Delivering Stephen’s Eulogy

With all the friction between my brother, Stephen, and I, and the very fact that we hadn’t been involved in each other’s lives for over two years, I was the last person in the whole world I thought would ever be asked to not only attend his funeral, but to deliver his eulogy! Life is truly strange and wonderful isn’t it?

In my last post, I mentioned I had made the decision to “just let go” of Stephen. However, Stephen isn’t the only person or thing I have “let go” of in my life. I really had to work hard to learn not only when to “let go” but also how to “let go”. I want to share with you what has worked for me in my life.

Growing up as the only girl, with a very domineering mother, in a very strict Catholic, yet very dysfunctional family, I learned to “stuff” my feelings which resulted in me ending up 100 lbs overweight by the time I was 21 years old. I tried every diet known to man ,or woman, and would lose some weight then gain it right back and then some. Finally, I decided I needed to make losing weight my number one top priority. I joined weight watcher’s and learned how to prepare and eat healthy meals. I learned how to put myself first and came to understand that wasn’t being selfish. I learned I couldn’t take care of others until I learned how to take care of myself. Once I really started to believe all I the positive things I was learning, the weight started to just melt away. I lost 117 lbs in eleven months and kept it off for over 30 years. Good for me right? RIGHT!!! I am PROUD of that, and I tell myself that everyday, several times a day,  out loud in front of a mirror! At first it felt strange, but that is literally what it took for me to learn how to mother, and nurture myself, so I didn’t have to “stuff” my feelings anymore. I learned that I can tell myself all the things I need to hear, or the things I wish my mother, father, brothers, daughter, friends etc… would tell me.  I tell myself everyday in front of the mirror how beautiful I am, what a great person I am, and how very much I am loved. This daily ritual allows me to face the world with confidence, peace, joy, laughter, and above all, love, because I don’t need to depend on anyone to make me feel any of those things. Some may think that is being prideful, or boastful, but I believe it is loving myself so I am freed to move about in the world and love others.

That said, how does one go about “letting go” of negative relationships? For me, it is as simple as making the decision to do so. We all make decisions everyday, all day long. We decide what to wear, what we will eat, where we will go, who we will see, etc. When I find myself in a negative relationship, I make the decision that I will do all I can to mend the relationship first, because I am not advocating just giving up on people, or relationships, but when everything in my power has been done to mend fences and the relationship is still negative, I make the decision to “let it go”. Then, every time I think of the person or situation I need to “let go” of, I simply replace any negative thoughts I have about the person or situation with positive thoughts perhaps about when things were better between the person and I or the particular situation was happier. I remind myself that I can still love the person, or experience/situation, but I simply can no longer have them in my life. I wish the person well in my heart, and continue to pray for them daily, so I know my heart is free of any anger, resentment, or bitterness, and soon, I find myself remembering only the good things about the person or situation and the negativity just simply fades away. It’s just that simple for me and it always works for me.

So, when Stephen’s wife called me to ask if I would deliver Stephen’s eulogy at his funeral, I was shocked and surprised, but I knew I could do it because I have no bitterness, resentment or anger towards Stephen what so ever, because I forgave him and “let it all go”. I also believe with my whole heart, that death doesn’t have to change or end a relationship. It simply moves it to a different level if you continue to hold that relationship deep in your heart. The reason I was able to deliver Stephen’s eulogy was because I know our relationship isn’t over, it just moved to a much higher level. I know Stephen knew what was left unsaid, and if he didn’t know it then, he knows it now, so I could joyfully and honestly say with no regrets, Rest In Peace Stephen, Rest In Peace!

Next: Letting Go Of My Katie!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:10:39

    Oh how I so wish I could have been there to support you, but having read what you put together and knowing how skilled you are at public speaking, I just know you did one hell of a great job! xoxo

    Reply

  2. beyondcinderella
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 00:07:42

    I am so proud of virginia for doing this I was laid up with two knee replacements but was thinking of her and all of the family in this sad time.
    bill

    Reply

  3. Megs
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 04:07:24

    I am so glad I was able to support you. You did an amazing job. xoxo

    Reply

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