Wednesday will be 20 years since you made the choice to leave us, to leave me. I know you were in a battle of depression and just wanted your pain to stop. I know you thought we would be ok… and honestly we are ok and in many many ways we are beyond ok. And while this is a reality, there is part of my that has never stopped yearning and aching to see. There is part of me that continues to be so angry and frustrated with you. There is part of me that will always feel completely abandoned no matter how much counseling and journaling I do. There is part of me that will always feel like the 19 year old you left the day after her birthday.
No matter how much I love my current life, this time of year always makes me stop in the midst of so much love and joy and be consumed by such pain and hurt. Each year I try to push it down and focus on not only what I currently have, but also the remarkable times we had together, but it never works…. Each year I find myself in this place. I don’t want to be in this place because I want to remember how much you loved me and supported me, not how you left me. I don’t want to be reminded of the deep darkness that consumed you. I don’t want to remember you in such devastating pain, but I don’t have control of the feelings which arise each year.
And while this time of year is hard, it always makes me realize the reason I am ok and have learned to live life fully is because of so many things you taught me in my life. Each time I talk with Keaton about being kind and caring about others, I hear your words coming out of my mouth. With each batch of cookies I bake for others, I remember countless times helping you. The moments Mandy and I laugh so hard until we cry, I remember how you taught us to have so much joy in life. You see the main reason I could push through the immense grief and return to face it each year is because your belief and love in me for 19 years. You loved me in such a genuine and complete way and that is why it hurts so much each year when I am reminded of you leaving… your leaving was the complete opposite of how you loved me all the other moments in life. While logically I know it was because of deep depression, my heart doesn’t understand.
So I sit here, knowing I must embrace these conflicting emotions and allow myself to feel everything, because I have learned this really is the point of life… to learn to allow ourselves to feel everything without judgement or question. This week I will celebrate the life you gave me while I grieve the loss of you… and I will be grateful. I will be grateful for my life, your life, and that I have found a way to live this remarkable life. I will be grateful I can allow myself to feel pain without it consuming me. I will be grateful you gave me enough love in 19 years to last a lifetime.
Love you forever,