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What does this quote mean to you? Does it create feelings of gratefulness in your memory? What kinds of articles and items come to mind when we think of downsizing?  We could spend time brooding about the items we’ve cherished and for one reason or another, we have to say goodbye, or we could reflect on their meaning. Think for a moment about a child’s blanket — a cherished comfort in the darkness of night, or in times of distress. As the child grows, he or she finds a different sense of security in a doll or a truck hidden under the pillow. When change happens, it might seem like jumping off a cliff without a rope. There is definitely an awareness of those precious moments when life was familiar as breathing — and now gone.

When our children were growing up, we had a ‘boot-hill’. There was always a part of our property that was spread over a hill.  I remember one particular cat of which the entire family was fond. There was a lot of crying and moaning during the time when this kitty released life. And then there was the pillow on which she rested. And then there was the trek across the back lawn and up the hill. To dig the hole was one child’s task, to put kitty into it on her pillow was another one. And to make a cross with two sticks was created by another child.

Saying goodbye was ‘so hard’. It seemed we’d been doing that for a week, but now it was different. There was no turning back. It was over. And we needed to stay there in our grief until we were ready to look at the beginning of the above quote.

When the time is right, we can think, “How lucky or fortunate or happy or blessed I am to have had that ‘something’ that makes saying goodbye so hard.” And now the children had another memory to add to the six years of the cat’s life. They had the time to remember, name and say, “Happy to have had, even if there is no more.”

List a few happy times in this latest period of grief. Also note the relief you experience.

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