The death of a loved one is a profound experience; one that can leave us feeling like a ship without a rudder, particularly if we shared a close relationship with the deceased. This is normal; as it is human nature for our identity to include our interactions with others…basically, the people we surround ourselves with, help shape who we are. When someone close to us dies, we often find ourselves not knowing what to do & pondering on our place in the world. Death transforms us; it is an ending of a way of being. When we loose a partner, child, parent or close friend it truly is like part of us died with them; for we can no longer be, say, or do those things that defined us, when they were alive.
Another factor, to consider in this transformation; is how others treat us. Often people do not know how to act around us, when we have lost someone dear. They don’t want to say, or do the wrong thing, so they often avoid the situation completely…by distancing themselves from us. This generally does not happen immediately after a death. In fact, death itself is generally accompanied by a great support system. Everyone steps forward with their condolences and heartfelt offers of support. But soon after, the void sets in. People go back to their normal day-to-day lives, only we can’t… for our normal no longer exists. So now we are not just feeling the loss of our loved one, but feeling isolated from our world.
I have talked about this subject before in my blog post STORIES OF SPIRIT…A Time of Mourning. Our culture is uncomfortable with mourning, we have lost the rituals that acknowledge the deep loss felt when a close loved one passes. These rituals, were not just for the grieving family; they were also for the greater Tribe…they were a set of guidelines that helped outline the edges of loss. Without these guidelines, we must individually navigate the waters of loss; hoping that others will be intuitive enough to see when we need space, and when we need support.
So how do we find ourselves after the death of a loved one?
First and foremost, we must give ourselves permission to not be OK. In our modern world; without its time of mourning, we often feel obligated to put on a good face for others; so they do not feel uncomfortable in our presence. For death, reminds people of their own mortality, and the mortality of those they love, and quite frankly…that is unpleasant. But the reality of it is, we will all die. We need to stop being so weird around it, for it is the one constant we can all count on. So grieve…let yourself fully, completely mourn the loss of your loved one. Do not put on a happy face to appease others; tip-toeing around Death, will not make it go away. Plus, when we hide our mourning from ourselves and others, busying ourselves and swallowing our sorrow…the whole process takes much longer.
Secondly, learn to ask for support. We must learn to let those close to us give us aid, and we need to remember that they are not mind readers…they do not know how to assist us, unless we tell them. Even if you do not know what it is you need specifically, communicate…”I need someone to hold space for me”, “I need a night out, to laugh and feel normal”, “I need you to check in on me, if I become distant”…”I don’t know who I am right now”. And, don’t be afraid to seek professional counsel. Seeing a counselor does not make you crazy or weak, it simply means, you need guidance…that your internal compass, is not functioning properly & you need assistance. You may also want to seek the aid of a professional Medium, for connection with the loved one you have lost. That connection often holds tremendous healing potential; as speaking with your Beloved Dead not only offers closure, but often affirms that they have not truly left your side.
Finally, I would suggest that you learn to play. By play, I do not mean laugh & jump around (although that is good therapy). I mean, experiment without commitment…when we are children, we try things out…we pretend & dabble at things. We do not demand that there is a point of success or commitment involved in our actions, it is simply trying something on to see if we like it. Like I said, Death transforms us. We may find that the things we loved doing before the loss of our loved one, no longer make us happy. But we may also find that new things, things we did not do when they were in our life, do. We are all complex beings, we have entered this world for the journey that living has to offer us. Loss makes way for growth that we may never have been able to fathom in our previous existence. Remember, the Caterpillar can not fly…but through transformation; as a Butterfly it soars the sky. Perhaps that is why Butterflies are so often symbolic that a loved one in Spirit is around.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the read Folks. Remember, death is transformation…for those who have transcended to Spirit & those left behind.