I love my purple pens. I love water, sunshine, smooth jazz, and my Black Lab. I love time to myself, the smell of trees and their tall green leaves stretching into the bright blue Ohio sky. I love tennis balls on behalf of my dog Phoenix who adores them.
I love drinking out of my deceased boyfriend’s coffee cup—the striped one with a chip—once a week. It’s like a special occasion—a flood of warmth and memories that I can’t hold every morning.
I’m in mourning, I suppose—although that sounds morose and inaccurate. Grieving is more to the point. It’s a striving forward with cement boots of sadness. Sometimes each step forward reminds you you’re walking in circles. So be it.
Damn, you know I’m transforming if I’m saying, “So be it.” Anyone who knows Alice Lundy knows she never said, “So be it” in her life unless sarcastically.
Hell, maybe that’s half my problem. I’ve spent my life trying to improve everything, especially myself. What if I just love life the way I loved Kevin? Or the way he showed me love—strong, solid, simple, and passionate?
I must remember my way of being evoked that in him—as his did in me. We were a collaboration of our best selves.
I felt no need to change Kevin. Nor he me. I’d like to say all of my relationships embodied that principle. Well, there’s a difference between truly accepting someone and telling myself I should, if you know what I mean.
With Kevin, I already knew what I considered the worst of him—the things that normally would tempt me to judge or dismiss. I already knew those things and Kevin knew my areas that some might consider character flaws.
I learned the depth of him later. The more he revealed his deep, dark secrets, the more I snuggled into his arms. He showed himself and held me tighter. He let me in!
It wasn’t just that Kevin shared his internal self; it was that I found him more and more fascinating. I felt compassion for his dark edges because he described his journey in a way that connected with my heart.
And when I shared with him? Ha! I told him the worst of me when we were just friends and I didn’t fear him breaking up with me or the look in his eyes changing.
His eyes brightened when he read my book. Kevin got me. He got me when I told him stories, exploded with jealousy, or felt ill. He almost always said just the right thing.
Kevin’s reactions, compassion, and acceptance washed away painful memories that had haunted me.
I always sought more and spent decades trying to improve myself in order to qualify for something grand.
I didn’t realize I was always qualified. I just hadn’t connected with the right man who could recognize my beauty, brains, and crazy as being loveable and let me love him like a mirror loves confidence.
We were crazy, sexy, cool. FIRE! & ICE! I was loved by the FIRE! I am transformed and continue to change. Through it all, I love myself, as I did the day Kevin barged into my heart.
Now, I go back to basics. I love sunshine, mornings, coffee in his cup, watching birds at his feeder and deer in my yard. I love the simple things. I seek them while I grieve.
2 thoughts on “Finding Love in the Midst of Grief”
Beautiful! Well said! So sorry for your loss. Grief is a crazy messy place. I go to writing to heal and hopefully help others. Glad to see you are using your powerful words to move others and yourself forward out of the dark places grief takes us. Take care!
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Cara, yes writing and grief go together like coffee and mornings. Helping others through our writing is like sharing coffee with a friend. So sorry you lost your parents so young. And amazed that you met your husband/partner on this crazy path in elementary school! You’ve got stories. Can’t wait to learn more about your memoir. Thank’s for popping in!
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