I spent the day helping a friend go through the belongings of a dear loved one who has passed. It’s tough going. One might think it’s the expensive toys, gadgets, and gizmos which you’d want to hold on to but instead, it’s the little things; sheets of paper, old license plates, CDs, notepads. Items which wouldn’t sell at a yard sale or purchased at Goodwill are of immense value, a treasure to the ones who remain.
Death is often an open wound. Scabs may form, some healing might occur, but grasping at past memories and experiences, strains and pulls apart the wound and the pain, heartbreak of loss returns. Its hard letting go. It’s difficult to say; “goodbye.” but death demands we do it again and again in many ways, on many occasions and you wonder if it will ever be the last time.
Moving on requires that one live open-handed, no clinging to earthly, temporal things, allowing the shared life of the one who is gone to be enough.
Our Siberian Husky, Trooper, has long nails on all four of his paws. Huskies use their nails for gripping more than most dogs. When his nails get long this results in him pulling up snags on the carpets we have in the house if he happens to stretch, sit up or start to run while on them. Yesterday, I was vacuuming the house and these rug snags were being grabbed and getting caught on the roller and burning the belt up. I had to go around the house and cut the snags to try to prevent this from happening. After I finished I reflected on my proclivity to grab on to things. Like the dog’s nails and the vacuüm cleaner, I hold on to things which I should let go.
Wisdom teaches us to live life open-handed, not to grab, grasp anything or anyone, but to allow them to come into and leave our life freely, accepting the transience of all that is made, exists.
Beth trimmed the dog’s nails and now there will be fewer snags on our rugs. May it be with me as well, as I move through life, basking in the glory of now and resisting the urge to grab and grasp.