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A Time to Let Go

Love is a mystery to me. What is this thing we call love anyway? If there is one thing I don't pretend to know, it is love. When my father died, I was not fully prepared for what that meant. From a grieving standpoint, we think we know what it means, but through grief, healing begins.

I think about the night he died and remember it as if it was yesterday. The phone call he had collapsed and was getting CPR, but I knew Dad was gone; because he came to me moments after he left his body. A wave of dizziness and nausea moved through me, and I knew he was beside me. I sat with him in my healing space, and we spoke; he sat silently with his head down, and I told him I could help him go. He was heavy and confused, saddened that he was leaving my mother. I knew how to help him, and without skipping a beat, I said to him, "It's okay, Dad, we can take it from here." The light swelled open, and he slowly, reluctantly, watched me as he stepped within it. The door closed, and he was gone. It's been over a year and a half since he passed, and I feel resounding heartache finally working its way to the surface. Not just the grief of his loss, but feelings I had buried long ago, are now pulling up to be released.

My father wasn't a man to back down or relent; he could be a bit of a Pitbull. We didn't always see eye to eye but we were kindred spirits. We were both tenacious and mixing two souls within one family with a dynamic personality can be cautionary because they can either be at odds with each other most of the time or with each other, causing a stir. Fortunately, we seemed to feather a great deal of humor and funny dispositions within our connection because we both had strong personalities. Our charming dynamic was that we both had a strong sense of humor. We played off each other in a battle of wit, which was something to see. I have not found another soul who could keep up with me when I get on a roll, he knew what to say and do to fuel the banter.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I don't know how the healing started, but I woke up during the night feeling frustrated with my father. Why it was so unbearable at three in the morning, I don't know, but it took over, and the feelings erupted from me like fury. I felt this seething anger well up in me, and I started to speak to him in the silent darkness. It bubbled up like a volcano erupting, and tears streamed through my eyes; I felt so angry at him. My words tore through the dark room like a razor knife, and I poured my truth into the air around me. My husband slept silently beside me, and my body shook; tears soaked my pillow. It was a bit of an out-of-body experience to some degree. I felt every word, and I meant them too.

People don't always feel safe to say what they think sometimes. I'm no wallflower by any means. I spoke up a lot and didn't hide from confrontation, but with my dad, we didn't have that kind of relationship. He wasn't agreeable to me being emotionally honest with him. I think I swallowed a lot of anger from an early age. At that moment, I forgot to breathe and listen, I wanted to speak about this pain, and he needed me to say those things too. After I said what I needed to say, I felt a bit better, but it took quite a while for me to feel less hurt about what I said. It's been a journey; I disappear when working stuff out. I like to be left alone and see things through without distraction. It's how I work best.

Recently, I spent a week visiting family with Perry, my husband, and we took a bouquet to my mother. I wasn't sure what to expect from seeing her. I felt good despite her higher level of dementia now; it took her about ten minutes to recognize me; it was odd; I saw the light go on when she finally understood who was sitting with her. I felt at peace with her; for the first time, I felt pretty neutral about her and what she is changing into. I have witnessed her changes for over seven years, which has worked in my favor. It has given me a chance to see her. Instead of being met with discomfort from her, I can see her childhood self emerging. I have entered into a compassionate state for her. If you had asked me ten years ago if I'd ever feel sympathetic for her, I'd look at you blankly. I am grateful to feel resolved around her.

We didn't get along well; we had an unusual relationship. It always felt like a chore to be a part of her orbit. To my dad, we needed to get along better, and for her, well, I sense she struggled with herself enormously, and it spilled over onto me more times than not. I continued to reach out and feel within her, but she never let down her guard. She always tried to blame me for our struggles, and her need to make that energy a part of our journey together is for her to figure out with Source when the moment comes. During my visit with her, something was different in me. Her visit was the only part of the trip where I felt quiet and my usual self. I didn't feel resentful or frustrated with her; I felt compassionate and protective. I surprised myself by realizing I had missed her old self. Now, my mom is a shell of a body as her thoughts evaporate into a single short loop of consciousness.

It isn't easy to accept things sometimes and feel safe, and the hardest yet is being honest with ourselves. Perry asked me why I thought she was going through this form of a departure and I said that sometimes we all need to learn to be compassionate, and these types of hardships can either bring us together or tear us apart. I think this has been a free-will choice she made to help our relationship before she goes onward. It is better to heal it here than try it again. I have memories of her ironing my dad's dress shirts, baking some fantastic dessert, or sitting at the kitchen table writing out her favorite recipes on cards while sipping her coffee. I would sometimes envy her in those moments.

I believe that I am finding a new life with unconditional love. I'm still a work in progress, but I feel closer to Love now than ever. It isn't a thing or a deed. It isn't a word spoken or thought shared but a wash of pure peace and stillness. We all need a good hard lesson to feel the truth sometimes. It is hard, to be honest with ourselves. I can attest to this truth, but the truth isn't to be mean or uncaring with ourselves or others; it is a chance to bring true healing within oneself.

Thanks, Mom and Dad; I can see, I can be, and I can unconditionally believe why this was all so hard that when it is finished between us, I am not left with regret or hardship.

As for you, my dear friend, life is short; hug someone or make mends inside yourself over things of the past. It is time to let the past go so we can feel safe within this world we call Earth.

All my love,

Karen Ann

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