Friday, February 17, 2012

The Wounds of Cupid's Arrow

Well, Valentine's Day had it's ups and downs, and was probably the most emotionally intense Valentine's Day of my life, but was a great day overall. 

I blogged in the morning, then I had a couple house showings in the afternoon (oh, yeah, blog world -- I've just started a new career as a realtor -- more on that later!), and some other work that I was able to do from home (property searches, e-mails, phone calls, etc.).  Late in the afternoon, two dozen red roses were delivered to the house to me from my boyfriend.  Even more beautiful than the flowers was the personal message included - I was in tears when I read what my "Antonio" had written.  It was the sweetest message.

That night, we went out for dinner at a steakhouse here in town.  It was a very nice place and the food was fantastic.  We had a generous gift certificate, but Antonio sprung for a bottle of our favorite cabernet, Silver Oak, which alone would exceed its value.  It's our "special dinner out" wine, which we've enjoyed at fancy steakhouses twice so far.  Better than the wine, though, was the love and connection I felt to this man during dinner.  We talked about our dreams and goals for live, marriage, kids, family, and more.  I left feeling so very lucky and happy.

When we got home and went to bed, we started to kiss one another when I suddenly stopped.  I had some emotions hit me suddenly and strongly that I had to share.  "I'm so unbelievably happy to be with you," I said, "and that makes me feel so guilty, because I wouldn't be if Brian hadn't died."  Boom.  Widowhood reared its ugly head and messed up what was a perfect-so-far Valentine's Day romantic date night.  Antonio held me in his arms while I sobbed for several minutes.  I hadn't put on a red, silky little number so we could get in bed and do this, but here we were.  He held me through all the sobbing and wailing, and I felt so safe, so free to feel what I needed to feel, to say what I felt, and to let it all out.  We had an intense conversation after that, in which Antonio reassured me that my current happiness has nothing to do with Brian's death; and that my happiness with my life and relationship now does not in any way mean I'm happy about Brian's death (and that it's obvious I'm not, since I still struggle to accept it and still shed tears when the pain of missing him is too strong).  He reminded me that Brian would want me to be happy and we discussed our belief that Brian played a part in bringing Antonio and me together.  It's something we both believe, and I think I've seen plenty of signs that tell me that's true.  Eventually, I calmed down and we were able to go on with our evening, but it was a very intense roller coaster of emotions in one evening.

My Valentine's Day reminded me of how complicated grief for the loss of a spouse is, how lucky I was to have Brian, and how lucky I am to have Antonio now.  Life as a widow in love again is messy and imperfect, but also can be wonderful.  All I have to do is learn how to enjoy it fully, unapologetically, and unabashedly.  It's the way Brian enjoyed his life and the way he'd want me to live mine.

1 comment:

  1. I think "Antonio" is perfect for you. Have a mentioned this? Seriously, he is a keeper! Love that you can can express your honest feelings with matter what:)