Better to have loved and lost

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As Day of the Dead rolled in, I immediately started feeling the energies. I could not help but reminisce about some old days or sharing an experience from high school with a friend I had met up to ‘talk business’ with. I even remembered the lady who gave me a significant astrology reading about 19 years ago. I still have it- hand-written by her.

She was a loving woman with one of the purest hearts I had ever known. Her energy felt like Mother Earth to me. I was too young and naïve to understand why I felt good around her but I clearly remember not wanting to leave her place. I heard that she died a few years later and I was affected by that loss more than I had anticipated. It is funny how we underestimate the power of the heart, its ocean-wide capacity to hold the highest version of people in its secret crevices. And that it has excellent memory…

Remembering the significance of such losses helped me see how much I cared and how deeply I loved. I realized one more time how life and loss are two sides of the coin. We need to let our hearts breathe by feeling the losses. We need to let the weight of loss and grief go in order to let our hearts soar. And yes, there will be new losses after that, as well as delicious new beginnings.

Today I took a part of the day off to listen to myself, feel what comes up and just be with the components of my story that made me who I am. Losses I don’t usually think about started trickling into my consciousness and I found myself crying. It was the most cleansing of tears. 

I did not feel like I was hurting, I felt like I was loving backwards, as if I was turning the time back in my heart to the moment I loved that person (or thing/place/experience) the most. There was an undertone of joy in my crying and a good dose of gratitude for having lived and known that feeling. I thought that I wasn’t old enough to have a “looking back and reminiscing about the old times” experience yet. Guess I was wrong. In the end, I was met with a deeper sense of gratitude, one I had not known before. That gratitude was a form of celebration for having been who I had been, to have lived, breathed air, laughed and cried. Even for having made mistakes- but none I could not live with.

As the day went along, while priding myself in my progress in the ‘acceptance of losses’ department, I found one loss I still can’t get over:

When we moved away from the apartment I grew up in, we left behind my favorite anime children’s book “Heidi, girl of the Alps” in the attic along with some other knick knacks. I think I was 9 years old and had the book for about 3 years before that. It was a gift from my mother. She had signed and dated the book for me. I remembered how I had stared at her handwriting in awe for days. I used to adore her signature and spent a lot of time trying to imitate it. Of everything I have owned and enjoyed to this day, that book is still my favorite thing.

My attachment to that book may never disappear. Now, along with the sense of loss, I feel a sense of celebration for having loved a book and a fictitious character (Heidi) that much. I wanted to share this with you to illustrate the depth of our early losses and their effect on us. Recognizing and honoring those losses can bring us closer to ourselves. We get to practice the intimacy we want with others by allowing it into our hearts first.

So, if you have been remembering your losses, allow for those silent but deadly ones that fell through the cracks of your consciousness, to come forward. Meet them with delight in knowing that they are proof of one thing: You are good at living.

Happy Day of the Dead! Glad you’re here to read this…