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.

Survival Kit

To get through the ups and downs of your journey through this life you need a survival kit. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” This is sound advice for keeping you mindful, but I would like to add these components: Be open to the beauty and grace of nature that is always surrounding you; it’s there even in a busy city. Don’t forget to pack that crazy sense of humor with lots of laughter, and remember to put in a note to never take yourself or life in general too seriously. What about worry? Please leave that thing behind, it just mucks up everything.

It’s always good to remember that you need good listening skills on this journey. It’s just so amazing what you can learn when you close your mouth and open your mind and ears to what other people are saying. Who knows, you just might learn something. Also don’t forget about letting yourself feel great joy and simple happiness; they are both essential ingredients for the long road ahead.

And as you start to wrap up this kit, did you place a note in there with a bit of wisdom as a reminder to always believe in yourself even when others don’t? Do include that you are here for a purpose, and as you’re trying to find what the heck this purpose is all about, know it will always have something to do with showing kindness and love toward every living being.

The truth of the matter is that the road will sometimes be as smooth as glass, but other times extremely bumpy. But take heart, tomorrow will always be better.

Check Your Thinking

Have you ever noticed that when you are super stressed out you eventually start to feel sick? That’s because worry, anxiety, expectations, being a perfectionist, depression, fear–just all kinds of negative emotions can make you physically and mentally sick.

Your mind can do all kinds of terrific things, but it can also sabotage you from time to time. That’s why you need to check your thinking daily to make sure it isn’t scheming with ego to ruin your health. The mind and body are in a relationship and when it’s on the rocks, Some kind of counseling might be needed.

When the mind won’t turn off all the negative chatter and you feel drained, it’s time to take action. Try taking a walk, or if you’re in good shape, then some real physical exercise. Swimming is a good way to de-stress and pretty easy on the body. And like I always say, becoming one with nature is very peaceful. Take the focus off of you and put it on something positive. Soon you will notice the mind will shut up.

Get real with yourself and realize that you only have so much time on this earth, and that time is ticking away. Don’t let an out of control negative mind make you sick. Who knows, maybe life threatening illnesses are caused by how we think. Wouldn’t that be something if we could stop them from happening with how we think?

You are in control of what is going on in your life. So check your thinking just like you should check the engine light in your car when it’s annoying you. The goal here is to make sure that all systems are a go so you can have a long, healthy, and happy life.

And… if all else fails, just laugh. It will always be the best medicine.

Laughter

Have you ever really listened to the laughter of others? I was working at my computer the other night and my neighbors were sitting on their deck visiting with friends. I could hear them laughing really enjoying being together. I stopped working and thought, “what an inviting sound that laughter was.” There’s just something so warm and sweet in the sound of laughter, and then I wondered why we don’t do it more often.

It seems like we get caught up in the battle of life–always wanting to win. But battles are such mindless and stupid little things and they don’t contain laughter and certainly no one really wins. Maybe laughter is what life is all about because it’s so light and infectious and certainly brings joy, and knocks the socks out of pain.

The best laughter of course, is that of children. When their giggles get out of control and turn into full-blown crazy laughter–now that’s pure music, isn’t it? You hear that kind of laughter and think how wonderful to be so free.

Once in a while all of us should give ourselves a break and not be so uptight and hard on our souls. We should throw caution to the wind and learn to laugh at ourselves and all the ups and downs our life holds. The benefits of such naughty behavior would be endless indeed. Maybe the way to have more laughter is to choose our battles more wisely, or not have them at all.

When was the last time you really had a good belly laugh? Go ahead, don’t wait, for it might end up being too late.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
~ Victor Hugo

Fun

Are you having any fun in your life? I bet not as much as you should. Living can be serious business and because of that, fun has a way of eluding us. When that happens, we can become depressed and life becomes a chore. We lose our perspective on how we should be living and end up just going through the motions of living.

Fun doesn’t have to be something that is saved for the weekends, or once a year vacations. Fun should be something that you experience every day, even the days you go to work, or school. Fun is something you incorporate into your daily living, not something that you save up for. It’s a mindset and therefore, is found in practicing mindfulness.

If you take your life too serious you won’t have fun. Learn to lighten up a bit. Find the silly and fun in the most mundane projects. Find the fun in the most impossible situations that you find yourself in. In doing this, your life becomes so much more enriched and your overall health so much better. Laughter is the best medicine and having fun in life produces that.

When you were a child, you didn’t have to look around and try to find the fun, it was just something that happened to you. Try and connect to your inner child and see how easy it will be to have fun.

Remember, when you stop fighting life, life stops fighting you. Come on, get that frown off your face and go have yourself some fun.

“Today  is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. Every day, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
~ Dr. Seuss