If you know me or have come to know me through my blog, you realize how much I love life. You know I am an upbeat and optimistic person, willing to take the best from any situation and dispense with the rest. However, I am not oblivious to or insulated from the painful experiences of life. In fact, it is because of the pain I have experienced that I am who I am today.
Over the past few weeks, many of my friends have experienced some very painful moments–the loss of dear friends, the passing of a beloved family member, news of a loved one’s illness, and diagnosis of a catastrophic illness. Life can hurt and it can hurt deeply.
Not only can pain hurt deeply, it is also a great teacher. It has taught me that I am more resilient than I ever believed. It has shown me the necessity of sharing how you feel with loved ones when you have the opportunity. It has made me realize the importance of building true and meaningful friendships. It has given me clarity around what is of greatest importance in my life. It has opened my eyes to the value of all people, not just those we think are good, or right, or popular. It has humbled me, it has opened my heart, and it has deepened my faith.
I have also learned that we can try to hide from pain, but it’s futile. Inevitably, it does catch up with us. It is far better to acknowledge its presence, step into it, and let it envelop you, like a blanket. Pain is not the enemy; it is our heart’s call for healing. To feel grief, we first must feel love; your grief is a testament to your love, and that’s a good thing.
Regardless if you have lost a loved one, your health, your job, your pet, or experienced another type of loss, the core of your pain is the connection you had and the severing of that connection, in the physical form. Moving through grief is a process of many steps. As you move through the process, hold the positive feelings and memories close. Remember the loving advice, the laughs, the unbridled affection, and the strength of a parent. Remember the grace and reliability of your body over the years. Remember the companionship of a beloved pet. Remember the joy of doing a job you loved. Remember the touch of your child’s hand as it reached into your heart. Remember the genuine kindness of your friend. These are the true essence of all you loved and lost. Your loss of the physical is real and it hurts, but by remembering the essence of what you loved, you have the ability to keep it forever alive in your heart.
If you are in pain, I hold healing thoughts for you. I know your strength exceeds what you believe at this moment. I know you can find grace and hope again. Lean on your faith and your dearest friends and family for support. One day you will realize the blanket of grief has fallen away and what remains is the never-ending loving memories.
Have a good day, my friend.