Love & Loss in New Mexico

The loss of a beloved uncle sent me to visit family in New Mexico. A little town called Anthony.

After laying him to rest, the whole family came together to celebrate his life. Food, drinks, more food, and the classic Mariachi band playing for hours on end. My cousins and I started reminiscing about my many summers visiting there and I realized, that this was not my 1st time crying over the loss of a loved one while in New Mexico.

Though it was the 1st time being in New Mexico crying over the physical death of a family member…I had cried over someone before…and I started to think about how death of a loved one comes in different forms…..

The death of a relationship, can bring the same feeling as a physical death, and often times, we grieve the same way, and whereas in death your heart physically stops, when there is a break up, your heart; it might as well stop because it feels as if that’s what’s physically happening to you too can die at any moment..

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts? Just a cage of rib bone, and other various parts……So, we are just breakable,breakable girls and boys.- Ingrid Michaelson

As the sun set, and I took a brief walk down the street I had walked many summers ago, I smelled the desert air and the memories came flooding back…

I remembered him then. The 1st guy to ever break my teenage heart one summer in New Mexico.

I was 12, and we met just being outside as kids would be, playing in the streets, and after hours of just doing simple kid things, he came up to me and he said “My friend would like to know if he can call you sometime?” I (aggressive even at 12) said: “Your friend? I want YOU to call me.”

He smiled, and that was that. We hung out every day after that for the summer, and 2 summers after that in fact. He was my 1st kiss. The butterflies I got in my stomach when he kissed me; that feeling, I can’t describe. I remember it vividly still. I miss the simplicity of a kiss. He and I never did anything other than that, and that was all we ever needed. We liked each other and it was wonderful.

He was my 1st love. I laugh saying that out loud now, but at the time, I thought of shouting it on top of the desert mountains…perhaps next to some cactus, the wind blowing my hair around as I shouted, fist flailing about in victory…can you just picture it?! Lol…very dramatic.

Fate had different plans for us though….

The last summer I went there, I saw him..only to find out that he had a girlfriend. I was heartbroken. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me and, I thought I was going to die. I went to my aunts house and just stood outside in the dark sobbing. She just hugged me and looking back I realize just how sweet she was to do that because at 14, we don’t really know what love is, and that kind of love was so childish yet, she never made me feel that way, she just continued to console me and tell me he was a fool for having a girlfriend and not loving me back.

I had lost him. The relationship was dead… and while visiting this time and crying for my uncle it was a familiar, terrible feeling. The feeling of loss.

Death, in any capacity, can cause severe grief……Amazing how our hearts just don’t know the difference.

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