.... a cure-all.
Or for anything that goes along with grief .... like an aching heart, feeling lonely, wanting your spouse back, or feeling misunderstood.
Finding love again is wonderful in so many ways. Ultimately it makes you feel like a woman again, rather than a widow (or, I imagine, like a man, rather than a widower).
But it doesn't cure grief.
Sometimes, in spite of the wonderfulness of love, it makes the grief worse.
Jim and I were together for over 27 years.
We understood each other.
We knew each other .... inside and out.
We grew up with each other .... we had a history.
We knew what the other was thinking about certain topics.
We knew what made each other happy .... and what made each other mad.
When you fall in love again ..... you start from scratch.
Sometimes it's easy.
Other times it's hard.
Very, very hard.
I can't read his mind .... I don't know his thoughts.
And once in a while ..... we miscommunicate.
And then feelings get hurt .... and sometimes things escalate.
It's those times when I get angry and think, "Damnit Jim! YOU should be here. I shouldn't have to be starting over with someone who doesn't know everything about me! This should not be where I am."
It would seem that after grieving so long and so hard, and overcoming so much over the past 2 and a half years, SOMETHING should be easy.
Love should be easy.
Don't get me wrong .... it is mostly wonderful, in a very different way than falling in love with Jim was.
But there are times when I wonder if I have the energy ..... or if I'm honest .... the desire, to make this work.
Sometimes I feel like I can't measure up.
To what or to whom .... I'm not sure.
There are children and their feelings to be considered.
There are expectations and desires that long to be filled .... but sometimes cannot.
There are two different households and several different schedules to be considered.
There are thoughts and feelings that cannot be communicated effectively.
And so there is work.
A lot of work.
I don't remember having to work at falling in love with Jim.
We just ...... well, we just fell.
Now, if I fall, there are many things in my path that I tend to hit on the way down.
Falling in love this time is not what it was the first time.
But the benefits are so good that the work has to be worth it .... right?
I wish I could give an unequivocal "yes" to that question.
But the jury's still out.
I guess time will tell.
Love is wonderful.
It has the power to heal.
But .... unfortunately .... not grief.
Time doesn't heal all things, either.
But it does make us stronger.
And our strength helps us deal with our grief.
And maybe .... our love.
We'll see ....