Happy Birthday Valerie

Tomorrow would’ve been Val’s 38th birthday. It’s still her birthday, even though she’s not around to celebrate it anymore.

It’s been a while since I talked about her. It’s still hard.

Valerie was my girlfriend, serious enough that we both knew marriage was our future. She died suddenly on Jan 24th 2013, due to complications from medicine. I was the one that found her. I was planning to propose that night.

It’s closing in on three years without her. I’ve learned to carry on. I have a wonderful girlfriend that I love very much, and I see a long future with her. I know that Val would approve. She wouldn’t want me to be alone. It took a long time for me to accept this.

Even in the first few months after her death, I knew that I would fall in love again. It terrified me. The thought of loving someone other than Valerie was repulsive. How could I ever disgrace her memory like that? I wanted to live my life without love, to stay faithful to her forever. I know that it doesn’t work that way, but I would make it happen. My heart belonged to her, and always would.

And it still does, but that doesn’t mean that it can be for only her. When she died, I died as well. I’m a different person, for better or worse. It’s still hard for me to keep my heart together, but I realize that I’m not who I was. The old Craig will always and only love Valerie. The new Craig belongs to someone else, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for that.

They say that time heals all wounds, but they say a lot of stupid shit. It doesn’t heal, it scars over. There will always be scar tissue where my love for her used to be.

I’m very lucky that my current girlfriend is so understanding of my wounds. A lot of women aren’t strong enough to love a widower. Mine is. She understands when I take the 90 minute trip to Val’s grave, as I’ll do tomorrow. She might not understand why I’m leaving a Carvel cake next to her grave, or why I leave little toys whenever I visit. I never expect people to understand the things I do. I only hope that they accept them.

 

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