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A (Beloved) Life's Lesson

It has been an emotional couple of weeks as we lost a beloved Uncle. I wish to dedicate this blog to him, because even though he isn’t with us anymore, he has still managed to provide me with another valuable life lesson.

I am sure most of us have been to a funeral or two. They are never nice and there is always that feeling of anxiety and even dread in the build up, the travel to, which is even worse just before the ceremony starts. And yesterday I was a pall bearer for the first time.

Obviously I was very upset when he passed, but we had the opportunity to say goodbye and then process his loss as best we could prior to the funeral. Being asked to be pall bearer was a great honour, but that little pang of anxiety and emotion hit me immediately. In the 2-3 days leading up to the ceremony and then on the drive there, something in me shifted.

I wasn’t anxious about going to the funeral. I wasn’t even upset or really emotional compared to how I would usually be. What I was, was calm, centred and full of love. I was actually looking forward to going and help celebrate his life. I was honoured to be a part of it all. I was proud of who he was. I felt blessed that I was able to know him and have him to be a big part of my life.

In short, I was filled with gratitude.

Over the last few months, almost every night, I have been writing out 3 things that I have been grateful for during the day. Sometimes it is the big things, other times it’s the little ones. And to be honest, I was not really sure it was making a marked difference in my attitude.

But over the past few weeks with my uncle’s illness and subsequent passing, it definitely focuses in on what we are really grateful for. Really deep heartfelt gratitude.

I had been listening to Brene Brown (again – but she really has some amazing insight and wisdom), and one of the things she mentions is that gratitude is the key to joy. In her research, everyone she found and interviewed who were truly contented and joyful, was due to their abundance of gratitude.

The night before, then driving to the funeral, standing beside his coffin and during the ceremony I felt truly grateful that I was there and a part of it. Was I emotional...definitely. Was I sad that I wasn't going to see him again...absolutely, but there were also tears of joy celebrating his life. I felt he was at peace and so was I, and I was grateful for both.

So thanks Uncle Col for the laughs, the fishing, the good times, the conversations and the different lessons learned…especially this last one. Fish in Peace mate.

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