We are learning beings

November 19th, 2015 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

What I have learned in the past two weeks:

I have been home to say the final goodbye to my mom this past week. It has been hard and good at the same time, as often these kinds of turning points in life are. We need to take them as they come, walk through them and learn from them. I have learned a lot from this past month or so. Here are some of the things I have learned:

Being there is more important than getting it done

I didn’t do much while I was home. I am a list person, a doing person, and the list was rather small for the weekend of my mom’s funeral: get photographs copied, let my nieces put them up on poster-board, and shop for cookies and flowers with the family. But the fact that I was there and a part of the conversation, of the process was really important- for my siblings, for my nieces and nephews, and especially for me. I was just there, being me. And it was really important.

Often we are more interested in what we can contribute to an activity or event, but we don’t realize that our presence is present enough. For relationships, that is usually what is needed. Our authentic presence is key.

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Express your appreciation as often as possible

I can never say thank you enough. Saying thank you shows your genuine acknowledgement of a person’s kind actions, sentiments and words. That is exactly what I experienced this past week: so many emails, cards, hugs, kind words, gifts of work, gifts of time… the list could go on and on.

My husband and I teach; he in a gymnasium (read Preparatory High School in American English) and I at a Business College in a University. Both of us received condolences, not only from colleagues and the administration, but also from our classes. That was very unexpected and heartwarming. It means a lot to hear this, and to hear concern (and appreciation) in these messages. I will thank them as soon as I see them, even though I thanked them by email, as I was getting ready to leave. I have thanked so many people for their kind words and deeds in the past month, and I mean every sentiment.

A smile and hug are often the best present

Having said that, the most simple of actions can mean a whole lot. A hug. Research shows that a human being needs five hugs a day to survive and even more to thrive. So I must have really thrived over the past to weeks- especially since going back for my mom’s goodbye service. Remember as the holiday season comes upon us to give – and receive hugs. The minimum is five a day. And you will be gifting people with the gift of a warm human touch.

Poignant words at the appropriate time can have lasting impact

I have a good friend who has remained relatively close since college days. She is very good with words, and is very wise for our age. She reminded me over hot apple cider that I am also an orphan now, as she (and my husband) is. My coaching instructor reminded me that my roots have been affected, as is always the case when a parent dies. My words also affect people, and I should use them wisely, too.

Laughter is really a great medicine

In the remembering sessions our family had before, during and after the memorial service, laughter was a key ingredient of the process. We all have funny stories about my mom, sometimes my mom was a privy to them, sometimes just a part, and sometimes the instigator. It was a very healing experience to sit and remember and laugh about so many good times together. I think mom would have been pleased to be remembered in this way and to see her family not only mourning, but laughing together.

This is what I have been learning. We all learn. So, what have you been learning lately?DSCN8921

I would welcome comments or questions at patricia@jehle-coaching.com and you can find out more about me and my business at www.jehle-coaching.com

 

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2 comments

  1. Doug says:

    Very thoughtful, Patty. It’s good to have you back.

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