You know my posts often reflect precious happenings, however within the past fourteen days five people in my friendship circle, dear to me, have passed away. Ken and I will be attending two different celebrations of life this week; up front and personal reminders of this unavoidable, natural transition in life. In our Loss Support Group we never talk about getting "over" the passing of a loved one, we work on learning how to live with it as we acknowledge the comfort talking about our cherished one brings us.
Social media allows a place for this. My grief stricken friends are posting photos, memories, and heartfelt thoughts about their loved ones. These postings invite us to share their feelings. As I look at the pictures and read the poems, I am humbled by their willingness to allow us inside. I admire their courage as they draw us into their private agony. As I witness this process, I understand that they are reframing their pain into joyful memories of love.
Neuroscience teaches that we can "train our brains," that we can grow new neurons, that it really is possible to learn new ways of being. For those of us haunted by grief and anxiety, we can learn to become more fully mindful by striving to control our thoughts. Right now I am a part of the support of those left behind who are choosing to think of their loved one with joy and gratitude for the life they shared with them. They are purposefully choosing to reframe the loss into an opportunity to celebrate the love and times they shared. This positive thinking functions to "calm" the mind. When grief comes,it is essential to take the best care of ourselves as possible.
As I grieve with those left behind, I think of this poem one of them posted,
"If the people we love are stolen from us
The way to have them live on
Is to never stop loving them--
But real love is forever."
Death cannot be avoided, but when we stay mindful and
see that through the pain we can more than ever appreciate all of God's gifts. We can rejoice in the magnificence of a full moon, a magenta sunset, a surprise splash of colorful flowers along amountain trail, the peals of joy in a baby's laughter, or the gentle purr of a beloved kitty.
Life requires us to be courageous. I believe It is in us to meet the challenge. I see that my friends are doing just that.