Personal Reflections in the Wake of Orlando
Quite a few months have passed since I have written to you. You see, exactly 30 weeks ago today I lost my partner to a sudden and unexpected heart attack, which left me in a state of utter devastation. Had it not been for a few friends, counselors, and support groups, I would not have found the inner strength to pull myself up and go on in life.
Death is not a pleasant topic, but it is one that affects us all at one time or another. As for my loss, it has changed me forever: I am no longer the same person that I was before my partner's death. But I also realize that this present state is temporary: The deep-seated grief is slowly becoming more bearable and the brighter days are gradually outnumbering the darker ones.
At the same time, I'm aware of the fact I don't know myself at all anymore and it's been hell trying to figure myself out. "What triggers these sudden long-lasting sad emotions?" I ask myself. Apparently everything! A song, a smell, a TV show, an item in the supermarket....
What I didn't realize is that the loss of a partner brings multiple secondary losses, such as the loss of identity, the loss of confidence or self-esteem, the loss of direction, the loss of hope, plans, a future-in sum, an entire life that was once shared but has vanished abruptly.
As I embrace the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies loss, I find strength by keeping my eyes on the signs of recovery rather than on the incessant pain. First, I focus on eating regularly again. Then, I try to recover my sleep regimen. Finally, I'm working on exercise. Instead of counting the meals, nights, and gym days that I miss, however, I simply rejoice in my little successes.
If you suffer from the loss of a loved one, my only advice is to be patient and take care of yourself by putting your needs first. Be honest with others about how you feel and find support, whether it be friends, counseling, or a bereavement group.
But loss can come in all sorts of forms. This past week we experienced a great loss in this nation, with the mass murder in Orlando. We lost members of our community, friends, loved ones-and a sense of security. What had been a refuge for many of us was turned into a house of terror. Now as we sense the anger, the sadness, the fear, we must embark on a journey of recovery....
I miss my partner dearly. I dedicated the last edition of Uomo Moderno magazine to him as a tribute to his love and care for me. Now I continue to dedicate my life to you, faithful readers and loyal fans. This is Pride Month-let's be proud of one another.
Publisher, Uomo Moderno