If you have lost someone and your body and soul is hurting with grief, let me gently take your hand, sit you down on my comfy leather couch, pass a warm mug of hot chocolate, and together we will get through the pain.
This blog is about the beauty of life. The world through my eyes and helping everyone to find the beauty too.
Grief, loss, pain, suffering, guilt, sadness…they are negative emotions.
We are being conditioned in society to reject anything negative. We have photoshop to take away stress lines and signs of ageing. It’s all about positivity and highlights right!
The problem is, if we push these imperfections and negative emotions/experiences aside…if we reject them, we do not see the true beauty of life.
Do you remember the 1997 film “Life is Beautiful”? (Synopsis: Comedy · When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. Credit: IMDB.com)
This movie embraces the hard elements of life within a nazi camp during WWII. It is not afraid to portray the ugliness of war, inhumanity and horror. But shows how one man can turn this into something funny and less distressing for his son. It is a stunning movie and taught me a lesson.
Life can get ugly. People can be brutal. From one day to the next we have good experiences anbad experiences, but we should not discount one from the other. BOTH are necessary for our growth.
Don’t get me wrong. My earnest wish is that we as humans, can figure out how to all get along, to embrace love and forgiveness. To be quick to serve and uplift, and slow to anger and judge. I want a world where no one feels inadequate or unloved. A world where no child has to lose a parent. No parent needs to weep for losing a child. I would love there to be no suffering. Especially for children.
Yet, at the same time, I see the importance of these experiences. We can not fully appreciate love until we feel loss.
We can not truly know joy without feeling sorrow. We can not feel the relief and gratitude that comes from forgiveness if we never feel the guilt and shame from doing something wrong.
Negative emotions and experiences are part of the masterpiece that we call Life.
Life IS Beautiful, but only when we embrace the good, the bad and the ugly.
So, the first step to healing from losing a loved one: it’s to recognise and fully feel the emotions that wash over you. And if you have “bad” emotions, (anger, guilt, regret, fear etc) don’t beat yourself up or lock them away…they are necessary for a time.
In my dad’s words: “You need to be kind to yourself”.
Today I want to talk about how beautiful life is. Beautiful and sad.
Some of my earliest memories are of my dad holding my hand, squeezing it tight, warming it in cold weather, pulling in on to stop me running across the road, lifting me up to higher ground as we ventured over a rocky beach, clasping my hand as I lay in bed with sickness.
Fast forward twenty years or so and I am the one holding his hand. Protecting, comforting, uplifting, loving. For twenty minutes, my dad’s lungs went stiff and he could feel the air reach the back of his throat and then push out through his nose – as if there was an invisible wall blocking his lungs. He panted, his face reddened and beads of sweat poured down his forehead. I held his hand firmly and calmly. I talked soothingly to him and told him he was doing a great job, to remain calm and that everything was going to be alright. He was on oxygen so his body was somehow getting it in, yet the sensation of breathing had gone for a whole twenty minutes. It was a distressing scene to witness in many ways, and it was at that moment I realised the kindest thing to do was to let him go. With a tear in my eye I held his hands with both of mine, clasping it tightly as he had done to me before. And I told him. “Don’t worry about Mum. I’m going to look after her.”
The event had passed and his lungs relaxed enough to catch some shallow breaths. A weak smile of relief flashed across his face as he turned to me and said, “Oh Laura, thank you. Thank you for saving the love of my life. Thank you.”
I have my dad’s hands. Growing up I would hate my hands. They looked manly and big. Now I look down and I am flooded with peace and comfort. Sometimes I hold my hands together and imagine it’s my dad holding my hand telling me that everything is going to be ok.
I am now so very grateful that I have inherited my dad’s hands.
And this morning, as I walked my sons to school the sun shone down and rested on my hand holding my son’s hand. I was filled with peace and a whisper “This is your time,” I am the parent. I get to hold my sons’ hands and offer them all the love and encouragement that my dad gave to me – and more.
And then, someday, if Heavenly Father permits, my child will hold mine before I cross over to meet my father again.
Life. Is. Beautiful.