I had an amazing and inspirational conversation recently with a woman I know who lost her husband.
She is 85. He was almost 90.
Both were/are very with it. She works out daily at the gym. Both active in their faith community.
This was what she said to me, weeks after his death:
“I lost my sweetheart. But I feel so lucky and privileged because we got to grow old together.”
There’s no question it’s more difficult to reconcile a loss when our loved one is younger. But I was inspired by her perspective on her loss. Knowing her, I believe if they’d been younger she still would have felt lucky and privileged.
She has continued with her active life, even during the pandemic. It’s not to say she doesn’t grieve. Just that her continuing enjoyment of the gift of life is a view of death that I can only aspire to.
Death is the part of life we don’t want to think about. But as I age, I have come to believe it’s important to put it in perspective.
The people I love who have made their transitions definitely left a huge hole in my heart and my life. And yet, despite the pain of my loss, I am learning to make peace with it all. It’s not like we have a choice–everyone and everything dies.
What I loved about my friend’s outlook is that she sees this as part of life. A long life, to be sure, in her case.
I won’t say it’s easy. Or that I’m anything but a work in progress in dealing with death and loss. I’m still processing what it all means now that I can see it on the (far, I hope) horizon.
Here’s what else she said, wistfully:
“I talk to him. He hears me.”
If you believe life goes on, as I do, it’s only natural that so does your relationship with your loved one. Oh, there’s so much to unpack on this subject!
If you’ve lost a loved one or know someone who has, I hope you’ll consider our helpful tools for processing grief. Find them right here.