It's been 5 months since I last spoke to Dude on the phone. It's been nearly 5 months since I called the police and 12 hours later received the horrific news. Since April 3rd, I have had what I have dubbed "the triple threat nightmare" only once. To protect Dude, our family and our friends, I won't share the details of "the triple threat nightmare". You'd rather not know, anyway.
I can't count how many times since we've received the news, I've remarked to our family and friends that I feel like we are living a nightmare.
"We are", they reply.
Oh, right. We are. But, we won't wake up from this nightmare. It's reality.
Hate is a strong word, but I think it is appropriate for this situation. I hate that Dude was in so much pain. I hate that he felt that leaving the world forever was the best option. I hate that all of our valiant efforts failed. I hate that this is now a part of my life and will be forever.
I don't blame myself. I did everything I could. I loved him and was there for him. I hate that this is my new reality, but I have to accept it.
Acceptance means I can no longer pretend that he is away and is going to come back. He is dead. Gone and not coming back. Acceptance brings sadness.
I miss him. I miss his touch. I miss our conversations. I miss spending time with him. I miss making realistic plans and pretending that one day we will fulfill our wildest dreams. I miss our "play fights to practice our lawyer skills". Yes, we are kind of nerdy and really did this. He actually still owes me a cupcake because I won the last one. I even miss the bad times. Things weren't perfect. I won't even pretend that they were. Sometimes they were very hard. But, they were real.
Now, this nightmare is real. I live in a new reality and am learning what it means to adjust to that and fully and truly live within it. Part of adjusting is dealing with the anniversaries, birthdays and holidays.
Dude's birthday is one week from today and I am already anticipating how I will feel. The only thing I know for certain is that I will go to the cupcake shop by my condo and get a free cupcake. He would expect me to celebrate with a cupcake and would be so proud of me for getting it for free!
I've been anticipating his birthday for days, and I've realized anticipation doesn't help anything. Throughout this journey, I've been advised to take it one day at a time. It makes sense. You can only walk one step at a time. Anticipating your steps doesn't get you anywhere! You have to actually take a step to move forward. Anticipation only makes you stuck. Taking steps moves you further than you were before.
I didn't choose this path. I am forced to walk down this road. I don't like it, but I accept it.
I just can't believe I have to.