Saturday, May 19, 2012

How I Celebrated My Steps in Closure

As I proceeded through grief, after my spouse died, the ultimate goal was acceptance and closure. Closure began when I started putting away the sympathy cards and cleaning out the closets. As one door closed behind me, another would open in front of me. After 15 months, I finally changed my wedding rings from my left hand to my right hand (a big step in closure). And then I went out on my first date.

It felt like walking up a staircase. I had never been at the top of that particular staircase, so the closer I got to the top, the more exciting it became. I really didn't know what to expect but I did know it was a place that God had been leading me to. And at the top, I knew there would be more celebrations!

I had to climb 2 huge staircases. One was the grief journey from losing a husband, and the other one was raising my daughters. In both situations God was leading me and I was trusting in Him to get me to the end. I'm not sure I would have finished if I didn't have His help. Or both situations wouldn't have finished so wonderful without God's help. I have experienced many closures in both situations.

When it came to a year's anniversary that my husband had died, I made it a point to celebrate his life. A group of our friends went out for the evening to reminisce his life. It was a milestone in my grief journey. We did the same thing at the two year marker.Two years were just the first few steps in my staircase.

It wasn't until 5 years that we made a permanent move to a different state. This was a significant life change in my grief closure. I went back to school and earned a master's degree. It wasn't until I was widowed for seven years that I met my second husband. He waited for me until my children were on their own and then married me. What a celebration and reward after truly completing my grief journey!

Raising children as a single parent was just as hard. That staircase felt never ending at times. We had celebrations as they reached their milestones with dance recitals, gymnastic meets, and high school graduations. As my oldest daughter recently started her own family, and my youngest just graduated from college, I have finally reached parental freedom. And what will be my celebration to this closure? I'll be skydiving tomorrow with my daughter!! (Hope to be back for next week's blog!)

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