Here I am at a crossroads in my life. The last 9 months have been horrific. A tragedy of epic proportions. Losing Bob literally destroyed me and my life. Who I was before he died does not exist anymore. I’m something new…Someone else. I’m getting to know who that is and I like her, so far.
She’s brave and fierce and kind and loving and authentic and strong. She’s seared with scars and some of her wounds are still bleeding. Yet, she finds a way to love and laugh and do what needs to be done anyway. She reaches for hope and reaches to help where she can. I didn’t know this version of me before. She didn’t exist until the old me burned to the ground.
Life hurt me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Despite what some people think, when I say I truly thought I was going to die, I mean it. It’s the truth. Those closest to me saw it. They have said to me that they were 100% sure I was going to die. They said they were doing their best to prepare themselves to bury me, too.
I went to the deepest parts of the abyss. Death called me. Death wanted me and I wanted Death more than I’ve ever wanted anything. I knew, with every ounce of who I was, that Death was going to take me. I was at peace with it. I welcomed it so the pain would stop.
In some ways, huge parts of me did die. There are parts of me that no longer exist. I am forever changed by Death. He came for my husband and I begged him to take me, too. I felt Deaths breath on my face. I closed my eyes, held out my arms and waited for the peace….
But Love intervened. She told Death that he couldn’t have me just yet. She said I still had work to do. She stood between me and Death and told him to back away. Death conceded and left, taking Bob and who I used to be with him.
I hated Love for that. When you have accepted your death and it doesn’t happen, you are left in such a strange state…not really alive but not really dead. Dead with a heartbeat. Alive with no life. You exist in this void…straddling the world of life and the world of death. For a long time, you aren’t sure where you will end up.
I’ve slowly started to come back to life. I’ve slowly accepted that Death isn’t coming for me yet. I grieved for having to live. I don’t know a lot of people who can say that. I grieved that Death came for me but changed his mind. I had to choose love and life again, after I had chosen Death. I’m not sure there are words for what that journey is like.
Here I am. Alive. A stranger to myself. Choosing life and love. Choosing to go forward even though everything is unknown and uncertain. I am relearning how to live. I’m relearning who I am. I’m redefining my relationships. I’m rebuilding my life from the ashes.
I’m starting to be excited about what the future holds. I’ve lost all my fear. I’ve learned to love myself in a way I never thought I could. I believe I’m more beautiful because of the scars that sear my soul. I have survived the unthinkable. I have survived an encounter with Death.
I am now “living like I’m dying”. We’ve all heard the saying. I’m not sure you can truly do that unless you’ve been so intimate with Death. I know Death will come for me. I have seen his face. I know my time is limited. Death taught me how to really live. Life is full of such ironies. It took meeting Death to fall in love with Life.
I’m ready to move forward. I will carry the pain and scars and memories and love and heartache and all the rest with me forever. But I’m so ready to choose life. Once I knew, for sure, that Death wasn’t coming for me right now I had to choose life. I choose love and life and all that comes with it.
Life is hard. Life is unfair sometimes. There is a lot of pain. But there is extraordinary beauty. There is love. There are so many things to fall in love with. Even in the worst moments, I have been awed by it. Dumbfounded that beauty even comes in absolute devastation.
I am thankful for what this situation has taught me about life, about death, about bravery, about love and about myself. I believe I got the perspective that many only get as their life is truly ending. I know it sounds cliché and someone once said it in a song, but….
“I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying”.