You know that feeling when you wake up from a terrible nightmare, that reassurance that washes over you upon the realization that everything existed purely in your subconscious? I still get these moments, where, briefly, I think I only imagined that CJ is gone. But just as soon as it came, the nanosecond passes and the grief comes rushing back in just as fast and just as hard as reliving that first moment of my new reality - the one without her : "We had to let her go."
I read something awhile back about the first year of grieving the loss of someone you can’t live without and one thing in particular stood apart from the myriads of other grief advice. The writer said to "enjoy" the first year of grieving. What a harsh word- enjoy. But the point of it was that CJ will never feel closer to me than this first year without her. I don't know if I believe that (because, let's be honest, her death has challenged everything I've ever believed in). Then again, what the hell do I know about this process? I have never experienced a devastation this profound and deeply rooted within me, settling in to the very core of my being - a permanent resident. Its stark and hollowed branches encircle my bones, a constant chant of sorrow reverberating through me. I want so desperately to be sure of some things - like that something,anything can grow from these mangled limbs. To hope, someday, for a sprout - its face upturned to the sun.
But, for now, I am only sure of one thing at this point in my process: I changed the moment I met her and I am forever changed by her death. I only hope that whenever I emerge from this process, I can find that elusive acceptance.