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Death, Grief and Growth

February 6, 2016

Last month a classmate I knew growing up in northern Alberta Canada was killed in a vehicle accident. He worked in the oil patch in Alberta, which is a vital industry for the economic health and prosperity in Alberta. I did not know my friend very well, but we did party a few times together in high school and we had several mutual friends and acquaintances.

Sadly this is the second classmate (that I am aware of) the class of ’88 has lost in a vehicle accident. My friend Jamie Packer tragically  passed away in July of 2004. Jamie was a very funny and gregarious person who loved life. Although we lost touch after high school, I have very fond memories from our friendship.

A few months ago, a member of my birth family also passed away. I will not disclose the details out of respect for my birth family. Although I did not get to meet this particular family member, I did feel a sense of loss. I felt the loss that my other birth family members endured and I wished that I could have been there to support them.

When my Mom passed away in November 2012, I was in a state of shock and disbelief. There were many times my Mom would reflect back to me about decisions in my life. Her words were often, “Well Daryn, you have choices.” This response didn’t always give me the immediate clarity I was seeking, but it did remind me that there were other ways of looking situations that may not be such a struggle for me.

Since my Mom’s passing (she had cancer, I find myself much more sensitive to people with cancer or even knowing if someone is in the hospital, regardless of what is ailing them. For many years, I would be afraid of losing my family members or friends and hoping that they would all be around forever. I know this is not realistic, but my fear of abandonment and separation anxiety were present through most of my life.

It has only been in the last few years that I’ve allowed myself to see that I don’t have to be so scared of when someone I know and love transitions. These fears would prevent me from making career changes or even relationship changes in my life. I would doubt my abilities and my potential.

Recently, colleagues and friends have expressed an appreciation and trust in me that I greatly appreciated. Internally, I would doubt myself about what I have to offer this world to help others and grow.

Death can be very painful, especially the physical death of others. But death to our old ways and limiting beliefs are opportunities to grow, learn, flourish and share. Challenge yourselves to look at areas or ideas in your life that inspire you and find ways to manifest them into reality and not just stay stuck in dreams. You and those around you will benefit from your gifts.

Daryn Watson, Adoptee

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