Learning from our Past

I think about Kevin less and less. When I do conjure up his image, the thoughts of our marriage and relationship, I feel a tweak guilty for having moved forward. I feel guilt in not mourning “enough” (what is enough?), and at times feel like I have failed in honoring his memory through my reflections.

The more I continue to create my life, building a new relationship, continuing to work on my friendships with friends and family, creating a career that satisfies my goals, and working to strengthen a community affected by loss and cancer, he gets lost in all the chaos. There’s so much that I am doing, that it leaves little time for me, let alone for me to think upon him.

That’s much of the reason I haven’t spent enough time working on the memoir of our relationship. That takes a process all itself: I have to allow myself to feel all the emotions that come with his loss, his love, his life. In writing about our past, I have to then process what has happened, and it takes me to in an entirely different emotional and mental state.

People have often told me you never get “over” a loss, you just learn to live with it and incorporate it into your life. But how much are we living with it, versus suffocating it? Have I dealt with it enough that I do not think of it as often? Is it so far gone in the past that it’s hard to recall all that happened? Do I choose not to remember because sometimes, it is simply too hard? Or have I really made strides to be happy in my life, remembering to reflect on the past and all that I have worked through? I hope it’s the latter.

As we move forward from any type of grief, it’s easy to be consumed in the present and what needs to be accomplished. However, it’s very important to reflect back, even if only for short, quiet moments, to remember all that we have achieved, all that we have learned. I have learned quite a bit, to the point where I have even inspired myself with all I have been dealt. It is not necessarily survival, but a true strengthening of my spirit because of the past.

Moving forward is a good thing, a movement that honors Kevin. I would have wanted the same for him, and I know him the same for me. I never want to forget what brought me to this point, and all that I have learned from that experience.

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