Daily Prompt: Unexpected/Loss
We often think that to lose smoothing means the end. To me this is a limited view. The beauty of loss is that it also marks an incredible new beginning. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of the loss this is a difficult view. Nevertheless, it is true.
When my grandmother passed away some years ago I made the active choice, in the midst of my sorrow, not to wallow in feelings of loss. To me this was not productive. Of course I needed to mourn, but to take it beyond a healthy release of stress and emotion didn’t seem to me to be the best way to honour what she meant to me.
My grandmother was a go-getter. After leaving my grandfather following 27 years of emotional and psychological abuse, she somehow had the strength to make something of her life. The scars of her experience with him never left, but she made the most of her loss of faith in relationships and people and did what she needed to do to make her life her own again.
After she died I decided to honour her memory and strength of spirit by making the most of a sad situation. I wanted to turn my loss into an expression of new life, and I did this by honouring my need to heal.
Not that I thought of it in those terms at the time. I simply made up my mind that her death would not be in vain and that the best way to do that was to pick up the broken pieces of my life and start again.
In essence, granny’s death marked the birth of my long journey to self-awareness.
So, what did I do?
Well, we had a shared love of horses, so I knew she would have loved this. I quit corporate life to pursue a dream of working with these beautiful animals. I was in my early 30s at the time, unhappily married and barren. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to start making sense of things; needed to see a few of my dreams come true.
Working with horses (please see my Freshly Pressed post Confessions of a Coaching Intern: Finding Clarity with a Pitch Fork and a Song) put me through a refiner’s fire. I leaned on my promise of making good of my loss and honouring my grandmother to get me through some really tough moments. In the process, I began to explore my suppressed creativity, which eventually lead me to working with people who could help heal a lifetime of pain.
The loss of my lovely gran had paved the way for me to learn how to live authentically, and I have always believed in my heart that she would have been proud of my choice to do so. No matter how difficult our relationship had been, I knew she wanted me to be happy.
And now, when I look at my life and how much more grounded and happy it is; when I see how far I have come since that sad summer of 1994, there’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t think of granny and the positive life-altering experience that came of my sad loss.
How we handle loss is, of course, a personal thing. I have chosen to adopt the attitude that every cloud has a silver lining. That to honour the person or anything else that is lost by honouring the life and blessings I still have is a greater tribute to what is gone than to sacrifice my happiness on the alter of bitterness and self-pity. Granny would not have wanted that for me. Up there in the heavens she has the pleasure of knowing that I have made good. It is also her blessing to observe how happy I am in my life now compared to the miserable woman I was at the time of her death.
The beauty of loss is that with every ending there is a new beginning. I believe those we have lost who truly loved us would want us to live our lives fully and joyfully.
It doesn’t mean the journey will be an easy one, but at least we’ll be heading in a positive direction.
To me, life is too short to look at it any other way.
Thanks for visiting …
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013
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