In 1995, Country Western Artist, Patty Loveless recorded a song entitled, “How Can I Help You To Say Goodbye.” It did not reach #1 but made an impact on country western music. It is a heartbreaking tune about a woman’s relationships in life including re-location, divorce and caring for her elderly mother at a crucial time in her life.
Sitting with Mama alone in her bedroom
She opened her eyes, and then squeezed my hand
She said, I have to go now, my time here is over
And with her final word, she tried to help me understand
Mama whispered softly, Time will ease your pain
Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same
And she said, How can I help you to say goodbye?
It’s OK to hurt, and it’s OK to cry
Come, let me hold you and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?
Saying “goodbye” is difficult no matter what the situation. It is especially difficult when a loved one dies and there are strong feelings of sadness as well as sincere feelings of appreciation for the life shared. Finding small, personal, and unique ways to celebrate in the midst of the loss helps us move from hurt and grief to acceptance and hope. It’s a process. As you go through that process, I encourage you to be kind, generous, and gentle with yourself. Be flexible and accepting of the vast range of emotion that you are experiencing. Seek support form others.
I particularly like the closing words; “It’s OK to hurt, and it’s OK to cry. Come let me hold you and I will try. How can I help you to say goodbye?” Look for those people around you who are trying to convey that message or at least thinking it. They will be there.
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