June 7, 2012

Petra + me = Love 4 Ever

I just got back from a mostly great trip to Jordan! One of the reasons for the break in posting.  I have always wanted to go to Jordan and see Petra (think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).  Some friends of Chris’s told us they were moving to Jordan before he died and we decided we would go visit them. After Chris died I went back and forth about whether to go or not.  I tried to find someone to go with me, but didn’t have any luck. 

There is nothing I find more frustrating than feeling like I can’t do something because I can’t find someone to come along. I felt this way before I met Chris, but it has gotten even worse now.  It highlights how much I have lost.  So one particularly bad night in April, I said fuck it and booked a plane ticket and a few weeks ago I traveled to Jordan.

It was awesome. Petra (picture of me in purple to the left), Jerash, the Dead Sea … it was amazing to see these sites and check something off my bucket list.  I enjoyed seeing my friends and they were great hosts.  There were times where I was on my own and rather than just hang around their house, I ventured out on my own. 

With the help of a hired driver, I went and saw the ruins in Jerash and a medieval castle in Ajloun.  It was the middle of the week and neither site was crowded.  Often I was the only person in a particular ruin, exploring. It was kind of cool. I felt almost like Indiana Jones. The picture below is a ruin I explored on my own. It was so quiet and peaceful.

Temple of Zeus in Jerash

But like a lot of things with grief and widowhood, it is a double-edged sword.  The independence gives me strength and confidence, but it highlights the loneliness. This is an experience I will never share with someone. There will be no joint retelling of what we did and what it was like. If I don’t remember it, no one will.  It is a strange and sad transition from my life with Chris.  

This was exacerbated by the fact that I know Chris would have loved this trip.  Seeing the site, eating the food, spending time with his friends. It would have been a trip he remembered for the rest of his life.  So there was significant sadness tingeing the edges of this trip.

But I did it. I traveled to the Middle East by myself and had a memorable trip.  I have thought for a while, that if I can just get to a point where I don’t mind traveling alone, then I can do this. I can live another 40, 50 years on my own and still have an adventure filled life.  Maybe even one that has more adventure than if Chris were alive and we had started a family.  I don’t know.  I go between the loneliness and  hope.  For right now I am hopeful and I will take it.

2 Responses to “Jordan”

  1. megan Says:

    that. is. awesome.

    I haven’t left the country yet Since. For awhile, it just made me angry – like, why? He isn’t here to see these things, and what difference does it make to adventure. I am used to traveling on my own, but I was excited to be out of the country with him, as he had never been to europe and neither of us had been to the middle or far east. I wanted to go back to the places I’d been and see them through his eyes too. I think when I do begin adventuring again, it will, as you said, be a double edged sword with a lot of sadness coloring the coolness of everything.

  2. Gao Says:

    My fiancee before he passed away would write love letters to me… one of his last letters he wrote… “that although you can’t come with me, I will make memories for the both of us” (he had gone on a business trip when he wrote this).

    I’m on my epic trip, building memories for the both us. Saw your blog on widowedvillage and wanted to just let you know I was praying for you.


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