One of the most powerful things said was during the Keynote Speech by Michele Neff Hernandez the founder of Soaring Spirits. She explained that over the years she has told her story of love and loss many times. Just recently she found herself telling her story and following it up with & Then where she would talk about her new story of love and living after loss.
Dave and I were married young and were the best of friends. Even when we didn't always like each other, we always loved each other. We went through our ups and downs but our love was special. When we had to battle cancer, we did it together every step of the way, every moment all of the ups and downs. We were closer than we had ever been and I was blessed to be with him as he took his last breath on this earth. I felt like my story ended there.
For the next couple of years I moved forward with my grief but I didn't feel like I was really living. The phrase "I pretended through my grief" applied to me. I pretended I was living, I pretended I was moving forward, I pretended I was functioning but I never really felt like I was.
I was pretending less and living more. I found love in a very unexpected place and I began to live for real and with purpose. My story was beginning again, in moving forward, it takes nothing away from my earlier story. In fact it is my responsibility to create an & Then that Dave would be proud of. Someday when we meet again in that beautiful place, I will get to share with him my & Then .
I was so upset that my story didn't end with "and they lived happily ever after". Now I understand that my story is not over yet, I get another chance to create my happily ever after. I am very fortunate to love Therion and be loved by him.
My story has a beautiful beginning, a difficult middle & Then ...