Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Great Expectations

A family we know experiencing their own devastating loss gave Robert and I one of the best pieces of advice to navigate the sea of grief we live in these days. They told us to give up the expectations we have of those around us.

I had to mull this one over for a bit because I generally have high expectations; of those around me and of myself. I am a do more, do better, love fiercely, be your best, be there for your friends and family, put it all on the table kind of gal.

But I have found in the face of major life altering event two things will happen:

  1. You will be disappointed and heartbroken by those you had high expectations of. People we have known for years, who I thought would be there to hold our hands, send a text or a card, or words of support, weren’t. Regardless of the reason it stings. My hospice counselor said it best when she told me not only was I mourning for the loss of my son I was also mourning the loss of relationships I really valued.          
  2. You will be incredibly amazed by the support you receive from places you didn’t expect it. My coworker who didn’t have the words slipped a Hershey bar on my desk every few days, friends of friends sent emails and asked how we were doing, Amish women worked endlessly to finish a quilt in record time. It came from people and places we could not have imagined. It lifted us up when we couldn’t lift ourselves.
And I haven’t even touched on the support from our parents, close family or other special people because there isn’t enough bandwidth on the internet to say thank you for all they did. One day I will try but it will probably never measure up. 

My goal for 2013 is to let my expectations go, of others and myself. I am giving them up and moving on. 

It’s hard as hell. I am not going to lie; sometimes I want to cling to them fiercely.  But I have found that when I do incredible things begin to happen. Relationships come easier, I am gentler on myself and others, and I feel lighter. Those damn expectations weigh a ton. It’s like my instructor says in yoga class: “Leave what does not serve you outside your mat”. They were not serving me so I am checking them at the door. 

Here is to a brighter and lighter 2013. 

Just because she is the reason I get up every morning. 

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