Twice in the last 20 years, I’ve been faced with the harrowing decision of letting go of forever.
The first time was not so much a choice as my Dad lost his battle with stage IV lung cancer just 8 months after being diagnosed.
The second time was a choice all of my own volition. I chose to end my marriage. There were a lot of factors at play, but ultimately when love and trust are gone then the best decision is to walk away. I walked away.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the celebration of life for someone that I hardly knew yet impacted my life greatly.
In the face of the impending divorce, I made the choice not to tell my family until the petition for divorce was public record. This meant that for a few months I sat with the decision and shared it with a select few people who could hold my truth for me.
One family that met this match was the family of the man whose celebration of life that I attended. We joined forces at a lung cancer walk nearly two years ago to create a team called, “Imagine Whatever It Takes.”
“Imagine” for the song that will always hold my heart and “whatever it takes” for Jeremy. On the day of the walk, I shared with the Killen family my small truth that I was going thru a divorce. Immediately, I felt tremendous love from them.
Until I attended Jeremy’s celebration of life, I had not fully let go of my Dad. Listening to his ceremony was like listening to a younger version of my Dad, a man who never let go living while facing imminent death. I cried at the ceremony both for the loss of Jeremy and also the loss of my Dad. I left the ceremony calling a dear friend to share the experience as it was the first time in over 14 years since losing my Dad that I felt a closure I had not yet felt.
2018 was a year filled with professional success and personal challenges, but I end this year knowing that it is possible to let go of forever with a little help from your friends.
And sorry, Mom, there’s another tattoo.