The sweet pain of remembering…

Glimmers March 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

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,


  • Reply Marilyn Faber March 2, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you Lisa for the beautiful message .

    • Reply Lisa Irish March 2, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Marilyn! Thank you so much <3 I know that you know these waters I speak of, I hope you are well and safe in the wind.
      I'd love to see you at the Book Launch, both you and your husband. April 8, 2:30-4 at Mercy Center. Let me know,
      we're serving refreshments and celebrating. Peace to you, Lisa

  • Reply Karen April 24, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Lisa your comment on our capacity to love being a part of who we are and that part does not die — really helps me. Just to know I gave my love (a part of me) to my sisteris is helping my grieving in a measure moving me closer to the point of the acceptance stage.

    • Reply Lisa Irish April 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      hello Karen, thank you for commenting.I’m so glad my words make a connection for you. Yes, the love you have to your sister – and she to you – is still part of who you are. Let it live in the compassion you offer others, in the care of creating a bouquet of flowers…let Love live! And not to try to sell a book, but I encourage you to read my book, Karen. I do not use stages in my explanation of loss and grief. It’s all a fluid process, unique and unpredictable. The thing to remember? Grief is your ally, your companion and guide, as you walk through the many twists and turns in the Land of Loss.

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