When dealing with the death of a loved one, trust in mystery and the unseen
Loss and change are conditions of existence. They begin at birth with the huge change of leaving the cozy womb to be thrust into the physical world, and end with the final change: death. In between, there are many small and very large deaths that are stressful and demanding for survivors and require the establishment of new routines, the development of new coping skills, and often new roles.
Unfortunately, we have to learn how to manage our losses through experience because we are a death-denying culture and there are few, if any, schools that teach that life involves many loss experiences or how we should deal with them. when they appear. However, no one is immune from the condition of being deprived of something they value.
So what do we learn from experiencing loss? If we’re lucky, those who’ve been through a lot of change and a lot of grief tell us that it’s okay to express emotions, that crying is good for the soul as well as the body, and that time heals all wounds. However, time only heals when you work on healing your inner turmoil minute by minute and hour by hour. This is not an automatic process of simply waiting.
Interestingly, no one ever tells us to expect and trust the mystery and the unseen to intervene. Yet many things happen unexpectedly that ease the pain of loss. Here are some common examples.
● You intuitively feel the presence of your deceased loved one.
● On a gloomy day, a rainbow appears with a message of hope.
● A phone call comes from an old friend in your darkest hour.
●You hear a song whose lyrics trigger an idea for coping with your loss.
● Out of nowhere, a thought pops into your mind, providing great comfort and the realization that your loved one is in a good place.
● You’re driving alone on the freeway, asking for a sign that your loved one is okay on the other side, and a car passes you, cuts ahead, turns into your lane with a license plate that says BELIVE.
● You keep finding pennies in strange places inside and outside your home.
The list could go on and on.
The point: mystery in the form of unexpected help is always there. Look for—remember to ask for—positive signs, even when using tried and true coping strategies for the death of a loved one. They will appear. I tell any grieving person that there is nothing wrong with praying for a sign that your loved one is okay. And there’s nothing wrong with asking for their help. Also, don’t be afraid to join a support group (it’s not a sign of weakness) and/or realize that the death of a loved one means starting a new life.
Regardless of your belief system, unexpected signs always come if you’re open to them. As a man in one of my support groups said, “Trust that your loved one knows what you’re going through.” And that faith will open you to the unexplainable and the wisdom it holds. The key is positive anticipation.
These signs and messages suggest that there is a power greater than yourself that is looking to help, that you are not alone and that you will get through this difficult time. Refuse to hold onto and believe beliefs that get in the way of healing and acceptance of inevitable change (like this wasn’t supposed to happen to me or I can never be joyful again). Pain is always a teacher, a sign to take a new path in life and sometimes to discard old beliefs that were forced upon us by well-meaning adults in our younger years.
There is an order in the universe that cannot be mapped, often overlooked, that comes to stimulate the acceptance of loss and the changes it entails. Allow the mystery and the unseen to become another resource for coping with your loss. Expect your share of insights. Death never has the last word.
#dealing #death #loved #trust #mystery #unseen