I am pretty sure I will cry my way through this post.
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I had written a goodbye letter to my former life, my memories, my ex. When she brought the idea up, I got immediate chills and a touch of anxiety.
No, I haven’t done that yet. I have blogged about stuff as it comes up, but no real goodbyes yet.
I wonder why that is?
I used to have a very different life. I had a husband and a family. I had someone who lived here and loved me. Full time. I had a future I was counting on. A lifetime of companionship, family vacations, milestones, laughter, and love.
When my friend asked me if I had said goodbye, I wasn’t sure what to write – who to write to – what my angle would be.
But I know who I need to say goodbye to now; with certainty.
My ex husband.
I love him still, but I have come to understand that I love the memories and the man he used to be before everything went to hell.
I don’t know who he is now. At all.
So, it would seem as though the time for me to say goodbye has finally come. I don’t want to. The thought terrifies me for some reason. Why is it so hard to let go?
Letting go feels like giving up. And I am not a quitter; never have been. But this is one battle I think I need to concede. For good.
This feels really scary for me for some reason and yet I know it’s what I need to do. It’s what I have to do. Much of this will make little sense to you out there, but these are memories and moments that mean the world to me. Or used to.
Goodbye to waking up every single morning with you. Goodbye to our children living under the same roof as their mother and father. Goodbye to having you to come home to, share about my day with. No more daily touch, check-ins, good mornings, or good-nights. Goodbye to ‘I love you’ everyday. No more finding you in the middle of the night next to me in bed if I can’t sleep.
Goodbye to our wedding day, our honeymoon, memories of being pregnant, you reading to my bulging belly, bowls of fruit; going through childbirth with you. Twice. Goodbye to taking care of our children together. Through sickness and hurt feelings.
Goodbye to laughing so hard we cried. Goodbye to inside jokes going all the way back to when we were 26 and 27. Goodbye to Vermont, California, and Colorado. Walks on the levee. Watching Sam toddle, watching Ellie learn to crawl. Sharing so many little moments. Vegas, Costa Rica, Kauai, Italy, Vieques.
I am saying goodbye to tiramisu (we need more espresso!) and 10 hour lasagna. Being crazy foodies together and fine dining where I wanted to stand up and whoop with joy because the food was that good. Mill Valley. Grad school. Lancelot. Mischief, Sam the cat. Driving all over Northern California looking for another Lab. Getting stupid drunk at least 500 times.
Goodbye to brewery hopping. Your grandmother. That first moment I finally noticed you when you gently touched the bottom of my foot. Summer at the shore. Ice cream, beach, family weirdness. Sex. So many birthdays! Christmas with my brother and the kids. Anniversaries. Ploo. Andu. Amu. Camping trips with just us. Poison oak, bocce ball in the forest. Camping trips with the kids. Shoving the pack-n-play into the tent when Ellie was a baby. The mosquito trip from hell. Yelling at a family of skunks. Food reward hikes.
Goodbye to all of the memories. Good and bad. I won’t get to see the person you have become. I won’t ever get to have another family vacation with you. The plans and dreams we had for this house are gone. The plans and dreams we had for our family, our children, gone.
It is all gone. Forever.
So. Many. Memories.
I am coming to realize that we drank the proverbial Koolaid without knowing it. We bought into the societal trap of the relationship escalator; find your ‘soul mate’, get married, buy a house, have children, get an education and a good job. We are told that if we do these things, we will be HAPPY.
But instead, life just happened to us while we were practically asleep.
We were asleep.
Everything was just “fine”.
But it wasn’t.
There is more. A lifetime of more. But I have reached my limit. It hurts too much. Which makes me believe writing these things out is the exact right thing to do.
Divorce is deep, writhing, bottomless, and exhausting.
And somehow, even with the pits and the bumps, I am doing just fine.
I am a survivor.