Peace. Love. Acceptance. Letting go of earthly expectations.
Wow, I let out a huge exhale typing that. I think one of the hardest parts of grief is it’s so emotionally draining. Emotional weight is also physically draining. I find that if I am left to my own desire, by 6:30 pm, I am ready to call it a day. The day is O.V.E.R.
That’s how it is when I carry grief around. There comes a point in the day where I need to unload that grief, take the weight off of my shoulders and lay it down for the night. It is like a backpack. Some days, it is so full it will hardly zip closed. Some days, it has a little less in it. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I have been carrying it around that day until I take a bath and put my jammies on. Sweet relief! I am slowly coming to some truths for myself. I am an introspective person and in my quiet times, something will pop into my head that just feels like Truth.
Modern culture seems to fear death as if it is something to dread. Why do I accept that animals are born and die when their bodies wear out but it is so hard to accept the death of my loved one? I think because our culture has had such huge advancements in medical technology it is easy think every system in the body can be replaced or repaired to be like new.
I worked for a doctor when I was in my 20’s who told an 85 year old patient who was upset over her gradual hearing loss that, “Our bodies are like cars. They just get a lot of miles on them and wear out.” I remember in the innocence of my young age that I didn’t fully understand what that meant because all my parts were running like butter on a hot biscuit. Now that my biscuit is getting a little stale, I understand that was his attempt at gently telling that woman that she was just getting older and that’s how it is. I read an article once that said that when doctors are patients many say that they do not want to be resuscitated. They know that quality of life is more important that just being kept alive.
It is so easy to think of the word, “dead” like it is a four-letter word. I notice when I refer to my son I say, “He passed away.” It hurts too much to say, “He is dead.” Oh my heart, that even hurt to type it just now.
So My Truth for me is death is the natural order of every living thing. Spring is birth. Summer is vibrancy. Fall is slowing down. Winter is death. I want to exchange the word death into Rebirth. “My son has been reborn.”
The truth is when a baby is born, it is Pure Joy. It is a celebration. I would like to re-frame my own thinking. When my loved ones die, they are actually reborn into another world. I want this to be a cause for Pure Joy. It is so hard to let go of them. If I am going to believe in Heaven my whole life, I have to believe that Heaven is the goal, not The End.
I believe my son is happy. I truly do believe that. I believe that when he left his body to be reborn, he left a heavy backpack on the floor beside his bed. I think he went to bed on earth and when he awoke, he was in Heaven. I don’t believe he was scared. I don’t think he was thinking, “But I had my whole week planned out. I needed to finish some things. I had a bill that needed to get mailed. I needed to go to the bank to make a deposit.” You know, like all of the things I worry about before I leave to go to the beach for a week. I don’t think he was worried about any of that.
I think Heaven is Pure Love. I think the beauty of it would actually hurt my earthly eyes. I remember in elementary school when I learned to use a cardboard shoe box to make an apparatus so that I could view an eclipse of the sun. I remember the teachers telling me that I would go blind if I looked directly at the sun. The Bible tells me of the magnificence of Heaven. I think Jesus is probably too beautiful to look at.
Peace. Love. Acceptance. Trying to let go. I am a work in progress.
Peace and Love.
How have you tried to make peace with a loved one’s passing? Please share in the comments below.
(Photo of Will courtesy of Angela Spencer Photography, Jackson, TN)
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.