I took them both for granted…

And now they’re gone. 

Our elder counsels a letter writer who wants to turn her grief into something good.

Dear EWC

Hi Elder Wisdom Circle. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I don’t even really know what kinds of advice I’m seeking. Last year, I lost my grandmother to illness and one of my best friends to postpartum suicide within two months. They were pillars in my life and my biggest supporters. And I took them both for granted. Now it’s too late to tell them how much I love them and how much I value their wisdom. It’s been almost a year, and I’m doing much better with grief, but it still hurts. How do I turn this loss into something good?

Ms.Mary replies

I’m so sorry for your loss. The death of two beloved ones over such a short period is incredibly heartbreaking and difficult to cope with. There is nothing harder than dealing with the death of those we love. It’s encouraging that you are beginning to do better.

You ask an excellent question: How do you turn this loss into something good? That question in itself is a very positive step. You are wise to understand that it is quite possible and necessary. It requires looking at their deaths and lives differently. 

Trust that they both knew and still know how much you loved them and valued their wisdom. They didn’t need to hear those words. They could feel that – and still do. They loved you. The last thing they would want is for you to be hard on yourself and to have regrets. Wouldn’t you want the same thing if the situation was reversed? You’d feel awful if you died first, and they felt terrible because they didn’t tell you how much they loved you.

Every one of us will die. Who is to say that we aren’t still connected to our loved ones on an energetic level?  Even though my parents and younger sister have passed, I still talk to them in my mind. I imagine them being with me and experiencing feelings of intense love. I ponder what I’d say to them if they suddenly appeared, but then I realize there are no words – that feeling of love is so powerful – words aren’t necessary. I also focus on the good memories – keeping them alive in my heart. They are still a part of me and always will be.

I recommend you do the same. You might write each letter expressing your love and favorite memories. My brother-in-law asked me to talk about my sister at her Zoom memorial. At first, I said no, that I couldn’t – that it was too painful. However, I changed my mind. Every time I wrote about her for the memorial, I sobbed, but that was quite cathartic. So many of the memories made me smile. In the long run, it helped me to move forward positively. It provided closure – yet helped me realize we will always be connected.

Your desire to turn your losses into something good makes all the difference. That’s the most important step, and you are already headed in the right direction. I hope my advice is helpful. I’m here for you if you’d like to talk further. I’m sending lots of good thoughts your way, dear. I’ll close with two quotes:

“Death ends a life, not a relationship” – Mitch Albom 

“As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them” – Proverb

Article #: 496036
Category: Other

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