Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

by Linda Kramer | Posted on January 8th, 2018

The first time that I heard this phrase was at the end of the 2012 Summer Olympics when swimmer Michael Phelps announced he was quitting swimming (he later changed his mind). I was completing a vacation in Hawaii and found this phrase helpful. Just recently, I have adopted this phrase as last month my husband and I moved from a home of 25 years to a home with minimal steps. Most, if not all of you, can name significant transitions in your life. Criticisms of this phrase are that it ignores the grief and sadness of events and minimizes the trials of life. It is a valid criticism.

While coping with a significant transition in life, it can be valuable to talk with a trusted friend/family member/coworker/pastor about the joys, difficulties and sadness of the time. Prayer is important; reading the Word and other writings will be helpful. Expressing gratitude is invaluable too. Coping with the transition may mean talking with a counselor.

Adopting the title phrase of this article is just one of the ways of dealing with transitions in life. Smiling about the past experience reminds one of the memories, both positive and negative, created during that stage of life or at a particular place. One can begin to build on new memories created in the present place or phase of life. Ecclesiastes 3(NIV) includes verses such as “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” and “a time to weep and a time to laugh”. Other important statements shared by friends and family are: God is in control, God has a plan, it is a God “thing”, it will work out and most important the Message of the Christmas Eve service: we have Jesus as our Savior and we will never be alone.

God’s Blessings to You in the New Year!

Linda Kramer, LISW

Clinical Social Worker serving the Des Moines area.