About 4 weeks ago now I was meeting a friend for breakfast at a local eatery and as I walked to my table I recognized an old friend at one I was passing. He saw me, jumped up and gave me a big hug, and said "I've been thinking so much about you and I want to tell you something: It gets better. I promise."
He was, of course, referring to the circumstances that rocked my world and left me alone and shaken to the core. Everything I thought I knew and believed was taken from me and I've been floundering around in a strange new place, no longer being sure of my footing or of the people around me. It was a sincere, warm moment that meant the world to me, because he's been through his own traumas in life, including divorce and then the death of another spouse. He know what he was talking about.
And now, weeks after that encounter and months after my trauma, I've learned that he was right. I've certainly become accustomed to my new life, and things have certainly gotten better.
In thinking about it and remembering the pain I was in a few short months ago, I'm grateful for the progress. I'm not sure whether its because the mind and body can only handle so much and eventually the self-defense mechanisms click on, or whether I've just grown immune to the pain, but I think its more about recognizing the truth and learning to accept it than anything else. I am, by nature., a person who wants to "fix things". I think my initial response to the brokenness of my life was to try and "fix" it. Acceptance of the fact that I cannot change other people, can't change the past, and can only move forward in my new life, trying to make it better than it was before. I'm at peace now. The tears don't come often and the pain has subsided. There will always be some, but the sharpness has dulled and it doesn't hurt as often.
I think its safe to say my friend was right. It might have been slow to come, but this is definitely progress...