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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Turn the Page.

I am reading a book of short stories, and as I am reaching the end of the book, it has me thinking.  Life is a collection of short stories, that once collected make up our life.  There are chapters in our lives, everyone a distinct part, but all necessary to finish the book.  

There are chapters that are full of potential, overflowing in dreams and hopes.  There are the chapters that depict major milestones in our lives.  And there are those chapters that we wish to skim over, relating to some of our darker days.  But like any good story, we read through all the chapters, knowing that without one, the story would take on a whole new meaning.  

For some of our loved ones, the book seemed so short, but yet if we turn the chapters and read their stories, we will find that their book is complete.  All books have an ending, and all endings may not be to our liking.  How often do we wish we could alter the ending some how.  Wake up to find that there are still pages left to write, that their story is not over yet.  

In reality, even though they have died, their story is far from over.  They have left a legacy, we may not realize it at first, but if we take the time to look at who they were, what they represent and what impact they had on our lives and the lives of others; we see that their story is on-going.  

When my daughter died, family and friends made collages of Rachel's life.  The collages were arranged in chronological order, and incorporated a picture of a sunrise and a sunset.  Depicting Rachel's life span, from sunrise to sunset.  I still have the collages and occasionally I look at them, and I realize how much she accomplished, the places she had been, and how much we had done together as a family. 

As the years go by we continue to add chapters not only to our books, but also to the books of our deceased loved one.  After my daughter died, my therapist suggested I journal, at first I wasn't sure, but eventually I gave it a try.  When I had had a bad day I would write whatever came to mind, when I had a good day, I would right about my feelings and emotions.  

This may not work for all of you, but it has truly helped me, by writing down what I was thinking and feeling.  I would just begin writing whatever was on my mind.  I have not yet been able to read my journals, but when I am ready, they will be there waiting, and they will help me understand better that chapter in my life.

The most helpful part of journaling was allowing myself to write down anything and everything that came to mind.  I would just write, sometimes staining the pages with my tears, but when I finished making my entry, a sense of relief would fall over me.  I was able to sleep better, wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.  

Journaling is just one form of therapeutic venue that you can use to help ease the pain and unburden your mind.  You may find that painting is good, others find release in writing poetry, some taking up gardening, still others find a new hobby that will give them an outlet for their feelings and emotions.  Some individuals, begin by volunteering at hospitals, and other charitable organizations.  There are so many different things you can do to help you with your grief.  Find what works best for you.  

Remember to continually add chapters to your life.  Know that even though your loved one has died, their story still exists, and still continues to move us to actions.  So fill your life's book, find an outlet for your emotions and feelings, by volunteering, writing, painting, etc.

Our life is a book of blank pages, it is up to us to fill the pages.  

Blessings! and until we meet again.

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