Monday, March 26, 2007

Loss and Its Opportunities for Gain

This weekend I was talking with a group of women when one mentioned she had been preparing for her parents' death. I asked her what she was doing to prepare. She explained that her parents are now in their 80s, living in a different state, and it occured to her that there would come a time when difficult decisions would have to be made about their care. Her brother would certainly be involved in these decisions. Problem is, she and her brother have been estranged for 5 years. Facing this difficult realization, she has set about trying to restore an amicable relationship with her brother.

I was interested in her story because I have heard many tell of their experiences in mending relationships with a family member over the birth or adoption of a child. For the child's sake, two people agree to set aside past hurts so the child can have a relationship with all her family members. I've not heard of someone setting about to reclaim a relationship so they can both be present to their beloveds in their final years. I found her willingness to forgive for her parents' sake a moving example of how impending loss can also be an opportunity for transformation.

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