She stepped out of his shadow and realized that there was a whole new life waiting to be embraced. Sure, the memories that they once shared would always be a part of her but, her soul could not exist on those alone. She was someone outside of him. She always had been but, during her youth she did not know how to assert that part of herself.
Instead, she became an expert at riding his coattails and expecting him to constantly take care of her. Yes, she was emotionally and financially draining. But, not in a malicious way. It was the only way that she knew how to be. For years, she blamed him for leaving her and every bad piece of luck that came her way. It never occurred to her that his absence was an awesome gift that would free her up to finally find her own voice.