Hello friends – I’d like to share a personal story this month and a helpful tool, which feels timely as we all face grief and loss due to this pandemic. Two years ago, on April 13th, I received a call that my brother Mark had died, by suicide. This traumatic loss was unbelievably painful, and my grief recovery took a long time. I was privileged to have Mark in my life for nearly 50 years; we enjoyed decades of love and silly laughter together. He was the most generous person I’ve ever known, and one of my best friends. Life on this side of heaven will never be the same, but I found it can be fulfilling again.
A few days after my brothers’ death, I felt God saying in a very powerful way that I was to keep breathing, moving, and living. He knew how much I needed to hear this, as my heart literally hurt, and there were many weeks to follow where it was hard to even get out of bed. Despite the aching sorrow, I was continually challenged to choose life and focus on healthy self-care. One way I did this was to pull away in solitude, which gave my cluttered soul the space in which to heal.
During these quiet times, I would sense the chaos slowly clearing as I was reminded of what matters most: a deep relationship with God, and with those people He’s placed in my life. Walking closely with Jesus brought me sustaining hope, and even joy. Grief still likes to stop in for a visit, but I don’t allow it to stay very long. I let it go, and instead welcome in treasured memories of precious moments spent with my brother.
The phrase “Mark the Moment” was impressed on me that year, as a way I could practice remembrance of my brothers’ life and honor his legacy. I felt inspired to start a list of fun or meaningful things that filled my soul, and “Mark the Moment” by continuing to live my life with intention. Making a list was different than journaling long paragraphs (that required way too much energy, which I did not have.) What amazed me was how therapeutic this simple activity was; to write down a sentence or two of things that made me smile wide. It began to shift me from a place of sadness to gratitude, and helped me move forward through my grief.
Since then, I’ve been able to encourage family, friends, and clients to do the same: to pause and savor moments that still the soul; and to capture wondrous experiences given by the One who beckons each of us to Himself. And to be filled with His peace and presence as we connect with Him and others – it reminds us we are never alone. During Covid19, as we face so much transition in times of uncertainty, I invite you to “Mark the Moment”… and in doing so, may you discover hope, joy, and strength for each new day.
- How might starting a “Mark the Moment” list be a tool to help you or a loved one right now?
- In what ways will you live out your own legacy, as you honor the lives of those you’ve lost?
I’d love to hear your responses!
To Your Growth,
Carrie Cooper is a Certified Life & Grief Coach, Professional Organizer and Speaker who is passionate about helping others clear clutter of the home, mind and soul. She loves working with overwhelmed women who are in challenging life transitions, grief and loss, helping them move forward with peace and purpose. If you (or anyone you know) are feeling alone and in need of help, contact Carrie here to schedule a complimentary, get acquainted 30 minute call!
Carrie Cooper, CPLC, CGC
Certified Professional Life Coach
Certified Grief Coach