Just a few more days left to this very hard year. The calendar year is meaningless until it allows a psychic break from a life phase. I’m ready to put this year behind me.
It occurred to me earlier today that my grief has split in two. One part is grieving the loss of our relationship, and the other is the loss of my friend. The loss of my friend may never stop hurting. I know I continue to hurt for other friends I’ve lost. It doesn’t hurt all the time, but it remains with me always.
I’m traveling to visit my long distance lover in Australia in just a few days. We met through Rupert’s brother just two months after his death. I’ve had guilt. I’ve kept going anyway. What’s helped the most has been talking about the grief with friends. I don’t do much without my committee these days, and I’m blessed to have a strong group of friends around me. I’ve been advised to face the guilt head on and to give it a voice. Let it be heard, acknowledge it, thank it, and let it go. It left this week. The night before I left town, I texted a friend, “I have guilt.” “Don’t. You deserve some fun!! You’ve been through hell.” It was the right words at the right time.
I’ve let the guilt go.
I’ve spent the last few days at my parent’s vacation home. Rupert and I celebrated New Year’s Eve here one year ago. I haven’t been as triggered as I expected, and I have done some deep thinking and processing. I went through a divorce and, a few years later, I thought I’d found a wonderful relationship to last me through many years. It ended suddenly when he died a year and a week later. I’ve experienced the loss of a “forever” relationship before, more than once. I believe I’ve moved through so much of my grief that I can now differentiate between the end of our relationship and the death of my friend. I can handle the end of a relationship. I’ve done it before and I’ll likely do it again.
I’ve let the relationship go.
Now I just miss my friend. Just. HA! Like Bill and Alexius and Stephen and Paul, Rupert made a mark on me. He’ll be in my heart forever. It’s okay to move forward with him in my heart, knowing the relationship and the guilt are too heavy to carry; I’ve let them go.