What I Believe

Jennifer - Mentor, Ohio
Entered on April 17, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

What I Believe

Grief is a funny thing. You can only ignore it and push it down for so long until one day it flicks you in the head, then it taps on your shoulder, next a willful shake, and suddenly you find yourself down on your knees. Grief came knocking on my door about fifteen years after my parents were gone. I was happily married, four lovely children, nice house, back in school completing my degree, a good job but suddenly I was so sad and could not shake it. (I had not taken the time to grieve the loss of my mother when I was a freshman in college at the age of 19 and my father five years later.)

That is when I found Rose, a counselor at a local university who walked with me as I re-entered the valley of grief. Grieving is hard work that most do not like to entertain, but through that process I found myself and began to listen to my inner voice that was trying to guide me all along. She helped me open up my heart to hear what I had pushed away. Rose was also a spiritual guide who encouraged me to find what it is I am meant to do on this earth, in the time that I have right now, in the present moment.

I believe that we all are here on earth for some purpose, pre-ordained, pre-destined, however you want to state it. Life takes you down winding roads and where you end up sometimes amazes and surprises you. However, you must be open to the possibilities. I believe that my path led to me to caring for the dying, to bestow dignity on those who continue to teach us lessons at the apex of their life, validate that their life meant something, they mattered.

Working in this field for nine years I thought I had a pretty good handle on the topic of death and dying and then life wants you again to learn another lesson. I suddenly lost my oldest sister in the span of 12 days (pneumonia/sepsis/multi-system organ failure). The loss of a sibling is so different from a parent because you yourself look in the mirror at your own mortality. You begin to know that there is an end wherever it may be and you need to pay attention, be present, be happy, and love one another.

Why do some circumstances in our lives happen? Sometimes for reasons that are beyond us, but we must trust and be attentive, be still, and wait for another lesson that is just around the corner.