer to someone else. I could make these decisions for myself. This was truly a first.
I have been working on some of the promises I made to Phil after he died, some of the things I promised him I would do that he could not do in his life, to help him move on, and I feel like he is at peace. I feel like he is happy that I am doing this for him. Our souls were so bonded that I feel his peace. This brings me peace, as well.
From the end of that third month to now, something has drastically changed within me. My own spirit is healed. All those years of poor decisions and getting in trouble and just never doing anything to improve my life has come to an end. There really isn't even any thinking about it. I just feel good.
Maybe there are some people who will think that not quite four months doesn't seem like enough time to have come to this after Phil died, but considering it is not something I have been through before, I'd say for me, it is exactly right for me. I spent this entire time doing nothing but working on finding ways to get myself out of bed, do the things I needed to survive and keep moving for my kids and grandkids, and I hoped that eventually, it would turn in to me doing those things for myself.
And it has.
It isn't that I don't miss Phil anymore. OF COURSE I miss him. I will always miss and love him. He was my very best friend, my lover, my soulmate, my everything. How do you move on from losing that? I don't know, but I did. And I know with all of my soul that he is proud of me. That is what he wants for me.
That is what I want for me.