The Question

My Justin has been gone for nearly an year and a half. For me it sometimes seems like it was only yesterday. For others it feels like the full year and a half. About 9 months or so after Justin died a friend of mine asked the question “when do you think you will start dating again?” The question kind of floored me. I wasn’t prepared to answer it yet. I had barely registered that Justin was gone and he wasn’t going to walk through the door at five thirty every night. I wasn’t sure what to say and I sensed that screaming “NEVER!” at her was not the way to go. I simply told her I wasn’t ready to answer that question. I tried to put it out of my head but the question stuck there. At the time it was asked I was still wearing my wedding ring on my finger and tearing the house a part to find Justin’s wedding ring. When I found it I started wearing it on the opposite hand. I was most definitely not ready to answer the question. My mind wouldn’t let it go though so think I did. I knew that Justin would have told me to find somebody better than him…not possible in my opinion. I asked myself what my family would say. They just want me to be happy. I asked what my friends would say. Same thing as my family. I know that they worry that I am not okay or that I am going to waste away in a pit of despair. The truth is that I am somewhere in between. Because I am at an in between place it has taken me awhile to come up with answer. I knew that asking myself what others would say was not really answering the question for myself. I had to delve deep and find my own answer. This was the difficult part. My heart and soul hurt so very horribly and to delve too far from the surface was agony. But I needed an answer for my friends and family…for myself. Justin used to tease me, told me I should find someone better than him, I would laugh and say that no person existed and that I was happy with him. I could never picture myself with anyone else…except maybe Nicholas Cage. So when I was faced with the question so short a time after his death, I wanted scream and cry and throw things and hide under my covers. During the days when the numbness allowed me to think practically, I let my mind wander to the question and I have finally found an answer that I think will make everyone (including myself) breathe a little easier. Here is my answer to the dreaded question

I refuse to shut any doors when the future is so uncertain. I found my Justin after what felt like a life time of looking for the right guy. In reality, I had only been thinking about guys since I was 12 or 13. I was happy with Justin, even with the ups and downs that seem to plague every relationship. I cannot simply push his memory aside to make room for someone new. Not that anyone is suggesting that I do that, but when I think about dating that’s kinda what it feels like. I have not really thought about who I am, I have not done much soul searching or self analysis in my life, maybe now is the time. I want to get to know me before I go looking for someone else. I owe that to myself, my daughter, and my Justin. Maybe in time I will meet someone, but he will have to be pretty special because I will not give up Justin’s memory or the very special spot he holds in my life. Until that time I am perfectly fine with discovering who Valerie is and what she wants from this much, much to short existence. 

This not a simple answer but it is the one that fits with my life right now. I know my family and friends will accept this because it is what makes sense to me.

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