I hesitated to write on this topic. Not a lot of Joie in letting go. But letting go has been all around me lately, so I feel like it is important enough to include in my blog. It’s part of midlife, so it’s part of what brings us together on this blog.
Facebook has had a rash of postings from friends who are sending their last baby off to college. The pictures of dorm room decorating and suitcases and packed cars are all bitter sweet. It is exciting to see your kids head off in a positive direction, as much as it hurts to let them go. I am years away from this event (with high hopes that it will happen), but I empathize with them. My boys pull away from me a little more every year, like they are supposed to.
A close friend lost a parent recently. We all feel her loss. Logically we know our parents are not going to live forever, but that does nothing to reduce the sting when it happens. The grieving process from losing one of the most important people in our lives can take years. Birthdays, holidays and other special events can set off a fresh round of tears and memories.
This post was also inspired by my own letting go. My father’s death three years ago started a chain reaction of mourning for me; for the relationship we didn’t have, the one we did, and all the hurt in between. Most days I don’t think much about it. I have enough on my plate to keep me busy and I consciously lean toward joy. But sometimes, I’ll hear a song, or read something in a book and be hit with a flood of memories. That’s when I need to set aside time to grieve, to let go.
My favorite life-lesson guru, Danielle LaPorte, tells me to start each day asking how I want to feel that day, then what actions I can take to feel that way. This plan is fantastic till I come up against a day of letting go. I don’t want to feel sad or lost, but I do, and there is no getting around it. So I decided to lean into it, just dive right in. If I was going to cry, I would really let go; take some time, curl up with my son’s teddy bear, put on a sad song, open a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and really have a good cry. Those days are just as important to me as the ones where I accomplish 15 things before noon. They clear the dark places out of my soul.
As I said, not a happy topic for a Friday morning, but an important one. Some days that’s just the way it is; not much joie, but a whole lot of vivre.