Loss is an unfortunate, but almost guaranteed part of life. Most of us see mourning as a process, one with a beginning and ending. But why? I think it is because we want to tell ourselves we will stop feeling sad at a certain point, so we won’t be afraid of the deep abyss that sadness can seem like. It’s comforting to be reminded that happiness will eventually begin again.
However, time does not ensure that we will be able to completely let go of everything a loss has left behind, and it most assuredly cannot rid us of our fond memories. We carry those memories like the items we sometimes forget about in our purse. They not only remain close to us at all times, but they reemerge into our consciousness at the most unexpected times.
Shame manifests into your life out of your own (unconscious) doing. You may set standards about an acceptable amount of mourning you will allow yourself, but sadness won’t just go away just because you think you can put a cap on it. Sadness (especially in relation to a loss) is an emotion created out of love. And love is endless. I am not saying that therefore, sadness is endless. But sadness, like love, is certainly worth confronting it as it comes about. Confronting sadness is acknowledging love, something that should never be ignored. Your moments of remembrance of a person will only shed light on the strength of your love for them. There is no weakness there.
It is only natural to be feel strongly connected to another person, and it is the connections we form with people that allow us to grow into richly diverse people. Relationships are the limbs of our spirit. It makes complete sense to revisit the loss of one. If you lost a hand or foot you would not judge yourself for looking down and missing how that limb once served you. Memories, whether we like it or not, are unavoidable. The more we try to block them out, the more damage it does.
At the risk of being overly-metaphorical; Memories are the sights of our heart, not our eyes, closing them will not make them go away. The more you allow yourself little bouts of heartache, the less it will pain you. In time, memories will become bittersweet, or even welcome reminders of happy memories past.
Take the time to be grateful for every person that has served you in a positive way. Even if the time they spent with you seems too short. Be grateful for the love you gained from knowing them. If you love someone, honor their memory with great appreciation.
Don’t ever allow regrets to cloud your mourning experience, no matter how many you have or how strongly you wish you could go back and change something. Remind yourself to shape your life with better decisions and learn from your past mistakes. Do not dwell on the indelible marks of the past, it will not serve you. Believe in the blessings of your current well-being and use that gift as an opportunity to make better choices. Forgive yourself and move forward. Give the ones you lost infinite opportunities to be proud of the person they helped you become.
Most importantly, love yourself and love others. There are no standards for love, and loving someone (even someone who has passed) is something you can never fail at. The ability to love is a success in itself. Feel free to revisit sadness if you must. Revisit love. Don’t let an opportunity to remember someone be obscured by the idea that you are weak for still missing them. They deserve to be missed don’t they? Remember, you are just practicing love. Let love seep into your life, for each second is a grand opportunity to move towards a new you. The circle of love and life are almost one in the same, never ending and unfailingly beautiful. Ride out every cycle for it is a blessing to be cycling at all.
Lexi Pellegrino is a writer, a klutz and a take-out expert. Lexi thinks the epitome of respect is not talking to someone while they are reading or have their earbuds in. Lexi also thinks her mom is the most amazing peg-legged elf on the planet. Other than that the ultimate comfort does not depend on what mattress you sleep on but on what socks you are wearing. Read more from Lexi on her blog.
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