Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu


There are many facets to our identity. Most people think of identity as being composed of the roles we assume in life, our heritage, our environment, our spiritual beliefs, etc. For example, I am a counselor, a college graduate, an American, a Texan, a rower, a cook, a husband, a brother, a son, a teacher, etc. These are all roles I have, each carrying with it certain behaviors and actions. Roles describe what I am and what I do. However, if all of these roles were stripped away, who would remain? Who is at the core of my being? Who am I?

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If the death of parents and grandparents represent the loss of our connections to generations past, the death of a spouse/partner represents the loss of a major connection we have with the present and foreseeable future. The love and the bonds we have for our spouse/partner give us an almost mystical completion of ourselves. When death visits and disrupts those bonds, we can like feel that not only did our spouse die, but so did a part of us.

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