No matter how much we share love of someone with another, the feeling of loss created by death is a lonely thing. It is something that demands privacy, taking up long hours, in our mind. It is something that shows up when we are having a great time, reminding us that something is missing, often asking us “How can you be so happy, when your Beloved Dead is not here to join you?” It speaks loudest to us when we are feeling vulnerable, or doubting ourselves, telling us that we will never find happiness again, without our beloved. The closer we were to the death, the harder and longer it sits with us. When enough time has gone by, and others see that we should be done mourning, death requires us to hide our sorrow, “move-on” the outside world says, but death whispers quietly in our ears “stay, don’t forget how important they were to you”.
There is no easy answer here. I cannot bestow words of wisdom upon you, that will take away your sorrow, like the brush of a magic wand. But I can tell you that communication helps. Not just Spirit Communication, although in truth communication with your Beloved Dead, is one of the most powerful healing tools I know of, as it gives us the proof that they are not truly gone, but simply existing in another realm. But not everybody is open or has the ability to make connection with their dead, so that is why good old fashioned talking about it is helpful. Friends, counselors, and support groups help us to make peace with the sorrow of our loss, even when the others we speak to cannot fully understand our pain. The act of sharing it, helps us to move it from the hidden realms of our mind, into the light of day where it can be cared for.
This advice is particularly important for those who have experienced a deep loss, such as that of a lover, child, or parent. When we loose the ones we hold most dear, their death will become a constant companion of ours. It will attend us in our every day life, and go with us to special events. It will come around heavily, laden with emotion on the anniversary dates of their loss, and their birthdays, and anniversaries. It will show up, when a song comes on the radio, or a childhood toy reminds us of them, when the weather is just so, and when we wake slowly from a dream in which they have come to visit. For those most heavily hit by the loss of a loved one, death will return again, and again, and again.
So what can we do in those overwhelming moments? What can we do to ease our pain, and find peace?
First of all we must remember we are human, and innately flawed. We need to be patient with ourselves, and practice the art of ‘speaking vulnerably’, which simply means talking when you feel weak. Not everyone can do this, in fact most people stop talking about their loss, thinking that others will perceive that they should be over it by now. It is my belief that people are generally kind. That if we tell them we are having a hard day, and that death is speaking very loudly to us today, that we are in a deep space of mourning, they will understand, and most often seek to give us support. The problem is, that most of us do not do this when we are feeling vulnerable, instead we batten down the hatches and prepare to ride out the storm. In doing so, we often act in ways that are not really pleasant to ourselves or others. We may even find ourselves lashing out, again at ourselves and others, and when it is done, we feel like an asshole, but lack the means to explain our actions.
Secondly, I recommend setting up sacred space for our Beloved Dead. A simple shelf can be turned into an altar or shrine, with j