Looking Back Has Merit – My Sixties

Talking about my birthday is not something I normally do, but this year, it has a purpose I couldn’t ignore.

A New Decade Birthday

Some people celebrate their birthday with a cake. I celebrate with fresh flowers that I buy and arrange. It’s like a double gift to myself. This quilt has many layers of meaning, but most importantly, almost all the material was in my fabric stash. I donated it to Mom’s friend, Lola, who made tied quilts for St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monte Vista, Colorado. Lola then pieced it into my favorite design, Log Cabin. Mom bought it for her guest bedroom, but now it is mine.

Looking back over ten years

As I lay awake at the end of the day before my 70th birthday, I naturally played the timeline of my 60s in my mind. It was both scary and hopeful.

Ten years ago, I considered signing up for psychic medium Kim Moore’s ten-month course “Psychic and Personal Development.” The only way I could consider it was to drop the first word, psychic. On the last day, I sent her an email asking to be her student. The nine women met every third Saturday. The classes were mostly at her business on South Wadsworth in Denver, Colorado. But we also gathered for a couple of excursions.

As I grew in understanding an alternative way of looking at life, my husband, Pablo, was sinking deeper and deeper into despair, which resulted in his suicide. Kim and my fellow students came to my home eight days later, and we cleared the energy together.

Perhaps I thought that would solve everything. So, I put it all behind me and sought a replacement relationship. Yes, I really did.

Please avoid my mistakes

My life before I turned 60 was filled with pleasing others and looking for someone to complete my life. At the time of Pablo’s suicide nine years ago, I had no idea how to grieve because I didn’t know who I was. It took almost nine years and the deaths of three more loved ones for me to start to discover answers.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Rule 1 – It’s important to make time to grieve.

What does it mean to make time to grieve? When I finally allowed the emotions of grief to emerge fully, I took time after starting my day to revisit the feelings I had immediately after my losses. Before this, I was afraid to delve deep. It helped when I prayed for the strength to let go of control and the courage to start the process.

Each time, my deep crying was short-lived, perhaps a minute. But the relief and calmness afterward have never left me.

Since I was alone, there was no choice but to go through this alone. You may find that too scary. If you choose to have someone with you, let them know you want them there for moral support but to keep their distance unless you motion them to come to you. Alternatively, you may seek a therapist who specializes in grief or a grief coach.

Follow the path that feels right for you.

Rule 2 – Grief is a normal reaction to loss

Your friends might not know how to comfort you. This is also very common. If you want to be completely alone, that’s okay. If you have someone to run interference, that is ideal; a pastor or best friend comes to mind.

Final Thoughts

Give yourself time to work through all your feelings. But also permit yourself to find joy in beautiful memories, the kiss of a loving pet, or random acts of kindness that come your way. It’s okay to allow unexpected moments of joy to embrace you.