That Was Then, This is Now

I recently had a conversation with a fellow widow and mentioned that this month marks the eleventh year since Claude’s suicide. Knowing that I am much further along than she is on her journey she asked me point blank, “does it get any easier?”

Without thinking I responded, YES!

I felt my heart aching for her and all that she is facing. As we continued talking, in my mind’s eye, I could clearly see my then and my now. I have been thinking a lot about that this past week. Though I will always carry grief and some level of trauma after finding him, the difference between where I am at now vs then is undeniable. Still, I realized that I have basically been marinating in grief and trauma for these eleven years, though thankfully at this point it’s minimal in comparison to what is was the early on.

This latest round of self-refection has led me to remembering that we always have a choice in how we relate to our emotions and circumstances in our lives. I asked myself, is this really how I want to live out my years moving forward?

The answer is an unequivocal, NO!

With that internal declaration, I have been consciously choosing to be fully present, noticing how I am still holding trapped layers of trauma and grief in my body.

Despite all the years of healing work that I have done, there is still more and that’s okay. To be honest though, there are moments when anger and frustration surfaces. I have said to myself many times, “after all this time, I am still carrying this?” Even so, I know that this is part of my human journey that I have learned to honor and be grateful for.

After a week of allowing my grief to rise to the surface, on the day of the anniversary I woke up feeling excited and filled with gratitude. It felt good to be alive!

For as long as I can remember, being in nature has been my primary go-to for solace. I knew that I wanted to spend that potent day hiking in the mountains with my son. After our hike, we stopped at a small waterfall that I had visited six years ago with my dear friend Gwen. At that time, she led me through a powerful letting go ceremony using rose petals.

My intention on this day was to do my own version of that letting go ceremony. It felt kind of surreal to be back there. I saw myself transported back in time with Gwen by my side. Another ‘that was then, this is now’ moment. As I sat beside the running water I gingerly peeled apart each petal, imagining and declaring that more layers of my past were releasing.

I guess it did the trick! Since that day I have felt lighter and felt more space for joy and peace. I will continue practicing this “letting go” in my daily life. Untethering my attachments to the past, enabling me to live more fully in the present.

I still miss my beloved to this day and yes, each anniversary is tough. This quote from my soon-to-be-released new book, The Transformational Nature of Grief is a reminder of how precious our lives are.

Although my loved one is gone, I am still alive, and I need to celebrate that gift. I am still here with the ability to keep moving forward, to show up and recommit to what I came here to do. I have a mission just like everyone else on this planet.

Never forcing, are there aspects of your past that you feel ready to release? If so, how might you see yourself doing that? Is there an action or ceremony that you would like to try out to assist you with that?

Wishing you many blessings and love,

Cara Hope

P.S. Keep an eye out for the birth of my new baby The Transformational Nature of Grief, my sweet new companion book to Widow’s Moon! More details to come in the next few weeks!



4 thoughts on “That Was Then, This is Now

  1. A moving post Cara. Wishing you continued healing and a future filled with love and peace.

  2. I have only known you for a short time, but in that time, you never cease to amaze me with your strength, courage, and conviction. Keep writing. Keep being the amazing human being you are. I lift you up with my energy and light, and cherish you, my new friend.

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