• Sarah Hines

Reconciliation


A seed cracks before it grows a beautiful flower or a shade casting fruit tree. A relationship ends and after some time, a strong resilient human surfaces with new found wisdom. An egg is cracked before shared in a feast. You get the picture..ends breathe life into beginnings.

So, can something good come from the ending of a human?

This is such a delicate question to ask and needs more clarification.


Death is imminent and you cannot change the fact that you, your mom, and yes, your children are going to die. While we know this in our logical minds, not many think past that. That it could very well happen at any moment. Death is real and death is hard. It deserves more space than we give it.

Now...what could possibly grow from these honourable times? What good could possible nourish us in a time of endings? And while it would be easy to say, new beginnings, of course. I find the statement a disservice to the power that it holds. Much like #happiness, it's lipstick on the proverbial pig.

Reconciliation often comes up in our final days. It's like moving. What do I have to take with me, what do I leave behind. You walk through your life with a clipboard and pen, scoring yourself. But, what happens when you need don't want to take something with you nor leave it behind? What happens when you need to forgive?

In the time of our dying, you have a choice. To pack your anger and righteousness or make peace with leaving what you have created. You choose. Tough conversations are had on deathbeds. It normally takes the courage of the dying to start them. They have a sense of urgency to "settle up" before they go and they are persistent. Perhaps it's selfish.. a tying of loose ends of sorts. But its end result has a wonderful ripple effect if done with a whole heart and not the typical gloss over of "it's okay, don't worry about it."


Getting into the pompousness of it all and exposing raw nerves again, is that where the forgiveness happens? For some...maybe. But, it sounds more like a battle of ego's and frankly, we are in a time crunch. So, do we really need to relive all the details, or do we need to talk about the way things felt, how it has resonated? Could we spend time focusing on remembering what brought you together in the preciousness of these times? What if, it was a combination of both? However, it happens, it needs to be done without ego. It needs to be done with honesty and vulnerability and courage.

This reconciliation is a remembering. It's a trembling in our bones that proves to us we are doing the right thing. It is deep connection that exists past our ego's and individuality. It is a reminder that we are part of something bigger than us.

This atonement has opened the flood gates. It unleashes a wave of love for what was, and a sobering truth for, what could have been. This is, without question, a very big piece of what grief is. A love for what didn't or won't happen.

What does this reconciliation do for us?

I believe our stories change. There isn't a hardened jaw or a tense moment of silence when the names of our dead come up in discussions. In fact, you often see a tipped chin and a small smile in dedication, almost a humbling or loss of ego again. It's such an powerful truth, that the mere mention of a name, brings back a lifetime of emotions in a flash.

We are also given the gift of time. We have time to remember the love that brought us together in the first place, and why it hurts so damn much to be apart. This love now shows up where our ego once lived. It is resurfaces not only in the stories we tell but in the way we tell them. The story is told in love, in honour and with gratitude. Grief shows up in stories of forgiveness and a sense of tried and tested relationships.

How does Reconciliation Resonate?

If you talk to any great storyteller, they will tell you that the audience is the true bearer of the story. That the listener is the one who brings stories alive and are then the keepers of these stories. It's a ripple effect you see. That story changes with my telling, with my child's telling and so on.


My children listen to stories of my grandfather today that are quite

different than what they would have been before we reconciled. They are moral stories about how I let me ego get in the way and on the flip side of that, also about how hard he was to talk too. My stories are now told from a place of wonder of what life was like for him, for how he made his mark. In fact, those stories of how hard he was to talk to are now told with a nod of appreciation for how much I learned from him.

I look back with a tip of my chin, a subtle shake of my head and quietly giggle at some of the more tragic conversations. Knowing that it was in times like these I grew strong, I became grounded and yes, while I also grew angry and righteous, that has served me too. It is because of reconciliation, I can treat myself with tenderness and my grandfathers legacy with honour.

Photo by Alex Woods on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


A MEANINGFUL DEATH

sarah@deathandgrief.com

Toronto, ON

416-720-0717

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