3 Things - Part II

The second thing death has taught me is Patience.

Here’s a definition of Patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

What stands out to me is the word - TOLERATE. If you have experienced loss, you know that it can feel intolerable. And it causes great upset. And most definitely in my case, ANGER. I had no choice but to sit in my discomfort and experience my agony, torment and misery. I wondered many times over how long, HOW LONG can this last?

In the early days of my loss the mental hijacking that took place was enough for me to declare insanity. Because of the chaotic nature of my husband’s death I could not stop running through the timeline of events and filling in the gaps with my imagination. It was torturous.

I walked into a Tuesday Morning store one day after a counseling session because I didn’t want to go home. I walked the aisles. And if you’ve ever been in a Tuesday Morning store you know there is an overwhelming amount of STUFF to see. Aisle by aisle I walked and scanned.

It provided a momentary solace. My mind was processing the cups and decor and suitcases and pillows and forks and bedspreads and pots and towels instead of the insanity of my new reality.

This little reprieve gave me just enough to keep fighting the fight. And although I most definitely found myself angry and upset while lacking patience...over time, I came to realize that my late husband’s death was not mine and one day I would return to this world. I just didn’t know how or when.

And let me be frank. I still have days...STILL after seven years when my patience feels thin. My anger flares. My hurt surfaces. What I know now is that with patience I will return again to presence and gratitude. Grief is a constant ebb and flow and my patience with the reality of that continues to grow.

"The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions." —The Dalai Lama

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Photo credit: Irene Davila