Dealing with Grief
“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
– Morpheus | The Matrix, 1999
I wouldn’t say I was asleep before the loss.
As a child, I was very in touch with my gifts of intuition and an openness to spiritual realms. But then I lost my mother. My father. Aunts. All of my grandparents.
The losses accumulated and little by little I ignored my gifts; closing myself off from them to be able to function in this world that demands of us every day. I voluntarily entered a cocoon for comfort, to retreat away from deeper knowledge and understanding.
Then I met Derek, my beloved. He reintroduced me to that part of myself that I had hidden away and cut off communication with. I made peace with God and myself as a spiritual being and the gateway to awareness unlocked.
Yet, I was still living comfortably in my cocoon with all of its luxuries.
When he passed, I again saw signs and synchronicity. I could have gone back to ignoring these messages focusing solely on work, paying bills and going through the motions of a “regular” life. But I did not want to forget , not continue to ignore this part of myself that Derek had brought back to my attention as I had done as part of my coping mechanism with the passing of my mother, father and the rest of the family. Instead, I followed the signs which led me into an understanding and awareness I couldn’t possibly imagine.
Like the character Neo in The Matrix, suddenly the warm, womb-like chamber I had rested in peacefully emptied itself, broke open, and ejected me painfully into the cold and the dark.
Despite my desire to embrace this part of myself, I still tried to crawl back into the cocoon and suture it up with blissful ignorance for a period after Derek’s death. What I hadn’t immediately realized was that the cocoon was destroyed and I could not go back because the butterfly had already emerged. I couldn’t return into a space that no longer fit it and covered up my beautiful wings.
I was changed forever.
“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth—there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
– A Potential to Neo | The Matrix
Before the loss, I experienced the physical world through the lens of my mind – what I could see and touch. As things began to “happen to me” that I couldn’t make sense of, I realized I had to shift my understanding to allow the possibility that in death the prevalent identity of the body shifts into a new identity – Consciousness.
Now here is where we can get into verses from the Bible or quantum theory discussions and scientific claims, but this is not the point that I am trying to make.
When I look up into the stars from my apartment, I can feel that there is a world and Universe bigger than myself. There are forces that affect events that take place that we cannot explain. Once, there was a time when we believed it was impossible to go to the moon or travel beyond our own star. “The discovery of these things were possible because we allowed our minds to be flexible and entertain the possibility that there was something greater beyond our imagination.
So could we be flexible in allowing the possibility that we can still connect with our loved ones even though they are not physically present?
Would you like to try?
[Please have a notebook or paper handy and read the exercise through first so you know what to do]
Sit in a comfortable space with the lights dimmed and music/TV/phone off.
Place your feet on the floor so you feel grounded.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose and out through your mouth.
Imagine yourself walking down a long hall filled with soft white light.
This hallway has many doors, both on the left and right sides.
You walk down this hall feeling relaxed, taking easy steps.
You instinctually stop at the door that you are meant to open.
You open the door and see a beautiful room decorated in soft pink and white hues.
You are completely relaxed.
In this space you can ask your loved one a question. Wait for a couple of moments.
You may receive an answer in the form of a thought, an image or a song.
You may sit in this space for as long as you like. And when you are ready, you may leave the room as you walk back down the hallway and open your eyes.
What did you receive? Write it down.
You can try this short exercise anytime you wish. But it is a good example of what is possible to experience if we allow ourselves to change our thinking for even a brief moment.
Your mind may tell you that what you heard or saw was not real. That your conscious did not connect with another conscious.
And it is OK to doubt but ask yourself in the moment that you were in the presence of your beloved, did you feel unsafe or foolish or did you feel the depth of love or peace with your loved one?
If you felt love and warmth, is it unrealistic to bend your mind like the spoon and allow yourself to experience that re-assuring moment whenever you are feeling depleted?
As those still here living, seeking the truth and being aware as to where our loved ones go when they pass will not make the journey without them easier, but it does provide a gateway that when we need them the most we can connect to their healing love.
IN LOVE & LIGHT
I’m listening to the radio and the host mentioned how excited she is for Thanksgiving to be coming up next week. I didn’t even realize how quickly it came up.
Before, I would have had my Thanksgiving Day reservation made at Boulevard Five72 and a complete menu for the day after Thanksgiving all prepared by November 1st!
Now, the holidays approach like a regular day for me and I can almost slip through it unnoticed – until the invites come flooding in from friends asking for me to celebrate with them.
Of course I am always grateful, but the holidays after a loss is hard.
Even when you are surrounded by loving family and friends, sometimes it’s still not the same.
Through the smiles and laughter, there are times when a deep sadness peeps through and I wish I was home surrounded by what was familiar.
So, all of this is to say that I know that for some, the holidays may not be easy to navigate. In fact it may be downright hard.
I’ve come to realize that while the holidays will not be the same – some years will be good, some passable and some not so good – I had to give myself permission to do the holidays my way.
I focus on one day at a time and allow myself to do what makes me feel good, even if it means not following the expectations of what others may want me to do.
Every year, Derek and I engaged in our own holiday traditions. One of those would be to go to Bethlehem, PA to look at the Christmas lights and watch Santa ride through town on his Clydesdale-drawn sleigh.
I had a need to continue the tradition even though he was not physically here – so one morning, I just got into the car and drove to PA. The experience was different as it wasn’t during the night as I was used to doing. I also didn’t see Santa, but funnily enough I ended up having a good time exploring the Christmas shops and museums. I let go of expectations and gave myself permission to experience the tradition in a different way.
There are no expectations for you to be able to get through every day smiling and happy and that is ok even if others do not understand.
SO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO GET THROUGH THE COMING WEEKS.
If you want to stay in and create a voice message that says you are “Out of the Office”–
Book a trip for the holidays or indulge in something that makes you happy.
Leave a party early or not attend at all.
Give yourself permission to let the energy flow however you need it to.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO PLEASE EVERYONE
AND KNOW THAT EACH YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.
I used to go to South Carolina to spend the holidays with my best friend and her family. The warm weather and running after my nieces would help me to reset.
This Thanksgiving is a toss-up of spending it with friends or taking an impromptu trip up north. Or I may make lavender and white chocolate cocoa, put on my favorite sweats and binge watch movies.
For Christmas, I always hold an annual Cookie Swap party in early December. However, this year, I have not given a single thought to the actual day and that is ok. Whatever I decide on, I know it will be what I want to do to make me happy. It will be what my soul needs.
SO YOUR MISSION – IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT – IS TO DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY OR CONTENT. THAT’S ALL THAT YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT. ♥
Sending love and light always.
RECIPE FOR LAVENDER & WHITE CHOCOLATE COCOA
Combine all of these ingredients into a small container to use whenever you want this indulgent treat.
¼ cup powdered milk
½ cup vanilla pudding mix
1 cup white chocolate, shaved
2 tbsp lavender
In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup of the Hot Chocolate Mixture into 1 ¼ cups of milk. Stir until heated through and the chocolate has melted.
Strain to remove the lavender and Enjoy!