The kitties and I started the year in this apartment as a family of four and are departing it as a family of three. This is the hardest part of the last day of 2018: knowing I won’t be able to take everyone I love into 2019 with me and that it does nobody any good for me to hold on as tightly as I have been.
I’ll have to let it go. I have to let him go.
I have been terrified of truly letting John go because truly letting go means fully acknowledging that that love is gone from my life, & fully existing alongside the uncertainty of whether or not a love like that will ever come into my life again.
BINGO. That’s it right there. That’s the reason I keep perpetuating the sadness, the reason the ghost of all ‘the good’ John & I were is on an endless loop in my mind, and the reason I am so afraid of releasing my grip.
I took myself to church the other day - the first time in my life not accompanied by someone. I sat in the pew in the last row. I read the sayings on each stained glass window. I looked around and ahead of me at the few attendees, noted how little of us there were and how nobody gets dressed up for this anymore.
Most importantly though, I had specific questions for God. With my eyes closed, my hands folded, and my body lax, I went through my bunch. I asked God why I haven’t been chosen by Him to be a wife and mother yet? I asked God if I had been and I blew it? I wondered to God if I was being punished? …and I asked Why He would send me a love as pure + good as me & John’s was in the beginning - a love that felt like it saved me, a love that made me a better person without changing me into someone other than myself - and then NOT make it work out?
I sat there. I silently asked Him all this. There in the back pew, I cried.
Then, like a hefty droplet from a faulty pipe overhead, I felt a single sentence plop into my noggin after I asked my questions. The sentence was: I’m getting you ready.
After it landed, I opened my eyes and stopped crying. I suppose I had gotten what I came for. I received the eucharist, I blessed myself with holy water on the way out, and before I left I lit a candle in the lobby and gave a small donation.
I guess I lit the candle to mark my time there. I guess I lit the candle in honor of all of my friends and family I prayed for, and I guess I lit the candle so that God wouldn’t forget all we ‘talked’ about.
I lit the candle in remembrance of the beautiful relationship that John & I had when it was good, and the light in me he found that I couldn’t find. It’s so hard to step into a brand new year without him, but it’s time to - whether I like it or not - and before I did I guess I needed a symbolic way kiss all that we were goodbye.
I have so much more learning and growing to do. Morgan Harper Nichols always reminds us in her poetry that “we are far from finished yet”. She loves using that phrase, and GOSH, I so love reading it.
The most important and hardest lesson of this year, and also of my life, has been how enough I truly am while being incomplete and flawed and vulnerable and sad and filled with grief. Even in all of it, I am capable on my own, I am creative and resourceful, and I am good and deserving of all things good.
2018 brought me to my knees and cracked me open enough to receive this message, and although I’m happy to be done with this heartbreak of year, I’m grateful for what it has equipped me with. Cheers cheers cheers, friends! It’s time to do this…