Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dreams deferred: The truth about dying - Final

Five years later...

Five years later: I thank God that we live in the times we do. Although gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people still face discrimination or worse on a daily basis, I am so glad that at least here in Canada we've become progressive enough where I was allowed to be right by Rob's side during his illness. Where I was viewed as his partner, his family, and not kept to the side because of our sexuality or that we didn't have the same 'blood'. I feel for anyone who couldn't be there for their partners in the past and even in the present because they were denied access due to archaic hospital or society rules, or just plain bigotry.

Five years later: Although Rob's family and I are estranged, I still think about them often, particularly on March 15th, and I hope that they are doing ok.

Five years later: Continuing a life without 'the one'. I used to hate it when people would say he or she's my "soul mate" or "the one," but I was single at the time and stupid. Then I met Rob and I finally understood what it means/meant. I remember being out with my friends at a bar during my single years and this girl, she was kinda drunk, started chatting up my friends and I, and she said, and God only knows how the topic came up but you know how it goes: bar + lots a' drinks = bizarre conversations...sometimes. Soo anyway, she said "Do you want to know why I want to meet someone? Because I don't want to be alone when I die." At the time I thought "ok lady, are you nuts? That was the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Wow, judgey eh? Who isn't at 25. But yet I never forgot it. I was so very wrong about judging her or her opinion like that, and if I ever see that girl again I'd hug her and tell her she was right.

Five years later: Finally getting over the loud quiet of being lonely without him. It didn't really hit me in the days after he died. I was so numb, to everything. That feeling changed - fast. Loneliness didn't hit me at first when I was alone in the condo, mostly because I had become used to him not being there as he was in hospital. It would hit me when I left the condo to do things, like go shopping. I'd automatically pick up his favourite things that he liked to eat only to have to go and put them back. Then I would burn it through the grocery so I wouldn't have a breakdown in aisle 6 (little joke there). Loneliness would hit me on my way to work as I'd have to pass by the hospital (the office where I worked at the time was only about two blocks away from the hospital). It would hit me when the condo was so quiet and I'd think I hear the phone ring, thinking it would be Rob calling from the hospital, or work, or just to say Hi, only to realize it was in my head. Or I'd look out the window, thinking he was on his way home from work. Absolutely nutty. Absolutely normal. Now those feelings are mostly gone, but I'm still single and I often wonder if I'll meet someone again. It'd be nice to re-live the joys (and pains) of being a couple again.

Five years later: I recall my amazing world trip and what I was ignoring at the time - my health. It really was the time of my life, but what I wasn't sharing on the blog about my travels was my health, particularly my physical health. I had to cancel some activities that were planned because I just wasn't physically up for it. I had terrible body aches and pains, some days I could barely walk! I was downing advils like crazy just to get through the day, then slump into bed at night. My guide in New Zealand, the wonderful Sheriff Alex said I looked like death when I got off the plane in my black clothes, all slumped over (he was very blunt but I loved him for that!). When I finally returned to Canada, my Doctor was extremely worried. My body was so run-down. Everything hurt, it hurt just to lift my hand in the air, and I had a lost a great deal of weight before and during the trip. Was it residual feelings due to Robbie's death and trying to come to terms with that? Yes, but I didn't know it then. I know it now.

Five years later: I'm in better health mentally and physically, but I'm still trying to find my place. I look back at things that have happened from time to time, but mostly what my mind seems to be doing is peforming a slight form of amnesia. Is that a good thing? In some ways yes, but in some worrying ways no. I'm definitely forgetting some really unpleasant things that have happened which is fine, but I also find I'm forgetting the good things too. I ve said it before how grateful I'am to have this blog, and it's for reasons like the aforementioned amnesia that really brings that point home!

Five years later: I've finally written something I've been wanting to write for a very long time. Fear held me back from doing it, and I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty sure I had my reasons. It doesn't matter now. All I know is that it just feels so good to get it out of my system, and talk about what happened in a truthful way. To acknowledge the (many) mistakes I made before, during, and after his death, but also learning from it.

Five years later: Continuing to realize and know just how lucky and blessed I was to have had those years with Robbie. I wouldn't take anything back before, during and/or afterwards. It was all an important learning experience and I'm still learning - that's the way it should be, and I know that's what he would have liked to see me doing. No looking back now, keep moving forward.

Five years later: He taught me to appreciate the people who have come and gone in my life, the good and the bad. To love them for who they are and want nothing but the best for them - and myself.

Five years later: Life is short, don't waste it.

Me, five years later:


  1. Steve,

    I'm so late reading these last three entries, but I'm so glad I read them. Beautiful and tender and raw and so, so heartbreaking.

    I only had the pleasure of meeting Rob a couple of times (once at my wedding -- I still remember how much it meant to me that the two of you made the long drive to be there!) but it was obvious, just from being around the two of you, how special your relationship was.

    The person I love most in the world was in the hospital last year after suffering a heart attack at the ripe old age of 38. I've never felt so incredibly tiny and lonely and helpless as I did when I had no idea if he was going to survive. It was only a tiny fraction of what you went through with Rob, yet still the hardest thing I've ever been through. I can't even imagine...

    You look great. I miss seeing your face.
    Kel xo

  2. Ah, the wedding - I will never forget that wedding (and neither did Robbie)!! That was such a laugh, the lengths you travel for friends eh? haha hey I hope your Mum is doing well - please tell her said hello ok Kel?
    You are so awesome for writing. Just seeing your name always brings back great memories. Not just of your wedding, but the infamous MCBS days and the occasional St. Patty's Day shenanigans!! I had no idea you still read this damn blog! I appreciate that more than you'll ever know.

    Kelly, I'm so sorry you and the person you love had to go through such a traumatic experience. It's even harder when someone is so young at 38, it just makes it more real, more raw. Anyway comparisons are so unnecessary, all that matters is that you were there for him and for each other..the rest is just about (god help me without sounding Oprah-ish) life lessons.

    I have to tell you, I sure would love to see your face again, see how you're keeping! Hope it happens soon?
    Love ya, and thanks again for your amazing comments my friend,
    Nothing but the very best to you Kel.