I’m not someone who remembers dates. Let alone what day of the week it is. But May 5th is a date I don’t forget anymore. My partner, Ralph, died four years ago on that day. Cinco de Mayo. Remembering Ralph.
If you have a healthy grieving process, you move forward, you move on, you heal. And I most definitely have.
I wasn’t going to post anything today, but stil,l my fingers were drawn to the computer. And when that happens, I don’t argue because more often than not, I’m pleading with the writing gods to inspire me.
Whether we’ve suffered a loss in the form of the death of a loved one (including a beloved pet), a divorce or separation, a job, or any other significant life-altering change, moving forward is imperative.
After a couple of years, I started to feel that, well, maybe I shouldn’t share my thoughts about this particular loss anymore. Keep them to myself, because people will start to think I’m stuck in the past.
But my friend, Mary, reminded me yesterday that although we move on, we never truly forget. And that’s okay.
When Ralph died I found myself alone for pretty much the first time in my life. I could have crawled into a dark place of fear or longing or anger or pity. Instead, after the shock and sadness started to wane, I remember making a conscious choice to begin a love affair with myself.
I’ve spent these last four years getting to know what really makes me tick. Digging deep. Taking my inner child out to play again.
I realize that not everyone is the same. I’m an introverted artist at heart and so, for me, spending time alone can be like a soothing balm for my soul.
And from an Ayurvedic perspective (Of course I had to work that in here!) people with a lot of Vata in their constitution (air/movement) tend to be able to let things go, move forward.
It may not be quite so easy for the extrovert who needs people around.
Or for the Kapha type (earth/grounded/stability) who can get stuck in the past, unable to move forward or forget.
Certainly, there’s a spectrum for all of us. I think that my constitution and the knowledge that I had about it has helped me significantly.
And as with any life-altering situation, there’s usually the good and the bad.
My relationship with Ralph wasn’t without its hardships and challenges. It taught me valuable lessons which I carry with me into the future. If another relationship should come my way I will be stronger and wiser.
But it’s the good memories I choose to remember every year on May 5th or on those unexpected days when I feel Ralph’s presence. And I let myself breathe them in, whether they bring forth tears or smiles.
I loved his smile.
I loved his protective nature.
The man would have jumped on the subway tracks for me.
We could barely go for a walk in our neighborhood because he worried about the little ones who weren’t holding someone’s hand crossing the street. He loved when they came into his restaurant.
Speaking of his restaurant – I loved his cooking.
God, how I miss his cooking!
I loved his sense of adventure.
We relentlessly explored NYC every weekend even though he had lived there his whole life. He loved this city.
I loved riding my bike with him.
I loved his generosity of spirit and lack of jealousy.
No matter what his own situation was, he was always happy for the success and joy of others.
I loved Ralph.
And still love him because his spirit is never far away from me.
So, like a birthday that comes around once a year, I celebrate Ralph and all that he was to so many people during his short life here on earth.
He truly blessed my life.
Thank you for letting me share my memories here – again.
So much love,