It was not nearly as unbearable as I feared.
Sometimes in the midst of a lot of people, I feel very alone. I feel like the poor young widow, pitiable and sad. I try to snap myself out of thinking that way, but it's hard to do.
Right now, I'm back home, and fireworks are going off outside. It's not the scattering, whistling ones which keep making noise that bother me. It's the ones that are a single BOOM. A deep echo in the nearby air. Those are the ones that send a shock through my body. Those are the ones that take me back to a painful day.
All of a sudden, it's like a shot rings out. I don't always jump involuntarily, but I do have a pit in my stomach even if I remain physically unfazed. My mom is here with me for the night. Earplugs are not an option in the moment, because I want to have conversations. I want to watch TV.
I also want Rick back in my life.
Sometimes my face contorts into a cry, but no tears come out. I feel like I struggle to breathe. I feel like I need to hold someone's hand.
But I'm learning to live a life without Rick. I am wading through the rough waters. My head has not gone under. I am enduring.
The other night, I told a friend that it feels so hard and so weird to have to start over again. He told me that I was thinking about it incorrectly. He told me that I am not starting over. I lost Rick, he said, but I didn't lose everything else I did or had. I don't have to go back to school and do it over again. I don't have to find a job again. I don't have to find a house. I don't have to go through any of the other parts of my life again. I don't have to start them over. Starting over is not what I have to do. I did the work, I made my way, I accomplished things. Here I am...I got somewhere. And now I lost something and have to move forward from it, but I do not have to start over. It really clicked for me. It's true.
What I have to do is learn to live a life without Rick. And that is hard, but I can do it...because I've been doing it every day since May 18th. The proof is in the days that have passed. As Nelson Mandela said, "It always seems impossible until it is done." It's one of my favorite quotes and it always rings true for me. I may wonder how I can get through each day, but it always seems impossible until it is done. I may look back on the month and wonder how I made it through, but it always seems impossible until it is done.
Right now, it's about survival.
Eventually though, I don't want to just survive. I want to live. Live. And live some more. And nothing would make Rick happier.