Anais Nin once argued that, “Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” In life, learning how to accept and release events or experiences without knowing exactly why they happened—or if they should have happened—is a vital skill to master. Indeed, even though most people believe or know that a lost loved one would want them to move forward and enjoy life rather than to dwell on their loss, it is still rarely easy for most people to do so.
It’s imperative to realize that life cannot be shifted into reverse, that life should not be lived in neutral, and that life should only be lived while travelling at various speeds of forward motion. More specifically, getting obsessed with answering the countless “why” questions almost always results in getting stuck in neutral. Furthermore, even when human beings arrive at potential answers to “whys,” there will never be any way of knowing if the “why” is real or imagined, which can lead to even more non-forward progress.
In particular, there are rarely any satisfying solutions to “why” when it comes to losing a loved one. As alluded to, contemplating these questions only leads to greater degrees of irritation and unhappiness. Yet, questions related to “how” in these situations do have the potential to be both positive and productive. Part of the reason for this is that asking “how” frequently compels you to look toward the future as opposed to looking toward the past. How you live the rest of your life should always be more significant than how you have lived in the past, and, again, this philosophy is in line with what most people believe or know a lost loved one would have wanted for them.
Moreover, living an honorable life in the present honors all honorable human beings who have lived before us. However, keep in mind that even this will not make grief go away, and it will not erase memories—but in some ways these are good things. There is nothing wrong with remembering a lost loved one, and with using the memory of their love to generate more love and positivity in the present and future world. It is honorable to use this memory of love—and this ongoing love—to be courageous, to take worthwhile risks, and to move forward in general.
If the memory and the love of a lost loved one influences and benefits your actions on a daily basis, then questions like “why” will not be so difficult to overcome.
Image: Hartwig HKD
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.