End in Gratitude

Someone that I love died two years ago. I discovered it today.

My grief is present.

My gratitude for her is present.

My awareness of the preciousness of life is present.

Her name was Ann.

She was a teacher of mine. A teacher in the areas of spirituality, the impact of addictiveness, and family of origin healing work. She was my first teacher when I faced my eating disorder and my newfound awareness that I developed some adaptive behaviors to cope with the unresolved trauma and grief from a sometimes-dysfunctional family. Being the first guide to shine a light on these issues may be the reason that her impact is great.

I was young.

I was open.

I was tenderly vulnerable as the insights came quickly.

I remember you, Ann.

When our professional affiliation ended after three years, we met to complete our time together and I expressed appreciation to her for the contribution she made to my life. I brought her a dozen roses and embraced her with a thankful goodbye. While we did not maintain contact after our professional affiliation ended, we did run into each other and greeted one another with love and respect. Besides being a teacher in a significant time in my life, she was a seeker, a soul partner on the journey of continued transformation in life. It was sweet to meet her more than once along the path.

I miss you, Ann.

Endings are part of life. Ann taught me this. When the season of a relationship ends or shifts, whether personal or professional, there is a unique opportunity to honor that relationship with joy, gratitude, and emotional presence. Taking advantage of the opportunity to complete and transition by showing up physical, spiritually and emotionally keeps the connection alive. It also allows for new ways to be in the relationship.

When I completed with Ann, I gifted myself. The gifts I give myself are often the ones that integrate most deeply in my heart, mind, and spirit.

Here are three benefits to completing a relationship and being fully present to its ending:

  1. In expressing my appreciation to her for the contribution she made to my life, I anchored those contributions deeply. Her words of wisdom and guidance remain vibrant. When I pass on what I learned from her, I am reminded of the wisdom.
  2. In staying physical and emotionally present to the ending of the relationship as it once was, and bowing with an open heart to this woman who made a difference in my life, I integrate an essential practice in my life: Research suggests that gratitude is good for the brain, good for healthy living, and has proven benefits for living with a more positive attitude. https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#1f48e705183c
  3. In welcoming all the emotions of an ending to be felt and experienced with an open heart, not only do I keep the connection vibrant, experience gratitude for the relationship, but this practice becomes a part of my life, and teaches me essential qualities of intimacy. When I survive a significant ending with love and appreciation once, my heart expands. I learn about intimacy. Life is about flow, seasons, and cycles. Keeping my heart open to risk intimacy and realizing that all relationships have an ending to come, teaches me courage. Courage to open my heart. Courage to risk vulnerability and intimacy. Courage to surrender to the seasons of life on life’s terms.

There is so much more received from this woman teacher in my life, and with the same honor of gratitude that I offered her in our transitioning relationship almost thirty years, I honor her again.

Thank you, Ann. You live on in my life and in the lives of other women that I share your wisdom with one day at a time.


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