As I mourn and come to terms with Dad’s recent passing, I’ve thought about my parents’ own journey through grief when their parents passed. I was young (teenage and young adult aged) when my grandparents passed so my parents would not have shared their grief and sadness with me. Even so, I don’t recall noticing them getting stuck in their sorrow.
I think there are several reasons for this: Their formative years were during World War II and many families were impacted during this time, they lived in multi-generational homes or nearby to aging grandparents, they were one of the last generations to grow up without antibiotics and other life-saving medical procedures that we take for granted today, and there were stronger social, cultural, and religious structures for the mourning period. Because of all of this, death was much more a part of living and, therefore, in some ways, easier to accept.
As a result, Dad was—and Mom still is—a forward-looking person. They didn’t dwell on or cling to the past. While there were times when they talked about their good old days, it was with fondness and warm, happy memories rather than with a sense of longing and emptiness and trying to recapture or recreate those days. They were firmly planted in the here and now with their eyes looking forward to the adventure that was ahead of them.
Your homework today is to noticing whether you’re looking forward to the Good Stuff that awaits you or if you’re reaching back to the past, perhaps in an unconscious effort to press the reset button.
You can’t go back. And, nothing you can do in the present will change anything about the past. All you can do is draw a line under the past and turn, facing forward. Stay focused on the moment and then the next one and then the one after that. If you take care of each present moment then the future will take care of itself.
Keep your focus forward and know, as was said in last Wednesday’s post (click here to be taken to Good Stuff’s Coming!), that all sorts of interesting, exciting, and fulfilling things await you in each moment—and on the path ahead.
Have fun with this!
You can do it!
I’m so proud of you! You’re awesome!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,