I haven’t talked publicly for quite a while about the loss I went through last year. I needed to create a break between my work and personal life, to allow myself to heal and process in private. I still won’t be talking about the loss much moving forward either, but as today marks nine months since the day my love died, I thought I’d give an update. For those of you that are new to me and don’t know the story, you can catch up by reading this post and this post.
These nine months that have passed make me feel like the loss was both a long time ago, and yesterday, all at the same time. Though I do recognize that pieces of my soul are being put back together, little by little, so I do know that some time has gone by. I’m learning to live with the knowledge that he’s gone, and rebuilding a new life without him in it. It’s a weird thing–moving forward–because you feel both proud of yourself that you’re still standing, and guilty that it didn’t kill you. It’s a crazy mix of emotions. But I’m still here, largely in part to my amazing friends and family that keep me going, who listen to me at all times of the day and night, and distract me with fun activities.
Nine months is long enough to have met new people that don’t know your story, creating a new challenge, as you learn how and when to somehow casually slip such a heavy thing into the dinner conversation. It’s also long enough of a time for some to forget the weight of the event, and to assume that you might be okay by now. I understand this, as the brain can do funny things to a person. It’s something I am learning to live with, but it’s not something I’ll ever be over, ever.
One big hurdle I needed to overcome was returning to our home in Paris, where we stayed for 4–7 weeks every year, for the last nine years. I recently returned from my trip two weeks ago, and am still processing it all. I only stayed for 3 weeks this time, which I was afraid wouldn’t feel long enough, since it’s the shortest amount of time I’ve ever spent in Paris, but it was just the right amount of time to do some reflecting, and make some new memories. Though of course, I’m always tempted to stay forever. And who knows, one of these trips, I might just do it.
The trip was timed to overlap with my BFF’s Jenifer and Bob’s trip to Paris, which was a wonderful way to spend the last week I was there. We laughed and cried together, rode bikes all over the city, and drank and picnicked along the way. Their aid in my recovery is unmeasurable, and to have them there with me where the four of us used to be all together was amazing. It is a loss for them too, as there was a clear member of our foursome missing at every activity. Though he was very much with us in spirit, and we toasted him with our many, many bottles of champagne.
I only posted a handful of photos to my business Instagram account, as to not overwhelm the feed with gratuitous images of non-sewing related things, so I thought I’d post a bunch here in this post for those of you that wanted to see more. I mostly took photos with my 35mm camera this year, which was a really fun way to see Paris, through the viewfinder of my camera. The film is being processed right now, and when I get it back, perhaps I’ll share a few more. (If they turn out!)
I packed almost entirely me-made garments, with a few exceptions. In the grid above are some of the items I brought (I pack lightly and only take a carry on, so there’s a lot of repeating), including a Grainline Lark Tee in cotton and spandex striped knit, a Green Bee Patterns Pearl Shift in Cotton + Steel rayon, and two Colette Patterns Laurel Dresses, one in a gray and white chevron ikat, and one in a black and white check ikat, both bought at Michael Levine. The jeans and cashmere cardigan in the photos are from J.Crew, the scarf in all the photos is from Block Shop, and the boots are from Dansko.
I visited a lot of coffee shops, cafés, and bars on this trip, many pictured above in the photo grid. Some highlights were Boot Café, Merci, Foundation Café, Le Perchoir, and the wonderful Folks & Sparrows, which was by far my favorite place to spend a rainy afternoon. Best vibe and best staff, hands down.
This trip for me was all about facing the places we used to go, but this time on my own, and gathering the strength to go on with my life and my travels, without him by my side. It was by far and away the most challenging trip I’ve ever taken, but it was very rewarding and helped me say goodbye to the greatest moments of my life, spent with the love of my life.
I’m not sure when I will return, but Paris will always be a second home to me, and the friends and family I have made there are so precious and important. They may never know just how much they’ve put their stamp on my heart, but it’s there, for the rest of my life.
À bientôt Paris.