How to Let Go of Loved Ones Who Have Passed On
Mood Music– EverGreen By Yebba
March is coming up and it isn’t my favorite month. On March 26, many years ago, I lost someone very near and dear to my heart.
During this month, when the sun shines a certain way or the young honeysuckle of early spring caresses my nose, my soul lurks in the most unpleasant way.
I am reminded of standing in a dark chapel with a corpse, saying my vows to this unmoving thing. My living hand unnaturally intertwined with his dead one. I remember turning the lights off on my heart before I left the chapel like Whitney Houston in the Saving All My Love video, and driving off into the buttery spring sunlight hopeful that I could let him go.
Did I? No. For years and years I picked up his memory and played it one hundred times a day like my favorite song. At night, I wrapped myself in his presence like a favorite blanket.
It was not healthy and I was not moving forward in life. Finally, I decided though divine intervention, it was time. It was time to let him began his heavenly journey while I embarked on my earthly one- it was time to let go.
Three Steps to Letting Go
How do you let go of someone who meant so much to you after that person has passed on? I discovered three necessary steps along my journey and I hope these steps will be beneficial to you.
Step 1: Prayer– God is our father and in order to have a real relationship with Him, He wants all of us. God wants our anger, He wants our sorrow, and He wants our frustration. When you are grieving, God will not be upset with you if you express that you are angry with Him. God will not be bored if you share with Him your endless memories. God will not be mad if you need to cry out to Him.
In your sorrow, give it all to God and ask Him to heal all of your wounds. Even if you need closure or answers, God will give those to you too. The Bible states that, “We have not because, we ask not (James 4:2- Paraphrased). Most importantly, ask God to help you let go, and over time those prayers will be answered.
Step 2: Time– Time is the real end of our trials. As corny as that sounds, and I totally stole that line from a song, time truly heals all wounds. Over time, you will become bored with your grief and rightly so. Don’t feel guilty when that moment comes, accept it as a sign.
If you can make it though that first year after the passing of a loved one, you will find that everyday becomes better and better and soon things will be something like normal. It will be a new normal, but you will adjust beautifully. Have patience.
Step 3: Actively Decided to Let Go– Believe it or not, grieving in a choice. You can choose to focus on your sorrow or you can choose to focus on something more positive. The Bible states (paraphrased) “Continually focus on good things (Philippians 4:8)”, so refocus. You can not move forward looking back. Give yourself a few months to really mourn and get those feelings out, but after that rejoin the living.
Go out, enjoy family and friends, join a club, or support group. When you feel your mind wondering to your sorrow, think of the happy times you shared with your loved one. Let that missing feeling wash over you for no more than a moment, then start counting your blessings. Doing this retrains your brain and you can begin picking up the pieces and moving forward.
A Word of Hope
Letting go isn’t easy at first, there will be some amazing days that feel like normal and some rainy days that are filled with sorrow, so don’t beat your self up. I promise that if you follow the three steps above, you will know joy sooner than you think possible.
Don’t feel guilty about moving forward. Your loved one doesn’t want you to be stuck in a cycle of continued sorrow. He or she would want you to be happy, because they are experiencing endless joy in real-time with you. We serve a risen savoir who promises life everlasting though his own sacrifice of blood.
Through Christ’s sacrifice, know that your loved one is very much alive in another realm with God Himself. You too, will reconvene with your loved ones in endless joy, but not right now – you have earthly work to do!
The Bible states that there is a season to everything (Ecclesiates 3:1-8) and this is your season to know joy too. Do not be afraid to move on. You are still here, you still have purpose to many people on earth and they are counting on your healing so that you might do the things for them you were called to do.
Be continually grateful for the beautiful souls you got to encounter on this side, cherish and enjoy the memories, but let go…….
For a bit of comfort read this often repeated poem, a little something from your loved one to you:
Miss Me But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little-but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me-but let me go
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan
A step on the road to home
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me but let me go.