Memories of Those Gone By

d52a472fc14592a8d2e8771b687ab2c9Author unknown

It’s very painful when we experience the death of a loved one, and the grieving process is different for everyone. One thing to remember is that there is no time limit in grieving. Those that might say, “It’s time to put this behind you,” or, “It’s been a year now and you should be over it…” etc. SHAME ON THEM! There is NO time limit.

When a loved one dies we go through stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and everything in-between. Every stage is different for each of us, and at some point memories of this person will fill your mind. Remember, memories don’t have to be sad or even make you mad. They can be funny, happy memories that make you laugh and fill you with joy.

My co-worker and I told the children going through the bereavement program that it was okay to laugh, and have funny memories. They looked surprised. But as they talked about their loved ones and told little stories—some sweet and some funny, they seemed to relax and accept that memories can be funny and laughter is always good for the soul.

I love remembering the happy and mostly funny memories of those I have lost. I find it comforting. Sure there were plenty of bad and some very sad times, but I only care to remember the good ones. Sometimes I’m surprised about how many hilarious memories I have. Makes me wonder why I ever thought things were so bad.

Nothing lasts forever and that includes the pain you may be in right now. As long as you can remember, then the memories of your loved ones will never fade. They will bring you comfort on a cold night. They will fill your heart with joy and treasured thoughts, and they will make you laugh as well as cry because of the richness they give your life.

You Can Live Your Best Life

Are you living the best life you can? Some people get so despondent that they choose to end their life even before it really has a chance to get started. Others are miserable every day and just get by feeling the pain of their life minute by minute. And then there are those who just seem to embrace their life no matter what. They are the ones who are happy to be alive. Have they found some sort of secret to living?

Maybe there is a secret to living a happy, stress free, peaceful life. A secret so great that not even our parents knew about it. Well, it’s not really a secret but instead a really simple rule. This rule is so simple that people pass right over it never giving it much thought. It’s simply living in the “Now” of your life. I know, I’ve talked about this lots of times, but it’s just too simple to remember. Living in the past of could’ve or should’ve, or the scary future of what if’s, will drive you crazy and you won’t be enjoying your life of What Is.

I volunteer in a bereavement program and I’m constantly aware of many souls dying. It does make me think about death and life probably more than the average person. One of the things I keep thinking about is the quality of our lives. How important it is to fully live and not be hampered by anger, bitterness, hatred, fear, jealousy, etc. And I’ve said this before: “Life Is Short.” Actually too short for some. You may not be beautiful or handsome on the outside, but what about the inside? You might not be rich or famous or a brainy, or even very talented, but being happy, stress free, and at peace with your life is everyone’s right. And the only one that can keep that from you, is “You.”

Don’t ever let life get you down, let it pick you up instead. After all, it’s all about the decisions you make for yourself. Your life is precious so handle it with the utmost care, and go out and live every second that you have.

“Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes and dance.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Who Would Miss You?

Sometimes I bet you wonder if anyone would care if you were alive or dead. Death can feel like the great escape from all your troubles, but do you really know where you would be escaping to, or if your troubles would just follow along? And even if this escaping place had great weather and was absolutely beautiful, I bet there would still be hassles just like here on Planet Earth–especially if YOU ARE part of the problems. Nope, you can’t escape from yourself that’s for sure.

But, if you did die who would miss you? Oh, you say probably no one? What about your mom or dad and those awesome siblings? Well, maybe they’re long gone, or don’t even care. Did I hear you say that partners don’t count either, and that friends are few and far between? I don’t dare ask about your dog or cat, or even your cute little guppy fish. But I’m sure the checker at the grocery store would miss your warm smile, and your co-workers would miss that infectious laugh of yours. I can tell that you don’t want to count any of these either.

I guess when you add all this up it totals to a big fat zero on who would miss you. If this is what you truly believe then you would be WRONG, my friend. How’s that, you ask? You forgot to add in the one person who would miss you, and that person is YOU! Maybe you don’t know this, but you are the person who really counts. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone in this world because living is not about how many people love you, or how many friends you have. That’s all great stuff and makes living fun, but it’s just the icing on the cake. All this crazy living is about your journey through this life and the places you go, and the things you do.

If you decide that you want to end it all today, you will be missing you and this exciting journey that you are on. Dark days come and go, and maybe today is a very dark day, but stick around, tomorrow will be better. You don’t want to miss your life because you are here for a purpose and you owe it to yourself to find out what that purpose is all about.

Learn to love yourself, and find the joy deep inside because you are worth it. Enjoy the ride of your life, and don’t mind the bumps in the road they just make it all that much more interesting.

Death

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ From a headstone in Ireland

In living our busy crazy lives there is one thing that can bring it to a complete halt and that is the death of a loved one. It is also a time when we begin to think of our own mortality, and how we are living our day-to-day lives.

There is our birth, then our death, but in-between there is this life that we sometimes take for granted. We waste away years struggling for things that may or may not ever come our way. We waste time in worrying, regretting, and hold on to anger and the need to always be right.

In living in-between this birth and death, let’s really promise ourselves to live our lives deeply with passion, purpose and always laughter. This is a great way to honor our loved ones who have died.

Listen closely to the gentle whisper in your ear, “Live well, live strong, and most of all enjoy your life as it rolls along.”

When Your Spirit Meets

One night before bed, I was thinking about my loved ones that had passed on over the years, even the little animals I so cherished. I thought about my own death, and how I would feel and react if I saw my loved ones. I knew that of course, I would be filled with joy, and even sadness having missed them. Regret would be there too for the relationships that hadn’t been good when they were alive. I realized that a lot of the emotions I would feel would be negative because sadness, regret, tears, and maybe even tears of joy are negative emotions. We all know that little devil, ego, has a hand in all things negative.

I have finally figured out that the ego is a part of who we are, and it’s what makes us human. it’s impossible to get rid of it, but it is tamable. That being said, I wondered on this meeting with my loved ones what would happen if I met them with my Spirit instead of my ego? I knew that my Spirit would only feel love, acceptance, and peace. There would be no sadness, no regret, no tears, just this warm light that Spirit shines ever so bright. I could sense how wonderful that would feel. Taking this a bit further, what if we did this with those that are alive? Instead of egos meeting, Spirits would meet.

Meeting any circumstance, or fellow being with your Spirit instead of your ego makes your life flow so much more smoothly. You don’t have to enter a situation ready for a fight. You don’t have to feel bad about the past, or fearful of the future. There is only now and all you have to do is feel love, acceptance and peace, and then let your life glide naturally.

How amazing it would be if we could live our lives this way. How freeing and simple. As life on Earth becomes more hectic and we feel stressful, free and simple sounds pretty good to me.

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your Spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.”

 ~ Erich Fromm