Yesterday, March 1, was my father’s birthday. If he were alive today he would be 93, instead he died at age 36. I lived a full and connected day yesterday, in honor of him. And, I’m coming to realize, because of him. My personal journey of grief through the losses in my early life led me on a path of healing that has brought me to this moment…right now…with each of you in my heart.
The following is an edited excerpt from my new book, Grieving – the Sacred Art: Hope in the Land of Loss. It includes one of the many stories I present about folks who sought help with their grief. This one is different, though, because it’s part my story. I share it to illustrate love’s healing presence in our lives, even in times of challenge.
Anne’s father died when she was eleven. Her life changed, as a result, but she found happiness and fulfillment in relationships and career. Anne married and raised a family, gratefully using her father’s name for her first son. Years passed, her children grew up and started their own lives. One cold February, the date of March 1st kept returning to her mind. Anne searched her memory but could not remember the significance of March 1st, so she let the date become a part of her prayer. Anne trusted the arrival of this date in her thoughts and waited to learn its importance. One morning, sitting at her desk at work, Anne was flooded with a depth of sadness that was inescapable…and she remembered. March 1st, this very day, was her father’s birthday. She let the tears fall, breathed through the pressure in her chest and remembered the emptiness. At the same time, Anne experienced a kindling of warmth and tenderness as she remembered love. She gave herself permission to receive this moment, even though it was attached to sadness. She did not dwell on forgetting her father’s birthday, but chose to be grateful for this powerful reminder of love. As the waves of feeling passed through her, Anne stayed aware of the sweet love that touched her little girl heart.
For Anne, this unexpected experience was indeed Love’s reminder. She surrendered to it and focused on the gift of that moment. Perhaps the years between the loss and healing helped, a more recent loss has other elements. Certainly grace appeared on that March day, and shows up in our lives as well. But our attitude toward love and grief is a significant piece in our healing and in our surrendering. With Surrender’s help, we come to understand that our capacity to love is a part of who we are. It does not die. It is woven through our story, enhanced or inhibited by our unique nature and, ultimately, it is experienced in the present moment. Our relationships, in life and in memories, have gifted us with experiences of love… as long as we live, love lives on in us.
Friends, thank you for being on this road with me. I am so grateful for your interest and engagement in my Glimmers. I hope you’ll look into the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and explore my ideas about conscious grieving. Your well being matters, so keep taking care of yourself! If you’re near by, send me an email – I’d love to see you at our April 8th Book Launch! In the meantime, “This one’s for you, Dad. Your love is still with me, it shines through the confusion of life and lights the path before me.”
with a grateful heart,