Learning to relate to grief has been a big part of my recent past. The loss of close friends and family over the past five years have left me struggling to find ways to resolve my feelings. (There is also the issue of understanding what is grief and what is depression but I will leave that question for another post.)
I am pleased that recently some of the confusion around my grief has lifted somewhat. For quite a while I believed I was grieving for the past; for the hurt created by the losses that left big holes in my heart. But suddenly I realised that I am also grieving for things that I expected to happen; for the conversations that we were still to have, the fun times ahead and the love we would share. I could picture myself teaching Connor how to fish, sharing my 80th birthday with Sue, my friend of 77 years and having my friend and mentor, Tony, around to guide me though times like this.
So really I’m grieving for what will never happen? How can that be? Is my mind is tricking me?
So what’s the solution? The answer is to let go, not of the memories, but of the hopes and dreams that I continue to carry in my head and in my heart. As well as the silent belief that this sadness will only pass once I have filled the void, I have created an imagined future built on wishful thinking; a jigsaw of hopes and expectations.
So now what? As I progress on this internal journey I am fortunate to discover new insights into how things can be. For today it is about being okay with the way things are, being at peace with letting be and so creating the space to live in the now.
It is not easy to let go of my hopes and dreams about the future but it is the choice I will try to sustain. Right now – in this moment – I will choose happiness.