Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lessons from grief

A good friend recently went through a relocation where she had to downsize and part with various personal items. Although she was glad she did this, and happy to move on to a new phase with a lighter load, she explained to me that she had periods of grief over some of the things that didn't come with her.

I found this an interesting emotion to attach to the process. I'd always thought of grief on a larger scale such as death of a person or pet. But yes, grief can be attached to any kind of loss, even when we are the instrument in deciding upon that loss.

Even though I am enjoying life here, there are periods of time when I am drawn to memories of what we left behind. Pets, friends and even, to a lesser extent but still a real thought, some of the material "stuff" we had. I cannot do anything about the pets we had except send them love and hope they are happy and being taken good care of. Friends, well some still keep in regular contact, some that I thought would, don't, some that I didn't think would, do. But it's all ok. To the friends that I don't hear from anymore, I thank you for the time we had and I wish you love and peace on your path. To the friends that still keep in touch, thank you, you are lights in my life.

Regarding our material stuff, I honestly don't think about it much anymore so I'm surprised when I do get the occasional feeling of "oh, AJ's bed was so comfortable" or "those windchimes we used to have sounded so pretty" or "those wooden toys were so cool". Now when I get those feelings, I take a moment to remember the item, I thank it for the time it was a part of my life and then I just let it go. This has become relatively easy for me to do, and I am helping my children with this too. Sometimes they talk about a friend they used to know, or they see a toy in a shop or catalogue that they used to have. We take time to talk about the friend and wish them well. With the toys, they don't usually dwell on them, but start planning how they can raise some money to buy new ones.

So, interesting lessons from these brief moments of grief that stem from old attachments. We are learning gratitude for things that were and releasing those things to allow new people and things to flow into our lives. Doing this increases our gratitude for the way things are now.

It's all good.

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