I’m willing to bet that something comes immediately to mind when you read this title…mourning. Perhaps it’s an intense feeling of sadness, or a gnawing pain of loss that can’t be recovered.
Likely, it arrived due to the death of someone or something you loved, leaving an emptiness inside you.
I have felt that many times in my life.
There was even a two year stretch where seven important people to me and a beloved dog all died. They were there one day and gone the next. Some of them left this earth quickly, with no warning. Others lingered on before fading out. Either way, it left a great deal of empty space in me.
Today I sensed being stalked by a different kind of mourning. It snuck up on me from behind and gently tapped me on the shoulder. I wasn’t ready for it.
The feelings it generated have been below the surface and out of view.
But one by one they approached me. None of them individually seemed significant, but collectively they dropped me to my knees.
Why, I wondered?
It’s as if they sat waiting for me, hovering almost within sight but not quite.
A favorite TV series that’s over and off the air. A bakery that has stopped making a glazed orange sweet roll I’ve loved for years. The absence of a service person to speak with on the phone, just a series of recorded voices running in an endless loop. Friends who fade away and are lost, disconnected or unavailable.
The list goes on in different directions.
An ice cream flavor I look forward to is discontinued. The fact that I never receive an actual letter in the mail. My knee not cooperating and allowing me to hike up and down hills. Folks I care about moving far away, eliminating our direct interactions.
I noticed something unusual about this process.
The more observant I became, the greater the sense of mourning mounted in me. When would it end, I wondered? Why had they all come today? Were they here to offer me a message?
Perhaps you know by now, if you’ve been with me on this journey, that I believe everything happens to benefit me. (I also believe this about you too) Adopting this attitude has radically altered my life for the better. It allows me to shift my view from thinking that things are happening TO me to knowing that all things happen THROUGH me.
I am not a victim. Mourning is not stalking me to punish me or create sadness or dejection. It is a messenger that offers me a way forward. It is reminding me that I have unfinished business that needs tending.
I can of course ignore this message if I choose. I am never made to do anything, but since I want to experience a wonderful life, I know I’m best served by paying attention.
So, I open up and breathe in the message. Here’s what ‘mourning’ told me.
“I am here to invite you to release each of these items. Let them go, for they do not serve you any longer. Recognize that in releasing them you are creating beautiful new space. Space that you can fill with anything you desire. All things change and shift if you let them.”
“These items that came to you today are waiting for you to decide if you are keeping them or letting them go. It is up to you to choose. Do you want open space for new adventures and to place precious new memories? Do you see the beauty of choice you have now that they have tapped you on your shoulder?”
I thought a moment.
Yes, I did see that. And yes, I do want that. So, I make a decision and consciously choose to free myself and release them, knowing there are better things waiting for me.
I am thankful for their appearance. I am even more thankful, that by making this decision, my period of mourning is over.