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When a person of close attachment dies or departs, we may feel as if we have been abandoned. Overcome with loneliness or anguish in our loss, the pain can turn to resentment or anger. From this state there emerges feelings of guilt or shame when we find ourselves envious of their death, or unable to forgive them for something over which they had little control or choice. This shame prevents us from talking about the experience, as people encourage us to move past the grief.

The irony of all this is that we are the ones whom have abandoned them. In efforts to ease our pain, we avoid thoughts of them, and they then die over and over again. If we can not forgive them for dying or leaving, we can't keep them alive in our hearts.

The paradox of abandon is therefore the problem at hand. If we are to heal from such loneliness, we must realize that it is within our power to keep them alive, as a part of our core being. For, those with whom we have formed the most significant attachments are never apart from who we have become in their presence. Their thoughts have become our thoughts. Their touch has left an imprint of love and joy we may forever cherish, if only these are the memories we enshrine.

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