A Story of Loss, Love, and Finding Ourselves in a New World


For the last several years, my bride and I have been going through a series of seismic changes in our lives. The word seismic here is not hyperbole either. I’m talking about the kind of upheaval that can set you adrift, your core identity in shreds, and your path forward shrouded in opaque clouds of unknowing.

Some measure of these changes were completely and utterly beyond our control – the death of parents, professional convulsions, and the like. On the other hand, there were the self-induced categories that had largely been underway for a few years and included a hard-core inspection and realignment of many of our core beliefs and values – usually a highly destructive process that sees demolition and reconstruction as the organizing paradigm.

Suffice to say that the very ground under our feet had become terrifyingly unstable. But we persevered. Our life preserver was our suspicion that our truer selves were waiting for us somewhere on the other side of all the confusion, grief, sorrow, ignorance, anger, and blindness. As it turns out, we were right, gratefully.

After insufferable and seemingly endless stretches mired in the relentless uncertainties, tiny slivers of sunlight began to vault over the horizon. We grasped mightily at them only to see them slip away like fleeting phantoms that only appear from the corner of one’s eye. But we took them as course markers – tell-tale signs that we were indeed on the right path. That we weren’t, in fact, completely batshit.

Armed with what looked to be the beginnings of a map, we set our course, dialed in the instruments, and readied our bloodied but unbowed spirits for yet another ruthless transformation. We began the exhaustive process of moving to another country.

The transition was, in many ways, painful, emotional, stressful, labor intensive, a gauntlet of governmental logistics, immigration complexities, and the paring down of everything we owned, accumulated over 2 lifetimes, into what would fit into one passenger truck. The challenges were too many to name. But, we persevered while myriad sources threw every imaginable obstacle in our way – as if to say, “Stay in your damned box, already!”

Today, as I write this, I am incredibly proud of us, both of us. There were times when we literally could not see the faintest spec of light at the end of the crooked, harrowing tunnel teaming with witches. Times when we both questioned whether we had completely stripped a gear, or perhaps all the gears. But who we have, and continue to become, is everything. We knew, we must have, at some level that was so deeply obscured from us that is was hardly perceptible, that the brave new world was there. It was there all along.

It took fierce determination, unrelenting courage, and the outright annihilation of our world view and well, our world, to get here. But here is where we are. Living, loving, working, playing, learning, growing, and spooling up for happy hour on our lanai to watch the dolphins play in the surf, the pelicans fly their squadron formations over-head, and fur-baby Lily to remind us that no matter what we’ve accomplished, nothing in this world is more important than her orange rubber pig.

Check out the Happiness 2.0 Podcast – https://podcast.edwardgdunn.com/

Subscribe to the Happiness 2.0 Newsletter

Get easy to implement happiness tools in your inbox weekly.
Share the happiness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *