This song is my answer to the world of people who say things like, “I hope this gives you closure,” “It’s time to let go,” or “I’m praying that you can move on.”

I know that people mean well, but I have said over and over, “Please understand that I am not seeking closure; I am seeking purpose.”

I hope that the very real FEAR of losing someone in those two words will diminish after you read my thoughts today. This post is long, but these are some of the thoughts that helped me to let go of the FEAR of letting go. It’s a very real fear. And I needed to find my breakthrough . . . Please read on.

For those of you who know what it’s like to live in this ever-constant state of “missing you” with someone you love more than anyone, I hope that the phrases I have chosen to use will help you adjust your own concept of “letting go,” in order to allow the process of letting go to become an act of peace [a peace that gradually heals and comforts], rather than hearing those words in a way that raises walls of defense [walls will increase a heightened internal combat — you’ll think in your head that you have to “let go” to heal like a normal person, but then war against your wholehearted desire to keep holding on. I know those walls].

For those of you who do not yet know the depth of such loss, I hope that the phrases I have chosen will give you better word choices in your desire to comfort those close to you who need you.

Here we go…

• Seeking Purpose replaces Seeking Closure
Understand that people do not have an ability to close a door on a person who has become a part of who they are today. Closure encourages a stifling inside, and it stirs up warring emotions and questions. Purpose allows room for acceptance, and then an ability to release those negative emotions, because the person can seek out and discover ways to fill the present with acts of love and honor — things that help to comfort the loss and to create more acceptance, not less.

Trust me, loss needs filling, and not more losing.

But ARE there some negative losses for which the word “closure” would be the appropriate choice? Perhaps. For example, will it come time for me to close the part of my heart that seeks to resolve my anger toward the hospitals and the “high level standard of care” that I believe needs to be re-evaluated by caregivers?

Sure.

But what will help me more? Closure? Or Purpose?
If I close that door with unrest, then I am stifling my own release, and bottling up anger that will wreck me later. Resentment will take hold and remain a potential wrecking force over time. I would be allowing bitterness to spread its roots and grow.

However, if I seek purpose, even in that hard arena, then I can continually seek ways that Mike’s unfortunate passing will be making a difference… and THAT, my friends, brings comfort and release.

(I have already received stories of people whose lives were changed by noticing some decisions in the hospital that saved them from Mike’s outcome. At first, it was so painful to hear. I just wanted it to have been Mike. But I am beginning to heal and find comfort in those successes. It’s never easy. But… there, I find purpose. And it does ease the pain.)

Sometimes loss is found in a sudden accident, an act of murder, an unexpected miscarriage, or an unforeseen immediate death like a heart attack or one dying in sleep. Even with a passing so difficult to resolve and make peace with — like one’s suicide or an act of abuse — I still encourage purpose over closure.

Every. Time. (Even if it takes a long time to find.)

Fact:
There will always be someone else who can benefit from and find purpose from your healing journey. But the person who will benefit most, is you.

We heal while helping others. We cannot be overtaken by resentment. It’s a killer. You and I are still here, and there is much life yet to live. Ask those who surround you. They wouldn’t want to lose you, too.

• A Word on Letting Go
This is such a difficult phrase to hear, and I certainly did not feel like grief brings an Elsa type of letting go. People would mention these words and everything inside of me would scream, “I don’t WANT to let go! I shouldn’t HAVE to let go! Let’s see YOU let go!?! Don’t TELL me to let go! You have NO IDEA what you’re even talking about!”

Let me tell you how I began to make peace with these two words (and even wrote this song about it!).

I was taking a bath one day; baths have always been a sort of sanctuary for me, especially in times of stress and sorrow — millions of tears throughout my lifetime have found their escape down the drain! As a homeschool mom of two, and now living in a much smaller old house where EVERYTHING can be heard, baths are a convenient place for me to cry. I keep from stressing out my kids with them having to watch me weep yet again. I play music, run water, and I cry in peace.

* Side note: Sadie, when watching me cry at any point of any day in the first months, would pull people aside and say, “It’s okay; My mom’s tears just show how much she loves my dad.”
So, yes. I knew I needed to get to a point where she didn’t have to break out her “disclaimer on Mom” multiple times every day! It was time to give my kids the gift of seeing more of “smiling mom” than “crying mom,” even if it was a monumental challenge some most days!

Now back to the bath:
So, I was doing what I do — filling the tub with my anger-thoughts, my burning desire for justice, and that day’s heartbreaking questions to God. At the time, I was wearing both Michael’s and my wedding bands on my left hand. I was in the habit of taking my thumb and playing with those rings pretty constantly; it somehow gave me comfort.

It wasn’t an audible voice, but there WAS a Voice that began speaking to my spirit that was not my own. I heard, “It’s time to remove the rings, Ami. And when your thumb touches those undecorated fingers, let it be a constant reminder that I am your provider, caregiver, and the one who loves you most… Your name means ‘Beloved’ and you have always been loved. Always.”

