What sums it up is this: If I had dreamed up someone to be in my life, i'm pretty sure he'd be just like you. So when you look at me and see me smile and want to know what I'm thinking, now you'll have an idea. (3/2010)
I wrote the above in an email to Jon less than a month after we met. The night before, I had asked him why he liked me and he had given me a 15-minute profound list of reasons while he played with my hair. He was always good at words and the way he spoke made me lose my breath. He listed things about me that I didn't even recognize in myself. He didn't say the usual -- 'I think you're pretty and smart, etc.' He told me things like, my eyes had "their own light." I've never forgotten that night. I've never been so surprised by someone. I could literally feel myself fall in love with him. Not necessarily because of the things he was saying, but the simple fact of how he saw me. The simple fact of who he was. I've never felt more vulnerable than at the moment I knew my heart was completely in his hands.
I looked through an old email I'd sent after we got bad news for the first time. I went on and on about how I believed he would be okay and that we would be okay. I listed the reasons why and summed it up by saying there's no way God would be cruel enough to take him away from me. I said the universe wouldn't do that because then I wouldn't believe in anything anymore. It's painful to read those words now. And strange in a way, because I DO still believe . . . in everything.
I think our hearts only let us feel a little grief at a time. If we felt the true weight of it all, we'd collapse. And so we become numb in between. There's a tremendous sadness in that numbness. And I've only recently started to come out of that. I obviously felt the pain, the loss, the despair from the first moment. But those were the only emotions I really had room for in between trying to function in the world. Lately, I've realized I can feel other things, too. I can laugh and genuinely feel happy. I can feel pride, I can feel goodness in people, I can smile at happy memories, and most recently, I've come to the realization that I might even be able to feel love again.
The true depth of the realization that Jon is never coming back is still something that is unfathomable. It is something I re-feel again and again. But I think my heart (and brain) is gradually beginning to understand. And I've started to become myself again... and recognize my own worth in this world, without Jon and not defined by the trauma I've been through. I am someone separate and apart from Jon (though he will always be a part of me). . . separate and apart from this loss and all the preceding difficulties. I'm still everything that Jon loved about me. I still exist, and to put it in the simplest terms, I'm still alive.
And that's both tremendously difficult and incredibly inspiring.
Jon is gone from this life. And I believe some day, some way, somehow, I will see him again. Maybe he's my soulmate in every sense -- perhaps we've been together in multiple lifetimes. Whatever your beliefs are (and I'm not sure about my own), I know we remain connected. But, he is no longer "living". And I have a chance to. And I know he wouldn't want me to waste a second of it. As far as I'm concerned, there are no rules, there is no normal. I want to do what makes me happy. I want to make other people happy. The rest will work itself out.