What you don't deal with in life comes to visit at the end of life. NOTE - What you DO deal with frees you to live wholly, honestly in this life.
When my dad passed last month, I became acutely aware of the gifts of dealing directly with old hurts, forgiving and letting go. My healing journey began 26 years ago. I spent many hours in self-reflection and in healing spaces with loving support that helped me grow into the strong and clear woman I am today. I worked hard and made a very deep commitment to myself to heal all that I can in this lifetime. I continue that commitment. It no longer feels like work, it feels like loving service to myself and others.
I felt very disappointed and frustrated with my relationship with my father for a long time. With persistence and the right kind of help, I came to accept my father for who he was and allowed him to be just that without internally anguishing about what I didn't care for. I also came to know who I am, allowing myself to be all of Me! My dad loved me in his way. I wanted more intimacy and connection in my relationships than I experienced with him. I want to feel known and heard and understood. In time I gathered a beautiful support circle (that grows and changes with life changes) that nurtured me into a true sense of wholeness. These people know me, understand me and listen well to me. They are my chosen tribe. I let go of the need to have a quality of relationship with my Dad that I had wanted but couldn't cultivate without him wanting those same things. I let it be. My gift was that I experienced wonderful love and support from others, and also found peace inside to let my Dad be who he was - less able to navigate and cultivate intimate relationships.
During his last week of life I held space from afar. My youngest sister and dear niece, who is a nurse, tended him at his bedside. I sent loving prayers and attention and intention for him to have the end of life experience that he desired. I lit candles and created an altar that I could look at, reminding me to send peace and love their way consistently. This allowed me to feel like I was participating in a valuable way. I checked in with myself daily to make sure I didn't "need" to head north to see him one more time. I made sure he was asked if he wanted me there. He said,"Laurel knows". We were at peace with one another.
We were at peace with one another because I wanted nothing less than peace and dedicated myself to the cause. I believe he wanted the same. So it was. But in order to get to that peace I needed to feel all the other heavier feelings that came earlier in life with the disappointment and lack of connection. I needed to cry those tears of loss, say what I wanted to him, voice the disappointment and then, Let it Be, release. And in doing that I opened a space within to become peaceful. I gained freedom from the old relationship of little girl and emotionally unavailable father. The relationship became spiritual seeker and spiritual seeker. I could tell him what I thought and not hold back. And that felt good because I like to think (I hope this is true) that I did so compassionately, boldly and clearly. I have my thoughts, opinions and path to walk Dad, and I am doing it.
Sadly, others in my family have not walked this healing path. My Dad did not know how to navigate that space with them and lead them along. The end of my Dad's life brought drama in this circle. Because at the end of life, what wasn't dealt with in life comes to visit. I am saddened by these new family dynamics, but I accept that this is the consequence of not doing the work while we are alive and able to make that conscious choice to create more healed, harmonious and loving relationships. We all have the opportunity to seek inner peace and healing. When we take that opportunity and run with it, everyone around us is served. We contribute to global harmony in our most powerful way. By creating it internally and in all the relationships we engage in as best we can.