This I Believe

marie - st. louis, Missouri
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love

This I believe. Love is a transforming force. I saw my husband killed in an accident in August of 2005. After his death I was consumed with what he was to me in our life together. He was my mentor in life and love. We met when I was 23 and he was 32, 25 years earlier. I think my conservative upbringing made it difficult for me to open up to my life, my emotions – to love, really love.

My family and my extended family of many dear people immediately appeared after my husband’s death. They encircled me, protected me and literally kept me fed, sheltered and going for months. I felt so completely humbled by their love. Their ongoing presence and support made it possible for me to make the transition from being a devastated widow at age 48 to a woman of 50 creating a life from love and honesty.

Neither my husband nor our relationship was perfect. We struggled, as everyone does, trying to move forward as a couple and as individuals. We fought, we cried, we yelled. No matter what, though, we held onto working things out. The concept of honest confrontation as part of growth in a relationship was completely foreign to me. I hated it. Why couldn’t things just get worked out without talking about them?

My husband would sometimes say to me, “If you could just let go and be the person I know is there, you would be so much happier.” I thought I was happy.

Since the time he has been gone, I have noticed some definite changes in myself. It is as though a new version of myself has appeared. I feel like my heart and my very being have reorganized at a higher level. I am absolutely not the same person I was before Terry died.

Now, I am very clear about some things. Love demands absolute involvement. Love does involve being uncomfortable. But really, truly loving is about coming out of hiding and trusting that ones beloved will be right there cheering them on. Two people sharing honestly with each other emotionally is an intimacy that is truly god-like. It is a privilege and a gift to have this experience with another person.

Well Terry, my beloved, start cheering. I have opened up to myself and other people in my life in the simple, honest ways you always spoke of. I have let go, come out of hiding, and have discovered a happiness and a strength I never knew existed.