Man, this past weekend was freakin’ hard. For some reason I feel more emotional now than I was before. I continue to think about Shane all day every day and miss him so damn much. And every single day I long for him, sometimes so much so that I feel sick and push myself into a panic attack and can’t breathe. I miss his texts during my workday. I miss that laugh and his beautiful smile and eyes. I miss his hugs, his smell, his touch, the sound of his voice. Everybody tells me I’m strong, but nobody sees that once I’m by myself and don’t have my game face on anymore, I cry uncontrollably. I think about all the future experiences we won’t have together, that we were supposed to have together. Anyone who has ever lost a true soulmate knows this pain, the feeling that a part of you is gone. It’s almost unbearable.
The weekend was a double whammy of sorts. On Saturday evening, Shane’s close uncle and aunt, dear friends and I went to Lake Norman to scatter some of his ashes, as he wished for. It was emotional for all of us, to say the least. But it was also really beautiful to set him into the wind overlooking the lake. The sun was setting and it had been a gorgeous day, so there was a serenity that we took in knowing his spirit was there.
Afterwards, we celebrated him. I put together a life celebration for Shane that I had been planning for about a month. It came together really well; in fact, I don’t think it could have gone any better. We celebrated his life at Bayne Brewery in Cornelius, which our friend and brewery owner, Chris, helped me out with. About 40 people were there, including old friends, new friends, family members and some who didn’t even know him, but still came out to celebrate in support. We had a slideshow of pictures, a playlist of all his favorite music, beautiful flowers, a big taco bar (his favorite), and lots of beer (also his favorite).
Toward the end of the night, his uncle, close friend and I all spoke about Shane. It wasn’t easy for any of us to do, but what we all had to say about him was appreciated by the crowd, and hopefully let everyone see a side of Shane that they remembered fondly, or maybe didn’t even know about. The tears flowed freely that night. More than once I found myself looking around the room and feeling so grateful that so many showed up to celebrate him. I asked him to come celebrate with us that night, and I think he did.
Everyone was able to leave with parting gifts as well. I had custom seed packets made by Sow True Seed in Asheville with a poem he wrote imprinted on them, as well as a design from one of his favorite band’s albums (which he also planned to get tattooed on himself at some point). I picked a Monarch butterfly seed mix, as butterflies are symbolic of life after death. An unexpected gift came in the form of a drawing of him done by my good friend, Ben. Not only did he give me a framed original, but he made enough prints for everyone to take home that evening. It was a very generous surprise and he truly captured Shane’s essence in his beautiful rendition.
The second part of the weekend was moving out of the house and into my new townhome in Plaza Midwood. While I’ve been looking forward to getting settled again and starting fresh in a new neighborhood, it was so much harder than I expected to leave the house we shared, even though it was just for a short time. I walked around the empty house, looking at the rooms we painted together after meticulously picking out paint colors. I lingered in the closet and bathroom, where we had done renovations to prepare for my moving in. I stood in the kitchen, remembering all the meals we cooked together and how we used to dance to the Frankie Valli station. On the way out, I plucked a rose off of the rose bush he loved and cared for. I also snapped a photo of the little tree he planted over a year ago, thinking it would grow larger and never did. We frequently laughed about this pathetic little tree.
I’m officially moved into my new place, and it’s bittersweet, as I expected. I do love the place itself and I’ve hung up the art pieces we bought together on our travels, but he is missing from it and that’s going to take some time to get over. I know there’s no manual for how to deal with loss, and I have no choice but to deal with it at this point. But it sucks. It really fucking sucks. I don’t wish this on anyone. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times that I wanted to join him wherever he is, but I know my time and work here isn’t done yet. And now three cats need me, if nothing else than for treats and a chin scratch.
I remain grateful for the support of friends and family; I’ve realized this past weekend just how many people I love and who love me back. I’ll continue working to connect with him on the other side and live my life here, knowing that’s what he would want for all of us grieving his loss. He’s probably been hanging around this whole time, wondering why we’re all so upset and telling us to just lighten up already. That would be his way. I’ll be staying here on earth until it’s my time, but I really can’t wait to see him again ❤