Three years and a bit later, I don’t dwell on the death of my Cowboy Dad all the time. When I do dwell on him, I can have these surges of sorrow, missing him with painful intensity. But it’s not all the time now.
The loss of him is kind of fading into the background of my daily life. He’s passing into a sort of history in my mind. And I hate that. But I’m sort of okay with it too.
I’ve said many times: “When you lose someone you truly love, it should break you forever.” That’s the fitting tribute for the loss of a loved one, and nothing less will serve to honor them. But if you’re going through this right now, the terrible truth, and the wonderful truth, is that you’re going to get through it. You’re eventually going to be okay. You’ll go about your day and you’ll have happiness and you’ll smile and laugh. It’s probably going to take a couple of years.
The fact that they pass into the history of our memories is an ugly thing. But it’s also a good thing. You want to honor them by being broken, but if you honor THEIR love for YOU, you’ll understand that it’s okay to go on and live your life. Because that’s what people want for each other.
What do you want for the people in your life? There are people for whom I would step in front of a car and push them to safety, or step in front of a bullet, and say “Save yourself! Run!” And I wouldn’t regret it. It wouldn’t bother me at all to give up my life for someone I love.
The thing is, the people you love and who love you back, they feel the same way. It’s okay to go on and live, and be happy, and even, someday, to find other people to love. Because that’s what THEY would want for you.