I finally realized we don’t recover from loss, we mutate. We can’t go forward but stay the same person, returning to a happy version of who we were. So we change, a change borne of necessity, not desire, but a way to move forward nonetheless.
The problem with the ending to my book is that I don’t really have one. Or, as I tweeted, “Must elope with crowned prince immediately.” But I can make my real-life ending whatever I want it to be, within reason. I just have to figure out what I want it to be. I’m trying to see choices as a good thing. But to like having choices, I first have to mutate into someone who likes uncertainty. I don’t even like typing the word “uncertainty,” it suggests upheaval, disappointment and–shudder–disorganization.
I’d like to mutate into some type of self-contained organism, complete on its own, able to reach out and make connections at a moment’s notice, but also happy to be by myself into eternity, working joyfully on my book but unattached to the result…NOT.
I don’t know how to do that. I looked at a dating site again and shuddered. And yet, look at all those choices. If this were a salad bar, I’d stay behind the sneeze-guard. Stay where I am? Look around? I wish the choices seemed more appealing. Or that I liked running around with lot’s of people, again, with no attachment to the outcome.
The benchmark for losing our life-partners seems to be dating. “Have you met anyone?,” ask well-meaning acquaintances. When we say no, they suggest the odiously generic, “Get out there!”
But that’s counterproductive. We need to see who we are now, on our own, before trying to become part of a couple, once again. Some of us don’t even want to do that, choosing to be alone. I’ve heard from several widowers who’ve talked about how much they like being on their own, arranging their time and their homes exactly the way they want.
I think right the question is, “Do you feel like you’re taking up enough space?” Have you recovered from your loss enough to feel like you’re stretching our and living as opposed to burrowing in a corner.
Now, I can’t seem to do a lot of stretching outside of yoga class. I tried a day in Carmel by myself, finding this sculpture to remind me of the old age I won’t be having with George in Carmel or otherwise:
And while I enjoyed having lunch and hanging out at the the beach on my own, by dinner time I’d had enough solitude. I didn’t want another solitary meal nor a night in a romantic place alone. So, I stretched a bit, but came home to burrow. Hence, the peak at a dating site, but I wasn’t planning on having a strange guy fed ex’ed to me for a seaside escape.
Do you feel like you’ve had to mutate to deal with loss? And if so, mutated into what?
Staying inland for now,