“Acknowledging and letting go of these feelings brings us up to courage and, with that, finally acceptance and an inner peacefulness, at least as it regards the area which has been surmounted.” ~ David R. Hawkins, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
I’ve fallen into grief’s pit again. I know; I’ll crawl out faster this time.
It’s temporary, but this is the place I miss him the most. Grief is a gross comfort.
In grief’s grip, no matter how magnificent my daily life, it pales in comparison to any moment, memory, or experience shared with my now-deceased beloved.
Before Kevin stepped up into the role of boyfriend, he hung around the sidelines of my life ever since my first career opportunity, where we met, and my first marriage, which I left.
Yep, Kevin was there decades ago as I burned rubber out of both.
He seemed to pop up in every chapter of my life, while I gave him little thought, took our friendship for granted, and tried to set him up with my girlfriends.
Actually, I thought him a bit of an ass. I had no desire to impress him, which allowed me to feel free in his presence.
He wasn’t trying to win me over, either. So, I benefitted from the safety of a man by my side, like a brother.
Back in 1989, Kevin took me to his friend Ed’s party out in the country, close to St. Louis. Although I didn’t see Kevin much throughout the weekend, I felt his presence as we each mingled with other people. I knew he had my back.
The physical safety a man can offer came automatically with Kevin’s 6’3 stature. But, there’s another kind of safety.
Like when I said something I feared I had to wrap in an apology or explanation, his reaction proved the wrapping unnecessary.
I once said, “I’m not trying to judge you, but…”
Kevin said, “If you want to judge me, that’s ok. It’s on you.”
He showed me what it meant to be non-defensive, which I wasn’t used to, and non-judgmental, which I, like many people, longed for my whole life.
Best of all, Kevin embraced the gifts of my words, opinions, feelings, ideas, stories, and even my anger and fears.
It’s a whole new level of safety when a man loves a woman the way her dog does—not trying to change, impress, prove wrong, scold, compete with, or rescue.
I’d had enough of all that.
Finally, I didn’t have to or want to feel or say anything but my soul truth.
I didn’t have to work so hard at being happy or understood.
Amazingly, I saw Kevin the way I wished I’d see all the men who I’d shared chapters of my life with, but never quite managed.
He knew my sh*t. I knew his—and loved him even more for it, the way I wanted to love the other men, but didn’t.
With Kevin, I saw the quirks and flaws I’d normally judge—his loud mouth and undeniable ability to be politically incorrect, but I felt within me a new level of understanding and compassion, which felt oddly natural.
Here was a man full-on present in a way I’d never known a man to be.
Our experience flowed, rather needing to be reasoned around.
Sure, we had our moments. When I exploded with anger or jealousy (because he showed me it was safe to feel and deal with both), we got through it together.
Early on, I told Kevin I wanted nothing less than authenticity—because I couldn’t handle any more lies or disappointment—after my last three strikes with men, which he knew all about.
Like an old-fashioned gentleman, Kevin put his promise in a hand-written letter and mailed to my home: “As we go down our path, I pledge to give you the authenticity you crave and deserve. I want to have it all with you, Ice. Will you let me?”
Ice. He called me Ice. I let him melt me. Thank God I did, but damn, who could say no to that?!
Well, me—the gal who said no to or walked out on plenty of men who offered their hearts. It was just never enough for me.
Until Kevin. He was far from perfect, but he was real.
I’d have paid any price to take the ride we took together.
I relaxed and became my full self in his arms. He grew and awakened in my presence.
Our deal was divine.
Now, he’d dead—physically. (Heart attack in his sleep.)
This fact challenges me more than anything ever has.
My losses and lessons before couldn’t prepare me for this one.
This grief is like a gal with math anxiety learning calculus.
I face confusion, vulnerability, and some days, despair.
However, history says I’ve worked my way through before.
History says: love comes around again.