I had some ideas about what I’d be addressing for this blog post, but when I looked at my calendar, I saw that it’s been four years since my mother died. We had a complicated relationship. Yet, in the last year of her life as her health declined, we found common ground with a deep and enduring love. A time I will always treasure. Most people don’t get that opportunity. Understanding that death is inevitable, her dying days were filled with peace and love.
In the ensuing years I have come to appreciate the many things I learned from her. Good manners matter. Respect privacy, one’s own and others’ need for discretion. Appreciating those who share kindness in the world. A love of tennis and figure skating. A love of salads. And an understating that we do not really know what others are going through, so perhaps we can give them the benefit of the doubt.
In the song from Mack & Mable, time heals everything. I am grateful for all I learned in that relationship, and how it translates time and again in my life. Sadly, this week I found out a friend younger than me died. He was such a giving and caring man. I am so grateful for his support and care for almost 40 years. I will take those experiences, too, into my future.
As we come to the final weeks of 2021, let’s reflect on the ups and downs of a pandemic year and what lessons can be culled from this time. Who are no longer in our lives? What did we learn from them? In what ways have we let go? How have we changed? How have we endured?
I’m not sure I’m any stronger than before. But I do have a recognition of my strengths that were unacknowledged before the pandemic, and certainly before my mother’s death. What I know now is that this is my life, my journey, no matter what others think. Partly it’s a realization born out of getting older. Partly it’s a gift provided by witnessing my courageous clients and how uniquely each of us finds our way back to ourselves.
Wishing you peace and love as we see the end of this complicated year.
- Make a list of the ways you’ve grown this past year. Acknowledge yourself for that growth.
- Think of those who are no longer in your life, whether by death, other circumstances, or by choice, and make note of how you’re changed because of those relationships.
- Think of what you will let go of before 2022 arrives. Write it down, and then burn the list, rip it up or find your own way of releasing it.