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Milestones of Mourning

Milestones of Mourning

Greetings one and all!

I hope you are doing well and loving life in your corner of the world. In Denver, we are preparing for what could be a massive Spring snowstorm. So, before I pull out the snow shovel and fire up the snowblower one more time, let’s take a break and chat about the journey of life. Pour a cup of coffee or hot tea, find a comfy chair, and take a deep breath. A wee rest is good for the body, mind, and spirit.

Lately, I have been pondering the significance of milestones in my life. Milestones, as we all know, are those events or moments in our lives that signify important life changes and subsequent transitions. Graduation from high school. Marriage. The birth of a child. Divorce. Career changes. Diagnosis of a serious illness. Death. These are merely a few examples of milestone moments that often initiate a change in direction or a course correction. The milestones of life also serve as points of reference as to where we have been and how far we have come in life. Consequently, milestones can inspire as well as anchor us during particularly unsettled times—the times that try our souls.

As I shared in a previous post, I am dealing with a milestone event in my life—the death of my brother. Having experienced the death of my parents and dear friends, I know the journey of grief and mourning far too well. Hence, I also know how I process and integrate loss into the fabric of my being. I reflect. I walk. And I write. I literally and figuratively walk through my sorrow in order to move on with my life. Movement has always been an essential component of my contemplative process. I have never been one to sit and meditate. Instead, I meditate—contemplate—in motion. Walking gets the juices flowing, the emotions moving, and the spirit soaring. Mourning the death of my brother is an intentional, contemplative process. So, I gotta move!

As I move through my mourning process, I need to feel as if I’m making some headway in the healing process. I need something tangible that reflects just how far I have come in my journey of grief. So, everyday when I walk, I pick up one stone along the way—a milestone of mourning. Each stone represents not only the physical five miles walked that day, but also the emotional and spiritual journey traveled. Upon returning home, I add the stone to the growing cairn in my den. As the cairn grows in breadth and height, I am gratified and encouraged by the evidence of the physical, emotional, and spiritual ground covered over the past four weeks. I am also motivated to keep moving—walking through my sorrow one step at a time. Milestones not only mark important events in life, they also motivate us to move on with life. A very good thing indeed…       

I look forward to the ongoing conversation. If you have specific questions or concerns related to your caregiving experience, I would love to hear from you. Until the next posting, I wish you and yours countless blessings…jane

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