“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus, Greek sage and Stoic philosopher

Four years ago this week my son Rick died in a solo car accident. I posted the following in June of that year as a very short blog post.

Making peace with what is; not what could be, should be, or isn’t.

Being in the present moment and appreciating with gratitude all that I have, right here, right now, leaves me with a quiet sense of contentment.

I think when we yearn for peace, harmony and contentment what we are really striving for is something that is outside of ourselves.

If we just looked within through meditation, quiet contemplation or prayer, we would find IT.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if we all rejoiced for those things which we have?

While I was thinking of my loss, my sorrow, my pain at the time, I think this post is relevant to more than just the pain of losing a loved one.

At the time, I was reflecting on how to live without the story of what could have been, what should have been, and what would never be. I was stumbling into the world of living without.

I’ve come to think that the deep sorrow we feel with someone’s passing is a mixture of the physical pain of separation and the emotional pain of saying good bye to the story – the story of how we imagined life would be. The searing pain of separation is lessened as we make peace with what is – not with what we wanted it to be or what it “should” have been.

Making peace with death, his physical death and the death of the story of how I pictured him living his life, came to me as I surrounded myself in gratitude. As I wrapped myself in a cocoon of gratitude for his crinkled smile, his big hairy feet and his infectious playfulness, as I rested in the energy of gratitude for having him in my life, for even a short while, I came to a place of peace, contentment, and acceptance.

Whenever the stories of what could have been or what should have been creep into my consciousness, I wrap them in the energy of gratefulness – for all that I did have, for all that he was.

Thank you Rick – for being my son, even for such a short while. I am a wiser, gentler being because you chose me as your mom. Namaste – I see you for the shining light that you are.

Written by Della Temple, a BPI graduate who writes, teaches, and heals. She is the author of:

▪ Tame Your Inner Critic: Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose

▪ Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss

Explore her work at http://www.dellatemple.com.

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