There are a lot of reasons why this life change has been so difficult for me. From my enormous fear of being alone, to these new feelings of coping with abandonment, to the fact that he was in my life for 17 years, I have had an extremely tough time dealing with this. But the most prevalent reason is because I loved him so very much. And he loved me, for a while at least. I can vividly remember the feeling of a love so overpowering and overwhelming that I was convinced that no one else on earth had the same connection that we had with one another. I can even remember us talking about it – how lucky we were to have each other, to have such a strong and powerful love, a love that has to be incredibly rare because other people just don’t have “this”. I can vividly remember so many moments when I experienced this feeling throughout our years and years together.
I remember it on the day that he proposed. It was weird and awkward and beautiful and special. It was perfect. It was just us, at my most favorite place, the beach, where we used to sit in lifeguard chairs a decade earlier and talk all night long. On this particular day, he promised to love me forever and to give me all of the things that WE wanted in life. He promised me a beautiful life full of love and happiness. And I just knew that is exactly what we would have together.
I remember that feeling on our wedding day, feeling so nervous about the huge step we were going to take even though we had already been together for 15 years, because it meant that much to me. I remember exchanging our vows and that overwhelming emotion of love that filled every cell in my body. I loved this man so much.
I remember the feeling on the helicopter ride to our honeymoon island. He was so nervous and definitely did not want to fly, but he knew how much I wanted to. I wanted to have my very own “The Bachelor” moment and be whisked away in the helicopter. I remember looking over at him, headsets on, and just feeling so much love for him. He was so uncomfortable with it, but loved me enough to conquer the fear.
I remember the intense emotions we’d have every time he would leave at the end of the weekend while visiting me at college – a whole two heartbreaking hours away. Where the thought of not seeing each other for five days was excruciating. I would watch with tears falling as he drove away. And each time he’d roll down the window and yell at the top of his lungs as he drove away “I love this woman!”… I was overwhelmed with love. No one else had this. We had these same feelings of sadness when one of us would take just 3 day business trips. We just hated being apart. We belonged together.
I will always remember how devastating it was when he came to New York City to see me during the few months that I lived there, and I had to watch him get into a cab to go back home at the end of our visit. The feeling of both sadness and love was more than anything I had ever felt. Our love was just so strong. Not being together was nearly unbearable.
I remember how proud of him I felt when he would land a better job or step up into the man I knew he could be. I remember the love that I felt when he would put on our very own personal fireworks show just because he knew how much I loved them. When he would run to me at midnight on New Years Eve because we had to be each other’s kiss. I remember when he would look at me across a room and just wink at me. An “I’m thinking of you” gesture.
It was saying “I blank you” before “I love you” because he knew I needed to take it slowly. It was surprising him on his birthdays with parties and gifts. It was him with my nieces and nephews. It was my first ever trip to NYC and all the trips after to our favorite place. It was our trip to Italy. It was hosting parties and all the concerts. It was all of the yorkie t-shirts I got for him. It was all of our Christmases together and lunch at Larry’s on Christmas Day. It was raising Winston together. It was the ring of my dreams that filled my heart with love every single time that I looked down at it.
Our Love Story was falling in love at 19 and 23, spending every waking moment together, being apart for college, for internships, and coming back together, moving in together, getting a puppy together, all the new jobs, the professional growth, the personal growth. It was the heartbreaking, world-shifting, life-altering time that we broke up and went over a year without seeing each other 7 years into our relationship and it was the strength of our love and forgiveness that brought us back together when that tidal wave swept us up in it. It was growing our love and connection as we grew up into adults. It was growing together and not growing apart. It was leaving relationships behind when it made us into better people. It was living life and planning our life to come. Getting engaged and waiting another 6 years to get married. It was planning our family and playfully arguing over the baby names. It was buying our house and making it into a home. It was all of the special birthdays and all the holidays together. It was special and it was rare. Our love was different.
It was the few big things and it was all the little things that added up to make our love a GREAT love.
And so, it’s because of the reality that I’ve lost this great love, and that I don’t even understand why it’s over, that I’ve had a difficult time in dealing with it all. I never saw this coming. I never thought we’d end up here. I still don’t even know why we’re here. I don’t know how I’ll ever have these feelings again for anyone new. Is there even any room for another when I feel like my heart is so consumed with sadness, loneliness and devastation. How will anyone ever make me feel secure enough to trust in love ever again? How can that happen when this epic love that I had caused me so much heartache in the end?
I’ve heard all of the stories about finding your greatest love after your greatest heartbreak. In my fragile attempt at clinging to hope in all of this, I guess this is my only option. To maintain hope, stay as positive as possible, and to not let this shut down my heart forever.