by Ariadne Green
The death of a loved one can be perceived as an irreconcilable loss and for some the grief can be unbearable and long lasting. Anyone who has lost a parent, spouse, child or close friend knows the intense sense of loss and emotional pain that is a natural part of the grieving process. First of all, you miss the person who contributed so much to your life and in the case of a parent, the person who gave you life itself. In fact, the term bereavement means "to be deprived of someone through death." It may take some time to move through the initial stages of the grieving process, such as the initial shock, numbness, sorrow, the necessary tears, and feelings of despair. With time and patience, the initial grief subsides and with this resolve comes an opportunity for a deeper healing. Beyond mere coping or finding a sense of peace, the transition of a loved one can bring about opportunities for emotional and psychological healing and spiritual growth.
There is no set formula for moving through the grieving process with grace, however these spiritual keys may be just the ones you need to help ease your grieving heart and transform a difficult time into a spiritually meaningful experience.
Remembering Them with Honor and in Gratitude
Recognizing how much your loved one contributed to your happiness, even just by being who they were, honors the love they had for you and the place they carved in your life. By remembering with gratitude, you are filled again by those very experiences you so cherished as well as those you perhaps took for granted. Writing entries in a journal about how the person inspired you, pushed you to grow, shaped your life and added to who you are could fill the pages, but more importantly the process will fill your heart with appreciation. Through gratitude new meaning is brought to the relationship. Remember: Nothing they added to you can be taken away with their passing.
Forgiveness Sets Your Heart Free to Love Again
The act of forgiveness is a measure of love you give yourself as well as to the departed soul. True forgiveness frees you of the residual pain from the past and releases their soul and yours of any burden. After the death of a loved one, forgiving yourself for anything left unsaid, not done, or left unfinished can alleviate shame and regret. Forgiving them their shortcomings, any pain they caused you, as well as the fact that they left you will bring you a sense of competition.
Acknowledge the Signs That Their Spirit Lives On
The transition from this life to the next need not be perceived as something intangible. Beyond merely having faith in the afterlife is the experience of surrendering to a loved one's continued presence in your life in spirit form. The wind rustling the branches of a tree, a butterfly fluttering above your head, or a dream of them comforting you are all signs of the continued connection and communication between your souls. Honor these communications and know your loved one lives on and may have signed up to guide you.
Recognize with Death There Is Rebirth
With the death of a loved one your life is forever changed. The release of the energies that tied you can catalyze a transformation in your consciousness. Many testify to experiences of a transcendent nature characterized by a heightened consciousness and an in-pouring of love from an invisible source after the passing of a loved one. Others may experience revelations about themselves and deep insights into the meaning of life and the afterlife. These peak experiences may mark a time of spiritual emergence and self-
Let Them Go with Love
These words from an unknown author are so true: "Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." To let go doesn't mean you forget or go on with your life as if their passing meant little to you. Letting go means letting go of them to embrace yourself and the life you envision for the future. Because of soul binding, letting go may also entail communicating with their soul asking them to release you so that they may move on to complete their journey home. Some souls will find it difficult to let go of those they felt responsible for and may linger in the astral plane thinking they are needed by the one they love. By letting go of them, you encourage your loved one to do the same.
Death Can Bring Your Tribe Together
Your loved one was likely central to the lives of others. Like you, other family members and friends grieve in their own way. Sometimes the tribe scatters after the funeral services and rather than reaching out for continued support, each finds ways of coping on their own. But what is often true is that the life of the person who departed was truly meant to bond others more deeply by a common thread. Reaching out and coming together not only fosters strength and support, but also honors the life of the one who brought you together.
Turning a Passing Into Something Lasting and Meaningful
Countless examples exist of those who took the death of a loved one as the inspiration to creatively turn their experience into a meaningful gift to give to others. Books and songs, websites of poetry, forums for the bereaved, and organizations founded in memorial to someone are all examples of the meaningful ways people put their creative impulse to good use. To cope after the death of someone suggests merely surviving. But to create something lasting is to renew your life and contribute something meaningful and beautiful in memorial.