Sliding down a slide

Have you ever slid down a slide? slide 1

I think back on clear autumn days and trips to the park.  The air is clean, clear and cool.  The leaves on the trees are beginning to turn different shades of gold and red and orange.  A few float lazily to the ground. As I take in the beauty and my heart begins to warm with thoughts of days gone by, my ears hear the squeals and laughter children playing. My attention turns to the playground and I find myself transported in time, back to earlier, simpler days.  There are swing sets standing ready to take me on a gliding trip up and down.  There is a merry-go-round ready to take me ‘round and ’round.  There is a castle or a fort or a ship or a tree house or an airplane… a magical structure that I can pretend in, as I climb on and around and over.  Oh, to be a child again…

Somewhere amidst all this fun and excitement and imagination stands the slide.  I remember how tall the ladder seemed to me when I was just a little tot.  I remember cautiously making the climb to the top of the platform, my trembling tender hands gripping tightly to the cool metal rail.  I remember the lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach as I got to the top.  The view was amazing.  It seemed I was on the top of a high mountain.  Then I would look down.  The slide would be shining in the sunshine and I would hesitate for a moment as I thought about the adventure that was just ahead.  A moment of fear, a moment of question, a moment of apprehension…should I try to turn around and climb down the ladder or go for it?   All I had to do was to let go of the sides and enjoy to trip. I take a deep breath and…  Whoosh!  The thrill of the slide down the slide!

As you walk through the world of grief, you might find yourself facing situations that cause you hesitation.  Moments in life when you pause and try to decide whether or not you really want to let go and experience the “slide”.  Especially during the Holiday Season, you are surrounded by laughter and smiles.  It seems like all the stories have a happy ending and everyone is getting what they wish for.  All the while your heart aches from the loss of the one you love.  With so much “cheer” around, you may feel grumpy, awkward, frustrated, sad, or even a little bitter or jealous.  These feelings, as well as countless others, are all normal pieces of your individual grief puzzle.  Instinctively you know that you can’t go back down the ladder.  However, sitting on the top of the slide will not make the feelings disappear.  The fact is, the longer you sit there the more intense the feelings could get.  My suggestion… accept your feelings, understand that where you are can be a scary place and that it will require some courage to let go.  But remember, as difficult it has been for you to get to where you are and as intimidating the next step may be, there is still a special thrill in store when you choose to let go and slide down that slide. Whoosh!

Have you ever slid down a slide?



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