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The Certainties of Life

Benjamin Franklin said, “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain but death and taxes.” This is tax week, with federal taxes due, or an extension filed, by yesterday. While no one enjoys paying taxes, as an entrepreneurs, you have greater control on the income you make than if we went to a “day” job and clocked in. I like to think of that blessing as I gather all the numbers to complete the return.

Other than taxes, death is the other certainty in this world. I’ve been thinking about how we grieve our losses due to death of those we love. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been touched by the death of two of my aunts, a friend, and my mother-in-law. As one of my wise sisters pointed out, this is what happens as we get older. So, definitely a certainty, but painful nonetheless.

One of the essential doctrines of Buddhism is that of impermanence. And, our difficulties dealing with that concept is what leads to our suffering. Everything is impermanent — our work, nature, our possessions, and, yes, people. I can appreciate this concept, yet I can still struggle with it in my life.

Grieving and caring for yourself is key to dealing with loss. For each of us this is different. For me, I found myself turning to writing. I wrote on Facebook of the some of the lessons I learned from my two aunts and my friend. I turned to writing again with my mother-in-law‘s passing, writing her obituary. I looked for the blessings I received from each of them and how I could carry that forward in my life.

One of the ways that impermanence shows up in our lives over and over again is in nature. Flowers bloom and fade away. We learn to appreciate them while they bloom. I’m trying to learn to appreciate that beauty in my everyday life in a mindful way. One way that I’m choosing to honor my mother-in-law, who loved to garden, is by transplanting some of her favorite plants into my garden.

Grieving is multi-faceted, and isn’t a simple, one-time occurrence. From my past experience, it comes back and smacks you every once in a while. I think allowing for that time to grieve and being in the moment when you do grieve is critical.

So is self-care in whatever form works for you. It could be journaling, meditation, long baths, walks in nature, a nice massage or looking for a support group. It’s about being sure that you find what is nurturing to your spirit and your body. Since most people who read this blog are artists, it could be art. I know at some point later this year, I will turn back to fiber to share more of myself in this process.

It’s your turn!

How do you deal with loss?

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