July 11, 2017

Losing the Love of my Life: a Year of Grief on the Road.

Grief is not patient.

It does not wait until you’re alone. It does not give you time to close the blinds and crawl into bed.

It knocks on every window, every door. Grief comes like a train in the night. First horn is always the loudest, until the entire train rumbles through, shaking your house, shaking all your windows and then—leaving you still. There’s only quietness and the vague memory of whatever hazy thought was interrupted.

Grief is not kind.

It does not ask permission. It shrieks with rage and echoes throughout your bones until you cannot stand up anymore. Grief is not patient. Grief is not kind.

A year ago I tragically lost the love of my life, Kelly, to the Pacific Ocean.

A “sneaker” wave pulled him off the edge of a rocky coast in Oregon and he drowned. Without warning, without a goodbye, without just one more hug, he was gone.

This is the portrayal of my first year of grief and how I chose to begin the healing process.

As the incredibly giving person he was, Kelly designed a road trip for me before he passed away. “Meggy T does the USA,” is what he named it.

He put together an adventure that delicately paved a journey for me to complete on my own. He picked out places that fulfilled parts of his soul that he wanted me to experience as well. After he died, it was the only thing I wanted to do.

A few months after his death I packed up my car, created a blog to record my travels, and set off to fulfill a journey of love created by the one person I was desperately grieving.

Through the incredible opportunity to experience life on the road and experience the places where Kelly fell in love with the beauty of this world, I hope to better express the transformation I have gone through as a person.

In this past year, I have cried, laughed, and loved more deeply than I ever have before. Now I plan to live more deeply than I ever thought possible, and through that depth I know I will find Kelly’s love in everything I do.

This one’s for you, KellBell. It’s all out there waiting for us to discover: The open road, mountains waiting to be climbed, stars to be gazed at, seas to be swam, and city lights to be danced beneath. I’ll be loving you the whole time.

Here is a blip from my last blog post on the road:

At this point, I can feel the road starting to wear on me. Sometimes it feels like I’m chasing something and sometimes it feels like I’m running away. When there is nobody but yourself for hundreds of miles in any direction, those two yellow lines on the horizon make the world start to feel a little bit bigger and a little bit lonelier.

Looking back on this journey so far, the past seven weeks have felt like seven years. I experience so much in a single day that I feel as though I’ve learned and felt and thought about so much more than I had all summer prior to April 15th.

The road makes you feel things, it forces you to open up, shakes your heart awake. “Look! Look at the damn mountains! Look at the ocean! Look at the horizon of cornfields for more miles than your eyes can see!” The road begs you to feel its beauty, its history, to constantly be reminded of how small we really are.

There are days when I feel on top of the world—literally. I climb and hike and run and jump and splash and then fall asleep feeling so rejuvenated. There are other days when the sun peeks out from behind a mountain range and I can’t help but feel a sense of doom at the mere sight of it, knowing I have lived yet one more day and Kelly hasn’t.

I think processing all of these feelings and grieving and mourning while being on the road is the best possible thing for me, personally, to have done during this time of grieving.

I go back and forth with that, but I’m beginning to really feel the impact that this trip is making not only on me, but on those whom I love. My dad told me that he had a meeting with my little, 13-year-old brother Joey’s teacher. When the teacher asked him who he respected, he replied, “My sister. Because she had a terrible loss but still had the courage to drive around the country doing what Kelly had planned for her.”

In hearing those words from my little brother, I realized this trip isn’t just about me anymore. When I feel like I would rather just give up and come home, I remember what Joey said, and it gives me the strength to keep going.

For the road, I am completely dependent, for it gives me the space to feel open.
For my friends and family, I am infinitely grateful, for they give me the strength to keep going.
And for the land and the sea, I am in love, for they are the glue continuously binding me to Kelly.


Author: Meg Taylor
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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