Starting over after losing James was probably the most daunting task I ever had to do in my life. James and I had planned a dream future and we knew exactly how to get there. But just like that, without any warning at all, he was suddenly gone... and so were our plans and our dreams.
How do you cope when you lose the most important person in your life? I wanted to wither and die behind the door that James closed on his way out of my life. Had there been a grave for him, I would have thrown myself in and joined him. Nothing else really mattered at that time. My life was over, or so I felt, and no amount of kind words from friends and family- not even from my own kids- could comfort me and erase my pain. I was totally lost in my grief.
The painful part was that there were people who could not relate to my pain and, instead of lending support, criticized me (that reached me, of course) either for healing "too fast" whenever I went out with friends or for getting "stuck in my grief" on those extended periods that I preferred to hibernate.
It is true that everyone grieves at his or her own pace. I took my time and that made a lot of people uneasy (maybe because there were those who were afraid that I would eventually become a burden to them). I stayed in that rut for 2 years and 3 months... until I decided to paint a new picture for my life and turn my grief into a new hope for the future. I suddenly realized that all the blessings I counted and thanked God for everyday for the last 2 years would be wasted if I did not put them to good use.
It was uncomfortable at first when the pros started to outweigh the cons of not being in a relationship anymore. I began to appreciate being able to decide on my own without need of conferring with anyone else to seek his approval. I found the true meaning of independence and that was so liberating for me.
Moving on does not mean that I have not loved him enough. It was a decision not to get stuck in the past. When James entered my life, there was no guarantee at all how long he would stay. So instead of wallowing in self pity, I focused on how fortunate I was to have experienced James' unconditional and unfailing love in all of 22 years of my life.
Now I am able to laugh again. I have rebuilt my life and my strength. The blessings have taken a new meaning simply because I have learned to fully appreciate, enjoy and share them with others. And best of all, I have learned to love myself again.
16 hours ago