"Home is wherever I'm with you" -- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Sometimes I get homesick. Not homesick for a place, or even for a person, but for the way things used to be. Now don't get me wrong -- there is nothing about my life now I would be willing to trade for the world.... I have a beautiful son and a loving husband, and there is no way I would give any of that up. I accept the fact that in order to have them in my life, I had to lose my old one. But I am allowed to still miss it, sometimes, right?
But I can never go back. You know how it is when you miss a place, maybe your hometown, or a place you used to live and so you go back to visit? It's not the same, never the same. Sometimes reality just makes your memory less sweet, less fond, as if the reality takes away the way your mind has made that place to be. Sometimes I feel that way about my old life. I remember it in a way I sort of suspect it was not, not really. If I sit and focus on the details I still recall reality, or at least my version of reality, but I still think that time has softened it. It's like looking through the world with a soft focused lens in a dim light.... the light is still there, but some of the harsh details are melted away -- you can't see the wrinkles on someones face anymore.
I find myself sometimes wandering back there in my mind.... remembering things I used to do, conversations I used to have with Mike, places we used to visit. Just simple things, like what we would do when I came home from work, and how that was. It stands in really stark contrast to how things are now -- and I wonder what life would have been like if he hadn't died. I guess it's only natural that the mind wanders there. It's hard, actually, to imagine away my current life and think about what I would be doing instead. Would we have had any kids? Would we have finally got a house? Where would we be living? I don't know. My mind lacks sufficient imagination to fill in any of these details -- all it seems to be able to do is conjure up memories. I guess that's what my old life is now, memories.
And so when I do allow myself these little moments, I get homesick. I don't know why. I just know that even if there was a way to go back, that it wouldn't be the same, because I am not the same. And maybe that is why I get homesick.... because I know that not only can't I go back, but because I also don't want to go back. And that is perhaps the hardest fact I've had to accept on this whole roller coaster of grief. Maybe it's a real sign of healing, maybe not, but as people before me have said, "It is what it is." Let's just leave it at that.