I reflected on my walk this morning on what was happening here two years ago on this day—the Friday after Father’s Day—the day in my mind that will always signify the day Joe died. (It was June 26th, and today is June 24.) I was thinking about how he unintentionally woke me early that morning with a startle. Leaning over the bed he rubbed my face with both of his hands.
“What’s wrong!?” I asked him.
“Nothing, go back to sleep. I didn’t mean to wake you; I just wanted to look at you.”
Trying desperately to say goodbye at that moment.
I know that now.
I didn’t then..
But it wasn’t then…it was hours later.
And then yesterday I hear JJ Grey singing the song, “I Believe,” and the words…
Let me look upon her
One more time
This beauty that I love – she’s why
I believe in everything,
in everything I’m a believer
I believe in what I can’t change
In a hard lesson learned
And the strength from my pain
And I believe
In what I can’t prove
In the joy of not knowing
And the misunderstood
Let go of my past
Let go of my future
One cloud at a time
Yes I’m dreaming
Let me look upon her
One more time
This beauty that I love
Before she’s gone, before she’s gone
There is so much wisdom in music.
I feel so blessed and so honored that Joe chose me. And I chose him back. Why was I given this beautiful human being for thirty years of my life? Why were we blessed with a family to pour our love into? Why did Joe choose me? Because God knew that we needed each other.
I needed him to take me to the next level—to give me a better understanding of life and death and to be grateful for the human body and experience I was born into. He gave me so much. The lessons I have learned from Joe Beckley are vast, and they’re still showing up daily.
And when I heard the lyrics for I Believe I understood why I was here for him.
We made many mistakes—In our love, our business, and in raising six kids into a blended family (yeah…candles weren’t the only thing we were blending!) But we were doing the best we could. And when we knew better, we usually did better. Some lessons were longer to learn, that’s for sure.
If I had it to do over again, what would I change? I would start with a foundation of faith. Hope looks forward; faith knows. And that’s why faith will always trump hope. God and grace came later for us; I think the earlier, the better.
I told Erin the other day that people always seem to make their loved ones into saints after they die and that I didn’t want to do that. She said, well I think it’s because you talk about all of the good times with them and the stories they told, etc. So I don’t know if making them a saint is intentional or just a side-effect. ?
And that made sense.
The early stages of grief are considered the first two years, though some say three. But I don’t think it matters. The truth is grief is forever. It becomes a part of you to carry forward. As long as you acknowledge it and respect it, it will change, if you do. And in grief time—something like this—time simultaneously moving at warp speed and in slow motion. (I can’t believe it’s been 24 months, two years. And at the same time, I’m like…wait… what? No. Not two years- he was JUST here.)
Joe gave me so much. Much more than I could see while he was still here. Only visible now in his absence. If our tears are indeed evidence of our love, then I’m grateful for every drop that falls. If the only way to avoid heartache is never to know love, then I choose the pain. His fierceness in protecting me, his eyes, smile, laugh, jokes, and hugs from those arms of steel, are beautiful things that I NEVER want to forget.
To know that the love and strength that bound us together will never die… is a gift. I may not have him physically present, but I feel him still. Joe always had my back. Even if he disagreed with me, he would defend me to his last breath over anyone—that is love. And I never once doubted it. We only got closer as time passed. I pray every day that our kids will know a love like that. When you do things for others instead of for yourself, that is when you truly shine.
Joe made me shine. I hope I made him shine too.
Looking at pictures of him reminds me of love. They remind me of what is possible. I’m not looking for love. I’m falling in love… with life.
I have never felt a stigma around his death by suicide. I’m not ashamed. I will never be ashamed. Suicide is a desperate act, not a selfish one. We need to educate ourselves and have a deeper compassion for one another.
My job now is to live. To flow with the current of my life.
I love Joe. I will always love him. And I love myself enough to know that it was not up to me to keep him alive. Our lives intersected, and I am forever grateful they did. He taught me how to love and how to live. Even in his death, he has taught me the greatest lesson of my life. And still, we are on a solo journey. We don’t get to decide each other’s fate, and how we leave this earth does not define our life. The way we live it does.
Thank you, Joe, for the experience. You were the joy of my life. May you FOREVER rest in peace.
Until we meet again… and we will meet again!
xo, and peace.
As always…thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and your lovely messages of hope, faith, and inspiration. If what I’m writing resonates with you, let me know. Leaving a comment here on the blog is the best way to connect. This is helping me. I hope that it’s also helping you. Much love.
Call: Lifeline 1 800 273 8255 (USA Only)Text: CNQR to 741 (741 Crisis Text Line (USA Only)
I just want the pain to stop… (video)
Suicide is not a selfish act. It’s a desperate act.
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