Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tip#166: How To Say Goodbye - Meet Joe Black

Letting go of absent loved ones can be painfully difficult. And yet if we can find the courage to say goodbye to people who made a difference in our lives then we'll be truly free to move forward.

My friend's recent suicide (see tip#165) has since made me very introspective. He was very much a father figure for me especially during the time of my own father's passing in December of 2000.

I have been aware of the synchronicity surrounding my friend's passing and when I posted the previous blog entry about him on Father's Day. So my thoughts were also on my dad and how much I missed him.

My father's death was completely unexpected and was initiated by a car accident. It was a week before Christmas and my siblings and I were already scheduled to fly down to spend the holidays with our parents. But with word of the accident we flew down the next day to be at our father's side.

Once we landed we received the news our father had passed away just hours before. In the blink of an eye my beloved father was gone. I will never forget the helpless pain I felt and the reality that I could not even say goodbye. It would only be through the healing power of movies I'd be able to do so.

Meet Joe Black

The movie, Meet Joe Black stars Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins as William Parrish a wealthy CEO who is given the foresight of his impending death. The film explores his unresolved issues of life and of death. The movie also explores how all the main characters deal with goodbyes and how to let go of those they love.

This movie allowed me the goodbye I felt was robbed from me. Every time I watch the scene when Parrish's daughter Susan says goodbye to her father it gives me the opportunity to do the same with my absent dad. In the privacy of my own home I allow built up pain and regrets and tears to flow.

I always feel lighter and clearer having done so. And somewhere near I always feel my dad smiling that our shared love for movies remains alive. I can picture my friend and my dad right now enjoying a movie marathon up in heaven.


So remember the importance of closure and of saying goodbye in any relationship in your life that has ended. Even if those individuals are not present there is always an invisible tether that is still attached. Unless you disconnect that tether then you will never be free of any pain from the past.

Find movies or stories that will allow you to get in touch with unresolved emotions and release your grief. Find ways you can feel safe to allow your trapped tears to flow. Find the courage to say goodbye.

And whether they are still alive or have died be thankful for all they've given you. Celebrate their memory with the gifts they've behind.

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008


Anonymous said...

Thank you. Always wanted a picture of Brad Pitt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Emmanuel, for sharing something so personal with us.

You're right, emotional ties to the past can burden us, poisoning our body, mind and spirit. This often interferes with how we live our lives today, subtly affecting our decisions and ultimately getting in the way of our true happiness.

I cried my eyes out watching Meet Joe Black, and although I cannot empathize losing a parent yet, I nevertheless needed those tears to cleanse other hurts.

P.S. I like the image of your absent loved ones watching a movie marathon up in heaven. :)

Anonymous said...

A beautifully written message, Emmanuel. And so heartwarming. You're very lucky to have loved your Dad and to still have such tender feelings of attachment to him.

I share a somewhat similar but different background in that my Dad passed away of a massive heart attack at the age of 58. I, too, never had a chance to say goodbye to him as he passed away en route to the hospital.

I've not yet seen Meet Joe Black, but, I think I'll rent it soon.

Thanks for your message today.