The Five Year Mark

~Kim Libertini 

Milestones of life are commonly celebrated in increments of five. I am not sure the same can be said for the years after loss. It’s been five years. As I say those words, my nose starts to sting, my eyes well with tears and it feels like my breath has been stolen.  The pain of my loss will always sit directly under the surface and be easy to unearth. The pain is here now.  As tears roll down my face, I feel it as if it were yesterday. This happens on deathiversaries.  

Five years could certainly be used to mark how far I have come in my fight to move forward from loss. There was a point, in the acute stages of grief, where I feared I might not be able to make it. I almost gave up. The days of paralyzing panic attacks are behind me. I have a fresh focus. The world around me doesn’t feel distant and disconnected. The smiles on my children’s faces are evidence of this new life that we have built. In the past five years I bought a new home.  I have a new job and developed a new network of friends. As a survivor of loss these all seem like reasons to celebrate.Yet…. not a day goes by when I don’t think about all of these things he is missing. 

What I didn’t know were the new fears I would face at the five year mark. There is the fear that as time passes, I will forget the sound of his voice. Will the sweet smell of his cologne fade from recognition? Will I remember the way it felt when he looked at me from across a room? I am afraid the happiness and love I felt with him will never be experienced again.  

Five years ago, the world lost an amazing doctor and an incredible human. Five years ago, I lost my very best friend. I like to think that five years ago the universe gained a brilliant star that continues to shine. I’ve decided on this five year anniversary, when I look up at the stars, I’ll celebrate how lucky I was to have known this kind of love.  

~In Memory of Adam 7-26-2015

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