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Saying Goodbye and Finding Joy

Today many of us said goodbye to someone special. She was special to so many for a variety of reasons. She was a mom, a daughter, an aunt, a grandmother, a cousin, a practitioner, and a friend among other roles. She was also my former mother in law. I say former but I’m not sure if it is possible to be anything other than a mother in law. While her son and I divorced almost 15 years ago she remained in my life as we served together at church off and on and kept in touch over the years after I moved churches. I have many fond memories of her. When I was asked today after the service what one thing I remember the most about Pauline I shared her love of laughter. She loved to laugh, she loved to have a good time, and she loved chocolate! Pauline taught me about the power of humor and the ability to laugh. What is one thing that you remember of your loved one who has died?

Many times when we say goodbye we may feel at a loss, not sure what to think, say, or do. I wonder if we took the time to remember just one thing that our loved one did that made a difference in our life? If we thought about it and then paid it forward some how? What would that look like? For me it would be to remember to laugh more often, to laugh at myself more often, to find joy in the smallest of things.

“Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don't allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much longer. But all are necessary, otherwise they wouldn't be in the play. Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.” -Wayne Dyer

I chose a Wayne Dyer quote because I know because just like me, Pauline loved Dyer’s work. She led a book study using at least one of his books over the years. Letting go of what was can be difficult. In this instance I felt like I was not only releasing Pauline from this physical existence I was also releasing a part of my past, a letting go what was so I can step into what is and what will be. It was like an end of an era for me. While the physical divorce and the pain involved with that experience happened many years ago, my relationship with Pauline remained to some degree. It was never the same and yet I knew she was around if ever I wanted to take a walk, have a conversation, or prayer support. Life can change in an instant, I’ve learned not to take things for granted. I sometimes forget because I am human, and yet it is times like this one that I am once again reminded of this truth. I choose to let go of what is no longer serving me so I can step into a greater yet to be, saying goodbye and thank you to those who have traveled with me on my journey – some for a short time, some for longer periods, and some for always. I am grateful to have known Pauline and been a part of her family for a short period of time. I will never forget it. Thank you for welcoming me into your family and allowing me to stay connected in the way we were called to do so. So, in the midst of the sadness that I felt today, I also felt great joy for having had the journey. God speed Pauline and may you enjoy lots of chocolate on your new adventure…

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