Good Grief: What I Wish I’d Known
During this worldwide pandemic, many, many folks are in overwhelming grief and feeling profoundly alone. It is my belief, however, that ultimately we are not alone, that the physical world is not all there is; that we are spiritual beings who not only survive our own death in our “energy body” but who can also connect with those who have crossed over— that they are not, in a certain sense, gone.
And this awareness is top of the list of what I wish I’d known. I’d always believed that we connect with the Divine through prayer, but research for What Shall Come Hereafter convinced me that we can also connect with those who have died—as in the ecumenical Apostles Creed’s “Communion of Saints”.
According to Celtic spirituality, death is not instantaneous but is a process which can take (Tibetan Buddhism) from 21 to 49 days to complete. During that time, our loved ones are especially accessible to us—and now is our chance to support them. This knowledge can radically change our grief process so that instead of being preoccupied with ourselves and our loss, we can focus on the person who has lost more (his/her physical life)—and we can help.
My own experience (and Dolores Cannon’s Between Death and Life) has led me to believe that our help is especially needed in cases of unexpected death, accidents or suicide. These persons are usually very confused because they don’t know they’re dead. They look down and see their body so they think they’re still alive. We can help them. Tell them that they’re dead (though now alive in their energy body). Tell them to look up and go toward the light and toward those who’ve come to meet them. Tell them that we love them and will pray for them. (And, in the case of suicide, that we forgive them. They took the only way they knew out of their pain.)
If indeed our unseen dead are around us, we can talk to them (even long after their passing): we can thank them for all the good they have done, for how much they have loved and helped us. We can read their favorite spiritual texts to them; we can pray for them; we can forgive them and be forgiven in turn; we can ask for their help—and listen for their response in our hearts. We can tell them that we will never forget them.
Which is not to say that we shouldn’t grieve. On the contrary, some traditions (particularly Judaism) advocate taking even a week to do nothing but mourn: cry and talk and talk and cry (and laugh) remembering stories with friends and family until there are no more special stories and fewer tears. It is very important not to isolate in grief. Unfortunately, this pandemic necessitates self-care isolation, so we must be creative: use the phone more, connect on Zoom, gather in social-distancing groups.
My research also included an unexpected warning: do not over-grieve. Though our loved ones are in energy/invisible form, they can hear and see us. If we keep crying and wishing them back day after day, they will be overwhelmed with anguish because they cannot return to us. Our over-grieving keeps them tied to the earth energy plane (for months, sometimes years) and prevents them from continuing their own journey to the spiritual planes.
We can ask for divine (as well as human) support. You’ll remember that we live on a planet of Free Will, so the spiritual beings around us are not allowed to help us unless we ask. “Ask and ye shall receive.” So let’s ask often for the comfort and guidance we need and want. Furthermore, we can light a candle as a reminder of the presence of the divine—and our unseen loved one, especially on the anniversary of their passing.
I never knew that we must be excessively gentle with ourselves. Grief is exhausting. We may need to focus on getting more rest, easy exercise, nourishing food. Breathing. Breathe in Light, breathe out Dark. Focused breathing is not only calming, but it also keeps us grounded in the present moment rather than in the regrets of the past and fears for the future.
Note that the depth of grief is related to how present a person was in our daily life. The loss of a 24/7 pet is more difficult than the death of a family member we seldom connected with. (BTW, a pet is also an energy being and is around us as long as they’re needed.)
May I encourage you not to carry normal but needless and unhelpful negative emotions like “if only”, anger at yourself or the deceased, regret, guilt, fear for the future, hopelessness. If you find yourself continuing in these dark thoughts, consider finding a therapist, especially one who does mind/body work like EMDR or EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)–because emotions are not only in the mind but held in the body.
Finally, I wish you comfort, unexpected blessings and only good surprises on the journey.
D’Anne Olsen, PhD
EFT Master Practitioner
For more information, order What Shall Come Hereafter –available on Amazon and discounted on my website: www.EFTLiveYourDream.com –as is Return to Joy, a manual for depression. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 971.506.0498