Yesterday I did something that scared me. Terrified me if truth be told but I did it and it went well and I ended the experience being very proud of myself. When you spend years with someone, share with them, laugh with them, love them, instinctively you find yourself reaching for the phone to tell them about your achievements. After all, for a very long time they were the ones who stood in your corner and cheered for you, so old habits die hard. Die very hard indeed.
Yesterday I had such an experience. The first person I thought of calling to share my joy with is someone who is no longer at the end of my phone. No longer are they a part of my joy, my sadness, my anything. This instinct kicked in and I reached for my phone, and for a split second all was well in my world. Then reality came a knocking, as it so often does, and delivered me sharply back to my reality that does not favour this phone call anymore and it took my breath away.
It still happens now and then, this brief forgetfulness of what is now my new reality and I am trying so very hard to navigate myself through this with minimal damage. They say time heals all wounds. What they don’t say is how much time this can take. How long does it take to stop missing someone? How long does it take for them not to be the first person you want to call? How long does it take to get through a day without a thought, a memory, a feeling that is not in one way or another directly connected to the life you have shared? Everyone tells me different lengths of time. Some of those lengths scare me to the bone! I have no point of reference for this kind of pain. This one is brand new. This one feels like it will last forever but those wiser than I with similar experiences tell me that it won’t. They tell me that it won’t always feel this way. They tell me that I won’t always reach my phone to tell him about my accomplishments or my sadness, or anything at all. They tell me that life will change, and I will change and my feelings will change because that is the natural order of things. I like hearing this. It gives me hope. It keeps me grounded and lets me know that this pain is not exclusive to me and for some reason this gives me comfort.
Waiting for change can be lonely and messy and as confusing as hell but at least I know that I am growing and bending and shaping because of it. To feel nothing at all would be worse and I trust that the instinct I have will soon grow small. Soon it will be small enough to put away into my heart where it will always stay safe as it watches me grow.