Once upon a time there was a pretty-good looking princess named Laurie who serendipitously met her handsome prince charming named Peter. She swooned at his kindness, sense of humor, love of all things edible, excluding veggies, and gorgeous head of hair. He fell in love with her blond tresses even with the peroxide applications, her laughter, and her long legs, amply visible in a 1960’s rabbit mini skirt. They were thunderstruck by a bolt of love beyond anything that any of the brothers Grimm could have conjured up. What really happened is that they fit together like a tight puzzle, interlocking all the pieces of their psyches. They became a close-knit team, and it lasted for a very, very, long time, but sadly not happily ever after. Now Laurie is an older princess, perhaps a Duchess (with no dowager hump or facial warts), without her prince charming to make her feel loved. She no longer is taken into her Prince Peter’s big loving arms and held. She no longer feels safe and protected. Her fable has not ended happily.
My journey of grief has taken me on a windy and circuitous route, with bumpy and jarring rides of tears, and plunges into deep chasms of sadness. Some days I am fine, and I can actually feel that I just might come out of this funk and be okay. Some days, I am not cool, but I function, and I move through my process in hopes of what? Aha, that is the $64,000 question. What is it that I hope for in my future? Is it a Prince Charming? Would he look like Cary Grant or Marilyn Manson?
I know this sounds off-the-wall crazy, but grief has inserted me into the first act of Cinderella, and I am having a challenging time extricating myself out of act one and on to the good parts. I do the relentless work of grieving by cleaning the floors of my soul and washing the windows of my heart, but I am still stalled in a melancholy life. It is the loneliness that is the killer in this process I call my “after life” – life after Peter. Being alone is the hardest hurdle I have to overcome. I am able to write publicly and openly about my grief process, but when I come home to an empty house, that feeling of alienation rears its ugly head. I would love to fast forward to the end of the fairy tale and find a Prince Charming, but this seems illusory. I know I could never replace Peter, but I would like to find someone with whom to share a laugh, enjoy a dinner out, and be an antidote to the lonesomeness that has plagued me since Peter died. Sure, I would love to find a Prince Charming, but that is a fantasy I have to take off the table.
Basically, I have two doors to try. Door number one is a path in which I constantly seek another man to satisfy my loneliness. If I go through that door, I will go on-line and search for a partner, and never be satisfied until I find one to fill the void, no matter the quality. It reminds me of staying in the Ramada Inn, in the 1970’s, where they embroidered “luxury for less” on the towels. I don’t want a second-rate Prince! I want a real-live, full-fledged, top-notch, quality human male with whom I can share my life! Door number two allows me the wiggle room to find that part of myself that will make me happy enough, and if Prince Charming were to walk through, it wouldn’t be so terrible! For now, I choose door number two, and will take my chances with me, myself, and I.