During times of grieving it seems as if nothing
can ever be right again. When something of importance is lost, there
always will be a void, but things will be right again, in the end. How
can we say that in the face of the death of a loved one? Some losses
are too important; too grave! But death is part of life, and the world
will go on, as harsh as that may at first seem.
It isn't harsh, though. It is a blessing that life will go on. It is a
blessing that over time the pain will lesson, and we will begin to
accept even that which we believed we could not.
Death isn't the only loss we have to deal with in life. There are many,
and each needs to be grieved before true acceptance is possible. It is
this acceptance which brings freedom and meaning to life. Acceptance
brings the freedom to thrive and be happy regardless of what
circumstance brings, and that gives meaning to why we are here...to help
others learn to accept and cherish life as it is.
When we die, what is it we wish to have accomplished during our time on
earth? This is a very important question to ask ourselves, because if
this question is not satisfactorily answered at the end of our life,
we're going to feel very dissatisfied when our time comes to an end. To
have assions and beliefs that we stand for, to be devoted to our
ideals, to cherish and rotect those whom we care for, to live life in
pursuit of our dreams...there is nothing that can compare to a life
lived with intent. In what way do we intend to leave our mark on the
What about the person for whom we are grieving? Did they live a life
with which they found satisfaction? Did they love others? Help
others? Leave a mark in the minds and hearts of their loved ones that
will live on forever? Then they have lived a good life worth
celebrating once it is through.
It's hard to lose someone we love, but we must learn how to go on from
there. We need to take a time of grieving that which is lost, but in
our grief it is important to remember the good that was accomplished and
the good that will carry on. We can do this by putting our attention
on what remains instead of what has passed away.
Often it is our own fear of mortality as much as anything else that
makes us cry. Get on with the business of living the life that you want
How to go on without a loved one? Through memories, through
celebration, and through carrying on that person's wishes, examples and
plans on their behalf, if it is something we believe in and are able to
do. Do it out of honor and out of respect. For instance, my mom was
wonderful at being a mother, and that's something to celebrate about her
life. Her wish more than anything for after she passed was to know
that her children were close to each other. The thing I can do to honor
my mother's memory the most is to do my part in maintaining a loving
relationship with my brother and sister. This in turn helps me to deal
with my grief.
It's much easier to accept the loss of a loved one if we have some sense
of what we believe happens to a soul after death. Some people believe
life continues after death, and others believe the lights simply go out
and that's it. I believe there is more, but even if the lights do just
go out, I still feel good that I've lived a good life.
What more could there be? There are many, many ideas about this. I
believe, though, that with a clear conscious and with living a life
centered in Love that the after-life cannot be anything scary or bad.
With too many ties to this earthly existence, however, such as
addictions and materialistic values, it can be hard leaving this world.
I believe it is much easier to make the passing when we are not afraid
of leaving this world behind and embracing the next, and it is also much
easier to accept it when others have passed.
Many people are worried they'll go to hell. To my way of thinking, hell
is on earth before dying, but I think it can also be experienced after
death if we carry anguish into our grave, or leave our work before our
purpose has been fulfilled, due to some action over which we had
control. This, I think, is hell. I had a near-death experience from
which I returned after having experienced the feeling of heaven and then
the realization of the hell of leaving my life before it was time. I
turned around and came immediately back. It was the most significant
experience of my whole life.
But in addressing the topic of grief, we can talk ourselves into
acceptance by remembering the good times and celebrating life while
knowing that our loved one is somewhere much better now, with no pain.
Still, though, we need to grieve. We need to cry, even if we "know"
they are okay We need to cry for the departed, and we need to cry for
ourselves. It's important to let out our feelings and not rationalize
them away before their purpose is served. What purpose? Well, tears
are quite cleansing, for one thing. We need to wash out the past to
move into the future.
