When you lose someone you love, the first thing you feel is denial. The flurry of activity that immediately follows the loss gives you a focus to occupy your mind. You see people you haven’t seen in a while. You hear stories about your loved one that you may not have heard before. You celebrate their life amidst the tears and memories. Then the days turn into weeks and the reality of the loss settles in.
If only they would just walk through your door and sit companionably with you for just a moment . . .
But the weeks pass and the loss goes deeper into your bones. The pain becomes part of you. The sadness grows roots into your heart and lungs and makes it hard to breathe. The ache grows. The tears flow.
Months pass and life takes on a new “normal.” You console yourself with the thought that they are watching over you and can see what is happening. But sometimes, that just isn’t enough.
Years pass and the loss is no longer a daily thought. Moments of guilt can sully the new found peace. Guilt that you have moved past the loss. Guilt that you have gone on to new experiences without them.
So let’s imagine something: What if they did walk through your door? What if they did sit down to talk with you for a moment? What would you say? What would they say? You would tell them how much you love them and how much you miss them.
They would hold your hand and tell you to look into their eyes. And then they would speak from the well of love that they have for you. They would tell you to live without the guilt. They would tell you to speak their name and talk to others about them once in a while. They will be listening and glad that you still see them as part of your life. They would tell you to mix those memories that you share with smiles, not tears.
Give them the gift of living your life for both of you. They won’t forget you and they don’t have to leave you to go on to where they’re going. You don’t have to leave them to go on to where you are going either. Give each other permission to move forward, because not living your life will not bring them back. If you want to make them happy, then find your happiness. Relieve them of the guilt they feel at leaving you. Because just maybe, they are grieving too and you are the only one who can give them permission to be happy once again.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy