“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
I thought I knew all the stages of grief.
But there’s always more to learn.
I never understood the role of bargaining in my divorce.
I don’t remember begging, though I did ask “Why?”
wandering around in shock.
The counselor said the marriage could be saved
unless there were other lovers –
then it wouldn’t work.
The other woman had been my friend
before the bottom fell out.
There was no checking in.
I used to think guilt was a stage of grief,
guilt the companion of bargaining,
guilt who knows where I live.
Maybe if I’d been more attentive,
more docile, more playful…
I thought I was doing a good job
for the two decades tossed away.
Why? Why? Why? ad infinitum….,
Anger got lost in depression,
the depression I tried to swallow,
but it kept coming back up.
Or I’d stuff it in a drawer and forget about it
until I went looking for that purple scarf
and it grabbed me around the throat
and threw me on the bed.
I couldn’t get up
but I could roll over and slide down
to put my knees on the floor.
All the while I wrestled with depression,
anger lurked nearby growing into a boulder of resentment
blocking my path to happiness.
But where was this acceptance I kept hearing about?
I had no idea.
It wasn’t until forgiveness
finally got a foot in the door
and started chipping away at resentment,
that acceptance had a chance to work.
It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.
Love of self. Love of family. Love of life.
And finally when the time was right,
Love from another.
Now, after all these years, I’ve awakened
to another stage:
Eighteen years ago I would have never believed it possible
to be grateful for my divorce.
But if the first marriage had not died,
if the other woman had not been there,
I would not have been set free.
Free to fall.
Free to flounder.
Free to fly.
Free to find myself again.
Free to be found.
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