As I walked the beach tonight I took note of the way the water flowed in with each set of waves, how the sand formed patterns and how the patterns quickly changed as the next round of waves hit the beach. As I walked down the beach contemplating the serenity around me I realized that those patterns are a lot like my life.

At each point in my life things seem strong, complete and in flow with the universe. Yet as soon as I face a death in my family, a move to a new continent or the end of a relationship the pattern that seemed so strong and permanent shifts in a completely new way and I am left for a time floundering with my grief or my move to a new country and am forced to create a new pattern of living.

Sometimes the changing pattern of my life is not a pleasant experience and sometimes it’s exciting, such as when I moved to Guam, Hawaii or Germany. When my life changed due to a death or divorce the pain of creating a new pattern, a new way of life is one that took me a great deal of time and patience. There were so many dark, difficult days, when it felt like going on was going six steps back and running away seemed a lot more attractive at that point. Through the pain and the gut wrenching grief I persevered, I learned to trust in the moments of clarity. I surrendered when I was able to the moments when I saw a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous flower and for a second I remembered there was a day when my life wasn’t filled with pain and heartache.

Early on those days seemed few and far between. Trust that spirit is guiding you and that you will find ways to come through the grief and loss just as I have. It was never easy and there are still many painful moments even for me, ten years out on my mom’s death and nearly four years out on my dads. As I write this post there are tears as I sit at my kitchen table and look at their photos on my refrigerator. I miss them every day, and I wish they could share my physical life. I can’t change their fate. But I changed my attitude and the way I live my life.

It didn’t happen all at once. At first after my mom’s death was a realization that my job was consuming too much of my life. I began saying no alot more easily and wow did it feel good! The world kept revolving and they found other people to share the load. It’s amazing how that works!! I lost my mother when she was 53 years old. I was certainly not going to waste my Saturdays working or even a small part of my evenings. I was LIVING and I planned to enjoy it! About a year after my mom died I began the application process to go back overseas and teach. My mother dying was a big wake up call for FOLLOWING MY DREAMS. I knew in my heart it was the right choice and despite my fears and frustrations within approximately nine months I was on my way to a new job and life in Germany that I had long dreamed of!

My mother’s death propelled me to make changes in my life and to create a new beautiful patten she would be proud of. I know she sees my life and the progress and changes I have made. I feel her love and support surrounding me many time and have felt her assistance in moments of challenge.

It was my father’s death that propelled me to realize I must publish my book. I had been working on it for years on my summers and vacations. But his death was the turning point to focus my full attention on my gift of writing. I have created these new patterns over time and not without pain, not without soul searching and fear. Yet I knew the pattern was right, I felt it in my heart and understood it in my soul. I hope my message will help you to find the pattern in your own life, to move with the pain and realize that your life goes on, no matter how painful and sad that is. Our departed loved ones only want our happiness so trust in your heart and step forward in hope toward something that feels right, something that you can be proud of. A new pattern that will bring peace into your life once more and the reminder that life can indeed be beautiful.