(79) Choices… Choices… Choices…

In everyday life, we make consciously and unconsciously many choices. In one case, it’s crystal clear what choice to make, in the other case the choice is far from certain, let alone that you understand the consequences of your choice… or… that you even can make a choice.

During bereavement emotions add another dimension. Decision-making is not becoming easier… on the contrary. In addition to that these choices have most of the time an impact on your path-of-life.

I used to think that making a choice is just like when you’re standing on a crossroads. You see different streets coming together at the crossroads. In the streets, you can see what’s out there but the view is limited. And beyond is uncharted territory. And yes… how do you proceed from here?

  • You can make a choice based on what you initially see. And accept the unknown for what it is and what it represents.
  • You can make a choice based on your sense of direction in which you feel your destination is. And accept the street and the unknown for what they are and for what they represent.
  • Perhaps there’s a bench where you can sit at the crossroads. Where you can contemplate how to proceed. Where you can weigh all cons and pros for the different choices that are available to you until you’re sure of your choice.

You’re not proceeding with your life when you’re not making choices. And, you’ll never get total certainty for any choice you make. After all, things that were originally hidden when you made your choice are becoming visible once you’ve put your first steps again. Hence, there is no point in reasoning out (in detail) what steps you should take… but do listen carefully to your feeling.

In my opinion everyone has a purpose in life. However, that purpose is not important… what important is, is the path you’ve followed to accomplish your purpose. And in particularly the lessons you’ve learned and still learn on your path are important.

To reach your goal you’ll have to make choices to move forward in life. What those choices are? That’s not for me. That’s up to you! You are responsible for the choices you make in your life. It also means that you must accept the consequences of a choice made… after all it’s your choice.

What I’ve learned so far is that it really doesn’t matter what choice you make to achieve your goal. When you keep making choices you reach your goal eventually anyway. Only the road towards it is different. One way is harder or longer than the other way. What is important, is to have confidence that the path you’ve selected is the proper path.

It also amazes me time and time again is that you unwind once you’ve made your choice. You’ve put a step forward. And whatever the situation was where you’re coming from… or maybe even still is… you’ve put a step… a step forward. And with that you opened new opportunities to move forward in life. Make sure you make use of what you discover… what you see… what you get… what you receive… what you feel. Exploit it fully! Get all out of it!

Maybe you’ll discover at some point in time that you’ve learned new things, new capabilities… something that you otherwise never would’ve done…something that might be a revelation for you… something that made you happy (again)!

But please do realize that it’s your own responsibility to make and to keep making your choices, how difficult and annoying that every time may be, to achieve your goal on your path-of-life.

(76) Acceptance

When you accept who you are, accept your abilities and can live with that, by using the most of your opportunities, then from my point of view you are performing at your best!

Acceptance, a word, with a very powerful and sometimes also oppressed connotation. A word that even can have a great influence on our lives.

But, acceptance of what? Is it about the acceptance of the other, the way he or she is… the way he or she looks or behaves… without any comment? Sometimes… but when processing your grief or your loss then acceptance is about yourself. Accepting of what you are or who you are. Maybe the next step could be that you’re content with who you are. The acceptance of your limitations. Accepting the possibilities, you have in life in order to do the things you… can do. Not those things you would like to do but can’t because these are outside your abilities. But when you can live with all the limitations you have… whether these are physical… or financial… or you didn’t have the education you would love to have… When you can live with what you have… that is acceptance!

shutterstock_131791328When you accept who you are, accept your abilities and you can live with that… also by using the most of your opportunities… then from my point of view you are performing at your best. Then, even if others have a different opinion, you do great. In order to do so, you do not need to be rich. You are wealthy because you accomplish what you want to achieve… with all possibilities and abilities that are available to you.

Whatever opinion the other has about you, though important in itself, shouldn’t interfere with the acceptance of yourself.

Acceptance can lead to a positive attitude and that helps you in not simply complying to the limitations and opportunities of yourself and the world around you, but in making use of all means and possibilities how limited or promising these may be for you by setting an objective that is achievable for you. It’s not the objective that is only important, but also the experiences you acquire on its path.

