Lost wanderer

I came on this trip to search for beauty. I came to dull the sharp pain that digs into my heart. I came hoping to find peace on the other side of the globe, as far as possible from where you died. I came in search of hope that true joy exists outside of our love.

Unfortunately, my search was not a success.

I have a cold from the constant change in temperature here in Spain. My nose is raw from running and my head is congested. My head is already full of confusion, which leaves no room for foggy sickness. I have an upset stomach from the food at our five-star hotel in Morocco. My skin is a mess from stress. I haven't done yoga in days. I haven't felt your presence in weeks and I haven't seen you in seven. Essentially, I'm falling apart.

I thought I was lost when you left that night, when I shook your body and you did not respond, when I put my cheek to your chest and your heart did not answer my cry. I thought I was lost when your death actually landed in my mind, when your family held me in their quivering arms and we all sobbed. I thought I was lost when my body finally caught up to my mind's understanding and realized that what she craved, she could no longer have. I thought I was lost when I drove into our garage, realized you weren't inside the house and would never be, and then understood it was actually no longer really my home. I thought I was lost when I tried to be grateful on Thanksgiving, even though in my heart I knew I was just reaching. I thought I was lost when I scattered your ashes in the Mediterranean Sea, and watched the dust of your beautiful bones mix with sand, shells, and seaglass.

But then today I packed my bags to leave for the States. I squeezed in dirty clothes, Moroccan rugs, Spanish pâté, and too many accumulated Christmas gifts. I saw all the stuff that meant absolutely nothing to me get zipped up in a suitcase that is probably overweight. And the one thing that meant the most to me of anything, anywhere was more absent then ever, weightless – yet so heavy on my heart. I sobbed, snotted, and sneezed as I smelled a hat of yours I carry with me through my stuffed nose. As I looked inside and touched your stray hairs that still cling to the fabric, I felt more lost then ever.

I met with a wonderful woman yesterday who lost her true love suddenly at twenty five. She shared her story and her gentle words of advice. She is now in her sixties and an inspirational soul: beautiful, wise, and deeply conscious. She has love in her life but it hasn't always been a constant. She told me that after her young love's death, she was left with a fairy tale script but without the lead actor. She wasn't willing to rewrite the story she had mapped out. She went on to find a replacement for the role in the same script. She married the father of her three children five years later. She never loved him in the way that he loved her. She wasn't willing. The marriage eventually ended. She told me that someday, I have to let go of what we had and be willing to rewrite my story.

I sat on the beach today and meditated. I thought of my story without you. It made me want to run into in the freezing water and try to swim to Africa with the clear knowledge that I would not make it. I told myself, 'Be gentle on yourself. It's too soon. You don't need to think about this.' But I kept thinking and my sobs worsened. I do not want my story without you in it. I want our fairy tale!

I am being suffocated by emotion. I feel a noose around my neck that grips me with one hand of sorrow and the other hand of fear. I pity myself. I pity those who have to be around me. Everyone is trying to help. But they can't. They can only stand guard and consider taking out stock in Kleenex while witnessing my bewildered wandering, slow self-sabotage, and vain attempts to appear OK.

I came in search of beauty. I learned that I am not open to its possibility. I came to witness love in others. But I only see love so different than what we had that it's painful to observe. I came to treat myself gently. I learned that tenderness is impossible when you're self destructive. I came to pass time. But saw that time is infinite, desolate, and a trickster: always too fast or too slow. I came to convince myself that everything will be OK. But everything is not OK. I came to heal some of my suffering. But I saw suffering magnified to the point where the whole world seems like a raw wound. I came to try to let go, just a little. But now I grip to your memory more than ever.

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