I've officially made it to 33. Being a year older than TJ is definitely bittersweet. All my life I've been two years younger than him. Because of this I decided to really celebrate this year by drawing it out over three days. It's the first big celebration of my birthday since he died. That first year I didn't want to do anything. I didn't even want a cake. I had a few friends over, we ordered Chinese and watched a movie. Last year I eased myself into the spirit more by actually going out to dinner with those same friends from the year before. So, the other night I had a party and 16 friends came, which is a pretty big group. We went to dinner and came back home for drinks, cake, and games. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. I was surrounded by people that I love and hold dearly. The next day was spent with my family, my sister-in-laws family, and my in-laws. It was so relaxing and lovely. I felt abundant joy.
And then that night a feeling of dread came over me. As I lay in bed, wishing to fall asleep, all I could think of was how afraid I was that I wouldn't wake up the next day- my birthday. I'm not sure where this came from and yet the thought was penetrating my body and mind. I realize now that this happens often when things get really good. When I am truly happy this dread has a way of enveloping me. In speaking with my sister in law on the phone this evening I was able to pinpoint the exact reason that this happens; everything was completely perfect the night before TJ died. It was a regular old day and it was absolutely perfect. I was in the best mood. I was positively humming with joy while doing the most average things; I was so lighthearted... nothing could get me down. And then, in less than 12 hrs, TJ died. I had always assumed this fear of mine came out of enjoying life without TJ and missing him, or fearing to move forward without him. I know now that at times of pure love and joy I am subconsciously and then consciously waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's fucking horrible. I want to relish the enjoyment of life again without this fear. I am going to practice peace surrounding this. And as for last night, I spoke to TJ about my fear. I asked him to send me love and peace. I asked him to be with me. I feel asleep imagining him lying at my back with his arms around me, keeping me safe and warm.
Today, my "for real birthday" as a friend said this morning, has been filled with moments of sadness and moments of peace and joy. I treated myself to a pedicure, I had lunch with some of my best friends and their beautiful new baby girl. Two other best friends announced their engagement to each other this morning and I am so so happy. So happy I cried when I called to congratulate him. When I hung up the phone I wept and wept. Love is so beautiful and so powerful. TJ and I adore this couple and have spent many years routing for them and their love for one another. I wept because it breaks my heart that he won't be around to see them get married.
Everyone always tells me "he IS here" or "he DOES see"... I hate it when people say that shit to me. It's insulting. I do feel his presence. I believe that he is capable of being with us. And it's just not the same. It's not the same as having him with us in the flesh, experiencing all that life has to offer. Please, just let me have my moment. Let me mourn his presence when I need to and stop trying to fix it by adding that lame consolation. Because hearing those words doesn't console me at all. Let me be in my deep unknowing. Going there allows me to find my power in order to make beautiful progress in my life. TJ is not here on this earth; breathing air and walking by our sides. It plain sucks. So let it suck.
We can be happy, live in joy, and mourn our loss simultaneously. Trust me, I do it every single day. It is truly the great mystery and I continue to be in awe.
Thank you for continuing to join me on this journey. I am so grateful for your listening. It is such a gift.