For the past almost three years I have been working as an advocate for domestic violence victims in the Air Force.  Last week we were notified that the program was being eliminated.

I will be re-inventing myself yet again, some new integration of a self that is challenged by widowhood and a need and wish for continued generativity in my life.

Since my husband died I have posted occasionally.  I have been very busy, and happily so, with my advocacy work.  My lack of posting was not a loss of interest, but a lack of time to give to my writing and sharing on these cyberpages.

I have made many friends these months and I have learned new skills.  I have become reacquainted with myself in solo form.  I have even found a new friend whom I enjoy as a companion.  That has been a special blessing.

My work friendships may yield yet another short-term position that I can work in conjunction with the private practice.  Who knows?

Now I should have a little more time for myself and I am not as afraid of that quiet time as I might have been in those months following his untimely death.

When I was a young woman I was fascinated with the story of the chrysalis and how a caterpillar transforms itself into a little cocoon or pupa for its metamorphosis into the beautiful butterfly that it is to become.  That event is billed as a one time occasion, isn’t it?  One day the potential of the butterfly is fully manifested.

But human beings are not like a three stage event.  We emerge and change constantly.  We are always on to the next chapter, like it or not, planned or not, ready or not.  And we do not have to throw away all of our psychological containers as we go.  We can remember and hold onto what gives us meaning makes us wise and try to weed out our negative and destructive patterns.  As Erikson pointed out so beautifully, we humans mature and move through a set of psychological stages that are common within the human species around our small planet.

I have come to believe that our essential nature is not contained by our bodily existence and that we are connected to a shared realm of being that extends far beyond our current knowledge and imagination.  When our bodies are turned to dust, we are not done.

Our fretting is about being here.  And this place is a dangerous one.  Terror is real, and pain and loss abound everywhere we turn.  Also real are beauty and love and all our achievements.  But we are not finished when dust becomes of us, and we will continue to emerge into an existence beyond this one.

The fear we feel and know reflects our fragility.  We are vigilant because any security we achieve may vanish in the flicker of an eye.

But, oh, what a beautiful and marvelous creation we have been given!  No wonder we grieve each loss so deeply!

This is an AS IS photograph of a female monarch butterfly along side the chrysalis she just emerged from. Photo taken with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi and 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on my property in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

The Monarch is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies

Source:  Renee Dawson’s Art Gallery