His birthday. Our anniversary. The day we met. My birthday. Our last Christmas together. Everyone of these days, these milestones, carries with it a memory. Now that he is gone it is another heartache that I’ve had to or will have to suffer.
No one knows better than me (in my opinion) that suffering is a choice I make. However when someone you love dies these days are graphic and painful reminders of what your life use to be and what it will never be again.
I made it through our anniversary without him this year. It wasn’t even 3 months after he died. I took the day off work and spent most of the day (ok the entire week) in tears. I allowed myself to feel that pain because if I tried to bury it it would have eaten me alive.
Jack’s birthday is today, June 2nd, and he would have been 64. There are however no birthday celebrations for him anymore and it breaks my heart to not be with him on this day. I can remind myself all day long that he’s started a new life but it doesn’t take away the pain of missing him.
My birthday is in a couple of weeks and I’m going to be with friends who knew Jack and understand my sorrow. I have however planned a few days around it filled with new and fun experiences so I have something to look forward to rather than dread. OK… I am going to miss him terribly and nothing can change that. It is what it is.
What’s next though is what I choose to make it. I don’t pretend that any of this is easy and while I have some people in my life who think I need to “get over it” that’s not going to happen either. You don’t get over the death of the love of your life. What you do is learn how to live your own life because to do anything else is to lose another life, yours… mine.
I believe deep down in my soul that what I am going through is exactly what I came here to experience. I don’t know why Jack had to die so young. I don’t know why I have to live the rest of my life without him. There are no good answer to any of the “why” questions which leads me to ask, “What am I going to do with my life, now?”
For me the answer is that I’m going to keep putting one foot in front of the other (the simple steps), I’m going to look for reasons to be happy. I’m going make my best effort to be happy for the life I had with Jack and be grateful we had 36+ years together. Some days I might cry more. Some days I might laugh more. And some day I will realize I’ve come through the toughest time of my life and be stronger for it.
We all have choices and while they aren’t necessarily easy… they are ours to make.
Happy Birthday Jack!