When one parent dies, the world is dramatically altered, absolutely, but you still have another one left. When that second parent dies, it's the loss of all ties, and where does that leave you? You lose your history, your sense of connection to the past. You also lose the final buffer between you and death. Even if you're an adult, it's weird to be orphaned.
Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life ― it has given me me. It has provided time and experience and failures and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me. I fit into me now. I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have. I have the life I longed for. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I would be.
I didn't know if I believed in 'happily ever after' anymore. I mean, I didn't know what would happen tomorrow, let alone for forever and ever after. But I did know that I was happy, right there, right then, with him. And that was all I needed to know.
We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don't teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons.