Grief and the Healing it Offers

Losing both my parents recently has given me the opportunity to really feel very deeply where I sit with death, losing loved ones, and with grief.

I’ve always known absolutely that death is not the end. The fact that we live on in another dimension is without question for me. This ‘knowing’ doesn’t come from a need to ‘believe’ that there is more after this life or a desperate needing to make sense of life, but from an absolute knowing in my body that we all experience cycles of life in the form of reincarnation, and that I have been on this merry-go-round many times before, as have we all.

So, with my parents passing, my ‘knowing’ has not for one moment wavered and I know that they have merely come to the end of a cycle and now begin another.

I find myself feeling sadness for some of the choices they made while they were here – how I would have liked things to be different for them, and how I would have liked us all, as a family, to be closer. And yet this shows me that I have had an attachment to how I want life to be, a need based on an ideal or a story of what perfect family life/relationships should look like.

I had the opportunity with both of my parents to prepare for their passing. We talked about things that mattered to us and had the chance to deepen our relationship as their time in this cycle was becoming short. I felt quite matter-of-fact about their impending departure, secure in the knowing that my parents and myself knew this wasn’t the end for them, but a passing over to their next phase and a new cycle.

Because of this acceptance, I was surprised to find grief surfacing when they did actually pass over. But I could also feel the healing that came with this. Through observing the emotional pain of loss, regret and deep sadness that were presenting themselves, I then had the space to acknowledge what was there – old hurts, attachments, control – and see them for what they were and let them go. I now feel the deepest appreciation for the reflection that my parents offered me and the healing of these old hurts I’ve since received from their departure.

It’s been quite interesting to note how other people in my life have responded to my bereavements with feelings of sympathy, making assumptions about how I must be feeling. It’s also been interesting to ponder on the whole topic of death, dying and grief.

Putting one’s ‘beliefs’ aside, it seems to me that many people have an underlying fear about facing ‘the end’ of their life. Maybe it seems like the ultimate surrender when so many struggle to the end to remain in control of themselves, their lives and events. Or maybe it’s the fear of what’s next and/or the attachment to the life we’ve created and know, never having acknowledged or appreciated that we are so much more than just our individuated physical existence. And when we’ve spent the best part of our lives seemingly being in control of ourselves, our lives and events, here we are unable to avoid death and the unfamiliarity of surrender – letting go of a life that we have been so attached to.

Grieving for me has been a short period where I’ve been able to feel and observe old childhood hurts arise, and regrets about life not being different in terms of my relationship with my parents. I’ve also got to feel that how I live, and the loving and supportive choices I make for myself each day, have created a strong foundation which supports me to deal with these kinds of emotions and events. Where once I would have been at the mercy of my emotions and those of others, I now feel the unwavering love that is there, supporting me when I choose it.

Thanks to the work of Universal Medicine and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom, I have been so much more aware of how childhood hurts and imprints have governed my life and consequently played out in the choices I’ve made at the deepest level. Being willing to heal these ‘hurts’ and recognising that they are not me, simply just something I’ve taken on, I have been able truly to observe the emotion of grief. By not becoming identified or absorbed by it, I’ve been able to feel and appreciate the foundation I have made for myself. Making consistently loving choices has created a strong foundation, enabling me to feel the unwavering love that is there supporting us when we choose it, including during those times when our loved ones pass on.

By Heather Hardy – Worthing, West Sussex

Further Reading:
Death & Dying – A Taboo Topic or a Joyful, Normal Conversation?
Death and Dying – The Cycle of Life and Death
Reincarnation: Does Everything Start and End?
Our choices do influence how we die

968 thoughts on “Grief and the Healing it Offers

  1. I love those moments where we give ourselves the opportunity to deeply reflect on life and the death of those close to us is such a moment. If we use those moments wisely we can develop greater awareness about life, each other and ourselves.

  2. When someone passes over the grief can be overwhelming, feeling that we have lost someone close to us. Knowing that death is not the end and that we come back again in a different body is actually very healing but for many re-incarnation is still not accepted as a possibility.

  3. Recognising our hurts and at the same time seeing that they do not define us nor belong to our essence in truth helps us to process and heal them, to see what the learning is for us and to let the hurt go.

  4. “Making consistently loving choices has created a strong foundation, enabling me to feel the unwavering love that is there supporting us when we choose it, including during those times when our loved ones pass on.” Beautiful Heather – and so different from the experience that many mourners have, as I witnessed this week at the funeral of a young man. I too felt my strong foundation that gave me the grace to hold others in their grief.

  5. There is a great settlement we can feel when we understand that we are part of a great and unending cycle of life of which ‘death’ is a moment within this that allows us to surrender the form we are in, back into the formlessness we are from until the time is right to reincarnate and begin it all again. That said, while it is the same spirit returning to a new body, the personality is dissolved upon the previous passing over. This is the very human bit – the specific character traits of the person that we have known and loved that we find it difficult to let go of and indeed it is this human bit that we miss, knowing that we will never see or touch again that person as we have known them to be in this life. This is something we all must face and so it is ok to miss them at this level for it is part of our humanness to do so while maintaining the understanding that we are forever connected through the undying bond of our love. If we disconnect from this love then we will feel the ache of such separation and mistake it as grief for the seeming ‘loss’ of another.

