Two messages came through Facebook asking me to contact a couple of friends I haven’t heard from in a while one Saturday night. I acquired these friends during my marriage to the #FallenHero. These friends knew all the original parties well.
First one asked if I heard about the #FallenHero. My automatic response was “What has he done now?...” The response was one I wasn’t expecting.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“For what? It’s been two years…”
“No honey. He’s dead. They found him. He died of liver failure,” she said quietly on the phone.
The words “Well at least he didn’t shoot himself in the head again” tumbled out of my mouth without a thought. My focus was immediately on his family. They had already lost enough.
“Yes,” she said quietly again. “I’m so sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?” I asked. “It was an end we all knew was coming. It actually came a lot sooner than I had expected.” Why would someone say they felt sorry for me? We weren’t married any more. We hadn’t been in touch since the divorce got finalized. The only thing I knew was that he was literally right across the street in our old townhome without knowledge of me being so near. And the automatic panic attack that appeared at the sight of a bright blue car. Heck, it didn’t even have to be a Focus! This made absolutely no sense.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew the man he was capable of being even if he chose not to be that man for a good portion of our relationship. But I couldn’t quite rap my head around why everyone wanted to send condolences to a dead marriage involving a hero that had fallen long ago.
Although it was nice to hear from this long lost friend, I still couldn’t figure out why people were behaving the way they were. Was I supposed to be feeling different? I called mama bear. My first response after trying to state the obvious to others was that maybe I should reach out to his family. They had already lost one son. It seemed like it was the humane thing to do. Mama bear gave me a second to process it.
“No. I shouldn’t do that.”
“No. You shouldn’t,” she said quietly on the phone. “People disperse their anger to anyone that is easily available whether it is wrong or not. You already had to bear that role multiple times. Do you really want to do it once more?...”
“No,” I said honestly. Still unsure of exactly what I was supposed to do with this information. We talked for what seemed like hours. A normal routine for us. I went through a range of emotions.
He will remain the start of my adjusted sails, but he will never be the one to control this boat. I am glad that no more pain can come from this storm. I also know that it was this storm that could never define me. I just grew that much stronger. Now the winds have died and all is at peace. The sky has cleared for both of us. Today, we are both free.
We all have personal storms that we face. Some big, some small, and some in between. Here are some of my personal storms. Are you ready to run with me?....