Its never an easy thing to do, everyone says you need to, everyone wants to tell you how to, but errrm, why?
Well in reality, at least in mine, I think its true. The only way you can get on with your life and have a worthwhile existence is to let go of the past and move on. But before I get going, or piss anyone off, let me explain.
No-one said letting go means to forget about things, and act like they never happened. If you think about it we do it over and over in life, without even thinking about it. Its just that some things take a little more effort to let go of. We leave school, change jobs, move away, etc. Every time we let a part of our life escape our grasps. No longer can we make more memories with that thing or person, no more can we interact, but is that the end of the world, or just a chance to continue on a slightly different path.
I guess a couple of factors control how we cope, and how we go about moving on. Firstly, who's decision was it. Did we have control of the situation, or was it just removed from our grasps without us having a say in the matter. The latter always sucks, and is pretty hard to accept. Its human nature to want to be in control. We feel safe like that, and there is accountability and blame easily found when we have control.
The second factor which will determine how we cope is 'what'. What this thing or person meant to us, and how integrated into our lives it has become. For close friends and loved ones this pushes our coping mechanism to its limits. Having lost a few good friends and my mother in the space of about 18 months I have become quite accustomed to my own way of letting go, but for others its not so simple.
Each of us will battle with the breakup of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or anything as intimate as this in our own way. Be it through sadness and grief, or happiness and celebration (sounds weird but bare with me here.), the most important thing is that we DO IT!
For me, when John Littlebury passed away it was a bit of a shock. We had spoken only a week before for the first time in ages, we had spoken about a multitude of things including our long friendship, and that mattered. On hearing he had passed, while I was so far away from home, my first worry was the family. I was miles away, what if they needed me. My first words were 'the stupid sod'.
When I sat down and thought about it all, I wondered why I was not grieving, struck down with emotion, and was I in the wrong for not feeling anything more. But it made sense, we were at peace, and even after he is gone I have a head FULL of such amazing memories of being with John, seeing him settle down, his family grow, and the crazy things we had done over the years. They will never leave me, and whenever I think of John, I think of happiness, and the good times.
Just like a friend at school that I don't see anymore, we shared a period of our lives together, and I will always know I was blessed to have spent time with him.
Since then, as more have passed, including mum, I have followed the same process. Facing the reality of the loss, then reflecting on my memories with that person, then getting on with my life the way I know they would have wanted me to.
I said celebrate earlier, and this is why. For some reason when I go to a funeral, as I see the coffin sitting there, I get the very vivid picture that my friend or loved one is laying there, at peace, in no pain, and this is my chance to say goodbye. I don't know if there is an afterlife, if spirits are real, if we can really affect others with our thoughts and emotions, but if you can, then I want to send out warmth, love and happiness to the person I am letting go. A flood of memories fill my mind, and a warm feeling surges through me, almost like a vault of happy memories has been re-opened, and I can now re-live the memories over and over again. A smile will spread across my face, and I will for a moment feel at one, and at peace with the person. Our last seconds together should be happy, not sad.
For me, as I say it might be easy, or at least seem that way. I know for others the process is far longer and harder. But my message is to remind you that the love shared between to souls was and forever will be a two way thing. As we would never wish sadness on them, they would never want us to be sad, even in the wake of the loss of them. Take a second to think how YOU would want others to feel if you passed tomorrow. I can say without no doubt that I would not want a sad occasion, and would simply want people to have happy and full lives, with or without me.
However you deal with the loss of a loved one, remember that quite bluntly, life goes on. To cope with our day to day lives, to carry on being there for others and being ourselves we need to find a way to let go, but just of their physical existence. They will never leave your side, they will never wish you sadness, and the moments we shared will live on for an eternity.
I hope that some of this makes sense.
Today I let go of another friend. My release of him will be easier than many, but I promise not without sorrow. Farewell Darren Green, may your memories live on forever.
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