Letting go. Simple enough. Just let go. But not easy enough. Letting go means letting go of the control. It doesn’t mean letting go of the memory. Memories are distorted as the need for control increases. Because the need for control makes us see things through our self-meter. We see things the way we want to see them and not how they really are.
And control? What’s that all about? Hasn’t death shown us that control is an illusion? We never had control of our kids. Adolescence proves that time and time again. If we could control our kids then there would be two more kids alive today in Emerald Isle. Instead, one set of parents was forced to make the choice to take their daughter off life support and donate her organs while another set of parents was forced to wait days before their son’s body was spotted in the surf, miles away.
Control? God must just shake his head at our feeble attempts to control a world that has gone awry. What with babies being killed near birth and even at birth while other parents long for a baby of their own. And our schools, a symbol of progress, society, learning and growth have become killing fields with another teen dead this week. Our flag has been at half-mast so long, it has forgotten what it’s like to be on top.
So letting go. Of what? The control we never had. Letting go of the illusion. The lie we’ve been telling ourselves all along. Daddy’s here, he’ll fix it. Mommy’s here, she will make it all better. We’re not super hero’s! Never were. Be a hero to your kids? How about just be there for your kids? Maybe that is enough. I used to think the saying “90% of success is just showing up” was an excuse created by a lazy man. But the older I get; I’m realizing it’s simple truth. If we stay the course with a faith unwavering, then as Jesus said, those who morn shall be comforted.
Take comfort knowing you didn’t have control. You are not guilty. You are the one who showed up. You are still showing up in your remembrance of him or her. In your reverence for life. In your commitment to helping others like yourself who are also hurting and in your commitment to helping others unlike yourself who do not see life for what it really is.
Don’t condemn those whose feet don’t touch the earth. After all, they haven’t seen their child or spouse or parent return to dust and ash. Don’t expect them to get dirty with you, to jump down in your trench, to get on their knees to reach down and hold your hand. Don’t expect when they say they are there for you, but don’t call you because they didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable. Or when they apologize profusely if they bring up a reminder. They don’t know you didn’t need a reminder for someone who is always, always on your mind. They want to walk with you–maybe, sort of–but they are too busy running,. They have forgotten how to rest.
And isn’t that what we need the most? Rest. To just let go. I am so tired. Sleep is such a welcomed relief. I rarely dream of my son. Some like dreams. Me, I don’t like waking up from dreams when the reality smacks me in the face.
Letting go of the control you never had requires addressing the biggest question—so who does have the control? Who is in charge of this ship? Who is the parent who can say, “Knock it off or I’ll turn this car around right now!” If you don’t get that right then control is an allusion, peace is a lie, happiness a distraction, and joy a distortion.
So here it is: Our days are numbered. That’s it? Pretty much. At least here in this world. That’s how a guy can pick up his son’s mangled motorcycle and build a chopper. Because he knows his days are numbered. He knows control as an illusion and closure is a crock. But he knows something else—in heaven there are no calendars. In heaven he may be able to spell calendar right the first time. In heaven, his son is waiting for him.
So today he holds to his memory and he lets go.
If you want to know more about how I let go, visit my new book, “When Sunday Smiled” at Amazon.com.” It tells of my miraculous healing of a heart broken. I’m still hiking through life, I’m still on the mend, but I am still following the next white blaze.