I am now over 8 years out from the most horrific day of my life, when my best friend, life partner, love of my life, passed on March 1st, 2009, 8 days after his 50th birthday. We had met in our mid teens, fallin in love almost immediatly, and were inseparable from that point on. We shared over 30 years together and were in process of planning our retirement in a few years when Mike was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer out of the blue at a regular, 6month checkup. Although colon cancer is now 98% curable if found in stage 1 or 2, sadly Mike fell into that 2% that didnt respond to treatment, and in 3 months, despite the best treatments, his cancer spread fast, and he was stage 4 and no hope at that time, for a cure. We were told we had a choice. No treatment, he would be dead by christmas in 8 months, or, horrible difficult chemo therapy and hope for 5 years and a discovery of a cure during that time. Sadly, he passed 15 months after diagnosys.
I didnt think i would survive his passing. I was 11 months into my 46th year when he passed, we had worked so hard on our life together, overcame such challenges together, fought so hard for the life we both wanted together, faced such unfair odds, the cards stacked against us, with zero support from family, the companies we worked for, our neighbors, government, all against us back then, but we had a dream, to build a life together, be productive members of society, and to eventually gain the respect and honor we deserved, as a loving, commited, same sex couple.
I grieved very hard, isolated myself for the first 2 years. In my 3rd year out, i started to step out of the darkness a bit, open the blinds, let the sunshine in so to speak in my life.
I started to have moments of wanting to live, create a life without Mike here, so on. Mike had many, many conversations with me, as he felt his end approaching. He shared his heart with me, in short conversations, as i could stand it, without running from the room in tears, or screaming at him, "dont you give up"! He shared how much he loved me, wouldnt change a thing about his life, was so grateful he met me so early in life, what a life we had!, "what would i have done without my little crazy spitfire" to keep me in line, love me so much, put up with all my shit"! He also told me he wanted me to move on, have a happy life, get repartnered, follow my dreams, dont hold myself back in anyway because of him. He would love me forever, and always watch over me. Love me even more from heaven.
Despite me putting my foot down, and ordering him not to pass, he did anyway!
After years of grieving hard, in my 4th year, i had decided to sell our home, clean out all of my life of all the clutter, kept just a few very special things, and some pictures, and donated the rest, lock stock and barrell. I took months, on my own, to go through every thing in our home, as i said goodbye to everything. I wanted so much to start fresh, for me, i knew, i had to do it this way. If i was making a decision to live, start over, give myself the best chance possible to create something new and wonderful for myself, i couldnt have anything in my new life, to anchor me to the past. As i went through everything, on my own, i saved all his cards, love letters to me when he was in military, overseas, anniversaries, put them in a box. When i was all done, i planned to light a fire in the fireplace, take a day to read each one, grieve my loss, be grateful for our life and love, then burn the cards and letters, leaving those behind in the house we shared. I wanted to make a dramatic statement to myself and life, that i was putting a period to my former life, grief, pain, letting go of Mike, in gratitude, and ready for a new adventure. Even though it terrified me. Within a few days after my burning ritual, i met Chris. Thru a bunch of very weird, later discovered coincedences. Long story short, we ended up falling in love, and 8 months later we were moving in together. Chris is a wonderful guy. I love him very much, cant picture my life without him. We have now been together over 3years, approaching our 4th anniversary. He has been such a blessing in my life, brought so much laughter, joy, fun back into my life. Has helped me overcome my grief in so many ways, brought the joy of the holidays back into my heart, and the list goes on. But the thing is, when the lights go out at night, or when im out in my day, sitting at a traffic light, thinking, my heart is still missing Mike, still aching for him. He is still my hearts main focus, that trumps everything out. I knew going into this, that it would be impossible for anyone,ever to compete with Mike. Our tremendous life, love, history, im still very involved with Mikes family, and they all love chris and have welcomed him with open arms into the fold. I knew i would just have to allow myself to love two men, if ever re partnered, and many times before chris, just couldnt ever picture that happening. But its really tough, wanting to be a wonderful partner to Chris, return his feelings, excitement, joy at our shared experiences, new adventures, but everything is just a little bit less shiney, less joyful, less special to me, because im wanting mike there too. Maybe this is just the natural process, that everyone goes thru after a death of a loved one, or maybe an unwanted divorse, maybe im doing just fine, but it sure feels dishonest, or like im having a secret affair behind chris's back a bunch of the time. I have been completely honest with chris and shared so much of everything with him. He has shared my grief, been to mikes grave with me, been wonderful, but i dont think he knows how often im somewhere else for a moment. Hoping someone else is going through this, and can offer their perspective. I have told chris that i feel bad for him at times, offered to end the relationship so he can have someone 100% his, and not broken. But chris doesnt want this, loves me, admires me, wants to learn how to be a better partner, so on.