I'm not sure why people like to read my blogs. I guess some of it is curiosity -- they want to see how I'm doing. Whatever the reason, my wish is that I'm able to provide some hope. Whether it is hope for love -- because I'm pretty sure I can prove it exists; or hope for strength -- because I like to believe I found some of that, too. Or maybe, more specifically, hope after a loss.
You don't get over losing someone. I will never "get over" losing Jon. I can guarantee that his family and close friends would have to agree. But in the very beginning of this journey through grief, I wasn't convinced I'd survive. It's not about being suicidal or anything like that, although I'm sure many people struggle with those thoughts, too. It's just that the pain is so intense. The emptiness, the constant state of missing someone, that void -- it's almost physical. It is by far the worst thing I have ever experienced.
It's weird because that loss is still overwhelmingly present, and I can't say it's necessarily gotten "better," but humans are resilient creatures. We adapt. It sounds really cold to say it that way, but we somehow learn how to live a new life. The hole is still there. We learn to walk around it. Inevitably, no matter how much time has passed, no matter how good we've gotten at maneuvering around that hole, sometimes we still fall in. But the difference is, now we're able to climb out of it, usually on our own. Occasionally it helps to have a hand pull us out.
And so, if you're currently experiencing a loss, I am so sorry for you. I can't tell you it will get better, but I can tell you you will learn how to survive. That doesn't make you miss them any less or diminish how much they shaped your life. I'm no expert, but I think the best thing I did for myself throughout this entire ordeal was to allow myself to be sad. I let myself break down, even at times when it wasn't convenient or even if it didn't make sense. Sometimes you need to let yourself feel the weight of your loss, or at least as much as you can tolerate. Otherwise it sneaks up on you and it's twice as heavy.
There were moments immediately following losing Jon where I was "proud" of myself for not being "a mess". But who cares? Be a mess. We all deserve that. And the people who love you will love you anyway. The truth is, it's not something to be proud of. I was numb in those moments. It's a defense mechanism. And it's only lately that I feel like I emerged from that darkness.
I like to believe Jon sends me inspirational things. It very well could be just me finding more beauty and inspiration in the world, but I like to think he has a lot to do with it. The sunshine when it feels extra warm sometimes. He sends me ladybugs and butterflies who insist on landing on me for longer than normal periods of time. And birds. Birds were always a thing for us. Right after I first met him, I was walking home one morning while it was snowing, and I saw two pigeons snuggling and 'kissing'. I know pigeons aren't the cutest birds around but for some reason it made me happy and reminded me of Jon. I texted him a picture of those birds.
In our apartment, we loved hearing the birds outside our window. Since Jon died in February, birds seem to always be around. There's one who stays perched outside my kitchen window all day. In Paris, a bird ate out of my hand. And at the park, they hang out by my blanket (even when I don't have food). Maybe it sounds bizarre, but it's comforting to me.
There are times when Jon's voice is so loud and clear in my head that it's almost as if he's standing next to me. I know how he'd react to most things. It makes me smile when during certain moments I think about what sarcastic comment he'd make if he were there, or dirty joke. It makes me sad when something happens that I know he'd be angry about or frustrated. It's difficult to watch people close to him make choices that I know he'd talk them out of. If only he could give us advice every once in awhile...we'd all be better off.
Jon was other-worldly. It's the only word I can use to describe him that fully depicts how truly one of a kind he was. As connected as we were (are), sometimes I don't even understand why he chose me. I don't have low self-esteem, but God, he was just SO good at everything, in every single way. He was so much better at life in general than most people, including myself. He had his faults, of course, but even his flaws were perfect to me. I legitimately loved the things I hated about him. And I like to think he felt the same about me.
I find myself re-reading my blogs and knowing Jon could say it so much better. When I talk to his family or friends, sometimes all I can feel is this inferiority, knowing if Jon were here, he'd make a better joke or have better words of comfort. There is a comfort in surrounding myself with people close to him, but at the same time, I know they are just wishing for him to be there... just like I am. I'm not Jon... and maybe sometimes, in some ways, I am the closest thing to him... but simply put, I can't compare. He shined. What I wouldn't give to stand in his light, simply smiling at him, laughing at literally everything he said. The most flabbergasting thing to me is I know he thought I lit up the room. He thought I shined, too. How lucky I was to have someone look at me that way.
When Jon and I first started to become serious, he told me that he had spent an extraordinary amount of time "in his head" after he was diagnosed and while he was getting his initial treatment. He felt like he had learned so much about himself and grown so much. He told me he learned how to be alone, and he didn't want to do it anymore. That's where our expression, "get out of your head" came from...which later became, "get out of my head" because we always seemed to know what the other was thinking. I never really understood what he meant until recently. He's been gone for just about 5 months now, and I have spent an extraordinary amount of time in my own head. Maybe our darkest moments are when we grow the most.
I miss my friend, so very much. It boggles my mind to think that I'm only 26...that I have so many more years (hopefully) of living to do. I do think my heart is more complete having been loved like that. I think I know myself better because someone loved all of me.
I am far from perfect. I hope someday, if I'm very lucky, someone will love that about me. <3