A Walk of Letting Go
by Erin Prewitt on May 18th, 2015

Today when I picked up Izzy from school I ran through my routine of questions on our drive home, “Izzy what did you learn today?  Anything new?”  As is our routine, Izzy shared a bit about her day and then quickly transitioned to an event in her day which she wanted to share.  Rarely are her favorite stories about school work or learning something.  Rather, they are usually about friends or recess chatter.  Today was a bit unique.  While she was telling her story, she stopped mid-sentence.  When I looked in the review mirror to see why she stopped talking I saw tears welling up in her eyes and her lips quivering.  As I watched her, my own tears started to gather.  Softly I asked Izzy, “Sweetie why are you crying?”  Izzy had to take a deep breath before she whispered, “Mommy, I think I am starting to forget Daddy.  I was trying to think of some of our adventures today and I couldn’t remember.”  I could see that the burden of forgetting was weighing on her heart and spirit, Izzy broke down and her little cry turned into a soft emoting rooted in fear and sadness.  

I continued to drive, checking in on her in the review mirror.  She continued to release more of the pain that comes with losing a father, even 13 months later.  It is surreal watching my child come to terms with one of the harshest human realities.  Being alive so often means moving on, and though we can take pieces of the past with us, we cannot take it all.  Life is a forward moving process which at times can just be down right painful.

After a short period of time Izzy asked, “Mommy can we go do the labyrinth walk?”  The Labyrinth walk is a tradition we have created in our family to help us release anything we feel no longer serves us.  Labyrinths are windy walking paths which come in numerous forms and designs.  They have a maze like appearance, and because they have existed for centuries, they serve a multitude of purposes for the people that use them.

We have chosen to use the labyrinth as a meditative walk.  Usually, while we walk into the labyrinth we focus on a particular worry or mental burden that we have been carrying.  Once inside the center of the labyrinth, we take a deep breath and commit to releasing our concern, letting it go forever.  We repeat the walk in reverse to exit the labyrinth, which then we think about what we want in our life.  We think about how can we replace the burden we just released with something more pleasurable, hopeful, or peaceful.

Like normal this day Izzy ran through the labyrinth, entered the center, and took a deep breath, and then she skipped her way back out.  When we were done, we sat down side by side on a bench which overlooked the labyrinth.  I asked her, “Izzy would you share with me what you wanted to release and create?”  With a wide grin of a child unburden of worries she said proudly, “I was releasing having Daddy with me the way I like it, alive…and I was creating having two Daddies…you know my Daddy in spirit and a Daddy in life, alive.”  With that clear answer she ran off to play.  I sat there for a few moments and thought how simple life can be sometimes when we are willing to unburden ourselves.  It can be as simple as accepting what is, like the death of a father, and creating what could be possible.  Maybe life can be as simple as Izzy said, it is possible to have two Daddies, one in spirit and one in life.

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