A Letter to My Old Self

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

“Change is the only constant in life.”

Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
Dear Julie,
I guess you might say that this is a "Dear John letter" of sort, written to my old life. It's time to say good-bye to who I was before Brian died. Good-bye to so many things that are now gone forever. This new world I find myself in is strange, confusing, and quite foreign. Yet, I am working diligently to adapt, and yes, even to thrive.

For 27 years, the world that Julie lived in was shared with another. Each new day Brian was there to start and end the day with a kiss; to share those little bits of daily minutia that only couples care about; his footsteps were heard in the hall; his rich, bass voice wafted through the air as he talked on the phone. There was laughter to share over an inside joke, and arms to comfort each other when things got rough. And now that is all gone, and my world is lonely and quiet. Nothing is the same except the ticking of the clock and the slowly passing days on the calendar.

What's really struck me is how the former Julie, the Julie that was a partner, a friend, a wife, doesn't fit well into her old life anymore. The 24 hours that make up each day seem much longer now than they really are.  Each new day when I look in the mirror I am reminded that, while outwardly I may look the same, truly, inside, where it counts, I am not. My world has changed and to move forward, I must be part of that change. And so it is that I am writing to tell you good-bye as I embark on this new journey, leaving the old Julie behind and becoming better acquainted with whoever it is that I am now.

In the months since Brian died, I have learned so much. I've learned to truly appreciate the little, everyday things that are often taken for granted. . . things that are now gone forever: The tears and heart aches, laughter and joy; the hopes and dreams; the missed opportunities and the ones that were amazing surprises. But most of all, I miss the special shared moments that can only be understood by all those years of living, loving, and growing together. We are all given 24 hours each new day that will never happen again. And each day those precious seconds turn into minutes, then hours, then days, and eventually a lifetime. Sadly, we seldom stop to remember how fragile and fleeting life is . . . until it has suddenly ended for someone that we dearly love.

While it's been a rough 15 months since this change began for me, I'm wiser now, and I still have life to live. To live that life, I've learned the importance of patience, perseverance, and self-love. Could he talk to me today I know Brian would tell me not to let his death debilitate me for life. So, even though so much of who I was died with him, I realize that there is still so much of who I am becoming to be discovered and experienced. So that is what I will try to do. 

Thanks for getting me this far, Julie. I've got this. I'll take it from here.


Poem of Life

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay . . .

Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker,
For some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the Lord.

---Author Unknown

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