There is no easy way to deal with the loss of a family member or close friend. It just plain hurts and feels like it always will. Our family is going through this now and in pondering what I could write that would be helpful to others in this situation, I realized how many different aspects there are to this subject.
First, do you believe in some kind of “afterlife?” A very large part of our population walked away from traditional religion because much of it doesn’t “fit” with modern times. That was true for me when I couldn’t get answers that made sense … such as why native people’s never exposed to my religious teaching would not be admitted to “Heaven”… or even worse, if they were exposed and didn’t choose our version of God, they would go to Hell…where it is really hot and you suffer for the rest of eternity. Huh? But the fear of such consequences is so deep in us that, even if we walked away from our family’s teachings, on some level we are still subject to those beliefs. Most of the time it doesn’t matter what we have chosen to believe…until someone dies. Then, who does one turn to for an understanding of the process?
Many will share words of kindness. That is human nature and that is a lovely aspect of human nature indeed. But that doesn’t help answer questions about where your loved one goes when their spirit leaves the body. For me, even though I did walk away from my family religion, I never stopped searching for answers. There are many of us that have spent our lives doing that, with the sincerity of true seekers. So for all my research, I truly do believe there is an afterlife for the souls of the departed. I believe the soul drops the personality of the life they were living along with the body, and they become the essence of who they are … pure spirit in the process of evolving. I don’t believe that the “other side” is a place where you are rewarded or punished for your life’s deeds. I believe you connect with your soul family there. But how does it “feel” for them.
Next one has to try to understand the difference between the personality and the soul. Wow, that’s a big one, but lets give it a try. The personality is made up of many emotions and opinions…love, hate, passion, fear, joy, anger, revenge, pity, compassion, disappointment, frustration, etc. It is at the level of the personality that beliefs like “An eye for an eye” come from. Now try to image being in a state without such emotions … not emotionless, but rather being in a state of pure positive energy and viewing all human interaction from a higher place, your higher self, and without judgment about the behavior of others … sort of Saint like. That is the soul level in my humble opinion.
Finally, if you can believe that we each have a soul, that there is someplace for that soul to go when you die, a good and comforting place with family there to welcome you, it makes the personal loss of your departed loved one easier to bare. The loss is still real … they are no longer here to talk to, to plan things with, to see on vacations, or to watch grow old along with you. They are just plain gone from your life and the more you loved them, the bigger the hole they leave behind. But if you can consider what I have described above, perhaps at least that is comforting…knowing that they are OK, in fact, they are great. Then let your healing process begin.
I do sincerely hope this is helpful. It is meant to be. So many people are experiencing loss right now, with missing airplanes and sinking boats…tornadoes and mud slides. Their pain is so real but in time most will heal from their loss. I believe what I have written here to be true, not just a “feel good band-aid.” It is the result of a lifetime of study.
Now go out and hug someone you appreciate! It will make you feel better even if you haven’t just lost someone!