--> Skip to main content

The Slow Letting Go Of Our Old Life And Accepting What Can Be Our New Life

When we see how others seem to have moved through their grief, we see that grief lessens its hold on them. We see they keep their treasured experiences and memories but have somehow let go of their old life and have changed, moving into a new life.

As grief lessens its hold on us, it gives us hope that our pain will eventually ease and we will be able to come out the other side of grief and have a new life and be happy again. But feeling some relief can make us feel guilty and disloyal for thinking about giving up our old life. This can make us feel more waves of the pain of loss.

Part of us wants to stay in the past with our old life but part of us wants to move into our new life, which sets up a struggle, like a tug of war. The tension can make us feel like we are frozen and can’t move either way. It can be like a long dark winter with deep sadness and more suffering from the pain of loss. It can be helpful to ask what your loved one would say to you. It can also help if you ask what you would say to someone else in this position.

We do not understand what changes us and makes us slowly move on. Perhaps we can’t endure any more pain and suffering, so we are almost forced to make a choice to move to a different place with our treasured memories and experiences, to a place with less pain.

Although we might appear to move away from suffering to happiness, the scars of suffering become the foundation of happiness. Maybe like building a house, the suffering we have endured has slowly, but unknown to us, been forming the base on which we can build. We see that our suffering has carried us through but perhaps we don’t carry suffering, suffering carries us. Maybe suffering and happiness depend on each other for us to experience full consciousness.

This slow letting go of our old life and accepting what can be our new life, requires energy and effort in taking steps towards making a new life. For each step you take towards making a new life, your new life takes several steps towards you. At this time we may start to be grateful to the person we have lost in new ways, realising they showed us certain things no one else did. We might see what they showed us about ourselves.

Grief gives us an opportunity to question and to re-vision what we see in our life. A place can be reached deep inside us where we can begin to see everything differently. In grief we can ask again ‘Who am I?’ in relation to the wider world, to everything and the whole Universe. It is an opportunity to see we are not isolated but along with the person we have lost, we can see our Self as part of everything.

Perhaps when we look outside we see the world but when we look inside we see the Universe. When we look at the daytime sky we can see the bright blue sky, the sun, the moon and maybe some clouds. At night when we look at the sky, the sun is not seen but we can see more because we can see the stars and we know there is so much more we cannot see.

Although we are taught to think that time and space are real and even though this may be true, we know time and space are only ideas from thinking. We are conscious there may be other planes of existence and levels of consciousness which we cannot see or understand because they are beyond thinking. If we close our eyes and look inwards, we can see with our consciousness that we are not just an individual but part of everything in the Universe.

Albert Einstein, Ramana Maharshi, Rumi, Lau Tzu and the Buddha show us that our biggest problem is the error in thinking we are separate individuals. Perhaps it takes grief to show us we are not and to begin seeing ourselves as one.

Source – Excerpts from article titled ‘Acceptance and Meaning in Grief’ published in the Mountain Path Magazine October 2022 Issue