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“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”. -Kenji Miyazawa

Four months have come and gone without Pat and I feel I have come so far in such a short time.  I haven’t sat in the face of fear and sadness and just let it envelop me into nothing.  I took the pain. I felt the pain. I embraced the pain.  It is all part of him and all that we had.  He loved me completely with his entire being and losing him should hurt in such the same way…completely and throughout my being.  It aches, it burns, it cries out in despair. It’s everything you could imagine about losing a part of you and so much more.  It’s nothing I would wish on my worst enemy, but it’s not the end of me.  I am here.  I have a life ahead of me and to sit and wallow in pity and sorrow is not in the cards for me.  Pat wanted more for me.  I’ve said many times his death will not be in vain.  I don’t think I really have known what I meant by that, it’s just something I felt.  I now think it is that I am not going to just lay down and die with him.  He didn’t fight until his last breath for me to give up.  He didn’t give up and he wouldn’t want me to give up either.  I think that’s where that thought has come from.  I need to embrace the pain and use it to continue on. To push forward and continue the fight he began.  I need to live the life I want to live and live it to the fullest…whatever that may look like.  This is the life I have been given at this point in time.  I didn’t ask for this new life or new perspective on the future, but it is what I have now and I need to use it to my fullest potential.  That’s what I am trying to do.

Sometimes it is difficult to move forward in this life with the voices and noise that surrounds me.  The opinions, whether voiced or perceived by me, of others can hold me back from pressing on in the direction or with the desire I would like.  With the best of intentions for me, people can say some of the stupidest things where it seems they don’t really even understand what they are saying.  It could be clichés or things they have heard somewhere, or maybe even what they think should be said, but it is received as judgment and disapproval of how I am grieving.  This also happens when people choose not to even speak of Pat in my presence as if that will make me forget what has happened.  If I don’t think of him and speak of him its as if everyone is forgetting him.  He lives on in us and through us.  We need to remember our loved ones and not be afraid of speaking their name or sharing our memories.  And with that, we need to remember them as they were…imperfect.  When people tell stories or speak of Pat as if he was this “saint” or perfect, it’s as if I don’t even recognize him anymore.  I loved all of him, which included all his flaws.  That is what made him mine and made our love real.  I want to remember him exactly how he was and who he was.  That is the way I can honor him and his life.  He wrote the words once and I couldn’t have said it better….”God dammit, Patrick Mahoney lived and I am so proud to have known him.”  I hope he is proud of how I am living and honoring him.  He wanted nothing more than me to be happy. That is what I need to do, for him and for me.

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