I’ve been thinking and dreaming about my deceased fiance Patrick lately. Probably because of All Saints and All Souls Days. And every time, the phrase “a thousand days apart” has come into my head. It’s an odd recurring phrase.
Patrick died 28 April 2005, so we’ve actually been apart about 1,654 days. Just over 4 and a half years.
I guess “a thousand days” is one of those symbolic numbers that means “such a long time.” It has been a long time, and will only keep getting longer. Seeing him in my thoughts and dreams can be nice and comforting. It can also make coping with our separation harder in everyday real life.
I didn’t realize it was still so hard for me. But it is sometimes. I don’t think I’ll ever entirely “get over it.” I don’t think that “getting over it” is the point. The point is to bear it through everyday real life. Not ignoring it or denying it, but just carrying it in a certain place and in a certain way.
Life-long separation from somebody who was such an important and treasured part of my life and identity is part of my own personal cross. As such he is still an important and treasured part of my life and identity. Just a very different one.
As always, we can either love or hate our crosses. We can either suffer them well or suffer them poorly. They don’t disappear. Even if we drop them and walk away, they are still there and still ours. We don’t “get over” them.
These may seem like gloomy thoughts. But they’re just about coming to terms with life. And taking life on its own terms gives a certain peace and liberty. It’s such an important choice we’re giving. I choose to love my cross and suffer it well.