I love Pat. I have loved him since I met him at the age of 21. I spent half of my life with the man. I fell in love with him, I married him, I carried his children…I took care of him when he was sick, I held him as he took his last breath in this world, I love him still today. These are the facts and there is no denying any of them.
But time keeps ticking. Life continues on. You have a choice to continue to live without your love beside you and search for a new path…a new future, or you can choose to sit in sorrow, missing your late spouse forever feeling alone, lost, confused and desperate.
I have decided to live and find a new path. I opened my mind, and more importantly, I opened my heart. I took the risk and put myself out there and I found someone to let in again. I didn’t think this was possible. I didn’t think I could ever open myself up to someone or be able to have loving feelings for anyone else…I didn’t understand how this is possible when my heart is filled with so much love for Pat. I have read about others having what the widow world calls a chapter 2. I have heard others stories about being surprised by falling in love again. But I couldn’t possibly wrap my brain around how this could actually happen. I didn’t believe it. I think that is what people who haven’t lost their spouse thinks as well. It doesn’t make any sense…until you are there, living it and then it all makes sense.
I read it somewhere that loving again is like growing a second heart. I get that now. Loving someone new has absolutely nothing to do with loving Pat. It is absolutely amazing and so hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it. A new love is completely different, completely separate from the first. It doesn’t replace the love or erase it or mean you are even healed. It simply means your heart is still beating. You are still alive and capable of so much.
I believe that the meaning of life is to love, as simple as that. To love and grow and share it with others. Without love there is no reason for anything. There is no purpose greater than to love. I have love in my heart and have enough room in there to love more than one person without taking anything from either one.
I don’t believe that my past defines me. And I don’t believe that my work towards having a new path in life erases anything I had with Pat. My future can’t take away anything from my past. Everything that has happened to me, and everything means Pat and his love, has led me to this exact moment and place in my life. It has brought me to the door of new possibilities and new love.
Some say it is too soon. Some say I couldn’t have really loved Pat if I could find another. Some say I should be alone and in mourning for much, much more time. Some say a lot. But the reality of it all is that I am not some. I am me. I am living this. This is my story, my life. I have experienced it. They don’t understand…they don’t understand anything, even though they claim they do. There is no way they could possibly.
And I am happy that they don’t understand. I wish on no one the pain and loss I have experienced. I believe it is time for me to find some happiness. Let me have love, let me have my life. I don’t need to be weighed down with judgments, or thoughts, or opinions.
I am tired of trying to make others understand the unexplainable. This is my chance at tomorrow’s happiness and it does not in any way erase my past. It only adds to my story.