I have lived 400 days without Donnie. So many things have happened in those 400 days since he left. I have missed him every day of those 400 days. I have wanted to call him a million times to tell him something or ask him something. Justin just finished his 2nd semester in college. Courtney is going to her senior year of high school. Caley is talking up a storm. Shantel has found love and happiness in her life with a good man. And I have managed to get thru these last 400 days and I am still here to tell my story. 400 days ago I would have told you that I would have never made it to this point. I couldn’t even imagine an hour ahead much less a year. I would have told you that there was no way in the world I would ever smile again. I would tell you that I couldn’t go on and move forward in my life without Donnie by my side. I would have told you that I would never be happy again. 400 days ago our world changed 100%. Our “normal” was taken away and we were forced to adjust and even accept this “new normal” that we live each day.
People sometimes still walk on eggshells around me. Afraid to mention Donnie’s name in fear of it “setting me off” or making me cry. Some still treat me like I am broken. They think if they remind me of Donnie by speaking his name it will make me sad. It would make me even sadder to pretend he never existed. It’s hard for me to understand why talking about him seems “awkward” for people who knew him and loved him. It doesn’t make a difference if they talk about him or not, I still know he is gone. I am faced with that everyday. Someone speaking of him doesn’t spare me from knowing and remembering that he is gone. Maybe those people can “hide” from the fact that he is gone because they didn’t see him or speak to him every day. I have been constantly reminded of it every day for the last 400 days. It’s not something I can hide from. It is my reality. But I have accepted it. It hasn’t been easy. I have accepted this reality because I have faced it and still face it every single day. And in that acceptance, I made the choice to keep on living and move forward. What other choice did I have really? I could have stayed in bed I guess with the covers pulled over my head and shut out the world. Lord knows I wanted to for a long time and there are days that I still want to do that. But I didn’t and I choose not to do that. I choose to live my life the way that Donnie wanted me to. He wanted me to continue living even though it meant without him. I couldn’t hide from my grief I had to confront it and move thru it. It’s not something that you can hide from. It will find you.
400 days. Seems like and eternity.I think about how much my world has changed in these 400 days. I couldn’t imagine what today would be like. I have travelled a long and treacherous path of grief and self discovery. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I learned in those 400 days, life goes on, no matter what. The world doesn’t stop for your grief. You somehow find a way to move forward. I will never “ be over” losing Donnie, I will ALWAYS grieve for and miss him but I have found out and accepted that I am still living . I have found someone who makes me smile again. If you would have told me that 400 days ago, I would have told you that you were crazy. And I would have been wrong.