Early on in my grief recovery work, I was asked to identify which of Gary’s strengths I would most want to embody. It helped to decrease the sense of separateness the loss of his physical presence had created.
At the time, I could not imagine how I would ever integrate the best of him in me but it planted a seed and created a possibility.
For the 10th year of his passing, I marked the occasion by raising funds and being a keynote speaker for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. It truly was the end of a decade, one that began in the darkest of places full of pain and complete lack of purpose and ended in the unveiling of my work coaching cancer survivors and caregivers.
Over the course of the following year, everything changed and I discovered, for me, what immortality looks like…living beyond the physical body as inspiration for others to carry out missions of compassion, caring and making a difference.
To be immortal is to be everlasting and enduring. We do so by touching the lives of others deeply. Perpetuating pain and loss does not create something that can endure over time as it eventually separates us from others and from having the energy needed to bring forward the gifts and lessons we are eventually able to uncover.
This is not a place we get to without doing the challenging work of recovering from loss. We cannot wrap loss up in pretty paper and put a bow on it, then call it a gift. In the early years, I would have told you that nothing good could come from this experience. It simply was a terrible, tragic loss.
And it was…but by self-creating a healing process and being willing to find meaning in life again, I came out the other side and see how Gary’s death allows me to help so many others and has inspired a life for me that I never could have imagined possible. I live now in a place of ease and peace, joy and completion. I live in the present, no longer weighed down by my past.
When we integrate the strengths, passions and love for life of those we have lost into ourselves, there is finally, once again, this sense of wholeness we can experience. It allows us to move forward without regret, being of service to others and embodying and expressing joy, fun and love again. Would our loved ones not wish this for us and for the world instead of staying stuck in pain and suffering?
Grief recovery is about honoring the process and the different, unique phases of moving back toward wholeness. Immortality is about living a life where your passion and way of being, your how you show up in the world, is so magnificent it ripples out beyond you in ways you may never even know and inspires others to live their biggest life possible.
The greatest honor and respect we can give those Immortal Beloveds of ours who leave before us is to live and lead an extraordinary life…no matter what.