After a loss there is a period of grief and then, as described by experts, “acceptance” of the loss and moving on. In regards to the ending of a long marriage, I do not think that it is that simple as I believe the supposed ‘grief’ period is just the first stage of several difficult stages on a journey to a completely different life. These are the stages I went through:
Caught up in the sudden and distressing way that it happened, for a long time I was caught in a single moment in time of “when my husband left me”. My whole life was defined by that moment in time. In my life before that moment I had security and trust, and I felt happy. In my life ahead I saw chaos and trauma, and I felt fear. It was too painful to think about my losses, about my life that I had lost, so I didn’t. I could not face my scary future, about my life alone, so I didn’t. My life became the suffering of that single moment in time. So horrific were the effects on me that day, that I had flashbacks to that moment, little triggers that took me back there. In those flashbacks, once again I would hear the horrific words, and I would feel the distress and the pain of abandonment, betrayal and lost love. I was the victim of that moment in time – the moment when my husband left me.
I moved on
I became the survivor of “the ending of my marriage”.
I coped. I tolerated the grief process and I mourned the loss of my marriage. I accepted that it had happened. I survived every hour of every day. I watched the sunrise. I went for daily walks. I paid gratitude for everything good in my life. I learned to live alone.
I was no longer caught in that moment in time.
I became the survivor of that event – the event of the ending of my marriage.
I moved on.
I discovered the truth. I discovered me. I realized this was “my new beginnings”.
I learned how to be grateful for me, myself, and I.
I looked back and saw that that day had been the beginning of a journey, a journey of discovery to the new me. I began to realize that the ending of my marriage gave me the opportunity to reform myself and to do the things in life that I had always wanted to do.
I began to make choices – my choices – of how I wanted to live.
I began to live by my truth, and I realized that my truth had begun the day my husband left me, when my marriage ended.
I moved on.
My life began to be what I made it on this day in the present, at this moment in time.
I found joy in the moments of today, with no sadness of the past, with no fear for the future.
I began to look forward to the times ahead. I began to dream again. I gave myself permission to envision my future as productive, meaningful and filled with joy.
I began to look back with happiness and pride in my achievements in my long marriage.
I stopped being trapped within that moment in time when my husband left me.
I stopped defining myself by the end of my marriage, or by my marital status.
I stopped thinking that I began anew that day as I began to realize that I had been me all of my life, and I had been discovering me all of my life. I resolved to continue to transform myself into who I want to become, this day, every day.
I look forward with eagerness to transforming myself into an admirable person and making my life a wonderful life.
Love this. It’s about not being defined by the grief and sad event. Gaining back the sense you have a life–and what happened is just a piece of it, not the defining moment. Beautifully put.
It took a LONG while to reach that conclusion, but liberating once I did.
Your four T’s are wonderful, Elizabeth. Basic, real, and touching. You’ve come a long way, and now you have a wonderful broad horizon ahead. Blessings!
Thanks. I appreciate your support
Wonderful post Elizabeth and a insightful guide and understanding for those walking through the many stages of loss and grief. You are more than an admiral woman, you are amazing and beautiful!
Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it.
This was very well written and you are doing a great job of rising and transforming from the ‘ashes’ of the past to moving forward with such a positive light!
Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, Elizabeth! Keep up the wonderful insights and sharing your thoughts, too. It is motivating to me, too!
Thanks for your well wishes and friendship.
You have come so far Elizabeth – I’m so proud of you! ❤
Thanks. I SO appreciate your support and friendship on this unexpected journey of mine.
What great insight Elizabeth. My one thought is to consider whether you already are an admirable person and the transformation then is in your acknowledgement of this!
Ah-ha! Now THAT is a great discovery. Thanks for the insight
I love the clarity an witnessing of your path Elizabeth! It has been quite the journey.
Thank you for sharing your courage and commitment to being your best in this new chapter 🙂
Thanks. I have gained much from your kind thoughts of support on my journey. Thanks for being there.
I’m so grateful that I can be with you Elizabeth. ❤
A truly wonderful post, Elizabeth. I love the way it is structured to illustrate the challenges you have faced. I have no doubt you will rise again. The best is yet to come!
And the interesting part is that somewhere along the way they changed from difficulties to challenges and I never even noticed when that change occurred.
Love this! So many women fall into the trap of feeling undesirable when their husband walks out, and get involved in new relationships far too soon, just to prove that they really are attractive and sexy. Very glad you have avoided that one. I wish people could accept that a woman can be happy and fulfilled without a man 😀
Ah, yes. In some blogs I have followed since my separation, the author is up to their second, and in one case third, loss of a relationship. I shake my head. I am actually beginning to revel in being alone and being able to do whatever I please. It is giving me a huge sense of freedom. As for fulfillment without a man…
“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”.
Irina Dunn, popularized by Gloria Steinem.
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Elizabeth, I admire that you have allowed both your inner and outer beauty to continue blossoming instead of becoming bitter. I noticed that you “look back with happiness and pride over the achievements in your long marriage”.
Often I’ve told myself that if my own marriage ever ended I would take pride in the fact that we had come so far together. It’s nice to see that you have done just that and so much more.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀ (I came here to visit via Jennifer’s blog)
It has taken a while to be able to “look back with pride and happiness” with a little defiant voice inside finally telling me not to allow that previous happiness to be taken away from me. Thanks for visiting my blog and to Jennifer for the referral.
You have done well but as I mentioned you may still need inner healing. (On post about how quickly time passes while raising children.) From time to time I still will have moments of regrets, Elizabeth. I am proud of you and still feel we could have a great conversation over tea or coffee; some treats, too. 🙂
I do have periods of flashing back with moments of horror…and I try and put them aside and get busy doing something.
I think it is possible that we could meet for that coffee one day. What part of the country do you live? I do plan to holiday over to Canada in 2016… I may get further south.. I will see how it goes.