7 years ago, my life derailed. It literally blew up in Pablo's face. And not a day has gone by since where I don't miss him, that I don't feel that ache inside.
A few days ago, I was driving to Queens to pick up Baby Girl. She was visiting Pablo's sister for the weekend. As I drove, I listened to my iPod. Everything was cool until Patty Loveless's "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?" came on. I was hit with a wave of sadness and grief so strong that I nearly pulled over. As I choked down sobs, I wondered, "Whose life was that? Who's left a widow at 26, while pregnant? That only happens in the movies!" These thoughts weigh heavily on my mind nowadays as my new husband and I contemplate having babies.
I can't help but fear that the exact same thing is going to happen. And how selfish and stupid of me it is! As if my pain can compare to the fact that Pablo never got hold his baby in his arms, that he never saw how perfect she was. But in some ways, Pablo's pain was brief. He will never know the pain of loss. The pain of feeling a loved one torn away.
One of the most thoughtless things I heard in those early days was "You're young, you'll find someone new." As if it was merely a thing that had been damaged or lost. As if any one person can replace another. Now that I've remarried, it may be surprising to think that I still mourn the loss of not only my first husband, but a dear friend.
I still think of him every day. There are moments when I yearn for a glimpse of an alternate reality, a reality where he met his daughter and where he became the father I always knew he'd be. I usually banish those thoughts quickly because the pain is still sharp. There will always be a part of me that never heals, that always remains grief-stricken over the loss of someone so young, over the loss of our life together. Even as I amaze myself with the girl I once was, on that cold January day 7 years ago, to the person I've become today, I know a part of me will hurt forever.
This memorial post now becomes my yearly appeal to you all. Tomorrow is never promised to anyone. If there's anyone who you've been meaning to call or see, just do it today. For me. For Pablo.
We miss you always, Pablo.