I remember clearly the moments I was lowering my younger sister’s body into her gravesite. I made a solemn oath that her death would not be in vain. I committed to discover the truth about life and death. I intended to make sense of Jody’s passing. I set a goal!
Looking back at this intention, I noticed that this was a way I began to make sense of Jody’s unexpected and sudden death. In a way it gave meaning to her death and helped me along my journey to acceptance of her passing. In a very direct way it breathed a new sense of life into me.
Here are a few of the commitments I made as a result of my own experience of loss of a loved one:
I intended to stay closer with my brother Peter and my Mom.
Tell my children more often how much I loved them and how proud I am of them.
Write books that would help people.
Change my career.
Setting a personal goal as a result of the loss of a loved one is a real way to honor their death by creating new life. My goal to make sense out of life and death ultimately resulted in this book! Death of my sister – birth of this book.
In the case of death, a new life or a new sense of life must emerge
somewhere in the family unit.
Once the busy times surrounding the death have settled and you have a bit of breathing room and personal time I encourage you to create for yourself some goals which are inspired by the loss. These goals can reflect a realization you have gained, an insight or learning resulting from the death.
Take a look at any regrets or ‘wish I hads’ that arise for you when you think about your loved one. Here are some common regrets people close to death often speak about:
I wish I’d had the courage to live my life, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I didn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express myself more fully.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends and family.
I wish that I had expressed the happiness I felt
There are many other regrets that folks nearing death experience and I am sure if you recall conversations with the loved one of yours you can add to this basic list.
Here is what you can do with these gems of wisdom. Take as an example number 4 on this list. Your loved one expressed that they wished they had stayed in touch with friends and family. If this regret moved you and you feel inspired to live your life differently you could set a goal such as:
I will call each of my family members at least once each week.
Whatever regrets you feel might end up coming out of your mouth as you prepare for your own death would be good ones to set goals around right now. Once you have created these goals make sure to let your friends and family know so they can support you in accomplishing them. Perhaps your actions will inspire them to join you in remembering all of your loved ones in this unique way.
Setting great life goals inspired by the loss of a loved one is a genuine way to honor their life wisdom keeping their spirit alive in you.