Holdingoutforjacob that was a very well written post . . . Something you stated, I would like to comment on. You stated that Edward’s departure was much like Edward’s death to Bella. I can’t help but disagree . . . If Edward truly died, Bella losing herself wouldn’t quite capture the consequence of such an event!
The reason she continued on living because she knew, somewhere in some corner of the world Edward still existed. That knowledge, along with him having been existing in Forks was the only reason Bella stayed behind. “A world which can be explained, even through bad reasoning, is a familiar one . . ." a world where Edward exists . . . “. . . On the other hand, in a world suddenly devoid of illusion and light, man feels like a stranger” A world where Edward ceases to exist is a world without light and life, to Bella. Quote from The Myth of Sisyphus--Albert Camus. The way she was tied to Edward is inescapable.
I do believe that Bella accepted what a tragedy life can be. She accepted that Edward didn’t love her and never could. She accepted her future without him and without the eternity she wished she could have with him. She accepted his decision. Yet, she could not dare imagine not loving him. Because to forget would mean to her that that he never existed. I don’t believe for a second that she was resisting the choice he made for himself and her in terms of their future together, but she was resisting forgetting that he ever existed. Bella continually coins terms such as “mirage”, “unreal” and “dream” when she refers to Edward in Twilight and in the beginning of New Moon. Because in order for her to continue to live, she needed to know that he ever existed and is still existing. And she needed to know that for the entirety of her life, that I believe is what would have caused her to be less than happy and to be less giving of herself towards Jacob.
"I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his. . . . . But, till then--if you don't believe me, you don't know me--till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!"