For many of us the subject of death is unsettling to talk about but it is part of all of our lives. I recently started volunteering for a hospice company and was visiting a hospice patient weekly. He died last week. On our last visit, as I was reading to him, he seemed happier, lighter and at peace which made hearing the news of his passing easier to accept. Although I did not spend a lot of time with him, I felt honored to have hopefully helped his transition be a little bit more comfortable. He said on more than one occasion that he saw Jesus and would try to get up to go and meet him at his front door.
There are many kinds of death; death of a loved one, death of a relationship, death of one’s old way of being, and death of a career. Death of a loved one can be especially hard to accept. I do not feel that there is a certain amount of time one must grieve the loss of a loved one before being able to “move on.” We are all unique and grieve the best we know how. When I was studying for my Masters in Counseling I studied Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. One can stay in any of these five stages for a long time while others may go through all five much quicker. There are no set rules here. Take the time you need to grieve and heal…however long it takes. I also ask God/The Universe to help me through the death of a loved one. For some, the death of a relationship can be just as hard or harder to accept than the death of a loved one. Some have been in a relationship for so long that they do not know how to be without the other person. In some sense, they may have lost a part of who they were while in the relationship and have to remember who they are and realign their life without the relationship which can take some time to adjust to. Death of one’s old way of being intertwines with death of a relationship in that one will have to adjust from their old way of being to who they are now and what they want and desire in their life. Death of a career can be depressing to some because they may have identified themselves with that career or job for many years and when it is no longer there, they are not sure who they are, even though their career or job is not who they were but a part of what they did in their life.
In whatever way we are faced with death, know that it is okay to take all the time you need to grieve, and that you will most likely go through all five of the grief cycles and it may take longer for one stage than another and that is all “normal.” Know that you are loved and never alone. Know that there are people who love you, who will be there for you and are probably praying for you or willing to help even if it’s just to listen to your beautiful broken heart. Know that God/The Universe is always with you if you pray and reach out for help. Know that you will get through the death at your own pace and (this is worth repeating): You are loved always and You are never alone.
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” ~ Steve Jobs
“Choose to see death as simply removing a garment or moving from room to room, it is merely a transition.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
“We are not our bodies, our possessions, or our careers. Who we are is Divine Love and that is Infinite.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer