Moving forward is something I sometimes have an internal struggle with. Maybe it is because I do not want to forget those I have lost. Or, maybe it is because I have become so accustomed to feeling a certain way… A certain amount of sadness… that I don’t quickly welcome change. My thought can sometimes be that, IF I move forward THEN I might forget. Deep down, I know this is not true; however, the fear exists that it could happen… I will FORGET them… What if I forget to remember them? What if I forget to honor their life? What if I forget that they lived?
For several years, I have had so much pain associated with loss that I have had a hard time allowing myself to be completely comfortable in the happiness I continue to find in my life. At times, I begin to question myself and wonder that, if there is less pain constantly reminding me of their departure, then does it mean I don’t miss them, or that I don’t wish they were still here, or even that I don’t love them as much as I used to? There is some small part of me that is so used to hurting and feeling pain that when it disappears, I am scared and I don’t feel quite like myself. I believe this is because, ONE: Change can be difficult. AND TWO: I don’t want to forget those wonderful people that played such an important role in helping me become who I am today. Selfishly, I don’t want to forget what I had to go through to appreciate the enormous amount of happiness I have in my life. In these moments I have to tell myself: “Elizabeth! You are being ridiculous! AND, you are not forgetting… Instead you are LIVING… You are LIVING the life you want; the life you should have!”
Moving forward and even letting go of the pain associated with loss does not mean we are forgetting. Those we have lost would not want us spending the little time we have on this earth sad, worried or troubled. They want us to be happy; they want us to learn; they want us to experience life to the fullest. It is OK to move forward and to allow life to happen the way you always wanted it to… even without them. Yes, it is going to be different because they are not physically here. BUT, I believe they are here sharing moments with us, whether we see them or not. And, we deserve to feel the happiness we would if they were standing next to us in those moments we feel we need them most.
We are going to have circumstances that will encourage us to reflect; something will happen that will leave us wishing we could share that time with the ones we have lost. Who am I going to call for advice about this issue? Who is going to laugh with me when I watch our favorite show? Who is going to walk me down the aisle? Who am I going to vent to? My children will never get to meet their grandmother, or grandfather, or maybe both. Whatever it is that you may be reflecting on… if you find that you are not allowing yourself to be completely happy in the moments where you know you want to be, consciously make an effort to be happy and joyous; to feel the love that surrounds you with the most intensity you possibly can. Honor the fact that those you have lost won’t physically be there to share in your excitement, but know that THIS IS THE ONLY LIFE WE GET. Focusing on the things we do not have, rather than accepting the love and excitement that is present, will cultivate continued pain and sadness. It’s OK if your sadness is replaced by happiness. In fact, I ENCOURAGE it! Who am I?! I am someone that is experiencing it too! I am here to tell you, even though you might be afraid that you could… YOU WON’T FORGET THEM. They won’t let you! So, enjoy these moments! Yes, even the frustrating ones. Know that you are so deeply loved by those seen as well as those who are among the unseen.