IT IS OKAY TO FEEL.
Not only is it okay, it is good.
Some women function regularly on emotional waves. Yours truly functions by shutting out emotion when things hurt. I avoid sadness and pain in my thoughts because of that weakness I hate so much.
Part of this is a coping mechanism for the tidal wave of emotion that comes with a severely painful situation, and part of this is a survival mechanism because I can’t afford to fall apart. I have a son and myself to provide for and responsibilities to meet.
Only teenagers can collapse in a puddle of mascara-smeared, powder puff tears on a bed of broken hopes and obliterated self-esteem, right? Nope.
I really do rarely cry, but I’m learning that tears or no, IT IS OKAY TO FEEL.
It is okay that when I caught a glimpse of his face when he FaceTimed our son, I had to rush to the living room with a sob caught in my throat, cover my face and weep: that is okay.
The fact that I still love him, that I deeply miss him: that is okay.
It is okay to relive the pain in order to move forward, and it is also okay to relive much of the beauty and good. This type of nostalgia is not unhealthy; it is pure and unadulterated HUMANITY.
In the interest of humanity, let me be raw for a moment on this score:
I loved his passion for life. When we met he was as intense as I am in his curiosity, his balls-to-the-wall lifestyle and his deep and passionate love for and interest in me.
He was the first person to make me believe, by his very confidence, that I could be healthy again. He taught me to hope for healing.
He taught me to BS less and to say what I was thinking; to stop being a people pleaser.
I loved the laughter; SO MUCH LAUGHTER, it would break me into a million happy shining pieces in the best of ways.
I loved his deep awareness of God’s voice: he would hear from Him, make decisions, and every time things came to pass as he said they would, and he succeeded.
I loved his aggressive fearlessness. Where I was afraid to try new things, to travel, to live after years of sickness, he would hold me and remind me I was safe, but also that I had the power to do things, and possibly even to succeed at them.
He held me amidst significant physical pain and breathed through every contraction with me on our son’s birthday.
Wrestling and late night cuddles and the honeymoon effect of military lifestyle; I look back and love it and feel it all.
No one made me grin the way he did, and no one made me feel so like an 8 year old girl with her first crush.
I love what we had and what we were, and what he helped to make me be. I have a million things to thank him for.
I am human, I feel, I accept that feeling. I acknowledge the pain of rejection, anger, betrayal; of a beautiful thing turned upside down and backwards and inside out and broken at the hands of a fallen world.
IT IS OKAY TO FEEL.
This is how we know we are alive.