In shortest of terms: you don’t. But, you can find ways to become whole again, one day at a time.
I lost my boyfriend, my soulmate, my best friend, in December. It was a complete shock and something I could never have been prepared for in a million years. Sure, I’ve lost people in my life before, but never someone I spent every living, breathing day with.
In the beginning, I was in complete shock and denial. I ran to my parents, because that’s what I do when I don’t know how else to cope: I run. I laid on the couch surrounded by love. I cried: for hours, for days, for what felt like centuries. I had my siblings communicate via my phone because I couldn’t bear to even look at pictures of what had been my life. I accepted nothing. Even seeing his lifeless body at the viewing and having a celebration for his life somehow did nothing to manifest what was going on to me.
The denial continued in different forms for quite a while, then acceptance hit me like a ton of bricks. This is REAL, he is GONE. It happened suddenly in the night when I reached over the other side of the bed and it hit me like a ton of bricks: there isn’t anyone there anymore. You are alone.
While I recognize there is no one right way to grieve, my way of accepting this great loss was probably not the healthiest of ways. I would stay out all night, multiple nights a week, occupying my time with people and things that didn’t deserve to be in my world. Everything felt empty: my heart, my soul, and all the spaces where he should be. I would drink simply so I didn’t have to stay at home and think about all the things that would never happen. I couldn’t help feeling just so very damn sorry for myself.
Eventually, I began to realize that while in no way did I want to face this horrible reality, this was not the way he would want me to live. He would never want me to make myself numb, because he felt everything so very deeply. He wouldn’t want me to sit and cry, he would want me to think of all of the good times.
When I feel the deep sadness coming over me in waves, I think of hiking on sunny days with him. When I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I think about his infectious need to make me smile, no matter what he was going through.
I can’t say that I am doing “well”, not even close, but I am getting better one day at a time. I’m learning to count my blessings, instead of thinking of all the reasons to be sad. I have a wonderful family who would drop absolutely anything at any time to support me. I have friends who dance with me, cry with me, and eat way too much Gelato with me. I have sunshine on my skin and a roof over my head, I am loved. So no, this life isn’t anywhere close to perfect, but I am living it.