Grief is an awful thing. My friend is suffering from it awfully at the moment due to of loss of a very loved pet and a family member. I have had my own grief over the years for the same reasons and so being the person I am I try to explain it to myself and also to give some hope to my lovely friend who I do care for greatly.
Grief is as I said awful. We all handle it in different ways.It is in these circumstances when someone in our lives passes and we have to accept that we will never ever see them again. It’s the end, finality. They are gone. Or are they?
I am not a religious person, I never have been, I find established religion abhorrent, but I do not deny all the tenets of spirituality out of hand. Maybe there is a continuance of consciousness after we die. Maybe there is reincarnation. My view is that nobody has ever come back to tell us and probably never will and that is why I cannot accept spiritualism either which I believe is just the milking of peoples gullibility. I do not accept that dead relatives speak to us from beyond the grave… but.
My example in point is my father who died just days after Christmas in 2007. I was always closer to my mother I suppose, but my father was always the one who spoke the wisest words to me especially when I was down or in trouble yet again. I miss him greatly. I miss his philosophy of life, a lot of which I share now.
Over the past 2 to 3 years, maybe more, I have often spoken to him. In fact in my recent toxic marriage his was the voice of reason that I heard. He was the one that convinced me that I shouldn’t be in that relationship, that I would never be happy as long as I stayed with that woman. I knew that she was making my life a misery yes, she had been for the last few years at least. And yes I had left before, several times, calling it a day, only to weaken and return.
That was no answer if I wanted to find happiness in my life again. And I had heard him before along with quite a few friends (who are still alive) telling me that I would be a fool to return. Unfortunately I weakened as I said and ignored them all, several times. Such a pity as I could have found this happiness I am experiencing now maybe a year or more ago. Such a waste but maybe this was karma telling me the time wasn’t right then. I hope it is now…. And so?
Was this the spirit of my dead father giving me advice from beyond the grave? I believe not. As I said I do not believe that the dead talk to us. I will explain what I think was happening. Obviously after 54 years I knew what my father thought. I knew what his reactions to my problems would be. His advice to me had always been sound in life and I believe my brain searched for that advice from within myself and my memory. I just knew what he would have told me if he had still been alive. I believe my brain transfigured his words and advice from the past to my present. I was hearing him yes, but through myself. It was not his dead spirit I could hear but my very much alive father speaking to me from the past. From my experience of him in the past.His words to me lived on… in me.
And so. What is this grief? Why do we suffer this terrible mind numbing pain when a much loved relative, friend or pet passes. Why does our brain run in loops asking why, why, why? It is our brain processing the fact that we will never see them in a tangible form again. Our brains are dealing with a terrible stress of loss which can and often does make us ill either physically or even mentally. But the brain is a wonderful thing. It also has the power of restoration. No we will never totally get over that grief. It will always reside in our mind but the brain learns to compartmentalise it. Put it in perspective. File it away safely. It will always pop out again especially on anniversaries or when a certain thing or place for example, reminds us of that loss again but the pain does decrease with time. It always does. It has to or we would go insane.
And in my view, the departed never leave us. They are always there but within ourselves for evermore. We remember all their little ways, all their words (or woofs lol). We remember how they reacted to our problems, our love for them and theirs for us. We remember their advice, their faces, their smiles. We remember everything about them and they live on forever, not in some hidden place, but within us. They live on in our hearts and minds and souls forever more. They become an integral part of our very being and we should not mourn them but rather celebrate the fact that we knew each other and loved each other. We always will. The deceased still live through us, the living and we should accept that and take solace in it.
And so… grief is awful but it actually a vital part of the healing process. It allows the brain to process our loss and heal that hurt. It can take a while to do that and we do need to allow ourselves that time and healing but also we must not shut ourselves away and compound that grief with self isolation. We have to repair and restore.
Stan M Rogers. September 2018.
I have not copyright protected this piece and it is publicly shared for personal use. Feel free to copy and paste, download or share if you feel it helps you or someone who is suffering loss. But please. If you do share please do not alter or amend and please leave my attribution in.