The Last Becomes the First


Before and after Jon died it was only him that I was connected to physically and mentally. Since his death last October, I have been solo now for some time, dare I use the word “independent “, relying on myself to get through each day. I stuffed my love for Jon and his that he had gifted to me deeply inside my core, and there it remains. I am standing on my own. I continue to think of this love as my kryptonite. It is crushing me implosion-style to keep it inside, but yet if I let it out too soon to someone new, it may be too much to give to said new recipient. The last thing I want is to have to put that love back inside once it’s out again. 

Around December, I had a taste of what it might be like to have an ‘other’ emerge into my life, but this turned out to be a fantasy played out entirely in my head. A misinterpretation of someone attractive being nice to me, and I too eager to think it was flirtation. Nonetheless, it was almost too easy to project myself in to someone else’s world, all the usual life moments in tow. I found my ‘other’ (even in its fantasy form in my mind) to be in conflict with my grief process. Only three months in, I was not hearing Jon’s voice in my mind as clearly. This part of him leaving me (a second death) was coming fast. I refused to replace his voice with another, as if the powers of osmosis could balance out a loss for a gain so easily. There will be no replacement for Jon, and I especially did not want a new partner to feel as if they were the understudy. 

In February for my birthday weekend, I gifted myself with spreading his ashes at Northwestern as he requested. This location was originally to be the last, saved for October 2017. In the despair of one of my lowest grief points, I decided to make the death of him in my mind complete as soon as possible. Another mini-funeral, including wading into Lake Michigan to release him. That water was cold! As is many things for me now, I needed to feel in an extreme way that I was alive, and it was perfect. As the water’s temperature gripped my legs, the less I felt every step further in, almost as if floating above the water itself. I kept my eyes on the point of the horizon where sky and water trade places. I am now at peace with Jon’s voice being gone from my mind. There is now a clear path for an ‘other’ that is separate from the one Jon and I walked on. I am ready for a new adventure. ~Paula

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