I visited the cemetery today...I don't even call it visiting Susan anymore. She's not there when I go...but she has to be somewhere...I just have trouble wrapping my mind around where.
Susan doesn't come to me in dreams...she doesn't leave me signs. Not sure why...but I keep looking...hoping...and waiting for her to send me a message. I'm starting to think that isn't how it works. Maybe she's not going to show herself through a rainbow...a flower...or a bird. Perhaps she appears everyday in the way the boys and I live...and love each other.
So lately instead of looking for signs...or praying at night for a dream...I've started searching her out in the boys and myself. I look for what she taught us...what she instilled in us...how her love inspired us. I believe this is where Susan can be found...in our actions...our words...and our beliefs. Because she affects our thoughts...our attitudes...and our hearts.
It doesn't take long to spot her in the boys. Susan is evident in Ben's stubborn streaks and Luke's caring nature. She appears on Ben's face while he laughs and in Luke's eyes when he cries. But I am also finding her in myself.
Susan touched my life..my mind...and my heart...in ways no other person I've ever known. I know she opened my heart in a way it never was before. Through Susan...I finally believed in love...and lived for the first time. Now as I begin to live again...she's right there with me...and her love is the reason for it.
So why did I have this abrupt jolt of self awareness? All these thoughts didn't come as easily as they are now written on this page. For weeks...I have been having a difficult time in my own head. Conflicted about my unexpected ability to feel joy even in Susan's absence.
Quite suddenly I had stopped dwelling in my grief. I was going hours at a time without feeling the heart wrenching pain of loss. This made me believe I was going hours without thinking about her...or perhaps worse...I was forgetting about her.
I was living...and it confused me...scared me...and made me unsettled. I began questioning how this could happen. Was my love for Sue fading as I lived...as I moved forward? Had my love been weakened by her death? Was I mistaken about the strength of our love? All these uncertainties tore at my insides.
But this past week at school...I recognized that she constantly crisscrosses my mind as I have moments of peace. I was wrapped up in the pure joy of teaching...and there she was in my head...as I thought of how much she would have laughed about what this kid had just said. And I smiled. I hadn't forgotten...my love wasn't fading...or weakened...it was right there.
Now I realize that Susan emerges during moments of happiness too. I am no longer merely dwelling on her death and the pain it brings. Susan is with me at all times...during both sorrow and joy.
She flashes into my head as the boys do something that I know would make her smile. She bursts into my thoughts when I hear a song that reminds me of our love. She pulses in my heart when the boys and I fall down laughing. She rushes into my memory when I want to tell her that I'm living again.
I think of her now and smile...as the tears roll down my face...because Susan radiates in me...and in this new life we share. She will always be by my side...in my heart...and on my mind.