Earlier version of a photo from Hampton Beach

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I was originally going to abandon this image. I took it in the morning when the Sun was behind me, instead of in front of me like in the original photo. I posted the better version a couple months ago.

Somehow, even though the photo I took later in the day is probably technically better, I decided I liked something about this and wanted to post it, anyway.

Or, maybe I just want to post every photo of Beth that I can.

Six months…

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It’s been six months to the day. Half a year. Some days are good. Many are fucking awful.

I’ve just returned from a five week trip to South America, but I have no words of wisdom to share from the experience.

I didn’t grow. I didn’t transform. I wasn’t healed. I didn’t become a new person. I had no epiphanies.

I simply moved forward, little by little, day by day, as distracted as I could allow myself to be. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good trip. I certainly and sincerely enjoyed it.

Still, this is the longest, hardest road I could have imagined. On the positive side, I had a day where I talked with strangers about Beth’s death and didn’t lose control of my emotions. Yet, the following day, stupid, meaningless little things brought me to the edge of tears. I found some scarves, hair clips and sweaters and wanted to buy them for Beth. I imagined how much she’d love them and imagining her smile broke my heart.

Being without Beth can be tough, as you’d expect, but, what’s harder is being alone in a group of people you don’t know. The greater the number, the more lonely I feel. It might seem a bit ridiculous, but that’s the way it is.

A half a year has passed without my best friend by my side. Six months without her.

The first month was absolutely brutal. I never wanted to get out of bed. The next few months were nearly as bad, and somehow at times, inexplicably worse than the first month. I still don’t understand how that’s possible, but that’s how it is when the shock wears off.

The following couple of months passed by like I was in an emotional coma. I would try and be fun to be around, but I often felt like I was dead inside. I felt I was faking happiness so friends would still want to be around me; so I wouldn’t feel alone.

The last month was mainly helpful. Getting away and experiencing a new country, culture, and a new environment has always been good for me. I’m not good with routines. Usually, I’m good with the new and the unknown.

Or, at least I used to be.

For the first time in my life, the unknown is a challenge for me. I think about quitting my job like Beth wanted me to. I think about moving places she wanted to move. I think about moving to another country. When I tell people I’m thinking about big changes, many offer advice when all I need is someone to listen. But I understand that.

I fear I’ll continue to walk like a zombie through the next six months. The past six months have been brutal and it’s smashed my faith in a lot of things, including people. It’s quashed my optimism for the future. It’s left me hollow and severely depressed at times. It’s stripped many of my passions away. It has permanently constricted my chest.

But, one thing the past half year has reminded me is the importance of friends and family. Even the virtual friends of Facebook. Beth didn’t like Facebook much and I complained about it now and then, as well. However, there’s absolutely no question how helpful the recent support has been from friends on Facebook. I realize there’s irony there. I think I’ve posted about that before.

I know, it’s not an epiphany. It’s just a reminder that I appreciate the support of even the most casual of my friends. Like I said, I’ve no wisdom to share — just gratitude. And metta:

May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
May your light never fade.
May you find the love of your life and never lose her.