My mother in law passed away last night after a prolonged illness.
My uncle passed away a few weeks ago after an even longer illness.
After last night, I thought back to 2012. During a particularly low point of our travels, financially, I got the call that my mom had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. She slowly, steadily progressed to where she now has required hospice care for years, being unable to care for herself, or even, speak.
Why share such rough experiences? Life is change. What once seemed incredibly rough became easier to accept on embracing change. People suffer horribly when loved ones die because most human beings deny death knocks on all of our doors. Why? People resist change. Most folks love things staying the same. But since everything changes in time, embracing this continual state of flux is the way to establish peace of mind, calm, balance and poise.
Grieve But Do Not Compound
Of course, I still grieved loved ones lost to death and terminal illness. I am not enlightened. But beyond a general sadness of missing someone deeply, I do not add layers of fear-pain to the tough event by believing that death and sickness are unfair, cruel, shocking elements of life. Death and sickness are as routine as anything because living in a world of change, flux and flow demands every sentient being passes on.
Grieve loved ones. Feel the pain of loss. But do not compound your suffering by fighting change, by resisting change and by not accepting the true, fluid nature of the human experience. I felt absolutely terrible receiving that phone call in a dark, dank hostel in Laos. Me and my wife had been in dire financial straits as it was. Getting the call felt like I had hit rock bottom because everything changed dramatically at that point.
I realized my mom would completely lose her memory, her personality and everything about her I cherished. She would never get to know my wife well, as the two only met a few times before we began circling the globe. She would never see my niece grow up. Everything changed in that moment for me.
Although a nightmarish scenario, I predominantly had to grieve her loss, not adding layers of fear, pain, anger, rage and suffering, by resisting change and fighting for how things would never be, again.
Hug change. Begin with tiny changes in your life. Note how change teaches you to be flexible, malleable and nimble. From your home life to professional life, change always happens for you, not to you.
Embrace this great truth to more gracefully handle the death of dear friends and family. Everyone feels terrible mourning the loss of loved ones but grieving does not need to become a lifetime event if you accept how things changed, how the loved one has passed on, and how this natural process unfolds every day around the world, occurring in all sentient beings.
Roll with change. Hug life’s only constant to develop a sense of peace and anchoring about your human experience.
About the Author
Ryan Biddulph helps you learn how to blog at Blogging From Paradise.
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