Letting It Be

My previous post chronicled my thought processes as I watched the video “Let It Be” that is making the rounds. As I said in that bloggery, At first I thought that perhaps this was the answer to my confusion over the death of my mate of thirty-four years. Just go on with my life and let it be. Forget my grief. Forget the pain of losing him. Forget trying to make sense of it all. Just . . . let it be.

When I first wrote that a few days ago, something in me let loose, and though I claimed I did not want to let it be (whatever it is) I haven’t been the same since. At least not exactly the same. I still had my usual Saturday upsurge of grief (preceded by a late night — I don’t seem to be able to go to sleep until after 1:40 am on Friday night, the time of his death) but I felt sad rather than soul-broken. I’ve even had a few moments when I could actually feel glimmers of life.

I can’t forget my grief or the pain of losing him, though both are slowly diminishing. And I can’t stop trying to make sense of my life. That’s who I am and always will be — a truth seeker. But I can let go of trying to make sense of his life.

It has haunted me all these months — the dual vision of the young radiant man he was when we met and the skin-covered skeleton he’d become. Were all those years of illness worth living? He was often in pain and wanted to be done with life, yet he kept striving to live until the very end. I remember those last years, months, days, and I still cry for him and his doomed efforts. But he doesn’t need those tears. His ordeal only lives in my memory. And that is what I am letting be. It is not for me to make sense of his life or his death. It is not for me to keep suffering for him now that he is gone.

A fortune cookie I read the other day said, “Cleaning up the past will always clear up the future.” Much of my grief has been about cleaning up the past — coming to terms with small every day betrayals, with dreams that never came true, with leftover worries. I have cleaned up the past, gradually worked through those conundrums. What is left is the habit of dwelling on the past, and that I can let be. It does neither of us any good.

Will it clear up the future for me? Perhaps. At the very least, it will help me face the future. Whatever that might be.

9 Responses to “Letting It Be”

  1. leesis Says:

    Pat I love the way you think! Just as we run away from the anger or despair loss can bring so we also resist the commencement of more…ummm… healing notions. Letting be or what I call letting go is one of them.

    I have to say friend the way you have journaled (is there such a word) your journey here should be the grief process bible in my view.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Funny you should say that, Leesa, about my journey being the grief process bible. When my first year of grief is up, I plan on compiling these grief posts, my letters to him, and my private journal entries into a book. Don’t know if anyone will want to read it, but it will be available. Be forewarned, I plan on asking you for an endorsement for the back cover.

  2. Carol Ann Hoel Says:

    Let it be, let it be. Musical, poetic, and prophetic. Blessings to you, Pat, as you walk in your new sense of settling with the past and moving into the future. A bright future.

  3. historicwalker Says:

    Life is a journey..there will always be twists in the road, but if you travel lightly, you will get through them all the easier. Kudos to you for “letting it be.” Your blog is poignant and soulful.

  4. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    I don’t think we ever quite forget that the loss and grieving were painful but I do think we reach the point of being able to put the burden down and leave it behind as we continue to move forward. It’s there to look back upon… the memory doesn’t disappear… but our lives reach that stage where we’re no longer tied to the pain. Maybe that’s the “let it be” for me.

    Next week it will be fourteen years since our daughter died and I always stumble a bit when the 17th comes around, but I’m no longer actively grieving. I think of her; I remember things; I regret the waste of a precious life and all that she (and we) have missed in the intervening years. There is a twinge, but it’s not pain anymore. I’m not sure when my emotions leveled out to this point but it’s been quite a while. I’m glad that you’re finding that the grief and pain are diminishing. They will continue to diminish. It’s what people mean when they say it gets easier. The memory will always be there but the pain won’t.

  5. joylene Says:

    Sadly, it took grief to force me to live in the moment. And that was the second time. The first taught me to distrust God. What you are doing, Pat, is constructive and so very helpful. That may not always seem so on your end, but looking at it from my prospective, it is. Blessings.

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