Yesterday at the reunion was just plain strange. In some ways it was more difficult than I thought, and in others it was better than expected. Does that even make sense? A large number of people did not feel comfortable approaching me. Only the closest of Chip's cousins actually spent time talking with me. Their discomfort was palpable. This is the first time I have seen the majority of them since Chip transitioned and I found myself feeling guilty and sad for making them feel bad! What on earth! Death certainly does make people uncomfortable. My closest cousins and nieces and nephews were the rocks that I needed to get through the day. And of course, I went in with no real expectations. Rather, I went there with an open heart and mind - just live the day and see what it brings. All in all I felt pretty comfortable. Chip was there, although I was so busy and distracted by the number of people and action going on around us that I did not connect with him as I would have liked to. There were only a couple of times that I had the urge to run, but I braved through them and tried to smile. Everyone deals with life in their own way. It is our own personal journey. This is another one of those very personal experiences that I am unsure if I should share here or not, but feel compelled to do so. Some day I will look back on this post and have a better insight, a more experienced point of view. Maybe someone else will read this, just before a gathering and find comfort from my experience. What I gained from it at this point in time is that it was painful to be there without him, and I was flooded with lots of memories of us being there together. How we sat at that particular spot, how we played cards and laughed, how we brought the keg, how we went for a walk, hand-in-hand after most everyone had left, etc. And also though, that I was there to represent us. We still exist, Damn it! For me to have not gone would not have been honoring his memory. Now had I really not felt like going, that would have been ok as well. Just saying that after the fact, these are my feelings. It was kind of a neutral day. Neither good nor bad came from it. No real mind blowing insights. I think that Chip was pleased that I went, but know that had I not gone, he would not have been disappointed. Basically, what I guess I am trying to say is that it is up to me. And this is important. I am beginning to live my life based on what I want and need, with the knowledge and understanding that Chip only wants what I want too. Joy. Peace. Happiness. Fulfillment.
I feel that I am becoming a whole person again. And I know that this is an integral part of my growth. Rather than depending on other's guidance and advice, I am beginning to find my own way. There are so many questions I have, so many desires and dreams to realize. And I know, I KNOW that I am on the right path. And I also know that I do not walk alone.