I’VE LOST THE MIRROR TO MY SOUL
When you lose the one you love
You think your world has ended
You think your world will be a waste of life
Without them in it
You feel there’s no way to go on
Life is just a sad, sad song
But love is bigger than us all
The end is not the end at all
It’s not somethin’ you get over
But it’s somethin’ you get through
- Something to Get Through – Willie Nelson
When my husband Peter died, almost five years ago, I lost the mirror to my soul. I no longer could see myself reflected in his eyes, which told me I was loved unconditionally, from the time I woke up with bedhead hair, until the time I went to bed. I lost the reflection of my love, positively coaching me through my life. I knew I had to find a way to marshal my resources to see myself in a different light. The mirror was dark and my soul turned inward to find a reflection that would keep me moving forward.
I was the one in charge of my life now. I had to find a way to shepherd myself forward and find some meaning and substance to my existence. I had to redefine Laurie and find her again. I was not a couple; I was not a part of a duo. I was playing it solo, one aria at a time, until I could find a way to fathom meaning in my loss. I am a bit of a control freak which made making sense of loss even harder. I had to find a way through the muck of grief to feel a sense of purpose.
I knew that I couldn’t “get over it” as so many misguidedly suggested. I knew that the continuous bond of the love I had for over 47 years would continue for eternity. You don’t get over the love you have in grief. You keep that love in your heart and it gives you the strength to move forward. I know I won’t get over it, but I also know that I am getting used to being alone and comfortable with myself. OK, occasionally I talk to Peter in my house, or in the car, and ask for counsel. Sometimes I even tell him about the creepy date who when I said I’m not ready for a relationship,” replied: “It’s been years now, why can’t you just toughen up?” Really? I am tough, I am finding myself, and I am forging ahead but without this jerk or any other insensitive lout.
As I become accustomed to going through life alone, with the hope of maybe meeting a like-minded companion, I have found that I am resilient, strong, and surprisingly amazed at my staying power, in the face of adversity. Death happens. We don’t want to look at it, but we will all die. It is how we look at our life that keeps us going. I choose not to be a victim. I choose to champion my way through my adversity with the help of friends, family, and a whole lot of laughter.
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