Okay, I was a little harsh yesterday, you didn’t break my heart the second time. You just left my heart empty and hollow. A pain and emptiness I’ve never known before that runs so deep, I’m always amazed at how deep it can go, even when I think I’ve hit rock bottom, I realize I’ve barely scratched the surface.
I often think about this quote I picked for your memorial program:
“You never know how the loss will come, whether he will lose you or you him,
but it is a certainty that there will be a shattering involuntary separation.
Death is the abandonment caused not by betrayal but by fidelity.”
There are times I hate you for leaving me here all alone. For abandoning me and forcing me to fend this world alone. You were supposed to be my partner in life, but you left. You're gone and I'm here all alone to pick up the pieces by myself and try to put it back together. I don't even know where to start or how it will end, but I know it just needs to happen. It's like learning how to walk again. I have to constantly remind myself that you didn't choose to leave. That this was an involuntary separation, and I need to find it in my heart to forgive you (even though its hard, I will work on it!)
You know that magnet and mug I have with the proverb that says, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” I fell in love with that message because of a story I read when I was a kid. It was about a boy who found a caterpillar and kept it in a jar as a pet. He watched and fed the caterpillar everyday. One day, the caterpillar started acting strangely, so he called his mom and she explained that the caterpillar was creating its cocoon, so it can start its metamorphosis into a butterfly. So, the boy was excited and watched the cocoon everyday in anticipation of the butterfly emerging. When it finally happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon, and the boy saw that the butterfly was struggling to break free. The butterfly looked desperate; like it wasn’t going to make it. After days of what seemed like no progress, the boy was concerned and with good intention took a pair of scissors to helped make the hole bigger so the butterfly could emerge from its cocoon. When the butterfly emerged from its cocoon, it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The boy continued to watch in anticipation that the butterfly’s wings would expand and enlarge so it could fly, but it never happened. It turns out, the boy’s good intentions actually forced the butterfly to prematurely leave its cocoon, so it didn’t get the chance to struggle and fight its way out of the cocoon. The butterfly’s struggle to break free from the cocoon is nature’s way of preparing and strengthening the butterfly’s wings for flying. Without the struggle, the butterfly wasn’t able to fully develop its wings. Instead of flying like it’s meant to be, the butterfly was crippled for life and never able to fly or fulfill its destiny. So, the moral of the story is to not ask for help and go about this journey on my own!! Just kidding!! 😬😆 In all seriousness, obviously the moral of the story is that struggle is good. Struggle is what builds and strengthens our character. It helps us overcome the obstacles that life throws our way, so we can reach our fullest potential and fulfill our destiny. I truly believe this and have always held this story close to my heart whenever I’m facing adversity or watching someone else face adversity. Knowing that helping and asking for help is a delicate balance that needs to be treaded lightly. At the end of the day, I truly believe we can only help ourselves. People can help and support, but nobody can pull us out of the hole unless we want to leave it.
I’ve had that magnet on our fridge for as long as I could remember (which reminds me, I need to find it and put it up again. It’s probably in one of the boxes that we’ve yet to unpack from our move). Everytime I used to see it on our fridge at the old house, it always brought a smile to my face since I’ve always felt that was our story. When we broke up and I resigned from Skyline, I truly thought my life was over (again, I was only 20-something, so pardon the sappiness). You also made some big changes in your life when we parted ways. We both thought the world was over, but in the end, it all worked out. We ended up getting back together and building an amazing life together. We struggled and overcame the odds and obstacles. We put in the work, and we persevered individually and as a couple to get to where we are, and you and I both know that it was a lot of hard work and perseverance to get to where we are now! Sometimes, I’m amazed at how far we've actually made it!! (Although, I would have to say, “‘til death do us part came way too early in our case!”) So, now I have to constantly remind myself of this story and the proverb. It used to serve as a reminder that we overcame our struggle in the cocoon and emerged as butterflies, but now, I have to use it as a constant reminder that I’m back in the cocoon. This struggle and pain I’m going through is the universe’s way of preparing and strengthening me for the next chapter I’m about to embark on. I can’t push myself before I’m ready, and I can’t stop the struggle from happening if I want to emerge as a butterfly on the other end (even if it’s without you, I would still prefer to be a butterfly that can fly than one that is crippled and grounded for life. Remember, I refuse to be that girl that lets a boy dictate her life!! 😜😜)
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A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.