ending with love

When this phrase first came to me it was in regards to ending an intimate relationship with love. I witness so many examples where love is abandoned when endings are called for. This perplexes my innocent perspective. Why would someone want to stay angry?

My nuclear family of five became an extended family of ten when I was four years old.

Two moms, two dads and six kids in one house for three years (this is a big story in and of itself that I’ll share another time), but the ending is what has stayed with me the most. 

The couples decided that the other partner was more suited (it was the 70s) and they collectively chose to end both marriages, swap partners, and marry the other.

All ten of us were at both weddings. There was genuine love that carried through the letting go and the stepping into the next phase. Of course it was not idyllic and there were many challenges for everyone, as in any family, but there was care for all.

For the last 45 years I’ve had four incredible parents. As my Dad approached the end of his life, we all showed up. We all loved him till the end. 

It’s so much simpler to end with love and it opens the way for more love to be enjoyed in the future. Love is a practice, like any other. We must love to know how to love more fully and even in the moments we don’t want to, that is when practice pays off.

I can only imagine what it would have been like to grow up with complete separation between my biological parents and their new loves. So much energy is wasted in the fight to stay away from love.

My definition of love is relaxing into the energy of all that is (the atoms that make up life) and letting go of outcome and past ideas and hurt.

I have dedicated my life to love. I see that in the end it is truly the only thing that remains. My life was changed in so many ways by my Dad, Robert Kausen, over my lifetime, but the last months of his life revealed a level of love that I had not known before.

I am writing a book to share my experiences with Dad while dementia took him away. The book is called Ending with Love: A Father-Daughter Dance with Dementia and you can pre-order a copy of the book and help me leap into the next phase of my life. I’m grateful for you holding me in this vision of this book in the hands of all those that need what it has to offer, including me. 

This is from a conversation I had with Dad nearly two years ago:

After dinner a few nights ago I asked him, "So, at this point in your life, nearly 8 decades in, is there anything you regret or would change if you could?"

I realize this was a big question, but I want to know him better. He was silent for a time and then said, "Nothing comes to me…seems odd doesn't it?" I assured him that whatever he did or didn't want to change was perfect. He then said, "Well, I suppose you do."

And without thinking the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "I had an abortion when I was 16." I cried a bit and he said, "I didn't know that" to which I replied "There's a lot of things you don't know about me." It's been over 40 years since I lived with my Dad.

After some emotions and deep feelings in me he said, "What I think you need to do…is forgive yourself."

I agreed and asked how he forgives himself. "From a deep place of compassion ask a few questions: how does it serve me to live in blame? Could or should I have known better? How would my life be different if I can truly find forgiveness for what I did? It takes a huge amount of love."

I can see where I got a lot of my greatness.

I'd love your support in any way that feels true to you, thank you.


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Valerie KausenComment