Wednesday, April 14, 2010


One of the most curious things that occurs after the loss of a loved one is the reluctance to move forward in life.  With each passing day, it seems sometimes that we are leaving that person in the past, failing to carry them forward with us in our lives.  This may even produce a sense of guilt.

Somehow, getting back to the normal routine seems to say on some level that the loved one wasn't really all that important.  Otherwise, why would we "get back to normal?"  However, it is important to note that you really do not get back to "normal" at all.  You adapt.  Life will not be the same without the presence of the deceased.  There is a void in our lives that will never quite heal.  Sometimes it feels as though we won't ever laugh again.  That our smiles are only half-hearted.  That the spring in our step may never return.  And that there is little to look forward to in the future.

But the fact is that these are all mistaken notions.  We will all laugh once again and just as heartily as we have before.  Our smiles will be as broad as ever as things settle into perspective.  We will feel a sense of happiness and joy in life that will quicken our steps as we march through life.  Before we know it, we will be wondering when the next holiday will be upon us.  It is called living life and we are meant to do so, even though we may indescribably sad at various times in our lives.

Just because we engage in life once again does not mean that the loved one is being left in the past.  They are with us in those belly laughs.  They enjoy our wide smiles as we find happiness in our journey.  They will walk with us in our memories and our hearts as our lives continue moving onward.  They will know our anticipation of the next holiday looming ahead in our lives. 

You see, they are a part of us.  They are with us daily even though we may not consciously be thinking of them at every waking moment.  They move and breathe with us and we can count on them to share our lives in special ways.  We may not be able to say hello to them any longer or give them a call on the phone to see how they are.  Those days are over.  But what now lay ahead is a new form of communication based on their active presence in our very spirits.  We may find ourselves smiling from time to time as we remember an incident from the past that reminds us of what we are now doing.  We may feel their approval at certain decisions we make along the way.  This is a new form of communication that we will come to look forward to every bit as much as that phone call that we once so looked forward to.

Our sadness will subside and we will become new people in many ways because of our experience of their loss.  That new person we become will be an even greater reflection of the loved one that they were in life because now, after our loss, we have a much greater appreciation of who they were and what they meant to us.  Let us move forward into the future with a sense of hope and joy at the knowledge that we have not left them behind but have incorporated them into our lives and now take them wherever life may lead us.