The first and last time…I saw you…held you…let you go….

by Rev. Elizabeth O’Carroll

I remember you….standing outside the turnstiles at the airport, with your hands in your pockets and a look on your face that I could not read…I cried whilst forcing a smile upon my face….me leaving…you going….a push pull energy that never had a chance to synchronize. I let you go…and you let me leave….

And there they are in a box, bin or drawer full of memories…reminding you of where you have been, who you loved with, laughed with and cried over….Every year I go through yet another carefully stored container of pictures, letters, cards and trinkets that remind me of the souls who have decorated the chapters of my life and are no longer in my life. The beat of life goes on…bereavement comes through at any time in many ways…and without an announcement, years down the road.

Bereavement is a loss…not always a death of a loved one…it is not selective. This loss can be a career, friendship, prized possession, pet, lost time, relationship or anything you have felt an attachment to.

So why then are some losses easier to let go of, process and make sense of than others? Possibly, part of the key lay in the nature of the loss. Materialistic losses or financial losses can be rebuilt for the most part. The human factor founded in a relationship of one person to another is much more a profound loss than materialistic….people are irreplaceable. If the loved one has left the earth to reside on a heavenly realm…the void is a bottomless pit that is never satiated, it seems. However, if the person is on a separate journey on the earth plane…it would appear to be a mendable wound….if we got out of our own way and found the lesson, the forgiveness the heart of love that conquers all.

My daughter stopped speaking to me at the age of 18 years old. I had entered into a relationship with another woman and her friends had a few assorted names and opinions of me. My daughter chose her friends to save face of an embarrassment to herself of my choices. She has not spoken to me since….she will be 32 years old this year. I cried the first nine years, until I realized that just because I brought her into this world, did not mean she owed me anything. This estranged relationship has been the biggest lesson in letting go that I have ever known. I stopped torturing myself when I would see other young girls around the age of my daughter and wonder, “oh, is that what 22 year olds talk about?” Or wondering if she is okay or what her latest stories of life would be. Every Mother’s day and her birthday were days that if I were prone to sipping alcohol ….I would drink a case of wine to get through the day. No, I started choosing to send her love and light and I know that if I never see her again during this earth life….I will hold her in my spiritual arms in the next dimension.

So, there they are….pictures of you and me in happier times…your drawings, cards, letters….I have let a lot of them go. Some treasures I cannot let go of….each time I will let a little more go as my bereavement finds closure….but not today. Today I will hold that picture of you and I and send you love and be grateful for the time we did have together…that is what I know, that is all I have of.. you.

Memories and letting go…with love….