Sarah sat across from me with tears streaming down her face. Her husband was killed in a car accident three years ago and now she had entered into the first romantic relationship since her husband’s death. “I don’t understand how I can love someone new when I still love my husband.”
It’s true that Sarah’s love for her husband will be ever vibrant. That love has infused itself into her being, allowing her to be the person she has become. One task of healthy grieving is to cultivate a sustained relationship with the one who has died, an ongoing connection based on spirit and memory.
And yet it’s also true that Sarah’s relationship with her husband has changed. Because his physical form is gone, she has space to create new physical relationships. Even as she does this, she brings her husband’s love along with her.
As she wiped her tears away, Sarah reflected, “I guess my husband opened my heart and now, it’s my choice to keep it open.” Bringing the love and lessons of the past into the present, and then carrying them into the future is part of our journey as we grieve, grow, love, and continue to embrace life.
Expcerpted from the Newsletter,
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of