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It is always amazing to me how polar-opposite experiences can co-exist together at the same time. Like how silence can be deafening. Or how the absence of someone can fill the entire room. Or how our world can explode and implode at the same time. When David died, my world both exploded and imploded. It would be quite some time before I realized why both had to happen at the same time. 

To the uninitiated and from the outside, I am sure my world looked much the same as it did prior to his death. But in fact, there was carnage everywhere.  Explosions do that—they rip things apart, leaving all manner of wreckage in their wake. There was so much destruction that I had no idea where to even begin to put some order to it. Collecting the pieces seemed futile. They were scattered far and wide. I knew I would never get them all—some were gone forever. Many that I would retrieve would be damaged. And I knew that, in the end, the pieces I managed to find would never fit together like they had before he died. It felt like I would be attempting to complete a jigsaw puzzle with mangled and missing pieces and no completed picture to guide me. 

At the exact moment, as the explosion decimated my life, an internal implosion took place, destroying any remaining undamaged vestiges of my being. My heart shattered and crumbled away to places still undetermined. I felt as if I had been gutted; the emptiness inside was so total. And yet, even with only a void remaining inside me, I ached. Who knew that emptiness could be so painful? Another part of the devastation that I would need to fix. 

I turned in. I turned in to me, or more accurately, to what was left of me. After all, I had been completely hollowed out. There was room inside to hold the different parts of my being as they healed. There was room to let them move about and grow without further damage. They were safe there. And I had faith that once I grabbed hold of a piece of me, I would not lose it again. I could take my time. One by one, parts of me were retrieved and revived - trust, joy, laughter, contentment, to name a few. 

And the strangest thing happened. As I tended to healing my being from the inside, it caused my life on the outside to be repaired. I could use any of these new or rediscovered abilities to help rebuild my life. Rediscovered strengths gave me a solid base from which to venture, and the new ones gave me the courage and confidence to go. As each day passed and I got stronger, debris from the devastation disappeared. 

In other words, I was only able to overcome the effects of the explosion because I had a safe place within myself to retreat to, courtesy of the corresponding implosion—polar opposites, but yet necessary bedfellows.

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