Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 1 - Further Along the Journey

Endings...and Beginnings By Nancy Hamlin 
Senior Pastor Wayne Alguire, of Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, teaches on the topic of “Endings and Beginnings.” He says, embracing the endings and beginnings of the grieving process is not only about acknowledging our loved one is gone.  It is also a process that allows us to KEEP our relationship with our loved one in our lives in new and different ways.

Alguire contends that our relationship with our loved one does not end when they die, it changes and needs to develop into something new - and we are a big part of creating the new dynamic. Finding healing and hope in our lives is about recognizing the changing nature of our relationship with our loved one, NOT severing the ties. The relationship never goes away…

“It has to end to begin.” Sia Furler, songwriter, from the song, “Numb”.
In order to begin the new relationship with our loved one, we need to draw a line in our history and acknowledge our loved one is physically gone forever.  This “drawing a line” activity allows us to truly declare the old relationship is over, is done, and will never be the same again.  As part of “drawing a line”, we need to recognize and acknowledge what IS gone and lost from our relationship. Physical closeness, hugs, and conversations, sound, smells, and touch are some of the things truly lost to us through death.

Our next step in creating this new relationship is recognizing and articulating the things about our loved one “we can take with us” into the new dynamic.  Photos, letters, emails, mementos, rituals, clothes, books, household belongings, recordings, music, and movies are just a few of the things that can come over the line with us and ground our new relationship. They are real, tangible, and give us a foundation on which to begin again.

Finally, we can move to a place where we become “the author of our loved one’s life” as teacher Sibyl Towner shares in her grief teaching. We share the memories, the stories, the recipes, the conversations, the wisdom, and ultimately the love of our loved with the world at large.  Our ties are not severed but changed into a new relationship of honor, love, respect, and admiration as we continue in relationship with our loved one in new and different ways while we are still here on earth.    

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