Memorial Day was originally designated as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States. Regardless of what we believe about war and politics, for most of us, it’s still a reminder for us to recognize and appreciate those who have lost their lives in the armed forces, as well as to thank those still living who are or have served in some capacity. All of them, including their family members, have sacrificed so that the rest of us can enjoy the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. Let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all who have given their energy and lives to protect us.
In recent years, we have expanded this holiday to honor the lives of other loved ones who have transitioned from this physical realm of existence.
If you’re mourning a loss (whether through military service or otherwise), this holiday may be a sad reminder of something you’re already struggling to balance in your life. Go easy on yourself this weekend. It sometimes helps to have a plan – a way to honor your loved one by doing something you used to enjoy together or that was important to them; or to do something totally different to take your mind off things as much as possible. Structure is usually helpful when we’re struggling. But listen to your body and soul and do what feels right for you. If that means staying in bed, watching old movies, going out in nature . . . whatever it means for you, that’s what you should do. Just allow the day to unfold.
Following is an excerpt from Hard Choices For Loving People by Hank Dunn:
A natural response to the possibility of losing someone is to hold on tighter or to try to gain more control. Ironically, this does not lead to a life of freedom and joy, the very things we were pursuing. Most of us do learn to let go. We let go of our childhood and accept adult responsibilities. We let go of our teenage children and our attempts to control them. We let go of finding happiness in possessions or careers. We even learn that we have to let go of other people and not be dependent on them for our happiness. To learn these lessons, we have to accept the fact that these things or people were gifts in the first place.
There are two ways to hold on. We can grasp tightly as we would a coin in our fist. We fear we will lose it, so we hold it tight. Indeed, if we open our hand palm down the coin falls from our possession, and we feel cheated. The other way to hold on is by opening our hand palm up. The coin may sit there, or it could be blown away or shaken out of our possession. But while it is there, we are privileged to have it. We hold on with an open hand. Our hand is relaxed and we experience freedom.
I wish you a relaxing and peaceful Memorial Day weekend.