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If tears are an indication of how special my relationship with my mother was, I cry with pride! I've come to see grief as pain with a purpose. Interestingly enough, as I cared for my mother in my home the last several weeks of her life, much of what I had learned through spiritual teachings about death had gone out the window. It seemed as though I were losing her forever! At times, I wallowed in sadness and self-pity.
Living life in slow motion, I gazed off into my own inner space, sobbed, and occasionally argued with that part of my mind that did not want my mother to go. Even what I had learned about self-care was not accessible to me since I seemed to exist 'in a fog.' I wasn't getting enough sleep and I felt scared and alone; but not for long!
I finally came to rest on the spiritual foundation that has carried me this far in life. What a respite those teachings became as I was able to see my grief as a journey of spiritual unfoldment. Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss yet our society seems to hurry along the feelings around transitions that take time to heal. We grieve what could have been and what we feel 'should' have been, along with not being able to see our loved one again, on Earth anyway!
The grief that I felt was really just me focusing on the idea that her life was ending. Using Spiritual principles, I was able to then focus on the truth, which is that Spirit, which is who we really are, is eternal! She too, would live on?
I feel like a large part of me died along with my mother. Maybe it was a part of me that was ready to be put at rest. Her death has created a void in me that I can choose to fill as I'd like. As I open up even more to greater spiritual understanding, I am learning to trust the whole process of life, including death.
I have come to see this "mourning after" as a time to heal, to heal unprocessed sadness in my life, including disappointments from relationships, jobs ending sooner than I would have liked, losing beloved pets, and moving from town to town as I grew up. There are opportunities inherent in life's changes that are a gateway to greater personal and spiritual growth. The dynamics of change can be stepping stones to open up to the fullness of God's love.
I received a card from a friend that said, "When the sea recedes, many treasures and gifts appear that otherwise never would have been noticed." From a metaphysical or symbolic perspective, I can look at my mother's death as being the sea receding. Her death, part of the natural ebb and flow of life, brought me many gifts.
Grieving the loss of my mother involved surrender. There came a point where I had to let go and let God, and what a blessing that was! I gradually remembered all that I had been taught around eternal life and the truth that she reemerged into pure positive energy as she "went home" to God. Another gift I was reminded of when, through "coincidence" I ended up in the office of a wonderful spiritual therapist, is that we are always being guided and we are never alone. Perhaps my grief is just God's love washing over me. I can't seem to get away from God's goodness!
It is her death that inspires me to move forward and get clear about what I would like to experience in the next stage of my life. Similar to her spiritual ascension, I feel that I am reemerging into the rest of my life with a more grounded belief in the idea that the Loving Intelligence that created us and all of life is ever present, guiding and directing our ways.
God, you are the love that washes away what no longer serves me. During this time of grief, I ask that you wash away any limiting belief I have that would hold me back.
Diana Kennedy is committed to assisting others in transforming their lives from the inside out! She is an inspirational speaker and writer. Diana is the author of Living from Spirit website and E zine. She is the Ministerial Assistant at Unity of Tallahassee where she leads the early service, classes and workshops. Diana is a licensed massage therapist working at All About You! Massage where she specializes in Relaxation/Deep Tissue massage and spiritual energy balancing. Diana also leads TeleClasses for the Mind*Body*Spirit community. To register or to contact her, call 850-878-2130, visit http://www.dianakennedy.com, or email email@example.com. To subscribe to Living from Spirit ? A Breath of Inspiration, email Living_from_Spiritfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Coping with Grief - Its Called Living Through It
"Dad, I tried to wake Nana, I think she's dead." "Grandpa died yesterday." "Oh my God, Daddy's dead." "Uncle Jack died today." "Grandma died last night." "I'm standing with the body of your deceased father-in-law." "Hon, I think we should get a divorce." "I'm sorry, but we weren't able to resuscitate your mother." "Mike called. He thinks Mary is dead." "I'm sorry to leave this on your voice mail, but Uncle Andy died last night."
Men and Grief
Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it difficult for men to look for support, and harder again to accept it. Men are so often silent, solitary mourners who immerse themselves in activity and private, symbolic rituals. They feel profoundly, but often can't express the depth of their loss.
The Creative Side of Healing
One of the areas where I seem to be placing most of my focus these days is the relationship between creative expression and healing. Something that I have always found to be particularly fascinating is the fact that the words heal, whole and holy all come from the same Latin root. (Check it out!)
Who has the Worst Pain
During the 28 years I have been interacting with bereaved people, one of the most frequent questions I have been asked is, "Who has the worst pain?" Do bereaved parents suffer more than widows and widowers? Do children whose parents die feel more agony than children who lose a sibling? Is it harder to watch a loved one suffer for a long time before death releases the victim than it is to answer the doorbell or the phone at midnight and suddenly hear the news of tragedy? Is suicide worse than homicide? Is the death of an "older" child more difficult to grieve than the death of a newborn or infant?