And what if you don’t accept or, not can or, you are not willing to accept? Then, you become bitter. Then, you push away people. Then, you’ll come at a point in life where you can’t or won’t accept assistance or help no matter how well intended. Then, you become lonely and it goes from bad to worse. And all your energy is being wasted in a losing battle.

For that reason alone, acceptance is vital. It leads to a positive attitude which can help you in making something beautiful out of your life!

(73) You Thought It Was Over…

Suddenly there are those memories of that moment… that moment that felt like your world was destroyed. Suddenly you’re back to square one. You thought it was over.

Suddenly there are those memories of that moment… that moment that felt like your world was destroyed. You’re back to square one again. You thought it was over.

At the start of your grief or your loss – that period immediately after the death of your loved one, or the loss of the job you so loved to do, or your illness that can’t be cured – that period just after that intense loss… that period in which you felt that intense raw pain of your loss… at such a moment you are off balance and you are almost at risk to fall over. A period in which you would like to reset the clock. A period in which you would love everything was as before. A period in which you would prefer to crawl into a safe haven. A period in which you withdraw into yourself.

Je dacht dat het over wasAs time goes on you start to scramble out eventually… little by little. You are beginning to get involved again with everything that people around you are doing. In the end you start a number of activities yourself. Hesitantly… step by step.

You’re insecure. For how to proceed… alone… or without that job… or… You’re afraid that you will make mistakes. Now… you need to do or to arrange activities you never needed to do before… you may never have wanted to do. Yes, you expect to make mistakes, but the people around you have a different opinion. The people around you find you powerful… but… that’s not the way how you feel this.

Despite all your grief you proceed step by step… you have to. And with each step you get a little bit more confident.

There are moments you’re going too fast. Something unexpected happens that evokes a memory… like a smell, a color, a voice, a sound… a memory related to that loss. And again the realization that you must proceed alone… or that you don’t have that special job any more… or that you will not heal… or… Again you hit that loss… and you start all over again with your bereavement.

That falling back, repeats itself regularly during the processing of your grief. And each time you may recognize somehow all stages of grief like denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Over time you less and less fall back. Each time this happens it feels a bit different from the one before. The harsh pain of your grief is slowly changing into the moderate pain of your loss. Not that you won’t be remembered of your loss anymore… that your loved one is no longer there. That memory remains with you for the rest of your life.

Little by little you get into balance again. Your heart and your head are starting to balancing each other out. The days return when you are happy again. Days where people can hear you laughing again. Moments that are a delight to you.

During those days something can happen that recalls a memory… like a face, a voice, a melody, a perfume, an image… a memory of that moment when it all started. You can’t see it coming, it just happens to you. And the process repeats itself again. Only each time a bit different. That is processing your grief. That’s the way it feels. Step by step.

When you can review yourself over a longer period of time you could find that each time you fall back… you fall back a bit less in your grief… and at the same time you might see that you also moved on a bit further… and that you became more confident.

Independent from how far you progressed in processing your grief, there will always be moments in your future where you revert to that moment when it all happened. The difference is that when your loss occurred it took a long time to proceed while processing your grief, in the future it will take less time. Eventually those moments change from sadness into moments where you can be proud at yourself because you came at a point at which you can proceed with your life. That you are carrying out new and different activities. That you have got new opportunities. That you are a complete human being again, which you always have been only you thought differently, who has an idea that everything in life happens as you think it should happen. Those are the days when you are in balance.

It might be challenging times for you at the moment or you have to cope somehow with a (great) loss in your life. Yet, I have faith you can become a happy person again who can smile and celebrate life. Maybe not in my way, but certainly in your way!

(71) True Love

Slowly I start to understand that concepts as betrayal, letting go or forgetting have no meaning within True Love. True Love is magnificent… it’s beyond comprehension.

At a meeting someone told me with quite a bit of emphasis that many, many people are going to be put on my path. My response to her comment I can still remember clearly. It’s not that necessary for me… I’m happy the way I live. As she somewhat disturbed looked me straight in the eyes, she stated that those people will be important to me. Not only to me but… also to themselves.

As an afterthought she gave the message that I had to move on with my life and that among those people also would be someone with whom I would enter into a personal and close relationship.

Wow, as if my life is on a standstill now. Although… maybe that’s true. Surely the course of my life path changed drastically from a technical to a human oriented one. And although the new path is not unknown territory to me anymore, I’m still feeling myself far from confident.