We also need to cry to give release to our feelings of remorse,
loneliness, fear, sorrow, anger...whatever it is we are feeling, it is
okay. Many feelings arise during times of someone's passing we know,
even if we don't know them well. It will bring us to terms with our own
mortality, if nothing else, which in itself can be extremely profound.
So how does this all relate to losses through other means besides
death? Loss of a job, a dream, a relationship, belongings or anything
else brings us face to face with the idea that there are no guarantees
of permanency in this life. Much to the contrary, the only thing
constant is change. So coming to trust what's on the other side is
important here, too, as is rejoicing for all that has been. Doing our
best in the moment and not becoming too attached to the material world,
being willing to let go of even our most precious relationships or
belongings if that's what should occur...these are all good traits to
strengthen if we are to learn how to deal with life on life's terms, and
allowing ourselves to cry, realizing that crying is part of the natural
process of letting go. Tears offer a physical release. Without tears,
we become poisoned to some degree by the toxic chemicals produced by
stress, so it's actually very important for us.
It's okay to be sad. Pretending we're not sad when we are prolongs the
process of truly becoming happy again. Fake happiness isn't the same as
the joy which true acceptance will bring. True acceptance only comes
through allowing the process of grief recovery to occur within us.
Shutting the process down puts us into a state of denial, and in denial,
truth of all sorts becomes clouded over to us. We then live in a world
of unreality, where life can't be counted on. Learning to trust Life
in spite of the changes it brings is where we can truly find joy.
Sometimes, in the case of death, we feel guilty if we move on too
quickly. We may feel it's our duty to mourn. Mourn, yes, but staying
stuck doesn't do anyone very much good. And if there is a life after
death, some people say that mourning to deeply without allowing
acceptance to enter the picture actually holds the soul back from moving
on from this world. We really don't do ourselves or the departed much
good by not letting go.
No it's not always easy. I'm not implying it is. Give yourself all the
time that you need, but allow yourself to go through the
process...don't avoid it but don't stay stuck in it, either. Allow
yourself so much time per crying session. Sit down and remember...pull
out the pictures and put the sad musid on and let the tears freely
flow. But set the timer, and when it goes off, it's time to ut the
pictures away and put on some happy music and get on with your day until
your next schedules time set aside. This is after your first several
days. Don't worry about scheduling then, just let it all out. But when
it's time to get back to regular life and move on, you still may need
time to cry, and that is completely okay. In fact, it is good.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the "Veil of Death." I needed to write
more on the topic again, more for myself than anyone else. I am faced
at this moment in time with the sadness of a friend slipping away from
this world. It's been very hard to accept, simply because I do not
necessarily believe there's no hope just because that's what the doctors
say. In this case, there has been plenty of hope, and life has
continued with fabulous quality for years beyond what they said. And it
may still! But things are not looking that way, and I am having to
accept that perhaps this is the time. Maybe it's not...I hope it's
not...but if it is, then I have to realize and accept that it's the best
thing and in accordance with my friend's destiny to return to spirit
Enjoy every moment you have with those whom you love. Enjoy every
moment of life! It is truly precious, and it so quickly goes. In a
flash we'll be finding out for ourselves what's beyond. Until then, go
hug someone, write someone a letter, or call someone up on the phone.
Don't leave any apologies unspoken or feelings of love stay hidden
away. Don't take your loved ones for granted. Don't take tomorrow for
granted. Live each day as if it's your last. Life is so precious.
Make every bit of it count! You're here for a purpose. Enjoy finding
out what it is a. (HinT...it's something you feel passionately about!) The biggest regrets at the end of a person's life, so they have found, are not the mistakes people have made, but the things they wish they had done and did not. Regrets come from not experiencing life to the fullest way more often than from doing things wrong, so get out there and give it all that you've got!
Rev. Dr. Jody Evans, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.
Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center
Please reference our website as source of all quotes, and please quote in context. Thanks!
female, age 58,
married, 6 children
Hartville, OH, USA
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