It took 3 long, hard, tough, gut-wrenching, painful, fighting, years to arrive here. And I thank God so very much that He brought me through to the other side. God carried me through; I never want to go back or re-live that hellish pain.
I am not trying to be conciliatory nor ride the fence...but in the English language I, too, say "I loved him. I loved my mother...I loved my grandfather"..It is the simple past tense of my action verb- to love.
Love... the abstract noun..on the other hand....as in my love for him exists. ..it is an eternal given...it simply is...forever...and if I believe Christ is Love...all my love exists forever...Love is...just as I believe that Beauty is....I don't think we can subtract from it by dying...So the love I had for my husband has "gone" nowhere....it cannot be subtracted...The love I had for parents has not left the building...
I can and do withdraw from that bank of love...all the time...as someone said...I feel his love around me...I am alone.....of course, his love is with me...and he is a perfect LDR, because we had decades of F2F's :)
Chris, I, too, don't want to go through what it took to get me here...acceptance and moving forward...now THAT is a definite mercy :)