When Jared died, I counted the months he had been gone. I hated the 16th of every month. And if the 16th happened to be a Tuesday, it was a double whammy.
Then at the end of October 2016, I realized that October 16th passed and I didn’t even notice. For the first time since Jared died, I didn’t notice the date. It didn’t register that it was 25 months since Jared went home. For the first time, I didn’t make a post on social media counting the months. AndI felt guilty. How could I let the 16th of a month pass and not even notice? How could I just stop counting the months since my love had earned his wings? Then I realized it was because I no longer needed to count the months. I was healing. I realized my new life was blossoming and I was finally starting to accept that.
I remember the first Tuesday that wasn’t terrible. You see, Jared died on a Tuesday and I hated every Tuesday after that for months. The first Tuesday that wasn’t awful caught me completely by surprise. I wasn’t prepared to stop hating Tuesdays but I guess my soul was. And now, the 16th of the month doesn’t send me over the cliff of grief.
I am surprised at how far I have come. I made huge strides those first 2 years. And even more the lady 2. I know some will say about time and others will question how I can have moved forward already. I have learned that no one knows my grief journey but me and that I can’t try to please others. Instead I have to focus on healing myself. I have to trust in God’s plan for me and that His plan includes moving forward and living a new life just as full of adventures as my life before.
Accepting my new life does not mean I will ever forget Jared. It doesn’t mean that I will stop celebrating his birthday. It doesn’t mean that I will stop honoring his life. It doesn’t mean I will stop loving him. It doesn’t mean that my heart will forget the pain of September 16, 2014. Or all the days that came after. I will always love Jared. I will always wish he was still here with us. I will always say Jared would have loved this or I wish Jared could see this. Moving forward and making a new life doesn’t mean I will forget my old life. Life will forever be marked as before and after. My heart will always have a scar and have a section reserved just for Jared. My soul will always remember him and how his love made me feel. His love made me who I am today. His love gave me the strength to continue when I just wanted to die. His love encourages me to continue to make each day count. His love for me is shaping my future. Our love will always be a part of my story.
As I forge on in this new life I am nervous. I am scared. This is uncharted territory. I have no road map for this trip to my future. I know Jared will be with me and gently nudge me in the right direction. Our love will guide me. And when I stumble and fall, Jared will laugh his mischievous laugh and tell me to get back up and keep going. This new ride isn’t going to be a smooth one but I hope I am ready for bumps and all the twists and turns.
Who knew no longer counting the days on the calendar could have so much meaning?