#5 Grief, loss and appreciation of the gifts

blank sand beach

So much of our unhappiness comes from (1) fear of losing what we have – our cherished possessions, our jobs, our reputations, our relationships, our homes and our loved ones, (2) grief with the loss of health, abilities, relationships and loved ones, and (3) dissatisfaction with not having what we want or need.

When my mother died suddenly nearly eight years ago, everything in my life changed.  It felt as if all was lost.  Many times since, I have counseled others who have lost loved ones.

How can we ever remedy what is lost and which cannot be regained?  Where there is life there is hope, but when a life ends, where is hope?  How can we regain happiness in the present when happiness, remains in our memories in the past?  All life thereafter which would seem good and beautiful and happy can only be bittersweet.

But what is our life but change?  We are born, we live and love in the eternal summers of childhood, we relate, worry, agonize as we grow and mature, we make a place for ourselves in the world, we age and wear down, we fade or we end unexpectedly.

What of us and our lives endures? Memories that eventually fade and die as those we have known also pass away or forget?  Foot prints and castles in the sand which once were real and seemingly solid but will inevitably be blown by the winds and washed by the waves?

Life is a gift, but it is not a possession to hold and grasp forever.  It is to be appreciated, cherished and shared while we have it.  We are but custodians of the gift, of the many gifts in our lives – blessings, good fortune, opportunities and challenges, and relationships. 

People, all special and unique step into our lives for a time.  We can be open – smile and talk, listen and learn, help and share.  Opportunities will arise and they will pass.  Or we can walk on by, miss opportunities to make a connection, to forge meaning, to make a positive difference in another’s life, to enrich our daily lives and the daily lives of others.

Take life and its precious gifts, be open to others, to their beauty and the beauty of all life, cherish the blessings of the day but let go when the time has passed, when life moves on, when loved ones and old friends leave. 

We cannot hold back our beautiful children from growing and maturing and discovering their true selves and new worlds.  Our parents cannot live forever no matter how much we want to hold them near.  They are all gifts we may hold and enjoy for a time.  Appreciate and cherish them with loving care and an understanding that they are only ours for a brief span of time.  We ought to feel grateful for at least that brief span.

Ready to take a fresh look at life, question self-limiting beliefs and discover enduring happiness? Join me in “A Hundred Days to Happiness.”

Since February 1st, I’ve been sharing insights I’ve learned from my patients, friends and family. Each day, I will post one new insight on facebook.com/davidicus.wong, twitter.com/DrDavidicusWong and my blog, davidicuswong.wordpress.com.


About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Coping with Loss, Emotions, Grace, Happiness, Letting Go, Love, Parenting, Positive Change, Purpose, Relationships, Wisdom and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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