I felt like doing some musing this morning.
Today, Matt would have been 30. It’s odd to me how distant he feels (and is) — and yet, when I go through Facebook and look at his pictures (which, I’ll note, is not usually a great idea unless I’m feeling masochistic) I can easily remember the way he felt and sounded and smelled.
I’m still young and am learning so many things about life. One of those things is that as I get older, I look back on past chapters in my life almost like they are from a different lifetime. I remember different events and people like they were characters in a movie I used to watch over and over again. They become more impersonal as time passes – relics and souvenirs of a long-gone vacation, instead of active forces influencing who I am right now.
I remember swearing to always keep Matt’s influence in my present, and I know that even if I am not conscious of it now, he is still there and will always be there. I suppose most life transitions are not as drastic as this one, and if pain is a catalyst for change then living through a spouse’s suicide is taking the fast train. It’s impossible to be the same person as before, when your world is up-ended and shattered.
But I like the person I’m turning into. Maybe it would have happened eventually, but maybe not. It took something huge for me to have an inkling of an understanding of death and mortality, and of how one person’s life can affect so many other people’s lives (without trying, without realizing, without even caring). Knowing Matt and experiencing everything that I have with/because of him has made me want to live as good of a life as I can. To honor him, yes, but also because I know that I’m lucky. I am not depressed. I am not blighted. I am lovable, and I do my best to love myself. I’m grateful.
The part of me that wishes I could hold onto Matt will probably never leave, and I don’t know that I want that part to leave for good anyway. I know that I can’t hold onto him — he’s gone, he’s never coming back of course, and that’s OK. Because it has to be, because it is. And I’m OK, because I want to be. Matt loved me and wanted me to be happy, even if he couldn’t figure out how to make himself happy. And that’s the direction I want to go in my life.