As a pediatric nurse, my greatest fear was realized when my 16 year old son died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound. It was the first day of school on September 5, 2000. Nineteen years later I find myself reflecting on a quote from Elizabeth Lesser. At the same time, I am reflecting on my Summer and the realization that I have been walking that "sacred path into the darkness," as Lesser says or as I think of it, the unknown...my FEAR of the many unknowns; losing another child, my future, old age and making the most of the time God gives me.
I am learning that letting go is a part of this "walk" and like grief, it is a process... painful and slow, but necessary for growth and healing. My daughter once said to me, "Mom, if you don't change, you can't grow!" I don't like change, but I must admit that she is right. Change after the death of a child is not an option. Grief of that magnitude changes us forever!
My "letting go" journey actually began last January, when I decided to no longer color my hair and accept and embrace the hair color that God gave me. It has been a very long process and I still have months to go, but it has been freeing to embrace this new part of me. I love the color my hair is becoming and I just recently got an updated hair style. As Elizabeth Lesser says, "we need to listen to our souls, slow down, feel deeply and see ourselves clearly."
With Fall upon us here in Connecticut, past burdens are being lifted. I'm not sure where God is leading me or what changes are coming, but I know that for now, I am in His waiting room once again. This Summer He gave me this verse from Luke. 24:49 "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." These words have special meaning for me, as I must let go of my daughter and her little family and give them my blessing to move to the other side of the Country. Besides burying my son, David, it is the hardest thing love has asked me to do. Once again, my daughter's move has tapped into my greatest fear.
As my relationship with my grandson blossoms into a love like I have never known, my heart is breaking over their upcoming move. This is the darkest part of the sacred path l am walking, and with this "letting go" there is no feeling of freedom. Lesser says to "listen to our souls and stop fighting when things seem to be falling apart or when they don't go our way." God also reminded me that "love does not demand its own way," (1 Cor.10:13) and things are falling into place as they must. It will take everything in me to let them go. I know that I have no choice and I must trust that God's plan is better than mine. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Letting Go with Hope,
Ann Starke "a mom like you"