True love. Don't we all dream about it? Finding our soul mate? Living happily ever after?
Then suddenly, just like that, it can be taken away from you. Now you're a shell of a person, trying to find your new normal. Trying to get into the rhythm of things. Learning to accept, and embrace, the loneliness that surrounds you every single waking moment of the day. But, especially the nights.
I can't imagine what it's like to lose someone you love so deeply. I would stay in bed all day, curled up in a ball. I would relive all the wonderful moments we had, over and over and over again in my head. I would smell him on the pillow next to me. I would want to die.
Then, one day, I would crawl out of bed and maybe even get dressed. I would check the mail and even turn on my computer. I would eat cold cereal. The healing process has begun.
I've never lost someone I loved so desperately, although we did find ourselves in a situation many years ago that required Mike to go south to work. And I stayed here..... It was the worst of times. I could not function. I could not think straight. I missed him so desperately.
We traveled back and forth, but it was never the same as waking up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee every morning, or going to bed in his arms every night. I desperately missed him. Every single moment of every single day. For almost three years.
Besides missing all the every day things we did together, like grocery shopping, holding hands, talking over dinner, I missed Mike even more during those times when I had to do his "manly" chores. I could mow, but I knew nothing about checking the oil in the lawn mower! Or what would happen if you let it go dry.... Then there was the morning I sat outside in the pouring rain, trying to lay flat rocks for a patio affect. I knew nothing about how to do it properly to begin with and the fact that it was so much work.... I missed Mike most that morning when I cried in despair. Silently. In the rain. All by myself.
That's as close as I've ever come to losing someone I loved so deeply. I can't begin to imagine what my sister is going through after suddenly losing her husband.... It's times like this when living so far away has its disadvantages. I don't have the convenience of stopping in for a short visit to make sure she's doing okay nor do I have the luxury of staying for a long visit. Instead, we try to fly south for a long weekend every month, just to be a presence, help her with chores, or just to visit. I hope it helps her. I hope she knows that there isn't anything Mike or I wouldn't do for her. And if we don't catch on that she needs help, all she has to do is ask us and we'll be there. We only get one family and we've learned from experience how quickly that family can be taken away.
I know my sister will be just fine; is already doing much better. But it'll take time to completely heal. She'll figure out her new normal, her rhythm, in her own time. She'll eventually re-claim her life. Every day, just a baby step closer to being whole again.