March 7th will mark the one year anniversary of Matt’s passing. It is still very surreal for me to put into words. How can a year already be upon me? It feels like yesterday that his death happened so quickly. But then I look back over the year and all the things that have come to pass and it all at once feels like the year took forever. Time is a strange thing. A moment in time can feel so fresh and new yet at the same time in reality it happened a while ago. As much as I want time to pass quickly in hopes that the pain will go with it, I know it is wishful thinking.
So many people think that time cures pain and heartache. In reality it transforms and takes on new shapes. What once use to cause tears may not so much anymore. But new experiences arise and new pain discovered. I have yet to feel the pain of a death anniversary. I have no clue how it will affect my mind, body and spirit. So I have decided to put myself in a situation where I feel I can fully let go and be free-I am traveling.
Matt spoke of his trip to Costa Rica fondly and often. For him the trip was also out of memory for a loved one. He experienced the tragic loss of a girlfriend a year before we met. So, out of respect for his girlfriend, he joined her family on a trip to Costa Rica. The pictures I saw from his journey were filled with smiling faces and beautiful locations. I think about the reason behind his visit and it gives me hope that my decision to travel recreates the same type of experience.
When deciding on a place for this years travel destination a few ideas came to mind. Did I want to travel to Colorado and explore the mountains, go to New York and dress up and be glamorous or Costa Rica and get in touch with my soul? We decided to travel to Costa Rica and I knew in my heart it was the right choice. In a sense I feel like I am continuing on a spiritual journey that Matt had made previously. Costa Rica encompasses everything we enjoyed together, beach, sun, nature, easy-going attitude and exploration. Not to mention it is freezing here in Georgia, so being some place warm was a smart choice.
Joining me on this spiritual journey is Matt’s sister and my best friend. They both were at our wedding in Fiji and have known our love story since the beginning. This whole trip just feels right. I know Matt had a hand in helping us decide on this trip. I feel that by celebrating his life in a country he connected with will be cleansing. There will be moments of sorrow and grief. There will be moments of laughter and shear wonder. What I take with me is knowing that Matt will be there, enjoying my exploration of life as I continue to move forward in my healing process.
I can’t imagine a better way to honour Matthew and all that he was. A man with eyes desperate to know this world and all it had to offer. I now pick up that torch and run with it not only for Matt but for myself. Choosing to celebrate him, and not mourn him keeps his memory alive but it gives me the opportunity to break free from any type of fear that has held me back. Life is precious and I am fully aware of this now. So what better way to live a life than by gaining new experiences and fully allowing myself to explore this world and myself more deeply. This year will bring with it more of an awakening and I hope that when I return from Costa Rica, my eyes will be opened even wider and my heart will continue to see and feel all the wondrous things this world still has to offer.
So here is to ticking off another bucket list item…and many more to come.