Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reinventing Our Lives

We don’t willingly reinvent ourselves. We repeat what we’ve done before because we know what to expect.  

When we change jobs, they tend to be in the same field. If we remarry, it’s generally to same type of person. It’s not often that we try something significantly new. 
Theoretically, every New Year’s provides the opportunity to take stock of our lives, change what we don’t like, and adjust our heading to get us to back on track to our destination. But we don’t. We drink and eat too much on New Year's Eve, and then the next day we watch movies or sports on TV in our residual stupor instead of thinking about what we really want. Then it’s back to the grind and our preoccupation with work.

The death of a loved one throws a monkey wrench into our gears, and we sputter to a stop. We’re forced to reinvent our lives, whether we want to or not. Perhaps we put a dream aside for the sake of the relationship that is no more, or there is a job that we've always wanted to try. Maybe we want to live in a different state where there are four seasons instead of two. Now might be the time to make the change.

Clinging to someone who has died is not helpful. Remembering and honoring that person is. While we don’t ever want to forget the person who died (and I don’t think we do), we need to stay connected to the movement of life.  
I’d like to get up each day and see what new adventure I can have, what new people I can meet. Life does not settle down in one place, although we think it does. It keeps changing and evolving, flowing on like a river to new places. 

Our lives should be like that.

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