Sixteen years after my husband and I divorced, he died suddenly. It was a tragic and difficult time, especially for my three sons. I knew it would be for them. What took me by surprise was my own grief. And also a resurgence of some of the old anger.
I had worked hard following our divorce to understand what happened and to forgive, let go and move on. But after Doug's death, as so often happens, I was reminded that grief work is a long process, not a one-time event (even an ongoing one-time event).
What happened in those months following Doug's death was significant for me. In time I was able to forgive the young wife and mother I was at the time of our divorce for her failure to sustain the marriage. I saw that she had done the best she could given who she was and what she knew at that stage of her life. And I was able to forgive the young husband and father who also did the best he could given who he was at that time. I forgave him for his failure in making our marriage work, too. This was all really quite remarkable to me. It was another large piece in my healing process, one I wasn't even aware I needed. I thought I had moved on quite well, thank you very much.
I'm fully aware of how difficult forgiving and letting go can be—and especially how difficult it can be to forgive ourselves. I am at peace with that part of my life. At least for now. Who knows whether there might be another piece of the grief work yet ahead? If there is, I know I can handle it.
Do you have some grief work, forgiving or letting go that holds you back? If so, I invite you to take a look at it. Move into it and through it. Please contact me if you would like some coaching around the issue.