I went down a journey of flashbacks to my single years, and to my reliance on the Love of Christ to sustain and satisfy my every need and provision. Then, the Voice broke me, saying, “Ami. Who is it that has been loving you through Mike? Who gave him that love? Who gave you Mike? I loved you before, I loved you by giving you Mike, I blessed you to live alongside a man who learned how to love his family and the world like I love, and today I am loving you still…”

Whoa.

photo-jul-23-10-40-41-pmThat day [July 23, 2016 – 7 and a half months closer], there was a shift in my spirit as I saw my time with Mike in this marvelous thought. Later that evening, I sat at the piano with the wedding rings where I could see them, and I wrote this song, taking an opportunity to take this conversation directly to Mike. I needed to tell him that in my letting go [my becoming MORE in my rising] that I could still hold him close, because he is saturated through every part of who I am today, and those attributes are ones I hold dearly and carry into who I am becoming.

ALWAYS.

People need to realize that there is a letting go that one can and should experience — a rise to becoming — that is not at all like disconnecting from the one they love, putting that person in a box, or burying them down deep under their emotional ground. No, it is FREEDOM to know that I am who I am today because Mike loved me! It is FREEDOM to know that Love is stronger than Death, and carries on beyond the grave! Therefore, no matter where life takes me from here, I can offer peace to my stormy soul by saying to Michael, “who I am… includes you.” And in those five simple words, there is a comfort and a healing light… in my rising… in my letting go.

• It’s Time for you to Move On
I get what people mean by using that phrase, but I MUCH PREFER to use the phrase, “moving forward.” Moving ON implies to the one grieving that there is now a cut off. Again, this adds loss to the loss. More losing = greater and more long-lasting sorrow. Moving FORWARD articulates a sense of motion; and action has the ability to carry forward all of the greatness of the one who loved the griever. THIS is why I selected this photo for this song!

There are times when I feel the warmth of Mike’s smile. At other times, it’s as if he is on my side on the other side, steadying my shoulders. Still at other moments, I hear words he used to say [many words that he’d say on repeat for this stubborn wife!] echoing life and confidence to me — telling me that I CAN walk forward, and not to be afraid. Giving me full assurance that, even now he wants what he’s always wanted — that is, the best for me and for our kids, and that we might make a difference in the world of people within our spheres of influence.

If one of our daily comforts is found in being “another day closer,” then let me ask you:
How can we become closer to something if we choose to “move on?” No, we choose to keep moving… and moving Forward.

Because forward brings us closer.

So, in My Letting Go of this Post (And in a blogpost, closure is appropriate!)
May I remind you to extend PATIENCE to the widows, the hurting, the bereaved.

Healing. Takes. Time.

• We still have all of our days and nights on THIS side of eternity ahead of us.
• We will still miss Mike immensely.
• We will face life’s monumental moments with grace for one another, and invest in extra tissue boxes.
• We will continue to breathe in and out, and to seek purposes that help us lay our heads on our pillows at night, knowing that we got up and did something to bring greater good to the world around us in the time we have left.
• We will write. I use Mike’s computer for all of my work-related, writing, and ministry tasks; and while I write, I keep our wedding bands sitting next to my writing area.
• We will look intently for small things that soothe us in our letting go…

And in it all…
• We will rise.

ALWAYS.

*** Extra note on this song: When Sadiella realized that this was a song I was singing to her Daddy, she wanted to listen to it over and over… and over. She knows that when I sing to God, it fills me, but there was a special kind of comfort to her little hurting soul in knowing that I would sing to Mike about a cherished love that goes on forever…

May you Soar on wings like eagles, May you run and not grow weary;
Come Alive out of the darkness, into The Glorious Light.

He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.
(From Isaiah Chapter 40, HCSB)

Full Song Lyrics

In My Letting Go

In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, in my memory
In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, every part of me

You’ve helped me be all that I’ve become
So I will rise, high like an eagle
I’m not afraid of letting go
I know you know, that who I am includes you

In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, in my memory
In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, in every breath I breathe

I stand upon this mountain
I know you are there, flying high like the eagle
I stand and face the ocean and all of the unknown . . .

I rise, I rise
Come alive, Come alive

I rise
(I will soar on wings like eagles)
(I will run and not grow weary)
I rise
(Come Alive out of the darkness)
(Into The Glorious Light)
Come Alive
(I will soar on wings like eagles)
(I will run and not grow weary)
Come Alive
(Come Alive out of the darkness)
(Into The Glorious Light)

In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, the very heart of me
In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, every part of me
In my letting go
I will never lose you
In my letting go
I will never lose you, no
You are with me, every part me
The very heart of me
Every part of me
In my letting go

In my letting go