Even though this process can be painful, it’s a must. I have spoken to many people who have lost a loved one, who cannot talk about them because of the feelings that surface, and of course this can be inevitable within the first few weeks.
Although some feelings can be the denial step in the initial process of grief; it is not helpful in our moving on in life. There are always bountiful memories of life that made us smile, laugh or cry, times when we were loving, connecting to our love one. Why would we feel the need to shut out those memories?
Many of us also have the ‘not so good’ memories, as life is not always about the sugar and spice; it also includes the ‘slugs, snails and puppy dog tails’, so the old nursery rhyme tells us; though I personally love the‘ slugs, snails and puppy dogs tails’. But that would be another book.
It’s a fact folks, we are not all blessed with the perfect spouse or child, no matter how much we try and colour it so. For me, focusing on the good memories helped to alleviate old wounds and hurts of the journey.
Death somehow has a way of making the unpleasant memories and events of life seem insignificant and small in comparison. By looking at the heart warming times it seems that it is far easier to let go of the past and forgive. If only we as a whole could use that ability in life how different would our world be?
Holding onto past events keeps us in a mental imprisonment, unable to move forward, we become stuck. Life has given me the opportunity to witness this first hand.
A young woman who is known to me had gone through a tumultuous, extremely difficult time with her stepfather. For several years he had been abusive to her in many ways, this was unknown by her family. She went through the manipulations that abusers usually use, as a way of feeding fears so as to stay anonymous to the rest of society. This was a very extroverted young girl who seemed to all intents and purposes very happy and in control of her life.
Courageously for the sake of what she felt was her family’s safety and also through her fear of loss and grief, she held the ‘secret’ until her teen years. Old enough to stand for herself, the abuse ceased and the truth was uncovered. The abuser was taken to court and charged. In the last 15 years
I have witnessed this young woman’s life continually disintegrate around her, it has affected her children and all relationships, resulting in isolation from her family members. Although she admits to knowing that on a logical level she needs to forgive and let go, she cannot bring herself to do so. The result has been that in the last few years her suffering grows steadily worse on an emotional, physical level, also a change in the mental perceptions of all events around her.
Another observation for my awakening to how we decide to choose our reactions. When we choose to stay in anger and resentment, we ultimately harm ourselves, to forgive and surrender our pain contrary to belief does not let another person off the hook as this young woman feels, it keeps you attached to that person and all the events shared, it continues the harm and bitterness to life because we feel abandoned through death. We can be so attached to the physical being of our loved ones that we find, in death, that we really have no control over them or life’s events.
Realizing this is so freeing. Now we can choose to discover who we really are and what our part in the sharing of that person’s life’s journey was about. Could it have been about love, sharing, comfort and dependency, or were we given a great expansion in our selves, that we can take as all good, be it through the events and problems, tears and laughter, in fact all of life’s up’s and down’s. Were we living our life or just surviving and living through another?
Finally realizing that we have no control over another’s decisions, thoughts or actions; I learned to love, forgive, show more compassion with no judgments, through that I grew; today I can say that with each relationship and death I became a better person. Left for me was the opportunity to look back on the whole being of my spouses and son, to continue to love them for who they were, and thank them for everything I had to experience through my journey with them; without them I would not be who I am today.
I am grateful to have to have chosen to take the best and leave the rest, to remain in those happy memories, in total acceptance of it all, never wanting to change one part of life. Not being in denial of the ‘downs’ but recognizing them, seeing that it was meant to be; if I had not had to live that, my heart and mind would not have been given the opportunity of expanding to a greater love and understanding for the world as a whole.
Hold your memories and treasure each piece of the whole, turn inwards to yourself and ask what has this helped me to become, so that I may be a better adornment to this world; a positive force for change. Are we not a delicious assortment of human beings? Our energy goes on forever and shapes our future for all that follow, nothing is lost, and no-one really leaves.