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Yesterday my friend said, “I could never go back to our old home. It would just hurt so much. I didn’t want to move.” This is probably the absolute truth for her. While for another person, the trip back to previous properties might be the healing balm. For some, it hurts so much to go back. Maybe it’s because down deep we wish we were still there, that life had not moved on and the predictable upcoming season would not unfold. Perhaps the newly generated pain reinforces the always present love. For some, it is only possible to return in the good memories. And for them, it is the right thing to do. However one does it, it takes courage to return.

My friend, Sheila says, “I had no idea how painful it would be to go through the LTC memorial service tonight. Some parts were meaningful and others not so, but to be in a place where I had been with Carl so often, feeling his absence, was so so hard. A man from his dining room table sat beside me, not remembering me and likely not Carl either, but comforting and a little less alone to have him there. I left a carnation for Carl and brought one home “from him”. Cried a lot. Just part of the journey I guess, but a hard part.”

Thank you Sheila Ball for your Facebook post. When grief is still very fresh, it obviously gives strength to return to a place that opens the pain again, trusting that it’s all part of the healing process. Thus in this opening, grief provides healing and a nudge to go forward in life, walking on a new path, making new footprints.

Take a few moments and jot down some places in your memory or to a location to which you have returned. How was that for you? Perhaps healing just to be able to do it. Perhaps healing to be able to say no and know the reasons why.