Rest, recuperate, rejuvenate … the recipe I was to follow to move forward. But would I be able to slip the clutches of my grief to do so … ?
The internal shift in timescale I’d experienced … the one that pushed Ron’s death into the distant past, even just two days after it happened … had helped immeasurably. But it certainly wasn’t enough.
Ron and I had dreamed for years of this post-work phase of our lives … the freedom to spend our days together, live at the golf course pursuing our passion, build our dream home, soak in the beauty of paradise by the ocean.
This had all come crashing down around me … I had lost not only him, but this amazing future together.
But then I had an epiphany … an insight that left me with an entirely new perspective. One which helped me to move through my grief, not get stuck in it. One that has continued to help me ever since in navigating life’s losses.
The realization that saved my life
The spiritual foundation I had been building included a newly developed understanding that is fundamental to reducing stress and increasing joy.
What I had come to understand and embrace is this …
Life is not random … everything happens for a reason.
Ron’s death happened for a reason, whatever that reason was. It was part of his journey … it was always going to happen. Maybe the way he died, or the exact timing of his death might have altered slightly, but not materially.
Although I had no idea at the time as to why, the inescapable fact was … we were never meant to have more than we did. We each had our own path in life and his diverged from mine at this point … and it was always so.
I didn’t lose our future together, because it was never mine to lose.
A complete change of perspective
I realized that all I was actually entitled to were the twenty-one happy, wonderful years we’d had together. And they had been amazing … to have experienced the deep, unconditional love that Ron had given me. This was a gift too few have the privilege to experience.
As a result, I realized early on that I needed to keep my focus on gratitude for what I’d had … not on feeling sorry for myself for losing a future that had never been mine to lose.
This was a radical change in thinking, and from my background steeped in logic, it was hard to argue its conclusion.
Was it easy to keep this perspective? Are you kidding?? I would regularly fall into pits of despair … but the difference was that when I did, and reminded myself of this truth, I could begin the process to pull myself back out.
And what process is that?
I know everyone says it’s important to sit in your feelings, to fully feel them in order to release them. I don’t know enough to dispute that for anyone else, but it wasn’t something that worked for me. If I could speed the processing of these painful feelings without having to dwell in them … well, I was all for it.
It started with knowing that feelings are created by thoughts. So, when I fell into the despair of grief, my analytical mind would kick in and I would dissect the thoughts behind it ….
“I lost Ron, the love of my life.” Well, no, that wasn’t quite true. I hadn’t actually lost Ron because I knew without a trace of doubt that his energy … the essence of who he is … still exists, just in a different form.
“I lost the future we were going to have.” Again, no, because the existence of this so-called future was just a mirage to begin with.
So, exactly what was it I had I lost? I had lost his physical presence. Yes, absolutely. A deep, profound loss. But … also something I had been fortunate to benefit from for twenty-one years … a true gift.
So, was it a loss … or a gain? Was my glass half-empty … or half-full?
Half-empty was painful. Half-full was a lot easier.
Finding my way forward
I found that this change in perspective … focusing on what was real and setting aside what wasn’t … changed my life.
It showed me the doorway through which I could walk into a new future … a future that was truly mine to have.
I continued to grieve, but more and more easily. I missed Ron terribly and would talk to him, watching for and appreciating the signs that he sent. In fact, I would continue to do this for years to come.
But in the meantime, I moved through the open doorway. I took it easy on myself, continued to deepen my spiritual education, and set my sights on building an energy healing practice to help others.
I found an excitement about the future starting to build. I loved being here … on the west coast. I had zero desire to return to Calgary, much to the amazement of many people who expected me to flee back “home.” No, this was definitely home.
But, just one question …
I knew Spirit had led us here … and Ron had moved heaven and Earth to make it happen. Through sheer force of will, he packed up a house and drove for sixteen hours while cancer was starting to ravage his body, to get me to the west coast.
I never would have come on my own .. if he had died before we left Calgary, or if I had known he would die so soon after we arrived. So, I had no doubt that I was “meant” to be here.
But why here exactly? Why Fairwinds, I wondered … ?
As I chose to move through the open doorway into my future, I wondered if the answers would reveal themselves in time. (Spoiler alert … yes)
This is the story of how I started down my spiritual journey. My life has taken many twists and turns since … and throughout it all, living with Spirit has become second nature.
This journey continues ….. I invite you to join me in Life With Spirit.
Leah · March 26, 2021 at 8:48 PM
This is beautifully written and so interesting. Such a helpful perspective on grief and gratitude (and life in general). I’m much like you, and do not choose to “sit with my feelings.” I appreciate your logical and analytical approach to life’s big questions.