Death is powerful. You do not know what it is like to live until you have experienced death first hand, up close and personal. I may not be living in the past anymore but it still effects who I am today.
That is a quote from a widow I met on Facebook. It is so true. As the years have passed since Tom's death, I have often thought and wrote about this new life and how much it has changed since his passing. If Tom walked in the door today - he would not recognize the house since it has been remodeled; he would not recognize the backyard since I put in the patio we were planning to add; what else would he not recognize?
The transformation after the death of your life partner profoundly smashes your world. It shakes everything to its core - you think, "death doesn't scare me, in fact it hurts so much death would feel better." It makes you open your doors wide and welcome death in. It brings you to your knees over and over again. It shares its truths with you - life is short - those are not just words anymore.
One thing I know after experiencing "death first hand, up close and personal" is that I can open my heart quite easily to those who need the hand, the heart, the silence, the support, the companionship during their own personal journey. I also can more easily recognize those who are truly friends and those who are going through the motions. I have no interest in sharing my heart or my life with those who are unable to give in return.
What else would Tom not recognize? Would he recognize me? The new me that has emerged from my personal fiery hell of grief and loss. Would he recognize this life I am living?
The answer is NO. In the past: that saddened me. Today: it doesn't matter. There is only one thing I would trade from the lessons and transforming experiences of the grief journey and that is not going to happen. I am not living in the past anymore - standing here in the present - continuing to live, grow, learn and love. Thank you for being loving companions on my life's journey - Namaste.