I know where I live…
I live in a world inexplicably different from the one I lived in before November 7th, 2018. It was as if a bomb was dropped, stripping everything to the ground. The landscape was, at first, apocalyptic. Ashes and flames and screaming and the sky was black.
I was wandering in the darkness. I didn’t exist anymore. The world I knew was gone…I was somehow dead and not dead all at once. My husband was dead. He was the one who detonated the bomb. I could not understand why he would do this. We had lived in a beautiful world filled with lush forests of love. Rivers of laughter. Mountains of hope. Lakes of joy. The present and future were everything I had hoped for. Now, it was all ashes in my mouth.
For some time I felt no hope, no joy. There was no light in the world. I was desperate for one spark of hope. I needed so much to know that this wasn’t the world I was going to exist in for the rest of my life. I was in agony from being burned alive. I was terrified. I wanted to just die more than I’ve ever wanted anything before or since. I didn’t understand why I was still alive. Every day that I woke up, I was shocked I had survived to see another day.
When the dust settled, it was still dark but I started to realize that I could hear voices. They were voices of the people who loved me. They were telling me that I wasn’t alone. They were so very sad and scared for me but they were in a place where there was light. They could still see hope. They still had strength. They were calling to me. They were saying how much they loved me. The where whispering words of hope. While they didn’t heal my wounds, the sound of their love soothed the searing pain for tiny, fleeting moments.
I crawled in the darkness through the ashes of my life towards their voices. Every movement was absolute agony. I nearly drowned in the lakes of tears I had cried. I cut myself on the sharp shards of memories. I was bleeding rivers of grief. This new landscape that was forming was something out of a horror movie. It was not a place I wanted to be. Why couldn’t it just end?
I kept hearing the people I love calling to me, telling me not to give up. No matter how hard it was to move, I did it. Then, one day, I saw the tiniest glimmer of light in the distance. It gave me the strength to stand and stumble instead of crawl. In that tiniest glimmer of light I saw hands reaching for me, offering to help rebuild my world. I felt the most minuscule crumb of hope.
As the days and weeks went on, the light slowly got brighter. Then it started to rain. It was raining hope and love and compassion. It was washing away some of the ashes of my life and soothing my aching, burning soul. I was still staggering from the agony of it and I often fell but I wasn’t staying on my knees anymore. I still couldn’t feel hope but I could see it and I was ever stumbling towards it. I had become desperate to reach it.
My life and world started to rebuild. There was so much love left. I was surrounded by the compassion and love of some beautiful people. Most of the people I had loved before had disappeared in the apocalypse. But there were new people appearing in the distance. They were strangers but had so much love for me. They wrapped me in their compassion and love and tenderness. They bound my wounds and wiped away my tears and told me they would help me rebuild a world where there were mountains of hope, forests of love, rivers of laughter and lakes of joy. It wouldn’t look the same as before, but I would learn to love it.
I made the choice to believe them, even though I couldn’t feel the hope yet. The people around me helped me to start to heal. They helped me to see hope. They helped me to start to rebuild my life. Slowly, the plants started to grow. The sky lightened. Rain turned to trickles, creeks and then rivers. The landscape started to turn from ashes and darkness to something that gave me hope.
I wasn’t sure how it was possible but I was going to survive. I was seared with scars and bleeding wounds. I was weak and weary. But there was beauty here. There was love. There was hope. There was still agony and loneliness and sadness and rage. I knew those would always be part of my new reality. But it wasn’t all negative anymore.
I am still rebuilding my world. I am still rebuilding myself. I am still meeting and building my new tribe. I am still healing from the destruction and death. These days though, I can sit next to a river of laughter and let the sound soothe the aching in my bones. I can wander through the forests of love and revel in the beauty for a moment, letting it soothe the broken pieces of my heart.
No, where I live is not the same world as before. Where I live is a world build on the ashes of the one I once knew. This is a world where Bob only exists in my heart and my memory. This is a world I never wanted to see but I’m learning to love. It’s been one hell of a journey to get here. It will take a long time to make it look the way I want. But I’m not in the darkness all the time. Some of my wounds have healed. There are beautiful, wonderful people here.
My hope is that someday it will feel like home.