We dreamed of this, Europe in Springtime. But I go without you, how can I go without you? It’s so conflicting, how can I go without you? I would have cancelled 20 times if it wasn’t for letting others down and losing a stack of money! I’m going somewhere without you, making new memories that you aren’t in. I just don’t like it.
It sounds romantic when we hear people speak of “seasons of life”, “new chapters in the story of life”, or my unfavourite “when God closes a door, He opens a window!” Behind the cliché lies a truth about keeping on living, but the connotation of leaving my old life behind is crippling. You are not a door that closed, by the same analogy it was more like a house exploding into a million fragments…it can never be put back together the same way. It’s not a new chapter, it’s a complete do-over. It’s memories that you won’t be in.
Memories are powerful. I can be drawn back to a moment in time anywhere in my past 44 years instantaneously. It draws instant emotion as if you were there again. I can find myself smiling as I remember how it felt when you held me. The warmth, your breath on my neck, the tightening of your arms around me; it was a very safe place and I can feel it now. Of course there are some very traumatic memories as well, the ones that can stir around my head late at night when I try to sleep. I do not smile at those, nor do I want to describe them.
I know you would want us to be happy and never give up living, I do, I know that. You could never say it, I know you didn’t want to die and leave us, so there was no need for it. But I know your heart, and you most certainly would want us to live on. So I will, even if you aren’t there to make a memory with. Courage looks like many things, and right now it’s hopping on a plane without you and determining not to mourn forever. It’s knowing it’s OK to continue making memories without you.
Europe in the springtime.
Let’s see how I go!