Here I am at the end of a tunnel, where there is light

Those who wait endlessly for news about a lost person do not do so in vain if they find hope and optimism in their struggle.

~ Pauline Boss

Among those books I’m letting go to the donation bin is a helpful little book called, “Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live With Unresolved Grief” by Pauline Boss.

I picked it up three years ago when my Adored teenage stepson Caswell moved out of our house to live with his mother two states away. His absence broke my heart, and just finding a label for it — “ambiguous loss” — helped me cope a little. It took months to put the pieces back together, but eventually, the relationship with my Adored stepson improved, and our lives — separated though they were by two states — came to feel like a new normal.

Boss’s book offered some nuggets of advice, and as with many other losses, time helped, too. Sometimes one just has to persevere through hard times.

Now, my Adored is soon graduating from high school and talking about moving back to our house. Some parents of 18-year-olds might not like such news, but this turn of events thrills me. Caswell is here this week, spending his spring break with us. We restarted the jets in the hot tub three times tonight before we finished our deep conversation about relationships and the future. He takes after his father, my Beloved, and I find him interesting and pleasant to spend time with him.

Which teaches me all over again that life changes. Bad days happen. Bad times get better. Happy days are here again. Savor good times because they come to an end.

Boss’s book was necessary for a season in my life, but I can let it go now to help someone else.

“As long as there is optimism and hope, continuing to work on a relationship with someone who is slowly dying can be a kind of victory, as can continuing to work on … letting kids come back home after they leave, knowing they will leave again. … If we do it with optimism, there is no absurdity in perseverance.”

~ Pauline Boss


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