And… with new relationships the same theme appears again and again that on an emotional level my deceased wife plays a recurring role. Or… is it the other way around… is the problem not with her… but is it just with me?

A week or so after the meeting I suddenly smelled the perfume my wife always used. In addition to that I also strongly felt that she was with me at that moment. My skin tingled all over. You have no idea how happy I was.

With some difficulty a conversation started slowly. You may find this too bizarre but in my mind I had a strong feeling that I really spoke with my wife. She suggested that I… one way or the other… was allowed to move on with my life. That I can be confident that I already possess all knowledge that will prove to be necessary in my life. Though I need to keep practicing in order to use these skills confidently… or maybe better phrased… apply confidently.

It will be all right in the end… but small detail… I have to do it myself… whatever that “it” is.

She also suggested that a new buddy in my life would be good for me; after all we had agreed that with each other. The thing is though… my deceased wife is my Soul Mate! A new buddy would in my point of view mean a betrayal to my deceased wife, and not only that… it wouldn’t also be fair to that new buddy!

She indicated that I know this new buddy already for a long, long time… not in this life… but in many previous lives. I would recognize her as soon as I meet her! It would be like when I met my wife… it would be impossible for me to walk past her without realizing it.

On parting she repeated… confidence… keep practicing… buddy… don’t be afraid… just do it!

And with these words I remembered again the message from my daughter to me at her farewell: “Do what your heart tells you… and don’t be afraid of what you do!”

After that conversation the messages continued to arrive. The messages have a central theme… Love. In the universe in which my wife is living now the concept of Love has an infinitely larger context, understanding or meaning than in our world here on Earth. That she has a much better picture from her “current” knowledge and understanding how to deal with it than me, is an understatement. She always could. In that respect she taught me much, if not close to all she knew during our marriage.

shutterstock_92947726It feels as in the old days when she gave me a nudge in the back. But finding a new buddy… as much I would like to do so… even a tiny baby step I find really hard. Slowly I start to understand that concepts as betrayal, letting go or forgetting have no meaning within True Love. True Love is magnificent… it’s beyond comprehension.

At present it’s my view that in a new relationship, a relationship where one or both have been through the necessary rough patches in life, understanding and respect to and for each other should be the central theme. Understanding in de sense that one or both partners can have several people who are important to them or love. As long as this is not possible, the relation does not last.

From my point of view understanding is in that context synonymous to true love. And… true love… that should be always the case!

(3) Somebody I Met

She asked me about my children and my relationship. I told her about the loss of my two buddies. My daughter, when she was 21 years and my wife, my Soul Mate, after 35 years of marriage. She was shocked and she was deeply impressed. She wanted to understand how I dealt with a situation like that.

The restaurant I had chosen for dinner was full. There was a long waiting queue. That’s what you get when you don’t make a reservation. Anyway, there was one seat free at the bar and the waitress suggested to take that one. I was alone and the choice was easily made.

The free seat was sitting between a man and a woman. The man next to me was in a deep business conversation with his partner and nobody seemed to exist around them. The woman next to me turned out to be alone and was in deep thought. Eventually we started to talk. She was traveling on business and she missed her children. She told me that as a result of a car accident she had lost the love of her life years ago. She was still devastated. The relationship lasted about eighteen months. “Only eighteen months” she said.

She asked me about my children and my relationship. I told her about the loss of my two buddies. My daughter, when she was 21 years and my wife, my Soul Mate, after 35 years of marriage. She was shocked and she was deeply impressed. She wanted to understand how I dealt with a situation like that. What had happened to me was so much worse than in her case, she told me. She thought at that moment that she actually had no right to grief because the sadness of another was many times worse than hers.

She lost me for a moment. How can you even think like this? Finally I found the words. Mourning or grief is not a competition! One has not more or less grief than somebody else. It feels how it feels. It doesn’t matter how long it was ago and it doesn’t matter how long the duration of the relation was between them. Her sorrow was just as concrete and just as deep as mine. Who is the person that says there is a difference? There is no difference!

It doesn’t matter. Her sorrow was just as deep as mine. She felt a bit relieved, a bit happier. Her sorrow did not change but, more importantly it helped her to put things in a different perspective, to be able to talk about it and to share.