Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gone, but never forgotten

Today will mark 11 years since my Mother passed away, so in an odd way I think it is appropriate to post this lesson from 2011 on this date.  It wasn't intentional when I started writing this series but after I identified the top seven lessons from the last year I realized that this one could, and should, be posted on the anniversary of her death.

#4:  Stepping back can give you perspective

Sometimes while we are in the middle of something we cannot see the bigger picture.  While I was so wrapped up in trying to maintain a job that was clearly a bad fit for my skills and personality, I failed to see that I had stayed there too long.  I actually missed the 10th anniversary of my Mom's death because I was so busy with a major project.  I thought about it days later but there was a bit of melancholy when I realized that I did not take even a moment of my day to reflect upon her passing.  When she passed away so suddenly I never imagined hitting the ten year mark of that event.  There, of course, have been ups and downs for me emotionally over the years.  I went from crying all the time with predictable frequency during holidays, watching sappy movies, or seeing friends spend time with their Mothers to crying at the most unpredictable and odd times. 

I don't cry much over her death now.  It is a like a layer of paint on the canvas of my life.  I know it is there and it has influenced who I am to a great degree, but it is less apparent to those who know me.  Sure, I think of her often, but it is either with sweet recollections or sadness that she can't be here at this time.  What this teaches me about perspective is that when we can get away from an event which is life-altering, and with some time, we are less trapped by the emotion of it all and we can then find the beauty in those moments. 


This past year, while pulling out holiday decorations, I pulled out some ornaments that were either a favorite of Mom's or something that she made.  Just holding something that she held, or tracing her name, feels comforting and almost nurturing to me.  I know that many of my friends experienced loss and changes in their lives, so for me this lesson is not only for me.... but for all of them.  We will all be in a different place before long, and taking a step back from the daily frustrations, emotions, and anxieties can give us a glimpse into our future.

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