Springtime… Easter… such a joyful time as the sun shines brighter, the ocean breeze turns warmer and days become longer, when the scent of flowers fills the air around us. Every chance I get, I take some time to admire the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer: the intoxicating aroma of the flowers; the sunshine kissing my cheeks; the warm breeze playing with my hair. Yet, no matter how much I try to enjoy this beauty surrounding me, somewhere deep inside my heart the feeling of terror ligers and cannot be silenced. As much as I would like to, it is hard to forget that this season also brings my birthday, followed by my late husband’s birthday and then, finally, the anniversary of their death. Not only do I dread the latter two but I also cannot shake off the memory of THAT fatal year. I am haunted by the memories of the saddest birthday of my life, of my late husband on his birthday and, ultimately, of that faithful traumatic night.
Last year I did all I could do to forget I even had a birthday at all since, for many reasons, it was just too hard to celebrate it as I struggled with accepting the gift of my life. I decided to take a day off from work, packing Gia and myself and heading off for a weekend workshop to a Yoga resort in Massachusetts, and to visit my late husband’s family. The day of my late husband’s birthday, I just pretended that it was the same day as all others. For the anniversary of their passing, I wanted to do something truly special and meaningful and, as heartbreaking as it was for me, I managed to compile a video in Sebastian’s honor.
Obviously, I knew that running away and hiding was not the best way to cope with the loss, however, sometimes, we need to do what feels best for us and most appropriate in the moment. All we can do is hope that the time will allow us to see things in a different light and slowly heal the wounds in our hearts.
Admittedly, in the beginning, when people tried to convince me that time would help me heal that raw, piercing pain in my heart, all I wanted to do was scream. I wanted to tell them how wrong they were, that it was impossible for anything to heal this emptiness and despair in my heart. The time does not have the ability to heal it all completely, however it did dull the rawness of it somewhat. I now know that the scars will remain there forever, but, with time, the sharp pain will lessen and take on many different forms and then, one day, I hope it will almost fade away.
Though all these important dates are still ahead of me, this year I hope to honor each of these days in a different way. This year, I want to be able to celebrate my birthday as another day on this beautiful planet and express my gratitude to God for the gift of life. This year, I will not make a conscious effort to forget that my late husband ever even existed but try to recall all the good he brought into my life and the lives of others. This year, I hope to make an effort to remember I lost two people that faithful night and maybe, somehow, even honor both of their memories.