Ten years ago, I moved to Moncton; it was a town full of new beginnings and possibly a place to call home. The concept of home has always been a challenging topic for me. I have never really found a place I felt home, not in the traditionally sense anyway. Most of my life, I wanted to be somewhere else.
Very shortly after moving here, I met a wonderful man, that would eventually become my husband. He introduced me to his world, in the most speculator ways. We climbed mountains, crawled around in caves, rode the New Brunswick trails on dirt bikes, and searched for the best seafood chowder in Atlantic Canada on motorcycles. We raised our blended family and built a tiny home for our retirement. For the first time in my life, the urge to bolt became less intense. Sadly however, he died last year. That’s right, died! I prefer to use that word because it sounds as shocking to say, as it does to feel, and there is no ambiguity about the situation. It was totally unexpected; on an beautiful fall day, my amazing husband went riding in the woods with friends and never came back.
Since then, I find myself hearing things I can not believe. Heart Attack! How is it possible that someone who took such great care of himself dies of a heart attack, at 50. I knew when we met, that as a Type 1 diabetic, life was more challenging for him. However, after 36 years of meeting the challenge daily with positivity and respect, I thought he had it …. I don’t know what I thought he had, no word exists.
I find myself questioning what is next. Followed up by the guilt of NEXT. It seems wrong to think about what, who or where next is. How disrespectful, how inappropriate and how fucking impossible that there be a next, without him.
I find myself swearing, swearing a lot – not something I have been known for in the past. To be honest, the English language has too many words necessary to express my feelings right now and I am too tired to search for the right ones, so “I’m fucking angry” is just easier.
I find myself crying in the most inappropriate places. I have made the decision that my crying helps me grieve and if it makes you uncomfortable, then that’s about you, not me! When was the last time you saw someone try to hide their tears in your presence? It is shameful that we feel it necessary to not be human in these moments, and to not honour the feelings that have protected us, our entire life.
I find myself talking to strangers; and telling them things I have no business burdening them with. I ask them out for tea and corner them with all my questions, while crying and swearing. Some amazing people have walked the darkness with me this year. The staff at the local subway have fed me and taken their breaks with me, as I cry in the back corner of their store. Strangers, who’s name I don’t know, have hugged me in public and offered to pray for me. Big burly, tough riders have shown their tender side, as tears trickle down their face in my presence. New friends have entered and chosen to stay, even though some days are challenging.
As new and old friendships change, I begin to realize that with each of these people I find myself. And so there it is – and here I am, opening my heart to possibilities and grateful for the journey as I move into 2019.