This is an excerpt from Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Through Grief by Allen Klein, available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Life-After-Loss-Growing/dp/1642500062/ref=sr_1_1?crid=330F5I7PHDK96&keywords=embracing+life+after+loss+klein&qid=1579904828&sprefix=Embracing+lif%2Caps%2C219&sr=8-1
As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break.
—Julia Butterfly Hill, American environmentalist
While writing this book, a friend, who was also a distant relative, passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, since he had been under hospice care for the past few weeks. But it still hurt. It upset me even more because I already had airline tickets and was planning on visiting with him during my trip to New York City. But he had gone before I could get there. His death forced me to let go of my plans and expectations.
The incident made me realize how often in life we have to
let go. For example, at home, our youngsters leave the house for the first time and go off to kindergarten or camp. Let go. Then they go off to college. Let go. Then they get married and permanently move away. Let go.
Then there is the world at work. You don’t get the job or the raise you want. Let go. You are transferred to a new city. Let go. The boss you really like retires. Let go. Or, you retire and no longer have the job you had been doing for perhaps the past thirty to forty years. Let go.
Then there is aging. You can’t walk as far or as fast as you once did. Let go. You can’t see or hear as well as you did previously. Let go.
And, finally, there is death—perhaps the ultimate letting go. Let go.