this is truly beautiful, Peter. painful to read but shining with compassion and hope. i don't have answers to your questions, but it sure sounds to me like a measure of healing has taken place in your heart from the compassion that is glowing through these words.
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"