“Letting go.” Two words that sound so simple to accomplish, but yet confuse me. I’m not sure I even know exactly what real, honest and true “letting go” looks like or feels like on a grief journey. How does a person release their grasp on the life they were just living? A life I wasn’t emotionally ready to be done with? How do you emotionally release the man who was your entire world? I joined with him in every way possible. Will I always feel joined to him? Tethered in my heart for the rest of my years? I hope I do. I don’t want to look ahead to an unknown future if he can’t be standing by my side and holding my hand. Is letting go a conscious choice despite how you feel? Or is it something that naturally happens as a by-product of the grief process and the healing that finally eventually comes?
Just yesterday a lovely pair of older formerly widower/widow whom are now remarried to each other asked me if I am ready to move forward. Though they live nearly 1000 miles away, they attend church with a young never married man about my age and wondered if I’d be interested in the possibility of getting to know him. Naturally, it has caused me to think…and to worry and to wonder many things. Am I even ready to let go? And do you have to have fully let go in order to move forward?
All I know is that the light of my life went out when my husband died. The parts of me that were once carefree, overjoyed, and bursting with love and affection still feel so broken, and defective even. My heart literally feels like it is clutching as tightly as it possibly can to the life I once had and the man I once loved (and still do love). I feel it at my core.
I see this mental image of me as one of those classic toys called “Stretch Arm Strong.” One arm is refusing to let go of everything I desperately long for that I feel was cruelly taken from me. The other arm is reaching as far as it can in the opposite direction, leaving a very distressed little person in the middle, who feels stretched so far she may snap. I’m yearning and praying and hoping so sincerely that I will know this kind of love again and one day have another chance at living a beautiful life that I actually love again with the right next special man God has chosen for me.
Grief can be such torture. To be so afraid to say goodbye to the past and the person that I dreamed of living my whole life span with. While at the same time being so sick and tired of being alone, parenting alone, having no one to love and be loved by that I do long for a new life.
Sadly it seems to me that I cannot have both. You cannot move forward in a vehicle by always looking in the rear view mirror. Crashing is almost always the result. It feels like the very best years of my life are behind me, and I’m just 37. Maybe that is why I am always looking back and so afraid to let go. If I let go of the best years of my life, which of course are those years I spent with my husband, then all I have are the unknowns of what lies ahead. Then I get all swallowed up in a tidal wave of anxiety. The future I’m longing for is no guarantee. I fear there is no future, or love, or happiness ahead that even comes close to comparing to what I experienced with my sweetheart. I wonder how long it will take before I am able to let go and fully embrace what lies ahead?
What do you believe about letting go? How do you know when you are ready to more forward?
In Hope & Prayers,
From This Widow Mama