When dealing with profound sorrow, we notice anniversaries of the day they left our lives. It’s not something we easily ignore. Nor should we. This week I marked the first anniversary of my husband Wayne’s death.
This is Not Easy
Every event in our lives has the potential to help us understand ourselves better. I’m taking small steps forward in my grief, gently buoyed by the stream of my tears. Today’s step is a review of what I’ve learned in the last year.
The biggest lesson I learned was the importance of listening to my intuition.
I believe intuition is how God answers you when you pray. We pray for help. We pray for change. We pray for courage. But sometimes, when we pray, we ask questions. We understand that the end of life is inevitable for all of us, but we still ask why.
Although I believe that our time on Earth is predetermined, our choices can affect the number of times we stumble and fall along the way.
Forks in the Road
How do we move forward when approaching a fork in the road? Do we go right, left, or blaze a new trail through the woods? Those are our choices to make.
When dealing with profound sorrow, it might be time to sit at that fork in the road for a while. Then, even turn around and lovingly look behind us at other life choices, choosing to soothe ourselves by wrapping our arms in a self-hug when we believe we took the wrong path.
But was it the wrong path? Or was it simply one of two choices that return to the same place you are today? There were times when if I had listened to my intuition, the path would have been smoother.
There’s another thing I’ve learned about grief. It doesn’t follow a prescribed trajectory. It doesn’t have the same peaks and low spots as the last life sorrow. It can be so different for each person and each experience. It seems the reason is self-evident since every experience changes you.
I have finally learned there is wisdom in looking back and examining your choices, not by self-deprecating, but in understanding yourself better. How can we change if we do not question our lives?
So I invite you to look back on a defining sorrow in your life
How do you do that? You take out some paper and a pencil or a pen and start writing about it. Here’s a question to help you get started.
What did I feel when I first heard the news of their passing?
Write about this as long as you want; cry, scream, punch some pillows. Get it out onto the paper, and let it go.
Remember that the soul of your loved one is free. They are not unhappy because emotions are something that we feel in our bodies, and they no longer have a body. But I believe their love and care for you is never-ending.
Thank them for their love.
Feel that love.
Take it One Step Further
And then remember something they loved to do. Choose a happy moment that you remember. Perhaps they loved to hold their dog, take a nap, or walk in the woods and marvel at the wonders of nature.
I was thinking about when Wayne and I were in La Garita, Colorado. Wayne had permission to fish in a pond stocked with trout. He came home with a beautiful catch and asked for a photo before I made trout almandine. Then, he extended his arms to make the fish appear even more prominent. I laughed then and again now at the memory. It was so Wayne.
Returning to the here and now, I raised my coffee mug and said, “This one is for what you taught me. This one is for you, Wayne. I love you. Thank you for being in my life.”
When I finished my toast, I saw a cute little snowbird looking down at me from the gutter outside the window. And I thought that was a sign that Wayne was laughing too. Why? For native Floridians like Wayne and me, winter visitors from the North are called Snowbirds. But, unfortunately, they were not Wayne’s favorite Florida reality.
I hope this article gave you solace and eased your experience dealing with profound sorrow.
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With love and compassion,