Is there life after loss?

Is there life after loss is the theme of a personal story I want to share today, and what is behind all the work in Before I Go Solutions.

After my husband Philip died, nearly 9 years ago now, I couldn’t imagine meeting anyone who would be as great as he was.
The thing is, I couldn’t imagine living for another 30 years or so on my own either. A dilemma – until I met Ian …

He had also been widowed, and we spent our first few dates talking a lot about death, and our spouses, and I was very cautious.
We’ve been living together now for a while, and building a house together, but on 19th September, we will also be getting married!
A tiny ceremony, with just the celebrant and two witnesses, and a meal together after.
Not ideal without family and more friends present, but as covid rules in Scotland just changed again yesterday, we are feeling fortunate that it can happen at all.
Philip still lives on in my heart, and Linda lives on in Ian’s.
We have space for them both in our relationship, and their photographs will be at our marriage ceremony with us.
We trust that both of them loved us enough to want us to find happiness with someone else.
The irony is, that without both their lives AND deaths, Ian and I would not now be together, feeling utterly grateful to have found each other.
Grateful also to our dear previous loves for the time we had with them, and grateful for the synchronicities and circumstances that allowed us to meet.

How blessed we are!

Behind this story is a promise I made to myself after Philip died.

Within the first pretty challenging year of grief, I had reflected on our relationship, and understood that while I had learnt a lot about love and loving from Philip, my heart had not always been as open as it could have been.

The promise I made was that, if I ever got another chance to have a relationship, I would keep my heart open.

After I met Ian, this was tested a few times!  By this stage I could sense really clearly how open it was (I think in images a lot, and sometimes the door to my heart was locked, and other times, I felt so open, the door had been blown off its hinges!)

But when it was closed, I actively did what I knew I needed to do to open it again.

And why I’m telling you this is because, alongside one other learning, it has been instrumental in me living a wholehearted life.

That other learning has been a willingness to face death – not just Philip’s, but my own too.

I slowly began to understand that it is only by admitting the boundary that death brings, that we are actually able to feel safe enough to fully let go into life.

And when you fully let go into all that life brings, its ups, downs, roundabouts and the general rollercoaster ride of it all, that’s when joy, connection, and precious, intimate moments show up in abundance.

Meaning that the quantity of life becomes less important than the quality.

Of course you might prefer it never to end, especially if you are in good health, but that’s not the nature of life, is it?

Life itself includes death, and the sooner one is able to embrace that, the sooner those precious moments of golden gratitude bubble up into a whole life of them.

You reading this, perhaps, are someone who is on this ‘facing up to death’ journey with me, but there are many who aren’t.

If you know someone who might benefit from the idea of practicing opening their heart, or allowing the life-giving acknowledgment of death to be present, please pass on this article to them.

And if you want to take some practical action on this subject, bear in mind that my open heart is also brought into all the products and programmes that we offer here – that’s what happens with an open heart, it spills out and infuses everything it comes into contact with.

Here’s what you can do for a next step:

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