Jake was a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel.
Recently, I heard from an old college friend who I had lost touch with over the years. He rarely gets on Facebook, so he had no idea about my life changes over the past 15 months. He reached out to me and it was like no time had passed. He was just how I remembered him. In his latest text to me, he stated “You tell your kids that your old buddy from college says their mom is a badass”. I liked that. I thought, “Yup-I am”.
My home was sold and we moved out. It was such a busy day that I didn’t have time to really think about it. It was the next day when I went back to make sure everything was clean, do one last sweep, etc. that the sorrow took over. I cried a lot. I went to my neighbor’s house and cried with her. I left shaking and crying-but I did it. I did not need a police escort off the property (which I was kind of worried about–to be honest). I still can’t go near my old neighborhood. I don’t know when I’ll be ready for that. But, that’s okay.
We are now living with my parents–all 5 of us, good old Charlie (our old black lab), and my parents living in their 3 bedroom home. We commute back and forth to our town everyday for school. I’m just grateful my parents are here and we have a place to stay. Turns out-it will be a short stay. I bought another house! My kids will stay in their own school. I’m feeling a huge weight off my shoulders to be free of the financial burden of our home. We move into the new house in mid-December.
I have been busy with the 6 trillion tons of paperwork that need to be filled out, notarized, sent somewhere, etc. in order to buy a house. One night as I was signing away on my mortgage paperwork, I thought “Holy cow! I am doing this. I am doing this…by myself. I am buying a fucking house by myself. This is a big deal! I. Am. Awesome.”
I started to think more positively. My friend told me I was a badass and I agreed with him. I was filled with pride at the fact that I am buying a house by myself. I have been trying new things..things that scare me that I’ve always wanted to try. I am so blessed to have the amazing friends I have and the love and support I have received from all over the country from all different phases of my life. I’m making new friends. New friends at my age! My life is not over. I still have a whole lot of really cool and fun experiences and adventures ahead of me. What are these crazy, weird emotions? I think they’re called hopefulness and happiness. They are not gone forever.
I have come to terms with myself that it’s actually okay to smile, laugh, and feel hopeful and happy-without feeling guilty about it. Our family talks about Jake every single day. My 3-year-old announced out of the blue that daddy was coming back from heaven on the day after Halloween. He insisted it was going to happen. I realized that I still have not truly accepted that Jake is gone. I have the same mindset as my 3-year-old. I’m still waiting for Jake to come home. But I refuse to be hard on myself about this.
I’ve said it before–grief is not a linear process. While I’ve been feeling pretty great lately, I also am very cognizant that I will have some rough times where I slip backwards a few steps. The difference is that now when I’m in a darker place, I know that I will come out of it again. Because life is short, and I am badass.