What Losing My Folks Taught Me

Those of you who know me personally are aware that my mom and dad passed away over the last few weeks. Despite not being in contact/being divorced for several years, they died within five days of one another.

It wasn’t exactly sudden. They’d both been ill for many years. As their child and as someone fairly close/in regular contact with both of them, I anticipated the time would come and was as ready as I could be. I have to admit, the proximity of their deaths in days shook me.

I’m aware that as humans, we try to explain the things we don’t understand by intellectualizing – by telling ourselves stories. Some of these stories become shared histories and traditions. Some of them become religious beliefs, or religious schools of thought altogether. Intellectualizing tragedy helps us cope with the rigors of life. It organizes entropy. Well we want it to, anyway.  Hopefully, intellectualizing trauma changes our experiences into the positive.

Because I’m only human, I immediately intellectualized what was going on. I thought, This isn’t happening to me – their deaths are about them. I may be suffering, but this transition is about them. There are some things in life and nature too big for me to understand and I have to start being okay with that. This happened for a reason.

There as many catch phrases that apply to everyday living and to our goals as there are coffee cups to print them on. You can’t take it with you. Live the Dream. And the one I cited above, Everything happens for a reason.

For me, this occurrence, these phrases, took meaning and started to change the way I reflected on my life. Some of them became reality. Not knowing the future used to scare me. Will this client be around in a year? Will I have security and stability? Am I doing a good job? Is this life the one I want to live?

Losing my parents put things into focus. The questions changed because they had to. I could no longer be the person I was a month ago. The questions became, Does this script serve me? Am I happy? Am I healthy, and doing what I can to be at optimum health? Does money really matter – more than my relationship with my future husband, my body, my relationship with my deity? Can I live life knowing I’m only one small part of an equation, and that deep down I really know nothing?

Ultimately, I can. And I can live life as part of an equation because freedom is admitting I deserve better than killing myself trying to control everything all the time. My clients deserve better. My fiancee deserves better. I deserve better.

Can you engineer the things that are within your control to create better business and relationship connections? Does it serve us to preserve ties to the things we cannot control? Our actions, our beliefs about ourselves and the lives we live every day are a choice. Everything else is, wholly and simply, just noise.

Amber Turrill

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