Is it easier?
I get asked that question a lot as I approach the second anniversary of my husband’s death this weekend. I also was asked this same question around the second set of holidays without him and then his birthday…Hell, I even ask myself the same question sometimes…Is it easier now? Life without him?
The answer is yes…
And the answer is also, no.
In the beginning, Nate was on the forefront of my mind every second of every day. His absence was felt with every step I took. I’d turn a corner and expect to see him. I’d hear the phone ring, and expect to hear his voice. And when it wasn’t him, the weight of his loss would crush me all over again…and again, and again, and again. I lost him every morning I got up, and I lost him each night I rested my hand on the empty side of the bed…falling into a restless sleep to the sound of silence rather than the soothing rhythm of his quiet breaths.
Time has helped in many ways. Nate’s death is no longer on my mind every second of every day…I have fallen into the routine of finishing my education and life as a busy, single mommy. However, Nate is with me every day, and everyday there is a moment or moments when I think about him. I’m raising his doppelganger afterall.
Even though time has helped the day to day routine of life without Nate, there are still moments when I feel as though I’ve been transported back to day one…like it was just yesterday that I saw him. There are still times I feel just…broken, and there are still moments when I feel his loss to my core…so much so, that in that moment, it still can take my breath away. But time has helped me recover a bit quicker from those moments, and deep down inside, I know that I am not broken. I loved deeply before losing Nate, and that love inspires me to love even more deeply. To heal. To feel again…
This past year, my heart has expanded and shown me the beauty of possibilities and the importance of acknowledging my strengths and abilities. It’s given me the motivation to continue dreaming and living. I went from being a stay at home mom and homemaker, to a person who strives to be an independent woman and single mother. My goals for the future have changed irrevocably, and though it took me a while to accept the new direction life forced me into, I now am more excited than ever to achieve these goals…To feel proud of myself…to reach the point in my life when I can say, “I did it”.
Last year at this time, I spent the week prior to the one year anniversary of his death drowning my sorrows in wine almost every night after I put ian to bed. That’s pretty much how I survived every holiday or anniversary without him too. I’m not going to criticize myself for grieving this way…Wine is sometimes necessary, people! And sometimes it’s necessary to allow yourself to drown in sorrow. However this year, I have tried to stay involved with my daily routine of dropping Ian off at school, doing my school work, working out, and enjoying the evening with my son. And this weekend (on the actual anniversary of Nate’s passing) I am taking Ian to an indoor waterpark and then a Jurassic Park live show on Sunday…I’m staying busy, and I’m feeling better this year…so far.
My wounds in the beginning were fresh and raw and would rip open at the slightest memory or mention of Nate’s name. Today, those wounds are still there, but in the form of scars…Scars that will always be there, but each day I continue to learn how to live with them. Each day, I become more proud of the progress I’ve made towards healing. There’s moments when those scars reopen, but I’m learning how to better handle that pain. That grief…
So is it easier this year? The truth is, I don’t think the pain of missing someone you love ever gets easier, you just learn how to live with it…So each day, I continue to learn how grief works for me and how I can best continue to live with it. Because the point is…I am always going to have to live with it.
So living is what I’ll continue to do. Scars and all.