Sunday, September 20, 2015
I was reading some comments a while back on a Facebook page. This precious lady had lost her husband in the last year and she was talking about 'firsts'. The first birthday without him and so on.
Many people commented and commiserated with her.. some sharing their own stories of when they lost their spouse and the pain and anguish... the despair and forlornness that they endured and still suffer.
Many offered words of encouragement and shared how, although they suffered loss, that God was with them and was their comfort and help.
Losing the love of your life at any age is unbearable and leaves one gasping and straining for one last touch, one last look or word, one last intimate embrace. Holding on to memories as if they were a life preserver and you are drowning.
Even the not so good times are glossed over and become a diamond to treasure.
My heart goes out to her and to all those that have lost their 'one and only' to the hereafter. Heartache is physical, emotional, spiritual and scarring. Time will never heal it. Only God.
I have not felt their pain or experienced their particular loss.
Yet I have felt the loneliness of loss... the pain of separation... the shattered heart of a broken marriage... the stark desperation of abandonment and betrayal... the ripping and tearing apart of a lifetime.
I have experienced those 'firsts' of being alone with heartbreak on those 'special' days... the bitter recollections of decades together that should have been (and were intended to be) sweet promises of a life spent living the vow of till death do us part.
Every reminiscence becomes an unwanted gut wrenching knife wielding intruder, not a welcomed guest.
Attempting to forget the past involves trying to deny my history. It is wishful thinking... a waste of time. Barring the onset of amnesia, I am stuck with remembering the life I have lived.
How does one suppress memories of building a life together, raising a family, planning for a future? Those experiences are what form my life. They are the spring from which came my children and grandchildren...family and my friends.. my outlook... my attitudes and my plans.
A paradox of four decades of memories... good and bad... lovely yet also repugnant to me. Where are my diamonds to shine and glimmer in the recesses of my mind?
How do I embrace this 'life preserver' of memories of a marriage that drowned in the ocean of divorce?
It's not something that you share on social media the way some do after a loved one passes away.
There are only two options: Either wallow in bitterness and regret... or choose to wrap my head and heart around the good things from the past. To forgive so that every flashback does not come with angst and conflicting emotions, but brings freedom and allows me to reminisce about the good times... and the not so good.
For those of you walking this solitary path...whether divorced or widowed, allow God to lift you up and heal you.
Seek God's plan for you. He offers new treasure every day. It's not a scavenger hunt. It's not buried and hidden. It is the opportunity to choose today how you will live the life He has given. Live it in joy!