Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Her name is Me....

Monday officially marked the 11 months since Sean's passing.
Even more so it marks one month countdown until the one year anniversary.

I've spent a lot of time this week thinking, and mostly avoiding being at home, because the quite makes for a great "devil's playground."

I've replayed the last few weeks and month  of Sean's life in my head repeatedly.
It was spent mostly fighting and discussing divorce.
Something we promised we'd never do.
Something neither of us truly believed in or wanted
Something that had become the only option, if any of us expected to get out of this alive (ironic).

When i look through the text messages they are so angry and far from where we began... but randomly there is this one message in the middle of all of them, it was actually sent on June 12th last year (funny how different things can be in just a year)

It was a discussion about how I had lost myself in our marriage and that when I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize "ME" anymore. I had gained weight.  Stopped doing my makeup. My hair was constantly in a ponytail.  My eyes were empty. I was watching my life in 3rd person.  Apart of it, but feeling totally out of control. 

How did we get here?
How did things get this bad?
Why won't he just get the help he needs so we can have the fairytale he promised me?
How do you give up on someone when you took a vow for forever?
Am i doing whats best for Lani?
IS this what she will think marriage and "love" should look like?
What the hell am I doing here?

I was listening to the song "Me" by Tamia and realized that the words seemed to sat everything i wanted but could never get out.  I wanted so hard to fix him, that i broke myself down.  In fact i can remember sitting in PDH and the song fix you began to play, and i began to ball right there in an auditorium full of people.  I knew my friend Meg understood the tears as i tried to blame it on PMS.  But truthfully speaking, it was an ongoing cycle, and I finally decided I had to put Lani and I first.   While it hurts my heart daily that Sean had to go, I truly believe it was God's way of giving ALL of us a second chance at a happy ending.  For some people that last line will come across as both brash and insensitive, but if you were around for the last 3 years, then you will understand entirely where I'm coming from. We would have never truly left each other alone, and I'm not sure where any of us would be today. 

I miss Sean daily.  There is not a day that goes by, that we don't talk about him, and i pray that when I  get to heaven he and i will be able to talk and embrace and I pray that he remembers the love we had in the beginning. Initially i felt like Lay Me Down by Sam Smith explained my feelings.  I remember downloading the album in August and listening to that song  and just laying in bed crying.  
How would i go on?
What will happen to us now?
Can i just dog back to the bad times?  
Even the bad would be better than nothing at all.

But day by day things got a little easier and a little more possible.  
I learned to smile again. 
I began to laugh again.
I felt a peace in my heart
I wasn't worried any more
I was happy
a huge weight and stress that i carried for so long were now gone.
 I felt guilty.
i felt judged
i felt conflicted
i felt like there became two Ashleys
The Me that i felt comfortable being, and the Me that i felt everyone expected me to be.
I would go back and read through the messages and emails we exchanged over the years, and this same text would stand out time and time again

 (yes i know its the same pic, but i didn't want you to have to scroll up again! you're welcome)

It reminds me that Sean would want ME to keep living and be happy.  and yes i used the word "ME" again.  which feels selfish, but I'm being honest. One of the hardest parts to being a widow is the constant feeling  of judgment and wondering what others are thinking.  

Is she too happy?
Is she moving on?
Has she forgotten Sean?

And the answer to all of these is NO.

But i also have found a part of myself that was missing. 
The "Ashley" i forgot existed.
 I have learned to laugh again.
And laugh in a way that i forgot that i could.

(ignore the dirt and unmoved grass.  its been raining ALOT here)

 As i type this post, the storm clouds have opened  a ray of sun is shining straight through my window.  I'd like to think that's Sean shining his approval down on me and supporting me on my journey to finding happiness 

So my lyrics now are some what of a mash up between
 Break Free.. 

I only want to die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
I don't wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I've become who I really am

This is the part when I say I don’t want it
I'm stronger than I've been before

This is the part when I break free

I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist
Like it doesn't exist
I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

I'll Remember

Say goodbye to not knowing when
The truth in my whole life began
Say goodbye to not knowing how to cry
You taught me that

And I'll remember the strength that you gave me
Now that I'm standing on my own
I'll remember the way that you saved me
I'll remember

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