Thursday, May 20, 2021

the journey of grieving



[Frankl] is speaking to me. He is speaking for me. . . . 
I read this, which is at the very heart of Frankl’s teaching:
 Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
 the last of the human freedoms—
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
 to choose one’s own way. Each moment is a choice. 
No matter how frustrating or boring or constraining 
or painful or oppressive our experience, 
we can always choose how we respond.
 And I finally begin to understand that I, too, have a choice. 
This realization will change my life.

~ Viktor E. Frankl, 
from Man’s Search for Meaning

The choice to accept myself as I am: human, imperfect.
 And the choice to be responsible for my own happiness.
 To forgive my flaws and reclaim my innocence. 
To stop asking why I deserved to survive. 
To function as well as I can, to commit myself to serve others,
 to do everything in my power to honor my parents,
 to see to it that they did not die in vain. To do my best,
 in my limited capacity, so future generations don’t experience what I did.
 To be useful, to be used up, to survive and to thrive
 so I can use every moment to make the world a better place.
 And to finally, finally stop running from the past.
 To do everything possible to redeem it, and then let it go.
 I can make the choice that all of us can make.
 I can’t ever change the past. But there is a life I can save: 
It is mine. The one I am living right now,
 this precious moment. . . .

And to the vast campus of death that consumed my parents
 and so very many others, to the classroom of horror
 that still had something sacred to teach me about how to live—
that I was victimized but I’m not a victim, that I was hurt but not broken,
 that the soul never dies, that meaning and purpose 
can come from deep in the heart of what hurts us the most—
I utter my final words. Goodbye, I say. And, Thank you. 
Thank you for life, and for the ability to finally accept the life that is.

~ Edith Eva Eger
from The Choice: Embrace the Possible

with thanks to Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation