Left Kansas Half a Person, Returned a Whole Person

No, it is not as simple as that, but as I have been looking back at the impact of two months out of the country, traveling by myself in New Zealand and Australia, it feels that way. 

It has been close to a year now.  There have been months of activity between then and now.  Every activity as played some part in the transition.  Last June in a matter of seconds, I became half a person.  That may sound overly dramatic, but that is what happened.  The journey that began at that moment was a journey toward wholeness. 

While many things have and will continue to play a role in various dimensions of the healing process, traveling alone forced me to face the world by myself for two months.  Every time I got on a plane, train or bus, I had no one to talk with except a stranger.  When I rode an elevator or went to a restaurant or joined a tour or walked through an Art Gallery or Museum, if there would be any human interaction, it would have to be with a stranger.  Even if it was someone with whom I had connected at some earlier time, I alone had made the connection. 

Almost every time I met someone, I mentioned the loss of Mary Ann.  In those interactions, I was a whole person whose life included Mary Ann.  The feeling of emptiness has diminished.  The pain is still fully available to me.  The flashes of grief still come.  Sometimes I cannot tolerate the thought that she is actually gone from here.  In spite of those vulnerabilities, I no longer feel incomplete, half a person living half a life.  I feel again like a whole person, fully alive, answering the Call to Live. 

I still don’t know what direction the Call to Live will take me.  I am trying to keep options open, make no long term commitments, stay fully active, engage others in various settings, do some exploring, travel, try new things, always seeking to discern what direction to head as this new chapter in my life is being written. 

Today included a meaningful conversation with a young man who also has endured the end of a relationship.  Our circumstances are different in many ways, but we both are at a time of transition, seeking to determine how to proceed in our respective lives in a way that is healthy, appropriate, and fulfilling.  One observation he made is that endless numbers of people have been through what he is going through, the same is so for what I am going through.  All of us have gone through, are going through or will go through some sort of painful transition that takes us to the limits of our ability to cope.   The transitions will come.  Who we become in the process will be determined by how we chose to deal with those challenges.  It just ain’t easy!

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