May 4, 2011

On Letting Go...

"Letting loved ones go".  What a phrase.  It actually sounds like you have any choice in the matter and you do it voluntarily.  HA!  It's more like you have your heart ripped out and shredded, then handed back to you and told to carry on the best you can because laying down and dying is not an option.  Do I sound bitter?????  If I do all I can say is I'm working on it.  I can also testify that the "letting go" part?  You actually do have to do that.  Eventually.  It happens gradually, but not without you noticing.  Finally the guilt for living without them starts to wane, which in turn opens up some space for the guilt you will feel for having the nerve to continue living without them.  Eventually you start to feel like maybe you made the right choice after all, but usually you qualify even that with the good that came to someone else because you kept on keeping on.   Personally I told myself I had to do it for my kids.  This "sacrifice" made it possible to stand the "guilt".  But that's just the way it worked for me.  I certainly am no expert, at least so far.

Once again, I am publishing a piece I can take no credit for originating.  (After this I promise to get back to acutally putting myself out there).  It was sent to me as an email after my mother passed, and it gave me more comfort than I could ever express in words of my own.  Death is a part of life, the price we pay to get in, so to speak, always with us and yet often not discussed.  This helped me to see the bigger picture, and to view what felt like "the complete and total end" as "just one stop on a long journey".  I think this is a lot closer to the truth.  I also believe most people believe in life after death, but at the time that does little to relieve your pain.

This poem is such a beautiful way to picture it.  It brought me peace and I hope if you need it now or if you ever do, you can remember where to find it.  Whatever your beliefs, I hope they include your lost one's loved ones joyously receiving and welcoming them because I am positive that is exactly what happens.  No, I have science(!) to back this up either.  If you haven't figured it out yet, life for me is largely a matter of faith.  And for that I thank God at least one time each day.  I wish you peace and strength in your dark times, whenever they may happen.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
”Gone where?”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: ‘Here she comes!”
And that is dying.

Vintage Iverna Yacht at Full Sail, 1895 Fine Art Print