This I Believe

Margaret - Milledgeville, Georgia
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: 65+
Themes: afterlife, death, love


I believe that true love exists above and apart from the material world and beyond a limit or range of thought. Perhaps it was my silent affirmations of this belief that kept me from going completely insane. There is no denying, in my mind, I believe that true love transcends death.

My husband, Mancy, and I were married for thirty-four years. We kept our vow, “‘til death do us part”. Six years ago, Mancy suffered a massive heart attack, making me an instant widow and in a split second my world was changed forever.

For a while, my life seemed so meaningless without him. We had spent thirty-four precious years together. He was not merely my husband. He was my whole life – best friend, lover, confidante and traveling companion. And when he died, I lost my ability to face difficulties without being overcome by uncertainty and fear. It seemed impossible for me to move on. Yet, I believed my love was strong and still there and sustained me, even after he was gone. The realization of my belief surfaced for the first time, a few months after his death, when I was obligated to attend the wedding of a friend in another city. It meant I had to drive for six hours, alone. I had never attempted such a feat on my own. Mancy was always with me, doing the driving. But, somehow, I garnered the courage to commence the journey on my own. As I was driving, I felt a strange and unfamiliar sensation come over me. It was as if Mancy was there with me, in spirit, in the passenger seat, encouraging me to be strong. I was certain I was not alone on that trip.

After that experience, whenever I am faced with a difficult challenge, I can feel his love and his presence. This, I think, is my way of coping with my loss.

Often, on summer evenings, I sit in the swing under the old oak tree in my yard, reading the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I think she expresses my belief succinctly in her poem titled: “How Do I Love Thee?” She writes, “…..I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life, and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death”.

My silent affirmations that true love transcends death, not only kept me from going completely and utterly insane. They also gave me hope and a way to deal with the grief I suffered. This I believe.