We Belong Together

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Before one can fully appreciate great loss, they must learn the value of what once upon a time they gained. So, upon the occasion of the death of a life where we were fully invested, we mourn our loss because of our attachment to and investment in the life of another. Attachments come from a basic need for security and safety and develop early in life directed toward a few specific individuals and objects. This carries over into adulthood as well.

My 101-year-old mother-in-law has a sharp mind and strong preferences about what clothes she will wear, what chair she will sit in and sometimes who she prefers to talk to. I am blessed that she has chosen to feel an attachment to me as I have to her! Her concept of being “home” transitioned from a lifetime in one house and geographic area to the last few years in Assisted Living.

When my mother-in-law transitioned to assisted living, besides her personal items — all she asked to take with her (her attachment) was her grandfather clock. Of course, that request was honored. Her favorite attachment in the last five years is a large electronic picture frame that runs 2000 family photos in a twenty-four hour a day slide show. Some people rely on attachment to a pet, an inner circle of family/friends, a certain blanket or doll, hobby or music or food. Attachments out of control can lead to hoarding, health issues and paranoia that one will lose the attached thing.

People are more important than things, but we often need to be reminded.

Romans 12:10 (NKJV)
10  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

Sometimes when people die, the buzzards come out to fight over the remains (inheritances of houses or lands, money, items of sentimental value, etc.). Let’s keep the focus on the value of having our people in our lives and not focus so much on becoming attached to things that will soon be gone.

Picture of Doug Greenway

Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at doug_greenway@yahoo.com.

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