This, this is what I’ve dreamed of: waking up peaceful, happy, energetic, a hot cup of coffee, sitting on my deck under a blue sky, my foot touching my Black Lab as she reclines at my feet, my journal, a pen, this glorious moment.
Then, it hits me like a thump in a V-8 commercial: five months! Five months ago today I got the news that Kevin died in his sleep, like angels snuck him to the other side. Sudden, unexpected, a heart attack.
But, Kevin’s a salesman and somehow he’s convinced the powers that be or just gone and done it in his own crazy, sexy, Fire! way. Anyhow, he’s here! He tells me that over and over and I know it to be true.
He’s just like when he was alive. As he says, it’s like he’s walked into another room. His personality and love are the same. The feeling I get when he’s here is the same.
But, the physical reality of grief and loss insist the sadness is more real.
Maturity involves holding opposing ideas. A part of my spiritual journey is embracing this new form of relationship with Kevin.
I believe in life on the other side. I’ve been to more psychics than doctors. That’s my evidence—all the times my mother and brother came through.
Each of them has also communicated with me directly from the other side, but nothing like the FIRE! I feel I’ve entered a new world. In the midst of my dark grief, Kevin shares the light of his love. I haven’t so much resisted it, but relished our moments and conversations while wanting to show the world, to prove this is happening, but why?
As Kevin points out, I never needed to prove our love while he was alive. He told me to trust it. I did.
When he began to fret because we lived in different cities, I focused on how fortunate we were to really spend time together when we were together. I told him we’d merge when the time was right—when I get a book contract.
Is it possible to take on that attitude now and acknowledge our situation? He’s in a different dimension. He died. “On the other side” never made more sense. It’s similar to living in different cities. Maybe we practiced for this.
Maybe we can continue our relationship on this new path. Why not? He’s as willing, optimistic, and loving now as when we first got together. He encourages me to let him love me, to believe he’s different and we just keep getting better. He’s been here with me during most of my breakdowns since his death. He holds me and comforts me.
He’s in me, a part of me. I love the idea of “twin flame.” This experience is beyond amazing, like my eyes opening to a new world, like falling in love all over again (in the midst of agonizing grief).
I’m accepting, loving, communicating, dancing with, and listening to my lover who now lives on the other side. To recognize the signs is like honoring a wedding ring’s meaning rather than showing off the sparkle.
It’s a mind blowing privilege Kevin and I get this gift of communicating even though we’re worlds apart.
The words and love are no less powerful. This experience is beyond amazing if I allow it and quit comparing it to the past. That’s how he helped me open up to his love in the first place. “I’m not those other guys.” I set aside the rules I created from fear and found the most fulfilling love I’ve ever known.
We pray for miracles, yet evaluate, question, and try to disprove their arrival. I didn’t have time to pray for Kevin’s life. I didn’t know it was in jeopardy; he was healthy.
That’s what I tell myself. He just turned 58. He had the most fantastic physique of any man I’ve ever known. He worked out and ate mostly healthy. He had energy—wore me out!
However, he overcame colon cancer in 2012. The truth is, each time he had his cancer check-ups, I braced myself. I prayed. The first time I questioned myself. If what his doctor said was right, that cancer often comes back, could I handle it?
I’d been by my mom’s side as she battled cancer and died. It had only been a couple of years since my sister buried her husband because of cancer. I didn’t have the most optimistic mindset.
So, I prayed. I prayed Kevin’s health continue. I prayed he be cancer free and we share a long life together. I prayed for God’s will, and I vowed if cancer found a home in Kevin’s body again, I’d be there by his side fighting the bullshit and listening to his every wish. I made my private, solemn vow, picturing it, readying myself mentally, and solidifying my love.
I never told Kevin. I didn’t have to. He was praying the same thing—praying his health remain and we could keep on living and loving.
The last time Kevin visited my house, we sat on my couch. He said, “Icey, I don’t know how long I’m going to live. I’m not a young man. I hope I live into my 80s like my dad, but I just want you to know—all the time I have—I want to spend it with you.”
Looking back, one might think, maybe he knew? No, I don’t think he knew, certainly not consciously. What he knew was how great that moment felt (after all the challenges we’d each endured, it was especially sweet), and how quickly it could all be taken away.
Like Kevin’s friend Megan Boken, a volleyball player who was shot and killed for her cell phone. She was 23. Her life ended. Just like that.
Like Kevin’s mom. She was doing well after her stroke a few years prior. It was Thanksgiving. They shared a family celebration in Florida and went to sleep. Kevin was tired. He’d been drinking. He slept on the couch. His mom tried to wake him. He dismissed her. He was so tired!
In the morning, she was no more. Kevin’s heart broke into a thousand pieces, the pieces of a son held together by his mother’s love.
Kevin called me. We were just friends back then. Once you’ve experienced losing your mother, you know how to be there and listen when another faces that fate.
So, we both knew death. We knew life. When we met in our 20s, we were certain of our individual power and ability to control life.
By the time we came together as a couple, we knew life is fragile. We’d each been through some shit we’d no longer tolerate—from life, others, and especially ourselves. We wanted love, but our souls weren’t for sale.
We didn’t just fall in love. Our souls merged. When Kevin came full on into my life (because that’s how he did it), he returned my innocence and opened me to my femininity. He believed in my dream. He got me in the way no person ever has.
And I got him. I saw the shit I would’ve judged another man for and I let it slide with delight. At other times, I stood up to Kevin in the way I always wished I stood up for my truth, ideals and opinions. He heard me. What a fantastic blessing!
Everyone seeks to be heard, to tell their story without being judged, condemned, dismissed, advised, matched, or made fun of. Not so easy, eh?
Kevin and I rolled out our truths and histories throughout our friendship. When we graduated into boyfriend/girlfriend roles, we grew into our best.
I don’t know what to call him now. My dead boyfriend? My boyfriend who died?
He hollers, “Call me the FIRE!”
FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! I love you!
“ICE! ICE! ICE!”
It’s the same. It’s different. He died. He’s alive on the other side. I’m here, embracing his love, a new attitude, my life. It’s meant to be lived in all its peculiarities. And, I don’t care if they call me crazy.