The state of things

It’s the end of the year and time for reflection and planning for the coming year, so of course I have been thinking about the past 12+ months since I moved to Spain and evaluating all that has happened. I think now is a good time to update you all on “how I am handling things”, mainly because I am getting this question a lot lately. It’s over a year and a half after JM’s death and I think people feel like they can ask me this question now, like maybe my answer will be different than a year ago. I think everyone knew what the answer was a year ago, just by looking at me. Nonetheless, I appreciate the question.

Psychologically, we expect to outlive our parents and grandparents, so really, our entire lives subconsciously we are preparing for their deaths in a way. Of course we are never “prepared” and it does not make the loss any easier, but I imagine you do not experience the shock of losing someone you are supposed to live the rest of your life with. It is still disturbing how many people who knew JM do not even acknowledge in any way that he was killed when they see me, and never have. I just want you all to know, for future reference, that this is something you NEED to do at some point if someone you know has experienced the death of someone as significant as a spouse or sibling or child or anyone you are not supposed to, by design, outlive.

So…to answer the question. I’m doing pretty good. 6 months ago, I was not. But 6 months ago I spent a lot of time looking at my life and at myself, and finally allowing myself to experience a lot of pain, and, well… it helped.  I am looking forward to a lot of things and I am happy.  I recently got some ink that honors JM – I felt positively compelled to do it – and I am very happy with it, extremely happy with it in fact.  Sure, a tattoo signifies internal pain, (and I would be lying if I said this did not subconsciously reflect the loss I feel), but the imagery is very much me and not entirely obvious to anyone who did not know JM well as to it’s meaning, so it’s quite personal. And for some reason, it is very satisfying to have it. Maybe I will figure this feeling out later.

Now to answer the question everyone is really asking when they want to know how I am doing: I think I am finally emotionally able to have a real relationship at this point, with someone appropriate – not twelve years my junior or someone I know is entirely wrong for me or that I am not very interested in (in other words, safe because I would never have an actual relationship with them).  That being said, I will put it out there that I started dating someone I really like. I have known him for a year, he is a friend of a friend and he is of course involved in racing.

I think I will leave it at that for now, but thanks for asking.

2 thoughts on “The state of things

  1. I think a lot of people just don’t know how to make a grieving person feel better. They want to help, but don’t have a clue how. Most don’t realize, that they can’t help. They just have to be there, acknowledge it, and let the grieving happen. Usually, they just end up trying to avoid it. At least, that’s what I’ve observed.

    I know it has to have been hard, and still is. But hang in there. I think you are doing exactly what you need to do. Which is pretty damn good.

    A good friend of mine has bestowed an outlook on life upon me which I have tried to adopt. Everything we go through is simply an experience. The good, the bad, the happiness, the sorrow. Oh.. and the pain and the pleasure. It is all something that we should experience and learn from. The more we experience, the better we understand and the more we understand. Experiencing a great loss, like losing JM, as horrible as it feels, will make you understand more and make you a stronger person.

    Sorry.. getting all existential and preachy up in here.

    I never knew JM but from the pics and stories I’ve read, he seems like a man who is well worth honoring. And I’m sure he will always be a part of your life. I think You know he would always want you to do what makes you happy. So you go girl.

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