If there were a moral for this story, it would be not to depend on any one person to define your sense of self-worth. It is when that one person is gone and you find yourself suddenly alone that you risk losing yourself as well, as evident by my story. I know now that it is God that I should look to for my self-worth, that it is He who I can depend on to love me unconditionally and who will never leave me. And I know this; He loves you that much too. You are perfect in His eyes and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
I know now that the answers I had desperately prayed for were available to me all along, within the writing of this book, within acceptance.
I’ve learned there is not one way to grieve or a right way. I’ve learned the hard way that grief cannot be outrun, that it has to be faced head on, and that the stages of grief come and go in no particular sequence; like the ebb and flow of the tide, each and every wave must be ridden if one is to ever to make progress forward. But most importantly, I’ve learned that of all the stages, yet the most difficult of them all, is the stage of acceptance, it is the only one that will open the doors towards healing.
Learning how to grieve and letting myself grieve has freed me to live again and to attach again. Through it all I’ve gained the confidence that I can handle both life and death. And with that security I am better able to share my affection fully and completely. I’ve learned valuable lessons that I never wanted to learn, about the value of life, faith, and self-discovery. Although fully aware of the risks of almost certain loss in this world of impermanence, with this experience behind me I can trust, love, and be loved again and again.
It is said that hind sight is twenty-twenty. I’ve recently learned there were legal rights in place to protect me and my children that I didn’t pursue because of my mental state at the time as well as the unavailability of such counsel. We wouldn’t have had to leave our home.
Mark promised me that the children and I would always be loved and taken care of; God has promised to care for the widows and fatherless; these promises have never wavered.