This week a very dear older friend of mine died unexpectedly. I did not know about it until several days later when one of their children contacted me. For the last 30 some years that I have known her she has been a mother to me. She is the one person in my life that loved me unconditionally and this is one thing that I really did not get until I began to mourn her passing. This is because as I sat there feeling empty inside I suddenly had the urge to call her. We spoke to each other on the phone at least monthly, sometimes weekly. She was the one person I could call who never had an excuse to not talk. She let me vent, even if it was the same dull story over and over again and never complained. She gave advice – boy did she ever but she never complained that I wasn’t getting it fast enough.
This is the hard part of an unexpected loss. You are shaken to the core. Your routine is broken.
Our belief is that we are reincarnated. She did not want funerals. She will be cremated and her ashes taken by her daughter to Mazatlan, Mexico. This was a place she loved to be. No pomp and circumstance. She has died, there is nothing left. Her soul is in another world and she does not want people spending money needlessly or wasting energy on a life that no longer exists. This was part of her wise teachings, letting go.
For those of us left to deal with her loss however, we do need closure.
Closure. When you have a situation like this you have to invent how you will say goodbye. Her son is having all of his friends and loved ones gather at a certain time on a specific day with helium balloons that will be sent up. As we all do this we are to think about what she meant to us, say a prayer or think good thoughts. I have known other people who have requested that you send money to a charity or organization that they belonged to – in lieu of flowers. Some people find flowers a waste of money. Another idea is to have a meal with close connections. This brings people together so that they can share their grief or at least feel supported amongst others – it prevents loneliness or depression. El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is coming up so I will make an altar for her that evening.
Growth. As you begin to think about the loss you have just experienced, at the same time you must ask yourself “Now What?” I know my friend is with me in the other world and because she has just left her spirit is strong. She did channeling/psychic and so I knew to look for answers around me. I pulled a Rune stone and immediately felt acknowledged by my loss. The one I chose told me that I was empty inside and that I must allow this in order that growth could occur. When you lose something, it must be filled up with something. In other words getting rid of negative energy, you can still bring in more negativity unless you work on bringing in positive. So with this message from the Rune I kept it in my mind that new and exciting things were coming my way as I began to grow as a woman. I knew that since she was no longer with me I would need to be who I am without her. I do not know yet what this will be like but I know I must be strong and prepare for what is to come.
Setbacks. I want so much to call her house and listen to her answering machine. I want to double-check that she really does not answer. It is hard for me to imagine her not answering that phone. Our relationship was built around that telephone. Neither of us had a cell phone either, we almost always knew when the other would be home. There is nothing wrong with calling the home of the person you have lost. If it helps to acknowledge their death. We live on two sides of the country so I can’t drive over. In the weeks ahead I will continue to feel this loss whenever I need to talk – as this was our ritual. My new friends in my life will not be available at all times and certainly won’t be unconditional. I will have to adapt to this new challenge. After 30 some years it won’t be an easy or quick process. It is sometimes good to put a new ritual in its place. An idea I have is to do some meditation, burn a candle, call another friend, but also write it out – what I wanted to say. Visit a psychic to get a message from your loved one.
Time Heals All Wounds – I have lost enough people in my life to know that over time you move forward. You never forget but you begin to live a little differently until it becomes your new routine. Even my other older lady friend who lost her husband 30 years ago exactly, who still can’t stop talking about him as if he died yesterday, she has grown as a person. In this time period she has moved out of their shared home into a senior apartment and made lots of supportive connections. She has added many new members to her family through great and great-great grandchildren. As the last surviving member of her own sibling set of 15 children, she has been able to share stories of childhood to descendants. No matter how you grieve, no matter how hard it is to let go, life continues whether you try to resist it or not.
No one wants to lose someone. It is never easy regardless if they were sick and it was expected or you were angry with them or it came out of nowhere. Death is sad, it takes a toll on your mind, body and spirit. Even for those of us who are aware of the afterlife and have a sense of their presence, there is still a vacancy and a struggle to begin anew.
The last thing I will mention was her constant message in life: Letting go of Ego. This is something that is a challenge to us all. The ego is what stops us from growing, it prevents us from letting go. Many ailing people will stick around, even though they are in pain, trying to take care of those left behind – waiting for their family – to tell them it is okay to die. Nothing ruins us as human beings more than ego.
- Q&A: Should I Be Done Grieving? (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- How can we not grieve for the dead? (PIC & WISDOM) (vjindigo.wordpress.com)
- Grief: What we’re not supposed to talk about (chantalandfam.com)
- The End or the Beginning (jkvegh.wordpress.com)