As you take a moment to remember the Veterans past and present on this Veteran’s Day, think about the Veterans in your life. This Veteran may be your family member and your friend’s family member. If your Veteran is still living, ask them about their experience. They may share reluctantly, ask them specific questions. No matter how painful it may be to hear, you are allowing your Veteran to share his/her story and heal some of their wounds. Often times, we just bury emotions hoping these potentially painful emotions will go away. Emotions are persistent, they don’t like to be hidden away. Being able to share stories with each other is how we learn and is also part of healing those deep old wounds.
Emotions only have power when they remain hidden. Many Veterans don’t share their stories because they think we don’t want to hear them, and maybe we don’t. Assumptions about what may or may not have happened leaves us feeling separate and unimportant, while listening creates connection.
I encourage you to ask questions about a Veteran’s life and celebrate their victories and tragedies. Listen with an open heart and open mind without judgement.
If your Veteran has died, remember what you know about him/her and create a special ceremony honoring them and their life.
A variety of legacy projects have been created. Check out my instagram #agracefulgoodbye for some ideas and my website modernoutlooks.com to gain access to my Legacy Project template.