This important article about death and grieving is taken from the website of our Transition Mentor, Pavitra Gurumurthi, and can be found here.
How often do you spend time curiously pondering about the mysterious yet noticeably wise presence of death in your everyday life? At your birth, life was celebrated with much anticipation, hopes and expectations. Much of your early years was spent trying to teach you how to survive. Much of your adult years is spent trying to learn how to thrive.
But death looms, dangerously lurking like a shadow in the dark, threatening the very nature of your unstable physical existence.
However, ignorance is bliss so better to ignore that which cannot be seen, yes?
Until your first experience losing a loved one to death.
Sometimes it comes out of nowhere, like a bolt of lightning. Other times you sense its energy through a prolonged sickness or old age. But in every loss you experience, there seems to be:
- an undeniable effect on the trajectory of your understanding of life
- the crumbling of your mental and spiritual structures
- intense emotional roller coaster rides, and
- an inevitable blooming of your relationship with the essence of loss, that now colours your experiences.
In all of this, emotional pain appears to be the foundation on which it stands. Losing a loved one to death is one of the greatest forms of loss you will experience in your physical life. None of us is spared from this.
And we still find ourselves choosing to pretend that it will never happen (denial) and/or suppress the fear, willing it to disappear (more denial).
We have created a society conducive to support this denial, having imaginatively engineered ways to provide comfort, safety and security from ever having to experience the pain (say hello to alcohol, drugs, pornography, television, food etc).
So, why do we grieve? Why do we need to suffer? Why deal with the emotional ache? Why does mortality want to stare us in the face?
I realise that there will never be a finite explanation of the mystical nature of this energetic pulse. However, there is a theme within where there lies the wisdom that is yearning to be accessed. Listed below are three reasons why grieving the death of a loved one is the most crucial life transition.
1. GETTING INTIMATE WITH SUFFERING
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl writes ‘If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.’ In order for your heart to fully know what it means to be unconditionally in love with life, your heart requires a seed from which to blossom. And that seed is the pain in your suffering.
When you show reverence to this pain in your suffering, you build a deep connection to all aspects of you and your existence, thereby birthing a form of courage and intimacy that enables you to graciously meet all aspects of the same pain, in another. How delicious it feels in my heart to even write of this intimacy within oneself and the other. Now, imagine experiencing it.
2. NURTURING A NEW RELATIONSHIP
Life and death are two sides of the same coin. One does not exist without the other. Unless you begin to nurture your relationship with death, all the successes that you have so rightly earned and are working towards will only account for fifty percent of the fullness you will experience.
Perhaps a confronting statement but there is much wisdom in loss/death.
To access this wisdom is to first acknowledge its presence.
- Allow each of your exhales to be a conscious practice of learning to let go and let be
- Let any suffering be a reminder of your willingness to evolve through the different stages of life to meet death, when it is time, with utmost humility
- Notice any resistance to the grey area that exists between a black and white way of thinking and love it warmly until it melts away
- Observe, with tender care, ways in which you control your life to avoid feeling the pain and lean into it, if only an inch, with complete faith.
In these moments, you may find the greatest release from the pain in your suffering. And through your greatest release, you deepen your most profound relationship of all time.
3. SENSING ENERGETIC PRESENCE
That ever-present sixth sense/intuition is defined as an ability that ‘some’ people believe they have from which they receive information without the use of the other five physical senses. ‘Some’ – perhaps because science is yet to find a way to prove the nature of intuition?
Whatever the reason, grieving the death of a loved one is a sure-fire way of asking you (not just some) to get in touch with your sensitivity and vulnerability and build a deep connection with your intuitive abilities.
Grief does not wait for science to validate your feelings and experiences.
It shoves you into the deep end when you least expect it, like a loving parent demonstrating tough-love. Why? Because if we had it our way of cushy comfort, we would never step out of our safety bubble of selfishly celebrating life and ignoring the transformational presence of death.
Intuition will always form the basis for everything that you have and will ever experience. Once you begin to honour this core part of you, the world opens up to the magic that it has always held, in the way that is meant for you.
My wish for you
May you remain open to all of your suffering, with complete faith that the pain felt is that of your heart cracking open to experience love, in its purest form.
Pavitra helps her clients traverse the difficult path of grief and loss. For further information on working with her, you can email Pavitra at firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Urban Alchemist on 93479247.