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The Longest Year

It’s been 365 days without you but still not quite a year.

365 days.

365 reasons to give up.

365 mornings of waking up to the gut-wrenching realization that you are gone. 365 days of losing you all over again. 365 nights of praying for God to wake me up from this alternate reality where nothing makes sense. 365 days of begging and bargaining, making promises in exchange for your return. 365 daily pep talks. 365 reasons to keep going. 365 days of constant prayer. 365 moments of peace. 365 expressions of gratitude for the gift of you.

I’ve been living 1 day at a time for 365 days and it isn’t even a year yet. 1 more day of 1 day at a time and it will have been the longest year of my life, but it feels like day 1 was just yesterday. And the first day felt like an entire year. Grief has a way of creating a time warp for the grieving- one where our concept of time is hazy. It feels long and short- slow and fast...all at the same time.

Every day has felt like leap year…a year of a nightmare that will never end. But now that the year is coming to a close, I feel sick…nauseous. How could I possibly have made a complete rotation around the sun in slow motion with a piece of my soul hovering in another dimension?

365 days of the sun rising and setting. 365 days of breathing unintentionally. 365 days of my body disobeying my desire to join you. 365 days of praying without ceasing. I now understand the concept of constant prayer. My every breath is a prayer. My every thought is of you, sent to God in a prayer. I replay every moment we shared in my heart, in my mind longing for a new one to reveal itself. Praying for this all to be a dream. Yes… the denial makes guest appearances from time to time to keep me from losing my mind all together. The denial is hope blooming in my heart. But is it really crazy? Or is it crazy to not be in denial? Because in actuality I know in my heart that none of this is real. This life is not real. And your “death” is certainly not real. But you my prince, my beautiful gift…you are definitely real.

The pain of losing you is unbearable but it didn't take me 365 days to realize that life is a facade, an illusion distracting us from reality. The wool has been lifted from my eyes and though this year felt long I know that it has only been the blink of an eye, which is why grief time is warped. We are holding on to the concept of time we have been taught while realizing that time is an illusion. I listen to my inner chronometer which follows the vibrations of your soul.

It’s been so long since I’ve ever paid attention to a leap year. To most people adding 1 day doesn’t mean much. But to me it has caused this 1 year mark to hover over my head like a storm cloud. 366 days. Is it possible that I will have made it through 366 days without you. I never thought I could make it through a single night without you and here I am approaching the year mark.

To most people March 12th is the anniversary of when you passed. To me it is everyday this week because everyday has its own last memories that race through my head taunting me to figure out what I would change if I had a time machine to alter this devastating ending. Yesterday was especially haunting because it was Tuesday. You left me on Tuesday. We came back from our short trip on a Monday night. Monday night was the last time I hugged you and heard your laugh. Sunday we sat in the hot tub in Austin discussing your dreams. At breakfast Monday morning I said “life is short” and ordered pancakes. I had been on a strict gluten free diet for over a month and the whole trip I stuck to it but on the last meal I decided to forget the diet and enjoy the moment. In the parking lot as we got into the car you picked a bluebonnet and you handed it to me. I don’t remember the last time that you had picked a flower for me but after that last meal on our last full day together you gave me the last beautiful flower I would ever receive.

Tomorrow will be 366 days since you departed. It has been the longest year of living 1 day at a time. I don't know how many blinks it will be until we are reunited but I will keep moving forward through the pain, with the beautiful memories and faith that our souls will reconnect... our souls will reunite.

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