Bless Them and Let Them Go: The Ubiquity of Loss


I have been reflecting on life and death these past weeks, which brought me to thinking about those mini births and deaths that make up part and parcel of our daily lives. The birth of something new is usually a joyous, affirming experience, but we tend to forget about the little deaths that preceded it – that cleared the decks for something new.

I’ve noticed that it is those relationships that have really hurt or disappointed us that we close to our hearts, worrying and picking at the scabs in an unconscious attempt to keep them alive. In this way we keep the wound fresh, present and grievous. Sometimes we do this with wounds we thought had healed – we resurrect them and start gnawing anew.

At times like these, it seems the hardest thing is to acknowledge that we all have the intrinsic right to choose our path, make our mistakes or correct old ones. Essentially we have the right to create new karma or live in the dharma of fulfilling our soul’s obligations.

Painful though it can be to watch someone you care about veer away from you, more often than not we should bless them and let them go. I am thinking of an old friend now who betrayed my trust. It was the death knoll of our relationship. We have long since parted ways, but there is a part of me that is still hurt.

Every once in a while she floats into my consciousness and I wonder how she is doing, but trust is a very difficult thing to repair, and both parties need to work very actively to repair it. So the only thing I can do, I realize, when she surfaces into my consciousness, is to bless her and let her go on the path she has chosen.

I don’t think this is something you do once and it is over. I believe it is a practice – allowing and acknowledging the heart pain, then blessing the end or the parting, and letting it move through you – like a ship receding into the distant horizon.

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