Loss of a loved one can come as a terrible shock. And grief is hard.
And loss does not just mean death.
It can be divorce, it can be moving home and leaving behind all that was familiar. It can even be losing someone to a mind altering illness.
All of these things and more can lead to you going through the grieving process and that process can be pretty tough to handle.
In some ways, it can be worse if the person is still around as every time you see them or think of them, there can be hope that you will reconcile or that a miracle will happen to bring you back together which then reopens the wound over and over again when it does not happen as you dream it will.
I remember losing my dad – My relationship with him had not been great and I had thought I would have time when I was older to figure things out with him but no, I did not.
He passed on and to this day, I wish I had spoken more with him. I know I was not ready for it at the time but still, I wish.
It got worse, if that was possible.
As a spiritual person, I felt abandoned by Source.
I felt all alone.
I felt as though if I was really one of the chosen ones then why would I be experiencing this pain?
And I remember walking away from all things spiritual for a few weeks as I sought to make sense of the pain in my heart. It did not last as where can I go to hide from Papa?
And where else can I get true, deep comfort? We had a conversation and I returned home within my spirit.
Being spiritual does not protect us from the hurt of grieving though sometimes, we wish it would. It is in these painful moments, we find out if we were hoping for a spiritual magic bullet that makes life always easy or not.
So, without running and hiding, what can you do to handle grief?
1. Allow the process of grief
a) At first, you will feel shock and maybe, even an attempt to deny the truth of the situation. Surely, there must be some mistake, you may think but then as time passes…
b) You will accept and then feel pain.
Tears usually come at this point if you are emotionally free or you may try to hold yourself together. I would suggest you allow yourself the release of the tears.
Let them pour and heal as they go out of you. It is not a weakness to cry.
Yes, you may believe in an afterlife where you will meet again but it does not make this present moment feel all that much better.
Even Jesus wept at the loss of a friend (that he knew he would bring back to life!) – Allow yourself the release of tears.
c) Anger – As I mentioned earlier, I felt annoyed with Source.
You may feel annoyed with the person, yourself, the situation, and of course, if the loss was caused by another person then you will feel some animosity towards that person.
Feel what you feel but do not let it cause you to do something regrettable.
d) Healing – As time passes, the emotions feel less intense. There is still an emptiness in your heart where this person used to be but it becomes a lot more bearable and you start to live again.
You may feel guilty when you start to heal.
Notice it and reject the feeling of guilt.
You are allowed to go on with your life. This is a deliberate choice to overcome guilt – Notice that if the thoughts you are having occurred to anyone else, you would immediately tell them not to be silly.
So, I say the same to you – There is nothing to feel guilty about.
This is a great time to remember that death/separation is not permanent. It may be that you could have done things differently but you did the best you knew how and now it is time to heal.
3 Take Back your Life
You may have been living vicariously through the person you lost and so the pain feels greater because you have forgotten how to live as a single entity. This can happen when single parents lose a child or when partners separate.
It is time to remember who you are and start to live life as a complete whole person again. Again, this is a choice you make. You must DECIDE to heal and to recognize that you are complete just the way you are.
Remind yourself of things you like to do for fun and do them. Force yourself to begin with and then, slowly but surely, you will find it easier and easier to live life in an enjoyable way.
4 You are no victim
Though you have experienced loss, and you are dealing with your grief, remember this does not make you a victim.
Choose to heal.
Yes, it is tough and yet, you are able to do the internal work and the external work to heal.
You are born to live an abundant, fulfilled, free life and though the loss was not to be part of it, you are alive and you have the opportunity to create an awesome experience of life.
Do not allow yourself to wallow too long. Yes, go through the process of healing but at some point, you have to choose to live again.
Sometimes, people get addicted to the sad story, you do not need to join them.
Let go of the sadness deliberately.
Live your life.
Sometimes, in times of great emotional pain, we can draw away from the thing we need most – Connection to Source.
Can I exhort you to deliberately choose to have a daily spiritual practice that links you back to Source.
Comfort will come from there. Your heart can be pieced back together as you sit silently (or weeping) in the presence of Source.
Still yourself as much as you can and bring your pain to this place of connection.
Feel yourself surrounded and filled with love as you perform your spiritual practice.
This ability to connect saved me when going through the various losses I have encountered in my life.
Source has been the one constant all the time and though I may get annoyed that I am not always living a charmed existence where nothing ever goes wrong, Source enables me to move forward, to heal, and to feel love despite the pain.