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September 1, 2016

Death can’t have your love..

Oh yes, I wanted my pain to end quickly. Oh yes, I would have done anything to stop the hurt and make my suffering go away after my daughter died. I thought, “Give me the magic spell, the book, the hammer, the video or anything else to make my pain end and I will take it.”
Grief grabbed me and beat me; pounded me into submission and hurled me down the well of despair. In the weeks, months and for several years after my daughter died, never once did I feel that my grief was teaching me anything but how much it hurt to lose her. My pain was from something bad and my life was in turmoil.
Yet somewhere deep inside, I believed life could get better and that I didn’t have to live with such deep grief forever. My daughter's death paralyzed me in many ways so that belief didn’t bubble to the surface and turn into action for a long time.
I began to fight back against my deep grief and deep suffering. I knew others had traveled my path and if they were one day ahead of me, then they knew something I didn’t.
It won’t be the first time you’ve heard this, and maybe it still doesn’t make any sense, but maybe this will be the time it will take hold and start to teach you ways to make some of your grief easier. Hopefully, it will help you know that death did not take all,
Here it is..... The pain is from the love. We hurt so much because we love so much. The paradox of grief is that something that feels so bad, the death of your child, is because of something that feels so good, the love for your child. Odd isn’t it? Our grief and deep sadness teach us how much we love and where that love comes from.
The reason we know sad is because we’ve known happy. There would be no sadness if happiness didn’t exist. Because we’ve known such happiness and love with our children, that when they died, it gave birth to our profound and overwhelming sadness. But our happiness didn’t die, it was smothered by our sadness and is still there, waiting to return.
The challenge is to find ways to transition from the sadness in our grief, to the happiness from the life of our child. That’s where grief work comes into play. Early in our journey, the goal is for our grief to go away. But if I were to ask you, “If giving up one moment of your grief means giving up one moment of your love, would you do that?” I doubt you would. The grief we can live with..... the love we can’t live without. So we learn to live with grief, find ways to soften it and learn what it teaches about our love.
Your life will never be the same. I’m sure you already know that. The death of your child is too life changing an experience to ever be able to go back to where, or who, you once were. The relationship with your child has changed, but it didn’t die. Our greatest suffering comes from the loss of the physical. We hurt so much because we can’t hold them, hear them or even smell them. We long for one more hug, one more conversation and one more tomorrow. We fight that need for a long time because we want it back the way it was. If we can’t let go of the physical part of our relationship, then we’re in danger of seeing our child as a child who died and is gone forever, and not a child who lived, and will always live, if we let them. Letting go of their physical death is a tough bridge to cross, though.
If we’re able to embrace what we have and will always have, which is the spiritual and emotional life of our child, then we can transition from sadness back to happiness.
Here’s how we can do that.....
Bring back a good memory of your child. Now I ask you, “Is that a memory of a living child?” Of course, it’s a memory of a living, loving child. That’s yours forever and ever and ever. Death can’t have that memory. Yes, you may be sad and cry when you bring that memory back. And that’s fine; express that sadness. In time, if you do your work, the two emotions of sadness and happiness can change places. When you bring back that same memory, you can smile and say, “Wow, what a terrific child I’ve got…....not had. I am blessed.”
When you put your head on your pillow tonight, think of your child. Not a specific memory, but that feeling you get when you think of them. For me, when I think of my daughter, I get goosebumps. My angel tingles me. The joy of the life of that girl surges through me like lightning. If that’s what you feel, then you know that death did not take their life force and can never take it, if you don’t let it.
Yes, love hurts. But would you have it any other way? Not me, because without the hurt I wouldn’t know the joy. And love does not die either. There is never a reason to add a “d” to the word love. There is no past tense to love. It was, it is, and it will always be. A love born can never die.
Death can’t have your love.....and.....
Death can’t have your child if you don’t let it......

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