Letting Go of the Old

Last week I wrote a series of short posts as I made a trip half way across the country and back with my boyfriend and his son. I wanted to take the time to think about things that are keeping me from moving on; to get it out, to let it go. I did not post these here on the day because my mom reads this, and I didn’t want to continue to let Christmas be ruled by the memory of this moment. This trip was all about letting go of the old to make room for the new. Here’s letting go of the old:

December 16, 2012

Five years ago this week was the most difficult time of my life. Leaving today on a cross-country road trip, hoping to make new memories.

Travel with me down this road if you like, but even on the highway to healing, there will undoubtedly be some rough emotional terrain.

December 17, 2012

Everyone has a story. Mine pivots on a single moment in time. A moment when everything I’d known became everything I’d never wanted to know.

This story doesn’t define me, nor is it the entire book. I know I’ll never be over it, but I can gently weave it into the fabric of my life.

Five years ago, lunch time, December 17th. I’m at work. My husband and daughter are at my mom’s, awaiting my arrival at the end of the week.

The night before, my husband accepts an offer to sleep at her neighbor’s. They are out of town, it’s a beautiful home, he likes the privacy.

My mom calls me. She’s a bit concerned that my husband has not answered her calls for him to come join her (and our daughter) for breakfast.

I assure her that, as usual, he’s probably gone to bed late, and his sleeping pill is keeping him knocked out. I try to call. No answer.

An hour or so later, I am at my desk when my friend/coworker approaches, asking me, in a noticeably strained tone, to please come with him.

Confused, I get up and follow him to my boss’ office, where my boss and the company owner stand, both staring at me with oddly pained eyes.

Sensing my anticipation, my boss mumbles something about me having a phone call, and motions to the phone behind his desk.

Her exact words, now a blur in my mind, sound unforgettably saturated with sadness as my mom struggles to tell me: My husband is dead.

This was my moment. And I’m smart… I know I don’t need to be defined by a single moment in life. Over the last five years, I’ve continued to move forward, at various levels of healing — never on a straight upward plane, but up and down through hills and valleys of emotional stability. But I’m looking for that switch. I’m ready to find the light bulb that allows me to see that it’s okay to connect again. I’m ready to let this go. I can’t experience the joys of new moments if I’m sitting in the dark with the old ones. And I’m ready for new bright, shiny, happy moments.

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2 responses to “Letting Go of the Old

  1. Even now, 5 years later, your words about that moment cause my heart’s memory of the pain to open, and my eyes well up with tears. Thanks for pausing for the holidays before posting. What a kind thing to do for your mom. You’re right, so right. The new joys are here and they’ll be lost on us unless we’re awake and ready to receive them. Here’s to new bright, shiny, happy moments. I love you. You’re one of my brightest, shiniest joys.

  2. I have a friend who has been searching for the light bulb so she can see the good things. Suddenly things that are good are surrounding her and she is frightened to look. I am going to link her to your post.
    Thank you for sharing tiny pieces of your journey since his loss with us… with me. Seeing strength in another is a privilege and an inspiration to me. Wishing you many new joys and the ability to remember the old joys with only a little sadness.

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