Theory on the stages of grieving stops short at a stage called “reorganization.” I’m not exactly sure what that’s supposed to represent but it hardly seems like the right word to describe the process of starting anew and moving on. Even further down the road from this, there seems to be a point where one is no longer defined by the loss.
Somewhere along the way I quit thinking of myself as a widow, although I suppose I am still that too. Like the pain, I find the scar on my leg (resulting from a treadmill fall on the 2 year anniversary of Tom’s passing) has faded considerably. I once thought of the scar as symbolic of what i’d become. I let it define me as hurt, ill-fated, scarred, and even ugly.
Today, even though I know that there is a residual scar visible to all, I hardly remember it’s there unless it is inquired about. It’s there. I know it is. But no longer am I self conscious about it. Sometimes, I even forget it’s there. And do you know what? People have even stopped noticing it.
If i were to say that the scar on my leg is symbolic of where I am at in the process, I would also have to say that my healing is complete. In this I am not saying that I won’t ever be saddened in thinking of the way things were or acknowledging how different things like graduations and weddings might have been. There is a residual scar you know. I am simply saying that I have found a new path forward and I’m going for it.