My holiday season has begun with another lesson learned along my Grief Journey. It comes with the passing of one of my friends who has done the billing in my Family & Personal Counseling practice. Diana Hogan reminded me of my Aunt Rose, whom we also lost to cancer.
For the first time in awhile, I was really shaken up going to the funeral home to pay my respects. Not only were powerful memories triggered (of my son, Michael, and Aunt Rose), but it seemed like I was falling back in time to some of the dark days of facing loss.
But this time I had a better idea of what to do. Why? Because my Grief Journey has taught me well. And that, believe it or not, is the good news.
I began talking to my family. I started telling stories of Aunt Rose. Shared some warm memories. I wrote a bit in my journal about how I was feeling and visited www.OpenToHope.com for some fresh inspiration. I started thinking about my internet radio show and some of the things that my guests have taught me on my segments about grief and loss.
I reached out to Judy, who has become one of the important Light Bulb people in my life, to share how I was feeling. In short, I did not isolate myself like I did 13 years ago when I was in my Grief Journey with Michael. I knew that there were many places and many people I could turn to. I knew that, in time, my mind would begin to shift again and the hope would return. Why? Because my Grief Journey has taught me well.
As I kept reaching out, I also began to see the physical symptoms coming into play. Parts of my body, like my neck and shoulders, were beginning to ache. My jaw started to hurt. And my mindful, healthful eating habits were challenged. All these were actually familiar physical reactions to my mind in unrest. Knowing how your body reacts in important. And in this case, I was able to see that my aches and pains were only temporary. Why? Because my Grief Journey has taught me well.
Everyone has their own Grief Journey because learning how to handle the loss of life is the key to living life. Some moments along the way are dark and filled with despair. Other moments can be filled with wonderful memories that bring hope back into our lives. Grief is not a step by step process that we go through and then move on. It is a constant part of day to day living — because it teaches us powerful lesson. Live life by the moment because it is the only thing we can truly control. My Grief Journey has taught me well.
God bless my friend, Diana, as she continues to bless our lives. Rest in heavenly peace.
Ron Villano 2011