Friday, July 4, 2014

Starting Over

I went to a family picnic today, worried. It was the first time I was seeing many relatives since Rick's funeral. For some, it was the first time I was seeing them at all since Rick's death. I worried about hugs. About tears. About questions of how I am doing. 

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.


  1. I don't know you, but your posts just make my heart leap out toward you through the computer and across the miles. I just want you to know that there are people thinking of you and sending love and support from all over, and I hope it gives you even a tiny ray of light on dark days.

  2. I know and share that feeling alone even with other people, and of feeling like you're starting over. And I utterly love the Nelson Mandela quote - so many days feel like they're impossible now, but I get through them.

    Sending hugs.

  3. Dearest Arielle,

    I almost fell to my knees when I stumbled upon your blog last night and learned of the death of your dear Rick. I am devastated for you...and for Rick. I can’t imagine your shock and horror in finding Rick’s suicide note. Truly unimaginable. My heart goes out to you, Arielle. Words of sympathy feel so inadequate. They just skim the surface of the heartache we all feel for you.

    Your grief is palpable. I could feel your pain as I read your words, yet they reveal the tremendous strength you have. As I read your posts, I see the veil of your despair very slowly lifting. It will take some time for you to find and accept your new “normal.” Tragedies transform us. Another deeper layer forms in our psyche, and we morph into a whole new being after suffering such a heartbreaking loss. And that’s not a bad thing, Arielle.

    Please know I am thinking of you and wish I could sit with you, share your grief, and provide some small measure of solace.

    I’ll end with this quote from Wordsworth’s Ode to Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood:

    “What though the radiance which was once so bright
    Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind...”

    Love and hugs,

  4. One day you won't just survive, you will thrive. I am so anxious for that day. I know it will come.

  5. Throughout these last 47 days, you have proven to be so strong. You are incredible. I hear the struggle and pain when I read your words but your ability to rise above and continue to survive has been inspiring. Sending love.


Help me feel less alone.