Letting Go

Cancer Letting GoMost of what we read about grief and loss assumes that our relationships with those we have lost are perfect. In a fantasy world that would be true. We, however, live in a world of reality and know that our relationships are sometimes less than perfect.

We’re human and so are those who share our lives. And, humans make mistakes, make wrong choices, say things they shouldn’t, and live life on their own terms.

Unresolved Issues

Some times when we lose a loved one there are unresolved issues that we must work through.

We may have feelings of anger, hurt, frustration, or pain that are deeply rooted in our pasts.

We may regret things we have said or done, or those we neglected to do.

We may feel abandoned by our lost loved-one. We may have feelings we can’t define except to say that they cause us pain.

These feelings can be harmful to us, not only in resolving issues with the lost loved-one, but in our future relationships as well.

It’s important to understand where these feelings come from and realize that there is nothing we can do to change the past. And, there is nothing we can do to change others either. What we can do is to change ourselves and the way we think about our past, others in our life, and our futures.

Things to Do

Here are some things I have done to let go of the anger and hurt of my past:

  • Make a list of the things in my past that have made me angry and still cause me pain. Reflect on the list and realize that those things cannot happen again.
  • Change the way I think about others’ actions. Realize that there were reasons they made the choices they did even if I don’t understand or even know what those reasons were.
  • Realize that the only person who makes no mistakes is the person who does nothing. I forgive the mistakes of others and refuse to let regret rob me of happiness.
  • Consciously forgive myself for any transgressions or omissions and ask our lost loved-one for foregiveness.
  • Remember that forgiveness is something I do for me, to give me more peace of mind in the present and in the future.
  • Make a conscious commitment to release others’ power over my life. I may have felt hurt, anger or regret in the past, but I refuse to allow those memories to continue hurting me as well.
  • Accept that the person I have lost was not the person I wanted them to be. They were themselves, and that was one of the reasons I loved them.
  • Understand that it’s OK to love someone even if they weren’t perfect.
  • Know that nothing in my past can hurt me unless I allow it to.
  • Realize that the person I have lost loved me in the only way they knew how.
  • Know that it’s OK to express my feelings and it’s not disloyal to do so.
  • Accept the past as over and understand that my future is my responsibility. Commit to making it as good as it can be.
  • Know that if I continue to have trouble with unresolved issues that I should consider professional therapy.

Talk to our recognized primary care physician: Dr. Marina Gafanovich at Manhattan Physical Exam Center and stay health both physically and mentally.

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