It has almost been seven years since we've said goodbye. Just like that, the only person to ever understand me, or love me for being myself was gone - in an instant.
For over six years now I have been surviving - without my best friend.
I think this kind of makes me an expert or something. An expert in surviving.
Not like surviving the wilderness or anything, please don't turn to me for that kind of advice.
I am an expert in surviving grief.
...and that is a pretty awesome title to have.
Something to be proud of.
The other night my expertise was tested when I received a late night phone call.
R.'s cousin died last summer. She was not very old. It was very tragic. Very sudden and unexpected after a short illness.
She was a great woman. She was the kind of person that loved everybody and would do anything for you.
and she truly cared.
The phone call was from the mother of this woman and it came as one of my evening television programs was coming on TV. In other words, it was a bad time to catch me for a deep conversation. Not to mention, my phone has had horrible reception in my apartment lately, oh and also - I hate talking on the phone!!
As I was saying, I didn't want a phone call. I wanted to be left alone where I could curl up in my new Snuggie and watch trashy TV, but she was distraught and I could tell my expertise was needed.
Her daughter's husband has a new girlfriend.
To be honest, I do feel he has moved on pretty quickly, and I do agree with the mother, and I think she was looking for someone to be on her side.
But the truth is, everybody grieves differently. If he has moved on, good for him. I'm not sure it's a very healthy thing to do so soon, but if he is able to then, well, good for him.
R. told me - just once - that I should find somebody else that makes me happy after he's gone. We didn't speak much about death, it wasn't an easy subject to speak of in our house since none of us wanted to believe it was going to happen.
Almost eight years later and my heart is still with him. I would have done anything for that man, as he would have done anything for me. It's hard for me to imagine anyone else could even compare. I have him up on an imaginary pedestal, made of pink sparkles and Hello Kitty stickers (which is a pretty amazing pedestal in my eyes).
but I will let you in on a little secret...
I am terrified to even think about anybody else. I know it's the right thing to do, I know it would make me a happier person to be in love again, but what if nobody loves me for the things R. could accept about me? My insecurities were hardly a worry when I was with him. He made me feel confident and just so - happy.
So if her husband was able to find that love again so quickly - if he had the courage to move on...good for him!