Of Losses & Gains

It is funny because part of the thing I decided to due to grieve the losses of the past few months was to write a list of all the things I lost.  And in writing it, I found the list was much shorter than imagined and even many of the things I had thought of as losses were not actually losses. I am not going to go into detail on everything I wrote, but it was interesting because the more I wrote the less I felt the loss.

The first thing I listed was the loss of my best friend and the more I thought about it, the more clarity has come regarding our relationship.  A best friend doesn’t repeatedly lie to and about you. A best friend is honest about problems in the relationship.  A best friend doesn’t tell everyone who will listen how lucky you are that he puts up with you.  A best friend doesn’t walk out of your life without looking back.

As I look through the list of everything, I see nothing about these losses is irreplaceable, except maybe the loss of a co-parent.  Considering he only responds to about 10% of what I email and has not continued to same standards in his house, that we had for our sons together, I can honestly say that is an irreplaceable loss.  No longer do I have anyone to consult about issues our sons are facing or have a partner to help parent or give me a break.  And no longer do my sons have a day-to-day father that watches tv with them or coaches soccer.

Every other loss is one that can be replaced.  I didn’t lose my future, but rather the one I imagined, and I am okay with that.  The more I wrote the list, the more I see what I have gained…

  • My self-confidence – as a woman and as a parent. I had spent years hearing how much I needed him and, surprisingly, I don’t.
  • My future – it was never set in stone, so I realized it was never there to be lost, but only to be gained.
  • Freedom – to make decisions without worrying about what he thinks or wishes.
  • A relationship with my sons – he had always been the “good cop” in our parenting relationship, so now I get to learn to be both good and bad cop. It is hard, but it is good.
  • Quiet – I used to feel the need to fill silences with talking…now I am content to sit silent with myself and my thoughts.
  • Potential relationships – I spent years hearing how lucky I was that he put up with me. I watched friends with husbands who treated them like queens.  I assumed our relationship was different, but now I see that I settled for feeling like I was not equal to him, so therefore I couldn’t expect to be treated better.  Now, in any relationship, friendship or romantic, I have clearer expectations of what I need and what I am willing to give.  I can also say that I deserve so much better than what I experienced.

As hard has the holiday season was, I feel like it was one of the big hurdles that I needed to survive before I could really start to move forward.  I have started the new year with a calmness and peace, as have the boys.  As I sat in church today, I was reminded that the faith I profess to follow is based in resurrection.  Last year, I experienced the death of my marriage, but I do serve a God who is very comfortable with loss and death, but also in re-birth.  So, this is my year of renaissance…of rebirth and finding beauty in ashes.


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