One of the stages of grief is acceptance. I thought I was doing o.k. on that one, but these things have a way of coming and going and showing new facets every time they pop up. I think I have accepted the fact that Dan is gone. He is never coming back. There isn’t (and wasn’t) anything I can do to change that. I have accepted the past. It’s the future I seem to be struggling with, again.
I realized the other day (in a new way) that things will never go back to the way they were. Even if the Lord does provide another mate it will never be the same. I will never be the same. I sometimes wonder if Dan would still love the “new me.” I’m a different person . . . I know that has to be true, but I still feel like the same old me.
Any future relationships (friends, family, or spouse) will be colored by my relationship with Dan. The innocent “first love” is gone. I won’t ever have that again, and the one that I could share it with is gone, too. Relationships are lumped into two categories, “Those who knew Dan” and “Those who didn’t.” And gradually as the years progress it will become even more vague and it will be “Those who know about Dan” and “Those who don’t even realize I was married (you would think that would be a given with 7 children, but in today’s culture . . .).
When you are young and in love and married for the first time there are a lot of things that need to be worked out for the first time and you are both new to game. You build and shape your marriage together based on each other’s preferences, desires, and dreams.
I’ve been alone awhile, but there are foundational things that were established at the beginning of our marriage that are still part of my everyday life and always will be. Then there are things that I’ve decided that have molded and shaped our family further and will always have an impact on our family. Those things, things that often can’t even be verbalized, will have an impact on future relationships, too.
It is a comfort to realize that my God will never change. He is fully “mature” and quite capable of patiently waiting for me to mature, all the while loving me better than anyone else could.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me as I grow and mature, as I stretch my wings, sometimes wandering away from You. But in Your mercy You always lead me back. Thank you for never changing, for remaining constant and true, for being my rock and my shelter in life’s raging storms. It’s nice to know you are always there.