Suicide in the Church Part 2
In a town the size of mine - about 16,000 - can a few suicides within a 90-day period be considered an epidemic? I'd say so. Quite a few Christians have contacted me since these tragedies have occurred, people struggling with the in's and out's of suicide and its effect on one's eternal reward, among other concerns. These included the wife of one of the recent suicide victims. As a certified Workplace Chaplain, I receive various ministerial and counseling materials in the mail and one recent article presented some jarring statistics about suicide and its effects on those left behind.
The Lesson of a Mothers Death
Dedicated to my mother, Florence
Euthanasia: How Will I Know When its Time?
Pippin needed assistance from his owner to get to his feet. He slowly walked to the door, then needed help once again to step down onto the back porch. With a slight groan, he squatted to relieve himself and came back towards the house. There was no twinkle in his eye, and this time he needed to be carried all the way back to his bed. He'd used up his energy for that day.
Angel of Comfort... The Story
I am an Angel artist and several weeks ago while listening to the late night news, a news story came on that really touched my heart. On the way home in the wedding limo ... a drunk driver caused a horrible wreck, resulting in the loss of a child and the limo driver. This story stayed in my mind. A few days later, a woman emailed me requesting my help. She wanted to know if an Angel painting could be created for this family. I immediately knew who the family was. I heard a voice say ..."Yes, you can help ... Create an Angel of Comfort for her painting ... their energies are needed here." I emailed the woman and she immediately commissioned the painting.
Guilty, Your Honor: The Burden of Guilt After a Suicide
Guilty, Your Honor, I whisper.
You Have to Show Up: On Small Miracles (Okay, maybe not so small)
I hadn't intended to go to my cousin's funeral.
An Unexpected Letter
It was a couple of weeks after Christmas, and I was standing by my mailbox in the vestibule of the apartment building where I lived in Lexington, Kentucky, holding a letter I had just received. The handwriting was not familiar and neither was the return address, although it was postmarked Seattle, Washington, the same place where Hannah Paulson used to live.
How Can I Transform Tragedy?
There is only one place where tragedy occurs, and that is in the mind. Tragedy may appear to you on the physical level, however, it is the enormous power of your mind that creates the pain and separation you feel, from Love, from God, from Life itself when you listen to what your egoic thoughts are telling you, rather than listen to the voice of pure love, which can ONLY come from God, Holy Spirit, Divine Source.
Present Moment Awareness: Lessons From My Dog
I've always waited for the perfect moment to be happy: As though time were a flower waiting to bloom. My scruffy puppy-happy senior dog knows better. Watching his tail wag as he stands in the middle of a mud puddle, I now understand that happiness is where your heart is, not just where your legs travel.
Cultivate a Friendship with Death
Why We Fear Death
Anticipatory Grief and Ongoing Sadness for Caregivers
In 1969, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published her famous book; On Death and Dying and later went on to launch the Hospice movement in America. Even though her studies focused more on those who were dying than the caregivers that were left behind, her work has had enormous influence on the understanding of various stages of death and grief.
The Truth About Emotional Intelligence
There is so much emphasis on emotional intelligence these days that it appears that people are suppressing their emotions and problems in an effort to "fit in," to keep their jobs, and using "positive self-talk" to muscle through the rough spots in their lives.
Whens Sarah Coming Home? Helping Your Child Understand Death
For most children, their first experience with grief comes with the death of a beloved family pet. When Zoe the eight-week old puppy dies of parvovirus or Tweety the budgie stops singing his morning song, a child experiences profound and lasting loss for the first time in their young lives.
Angelo C, was a good man that never did any harm. He died yesterday in the shower over a severe asthma attack. The entire school cried and prayed for their old friend Angelo. They joined in a moment of silence at 2:55 pm to let Angelo know that we care.
The Valley of Sorrow or My Life as a Well Digger
It felt like I had been run over by a freight train. I was stunned. I was in shock. I was crying hysterically. But it was really just a phone call. My dad called and said he had to talk to my husband Jerry. I knew it was bad because Jerry hates to talk on the phone so no one ever asks for Jerry unless something bad is going on. I knew some elderly family members and friends were sick, so I thought one had died. I was right someone had died. But it was not an elderly person or even a sick person. It was my sister April. She was 33, a college graduate, a non drinker, non smoker, no drugs - nothing - just a little over weight. She had been getting ready for a Sunday School party and simply dropped dead. It was probably a heart attack. And that was when the shadow of death passed over my life like a freight train. Suddenly, from the middle of bright sun shiny Good Friday, I was in the valley of Baca. At some time or another I had heard a sermon based on a verse from Psalms 84:6 on the subject of "when passing through the valley of Baca (sorrow) dig a well. I had suddenly become a "well digger".
How to Deal with Suicide and Euthenasia
The following is a report that indicates how you might recognize suicidals, and how you might deal with them. But a warning: Suicide can be a very complex issue, and it might be better to have a professional deal with this issue if it comes up, but if this is very difficult to attain, this guide is a very good alternative to follow if you have no other solution to the problem.
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