Chances are, you have experienced the loss of someone near and dear to your heart. No one can replace them. You just hope that you can carry forward the lessons, the memories, and the love that they left behind in this form of consciousness. This is the byproduct of experience. Some call it wisdom.
It’s easier to share nuggets of wisdom and words of kindness with someone who is mourning than it is to accept them when it’s your turn – when you are mourning. Death is crueler when it cuts close to home. And when it does, wisdom and reasonability are tough to embrace. Rational thinking is rejected, because nothing about death feels reasonable or rational.
There’s a process we all go through and there’s no schedule. The time to grieve isn’t right or wrong, short or long. It’s just yours.
Years ago, at the age of 28, I lost my Mom. It was the most devastating blow I’ve experienced before or since. The grieving process was challenging.
A couple of weeks after Mom passed a friend and co-worker stepped into my office and closed the door. He knew what was troubling me. And he could relate.
You see, my friend Ron lost his Mom at the age of 12. In a nutshell what he shared with me was that I should embrace what was – the love, the memories, the laughs, the joy. I had to hold those things close, appreciate them instead of fretting what will never be again.
Given my shaky emotional state, those were bold words. But I let them marinate. I processed what Ron had said. He had credibility because he lived it. His was an even bigger loss, only having his Mom for 12 years. As hard as it was, I embraced what Ron was dishing. I would not let pain win. I chose love instead – love and memories.
To this day, when those struggling with the loss of loved ones seek advice, I share this experience with the hope that it can ease their pain just as Ron did for me all those years ago. Since Ron extended his sage advice, I’ve found a quote from Dr. Seuss that simplifies what he shared with me, without losing its eloquence.
Of course, you will still miss your lost loved ones. That’s really a testament to the bond you shared. Time helps, although the missing does still hurt. But then I fall back on those words and one more prevailing thought…
If it was me who was deathly ill, preparing to leave this world, I would always want those I’ve left behind to remember what we shared – to remember me, but never let thoughts of me trigger pain. I have no doubt that those I’ve lost, if given the opportunity, would have instructed me to do exactly that.
And exactly that is what I chose.
I hope you do too!