Rethinking lost and loss
The death of someone we love cracks us open. It’s supposed to. Big time!
When our beloved dies ... when he or she leaves his/her physical body ... as much as we yearn for things to be “as they were,” and get “back to normal,” ... if/when we are honest with ourself ... we know that can never happen. There is no going back. Ever. Someone we love has died and life will never, ever be the same. We will never, ever be the same.
The challenge that awaits us, in time, ... when/if we are ready ... is to build anew. A new life. A new future. A new dream. Our task is to reboot, reinvent, reestablish, reframe, rejuvenate, restore, reroute and recreate. It is incredibly hard work. It separates us into two groups ~ those that do the work, and those that do not.
The way we begin is to question everything. Everything. Every thought, every belief, every thing we held true ... “before.” Question everything. Even the very words that come out of our mouth.
I have come to believe that words are energy and energy has power ... power to create our feelings, our emotions and ultimately our experience. The words we choose to speak are important.
When we speak of a person’s death, how often do we use the words “lost” or “loss?”
I lost my husband.
We lost mom three years ago.
They lost the baby.
I am so sorry for your loss.
The hardest loss of all is (fill in the blank).
Most of us repeat variations of these phrases with no real thought of what we are actually saying. Of what we might be creating. These words have become part of the “culture of living with the death of a loved one” in America, and they roll off our tongue with ease.
So I ask you ~ Are the people we love that have died really lost? Did we really lose them?
When we say, and hear these words over and over ... that the people we love that have died are lost ... what feelings and emotions, and even experiences are we creating for ourselves and for others?
To believe that our spouse, or our child, parent or sibling or best friend is lost is frightening, unsettling, unnerving ... even terrifying. This belief ... that we have lost our beloved ... leaves us feeling powerless, desperate, struggling, and in need of help. Isn’t there a part of us wanting to find those that we believe are lost?
Through questioning this belief over and over again ... those that are dead are lost ... I have come to believe and experience the truth that, in death, our loved ones are not lost at all. While I am not 100% certain exactly where they are ... I do know that they continue to exist. I have seen reassuring proof many, many, many times.
Perhaps you have too.
As I have struggled to rebuild my own new life over the past 20+ years, and as I have questioned everything I once held true, more than once ... I have realized that I will always have a relationship with the people I love that have died. Always. Naturally, the relationship changes, it is different, as the people I love leave their physical bodies. But different can continue to be real, fluid, ever-changing and life affirming. This belief - in the continuation of relationships - has been the catalyst for major shifts in my own ability to heal.
For many people, this realization, that the relationship continues, is an important step in the rebuilding, the reframing, the reinvigorating of their own life. This realization gives us work to do ... the work of figuring out how to reconnect with our loved ones in very real ways.
Many breathe a sigh of relief when they understand that it is not our beloved who is lost afterall, but, rather it has been us that is lost. In sorrow. In confusion. In anger. In misunderstanding. In all of the many, many ways grief expresses itself.
When we realize that “they” continue to exist ... sooner or later the questions arise ... and where are they? And in what form? And can we still communicate? And, and, and ...
Most of us were raised with some understanding of heaven. “When I die, if I’m good, I’ll go to heaven.” Until someone we love dies, however, ... we rarely give it much thought. What exactly is heaven? And where is it? We often look upwards when speaking of heaven ... but, is it really “up there” far, far away? Is heaven where we encounter God? That old man with the long flowing beard sitting on the throne? Do we really enter through pearly gates? Or is it something different?
So many questions arise. I believe we experience peace when we take the time to search for answers that resonate. Not the answers that have been spoon fed to us as children ... but answers that ring true at a deep, deep level. This is our work.
I believe, as many others do, and as author Gary Zukav so beautifully explains in his powerful book The Seat of the Soul that we are each souls. With the help of our nonphysical teachers and guides we have chosen to incarnate the parts of our soul that need healing in this lifetime. That is why we are on this earth.
If that is true, then the greatest part of our soul, of my soul ... that part that did not incarnate this time around ... remains “on the other side” ... with the greatest parts of all the other souls that did not incarnate this time either. So ... the greatest part of my daughter Erin’s soul, and my wife Trici’s soul, and my son Rory’s soul, and my soul, and my living son Sean’s soul have never been apart. We continue to exist with each other on the “other side.” I find this possibility intriguing and comforting, and most certainly worth pondering.
What if this is true for the greatest part of your soul, too ... and the greatest part of the souls of the people you have loved dearly in this lifetime who have left their physical bodies? Perhaps you have never really been apart.
Breathe that in. Who would you be if you believed that:
- The relationships we have with our beloveds do not end when they leave their physical bodies, they just change. Our relationships are eternal.
- The largest part of our soul remains “on the other side” and remains connected to all of our beloveds, never apart, even as parts of our soul incarnate for a time in human form on this earth.
Breathe that in. How does it feel?
I believe that the death of someone we love cracks us open. It’s supposed to. We are meant to question everything. And then search for new answers. To become more than who we were “before.” To become more of who we were born to be. To expand. Always expanding. Always.
If my NEW WAY of "doing grief" resonates with you, if you'd like to explore ways you can become the person you were born to be, I'd love to work with you one-on-one. If you are in the Rockford, Illinois area we can do that in person, otherwise, I am having great success working with people all over the country via Skype or FaceTime. Email me at email@example.com if you are ready to take the next step on your grief journey and we can schedule a session.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I feel a shift, in my core; I feel a shift in my beliefs. I do not know where it will lead me; however, it is a start. Perhaps even a new beginning.
Winston Churchill said, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But, perhaps, it is the end of the beginning.” I have pondered this quote even before Geoffrey died.