***This post is not about alcohol. It’s about symbolism. Though, there isn’t much better than Jameson. :-)***
After I made the choice to start living life again, it wasn’t that I just woke up one day and all was well. In fact, I can’t say that about today even. Life is hard. Doing new things is hard. Doing old things is hard. Holidays are hard. Milestones in the girls’ lives are hard. Vacations are hard. Every day moments are hard. It feels like I can’t have a moment of happiness, because I’m feeling guilty to be happy in the moment. Then, if I’m upset or sad, I feel guilty, because I should be happy and live my life and enjoy the moment. My counselor calls this, "survivor's guilt." Everything has deeper meaning and seems to be double edged. I had no idea how hard every single day and every single moment would be. Then and now, it is just so terribly difficult and I would never wish this on anyone.
Erica has been around for many of those moments and has seen me battle with my guilt and emotions of choosing to live my life and choosing happiness. She was with me when I decided to get my “Rhea” tattoo.
My “Rhea” tattoo was a symbol for me to feel like he was with me, and a reminder of his love for me. Right after getting it we walked across the street from the tattoo parlor to McCoy’s and another symbolism began.
Rhea was and considered himself an “Irish Man.” While at McCoy’s, Erica, introduced me to Jameson, an Irish Whisky. There, with tears in my eyes she said with our shots held in hand, “An Irish Drink for an Irish Man.”
That moment was the start of another symbolism. Now, when there are moments where I battle the guilt of him not being here, moving forward with life, wishing he was here for the moment, I will have a shot of Jameson or have a drink with Jameson in it. It’s a rare occasion, but important to me. It’s my symbolism that he’s in that moment with me.
Now, please don’t misunderstand, and think “My goodness, she’s resorted to drinking!” Easy there…it’s not like that. That’s not what this is. It’s simply a symbol and a thought of him. I’m thankful for the symbolism. I’m thankful that Erica could see my battle and helped me through those hard moments. She probably had no idea that one shot would turn into something that has helped me through many, many moments. One single drink of something with Jameson, makes me have a personal moment that allows me to connect with him. Rhea was with me in San Diego, 4th of July, Abigail’s 1st day of Kindergarten, moving into my new house, our anniversary, laying his brick in multiple memorials, this past weekend visiting his mom, brother and our new nephew in Colorado, and other moments. No one is aware that it's my moment, I just simply order a drink with Jameson, and it allows me my moment with him or for him. And, in my head I'll say, "An Irish Drink for an Irish Man."
It is still a daily struggle that I have this "survivor's guilt." It robs me of happy moments and is absolutely exhausting. But, I'm trying. I'm trying to live life fully and wonderfully as he would want me to and more importantly, how I want to. It's hard. It's truly very, very hard sometimes. Few understand the battle of "survivor's guilt," I'm so thankful Erica did and allowed me a way to feel like those moments had him there in them, too.