The Wisdom of Alice (In Wonderland)

When I was a little girl, my dad used to read Alice in Wonderland to me, it had always been one of my favourite books, I hung on to every single word Lewis Carroll wrote in this amazing book.

I love this saying from his work, I think it totally sums up how life feels after death.

"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then".

From the very moment he died, life would never be the same, and it very much felt like that chapter of my life was closed, never to be re-opened.

I completely lost my sense of self.

I fought very hard to keep myself there, in the past, with him. A scary life without him just felt unimaginable at that time. My situation has never changed, but I have.

I am 8 years into my After Him chapter, at the time of writing, and when I look back at that broken woman, I am no longer her. How can I be? I was part of something, together, we had our own little world, a little hidden corner where only we knew, nothing else mattered because we had each other, it felt safe, I felt safe.

I have felt so lost along the way on this crazy journey. The adjustment from us & we to me & I has been awful, I won't lie, the knowledge that you can't ever go back to that final day with them, it sent chills to my heart, and it made me feel like I was losing my mind so many times.

He was my cheerleader, he believed in me completely, and made me feel like I was the strongest, bravest, most beautiful woman in the world.

People have often commented that I'm "not the same person I used to be", I think what they mean is that I've grown into a more assertive person, I don't stand for messing in the way I used to, I'm not the doormat they knew.

I'm now that independent woman who's had to find a way of dealing with the fact I can never change my situation, but that I can change how I live my life. His death definitely hardened me, and I am glad for that, he would want me to be stronger and to charge my way through life with purpose, hope and meaning.

It took a long time to get here, I did it for me, but I know he'd be proud.

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