I've learned what my limits are, I've figured out how to ride through the unpredictable waves of grief, and I've worked out how to function in a world that feels like a shadow of what once was. I've gotten good at surviving. I spent this last year with one sole focus... get through it. Make it through all of the firsts without Daniel.
I have made it through, but I realize I didn't plan well for what happens on day 366. I know now that there is something harder than losing my sweet boy. What comes next is living without him... and that scares the hell out of me.
I don't know how to "do life" without him with me. I feel like I've had my legs cut off at the knees and now I must start over. It's like learning to walk again on artificial limbs. I don't feel ready or prepared to stand yet, but I also know that it won't be any easier if I wait.
I think how unfair it is that Daniel only got to live on this Earth for less than 37 years. There was so much left that he wanted to do. I can't just hid away in this safe cocoon I've built, feeling sorry for myself and wasting my days when he had so few. And, I realize, this is a place for me to start.
We spent so many nights sharing our dreams. I know that he loved being up in the mountains in Colorado, that he wanted to visit Japan, that he aspired to one day hike the Appalachian Trail. He wanted to learn Kendo and start Tai Chi. He talked about taking classes on how to make sushi and about buying a classic car to fix up. There were so many things that we were going to do together... some day.
As always, we are still a team. I have the chance to get out there and start living for both of us until the blessed day that I get to join him again. I think the first step is to do some of the things we never got around to doing together.
This is practice run at starting to live again. Daniel might not be here in person, but I know he will be by my side every step of the way. I don't know if I can do it, and I am sure I will fall a lot in the process. I look at these first few steps on my own as physical therapy for the soul.
I love you Daniel.