“How would you love me in this?”
This one is easy for me. I think about this every day. Loving myself like he loved me is how I’ve survived this long. His example on how to love me taught me how to love myself enough to survive when I desperately wanted to die.
He was gentle with me. He would encourage me to rest when I needed it. He would remind me to drink water and eat. He would ask me if a bath would help. He would gently ask me to take a walk with him and the dog because he knew it made me happy. He would urge me to let myself feel whatever I feel and not feel ashamed. He would tell me to feel the pain and then let it go. He would remind me how capable and strong and beautiful and worthy and amazing I am. He would bring me flowers. He would hold me and make sure I felt safe. He would take me out to frozen yogurt. He would do anything to make me laugh. He would encourage me to do things I didn’t think I could do. He would tell me how amazing he thinks I am.
Bob loved me in a way that made me believe, truly believe, I was worthy of it. He made me feel safe and supported and cared for. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
Since he has died, I have had to find a way to do these things for myself. “Love yourself like I ♥️ you.” That’s what one of his last notes said. He left it for me when he was leaving for a few months. I found out later that he hadn’t planned to come home from that trip.
Since the day after he died, this has been my mantra. “Love yourself like I ♥️ you.” There was never any doubt in anyone’s mind how much he loved me. I’ve been trying to learn how to do what he asked. I want to get to the point where no one ever doubts how much I love myself.
For now, his example has kept me alive. When I was desperate for this life to end, it made me choose to stay. When I don’t want to get out of bed, it makes me do it anyway. When I want to give in to the despair and pain, I remind myself that he believed I could do anything.
His love has kept me alive. It has sustained me through the darkest moments. I’m learning to love myself in a way I never knew I could because of his example. Bob made me a better person. He made me believe in love. He made me believe in myself. He gave me a chance to work on becoming the person I’m capable of. I’m pretty sure I’m alive because of all of that. I’m pretty sure his love saved my life….even after he died.