It’s Saturday, and I’m single. Really single. I found out that the divorce is final about a month ago. I didn’t have any huge emotional reactions at the time, but since then, I’ve had unexplained emotional leakages that can only be linked to either that or PMS.
Everyone grieves in their own way, and I’m only beginning to discover what “my way” is. I’d thought all my grieving was done before we ever separated or filed; I had to be in a lot of pain before I was even ready to talk to my ex about my feelings of hopelessness about our marriage. It turns out, that wasn’t grieving. That was letting go of expectations. That was accepting the things I could not change about me, him, us. That was facing my fear of anger and my fear of being alone. That was making a decision and following through one day at a time without turning back or changing my mind.
But it wasn’t grieving. Once the decision was made, I felt peace as I took one tentative step after another. I thought I was done with grief. I was wrong.
It’s Saturday, and I’m grieving in my own way. Right now it’s mostly subconscious. For the past several days, I’ve been dreaming about falling in love with men who are my perfect fit – kind, thoughtful, playful, energetic, attractive – only to find that when it comes to the part where we get to kiss and then some, I am gripped with fear and wake up. I shared this with a friend who is getting married this month after several years of being a divorced single woman getting her emotional and spiritual act together. She said it was my mind’s way of telling me I’m not ready for that yet.
I went to bed last night after her bridal shower wondering what kind of nightmare I’d be in for this time. He was gorgeous, with thick black hair and a warm, friendly smile. He wore a plaid flannel shirt and khakis. He lived in a big Victorian house with his mother, and had a beautiful young daughter who desperately wanted to go to school and have friends but couldn’t because she was disabled and couldn’t walk without support and couldn’t stay upright for more than a few minutes without becoming lightheaded.
This man was a pillar in the small community in which he lived, and his devotion to his daughter was evident but didn’t keep him from enjoying parties with his neighbors. He wasn’t ashamed of his daughter and took her with him when he could, and didn’t get mad when her condition required him to return home early. Instead, he opened his home to everyone so that we could all be together there.
Even with the throng of people in his house and his daughter needing special care, his smile when he looked at me told me without words that he would be incomplete without me and my kids there by his side. I was humbled, but unafraid of getting to know him better and better. I woke from my dream wishing I could go back.
In my morning meditation I told God about my dream, as if He didn’t already know what had transpired in my subconscious, as if He hadn’t had some hand in it Himself. “You were dreaming about me,” He said. And I knew that the daughter was me, too. Lonely and desperate to walk and learn, too weak for more than a few minutes of activity, but growing stronger in the light of my father’s love and all the wonderful people He brings into our lives.
The gift of grieving is new insight into who I am and what I want. A few months ago I wrote about “waiting for Boaz.” Today, I’m waiting for God.