This year, the group was wonderful . We share stress reducing strategies, spiritual exercises heartfelt stories about the deaths of loved ones, and resources. One of the woman in the group shared a book called" Death Benefits ,How losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's life". The title is provocative and it resulted in very interesting discussions about how this can be true. Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--For the Better.
Jeanne Safer is a psychotherapist and upon the death of her 92 year old mother, she learned some interesting things about who she was. She learned that death is painful at whatever age your parent dies. And there are still pathways to explore about your own life's journey that were possibly shut down by loving our parents so much. She talks about becoming our most authentic selves after our parents die.
This is another way of saying make lemonade if you get lemons. But I wonder if there is not deeper truth to it. In my own family, my grandmother was unable to grieve in a healthy manner after the death of her 21 year old son. And she would not allow the rest of the family to talk about his death either . Long after my grandmother's death, my mother and the rest of the family were able to grieve for our brother, uncle and cousin . The life pattern was so strong that it took many years for us to change it.
What if the deaths of our parents, can help us to notice and then expand the ways that we see our world and in the process expand our own quality of life.