When Brian died, all kinds of people told me all sorts of things. I can’t count the number of times I heard, “at least he didn’t suffer,” (how do we know?,) “he will always be with you,” “you’re strong and you’ll make it through,” and a bunch of other stuff that I know were said to me out of compassion and love, but honestly didn’t do me a damn bit of good. There was only one thing anyone said that helped me out at all (interestingly, two people told me the exact same thing,) and that was this: It’s going to suck for a very long time. It’s going to suck until it doesn’t suck anymore. And when it stops sucking, it will likely be because Brian led you to the place you are meant to be and it will be okay to be happy.”
Friends and neighbors, I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t suck anymore and I am happy.
Don’t get me wrong. I still miss Brian every day. I still love him and always will. I still hurt. I don’t think any of that will ever go away and I hope it doesn’t. Brian is a huge part of who I am and everything that happened in our 14 years shaped me, including his horrible death. I wouldn’t want to wish that away. That said, I’m still here, I’m alive, and I’m living again. I’m happy and that feels wonderful.
Months (years?) before Brian died, my life started taking on a new color. I started getting interested in music that is mostly unknown to the mass public because it doesn’t fit a radio station’s idea of what should be played. I started meeting artists and writing some here and there. I started talking to folks on Twitter, going to shows in little clubs, interviewing people, and just sort of getting involved. Brian used to look at me and shake his head with a grin on his face and say, “Just remember to take me with you when you go.”
After Brian died, that part of my life took off. These people that I had been interacting with somehow swooped in and showed me support and grace and generosity that shocked me. There was no pity, there was no dancing around the subject, there was no patronizing me. It felt safe. It felt like I was where I was supposed to be. Out of Brian’s death, I was given a new life. I feel like he led me here.
These are good, good people. I have gotten pretty close with a lot of these folks in the last few months, very close to one in particular. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met and we are now in a lovely relationship and I am very happy. I put my whole life out here on this blog, but I won’t be talking about him in detail because that’s his story to tell, not mine. We have both spent some seriously painful time in the dark, but somehow we managed to take a chance and found the light.
All of this to say that, if you’re in a dark spot, just keep going. This crazy life will pick you up and body slam you right down into the pits of hell, but if you keep going, if you don’t give up, it will also pick you back up and gently set you down where you are meant to be all along. I promise you. There’s a light.