    1. Yes Lianne, we see incredible rates of illness and disease today – but what if they stem in a large part from this ‘wrong-knowing’ we have about death? How ironic that it’s become feared when it is a foundational part of clearing all the mishaps and junk we picked up along the way. Some of us convince ourselves it’s a ‘good thing’ but I wonder what our world would be like if we approached death truly as the huge healing it is?

  6. Even when our parents die we still need to resolve our issues with them. If an issue is held by us it may not disappear with their passing.

  7. When we deal with our hurts and understand the truth of death and passing over, grief is but a relatively short natural reaction of the body and not a prolonged period of turmoil based on unresolved issues and the seeking of sympathy.

  8. Allowing ourselves to go through the grieving process when someone close to us has passed over is a loving thing to do because if we bury it and pretend it is not there, we become affected by it which potentially leads to hurting ourselves and others from avoiding healing.

  9. Knowing that when someone passes that it is the not only the end of an old cycle but the beginning of a new cycle is a beautiful thing that allows you to actually enjoy and embrace your last moments with them. I remember as a child my Grandmother passed over but I was not fully equip to deal with it. I was so young and I just ended up sponging up the emotions of other until I was hysterically sad, I was crying nonstop and remember leaving school one day because of it. It didn’t make sense as I was not that close to my Grandmother, nor did I have a specific bond with her. I just did what I thought I was supposed to do, tap into my emotions. In truth though, they were not mine but other people un-dealt with grieving, that was floating around. I didn’t feel like I fully embraced or said goodbye to my Grandma because of this. Since studying with Universal Medicine I am feeling really settled with the dying process but I look forward to exploring it more and preparing in a way that truly nurtures myself and others to pass with grace, dignity but most importantly, to pass in a way that prepares them or myself for the next round.

  10. There is also a great pause for appreciation of the passing of a loved one and the learning and understanding of their lives and experiences offered and how in it is a constant flow on of a life lived and then a celebration of a new beginning too.

  11. The Way of Livingness brings such a deep understanding of life, and a steadiness in which to live from in it. It is available to all of us if we so choose. And your blog is a stunning example of what can happen when you do. No perfection, an honest account of life.

  12. It is so true that how we live and how we are can support us so strongly in life – particularly in heavy situations. This is such an important key to how we view grief, and how we deal with it.

  13. I notice the big difference between believing in reincarnation and simply knowing it from your body. I find believers are open to ideals and beliefs around reincarnation and tend to pick and choose the bits they like. Knowing seems to bring a more rounded perspective of the cycle of life and what we are learning through these cycles.

  14. “Making consistently loving choices has created a strong foundation, enabling me to feel the unwavering love that is there supporting us when we choose it, including during those times when our loved ones pass on.” Deeply inspiring Heather, it is indeed incredible how steady we can become when we are willing to commit to the truth of what we feel and from there make choices that support us and consequently everyone else, on every level.

  15. What feels key in this sharing is to not deny any feelings of grief, but to allow them to surface and discover what we have hung onto emotionally that sits very precisely behind the grief. There can be true beauty and grace in the process of grief.

  16. ‘Making consistently loving choices has created a strong foundation, enabling me to feel the unwavering love that is there supporting us when we choose it, including during those times when our loved ones pass on.’ This is very true and beautiful. I know that the biggest fear I’ve had around death is regret but this dissolves when I know that I can be honest about my choices and understanding and loving with myself over them. It’s also an impetus to be loving in my day and not delay with this.

  17. Each time someone in my life has passed away I get a feeling of sadness around love that was not expressed or that was held back, it is always an opportunity to reflect on all of my relationships and a moment to see the importance of every interaction and not holding back how much we love and enjoy others.

  18. ‘This shows me that I have had an attachment to how I want life to be, a need based on an ideal or a story of what perfect family life/relationships should look like.’ I think it would be safe to say that most of us have an image of how we want our family life to be and when reality doesn’t match up we become hurt and disappointed. Yet, if we let go of the pictures and kept it real perhaps our family dynamics would change and improve?

  19. When the foundation is strong, big life events (like the passing of your parents) is not the cataclysm that is so often portrayed. Instead of feeling like you have lost something inside (which is not really what happens and that is where the foundation comes in), you can observe the passing of one set of circumstances and the arrival of a new set.

  20. The way we live today is well worth a few tears. We rush through each day to the next, to get to some far off nirvana state. Like a dodgy deal we have been sold, we feel badly ripped off when we are old. But the sad truth is that it’s us who sold ourselves out. We all know deep inside that true joy is not a future state but a kind of connection we can choose any day. It’s a menu item that’s fallen off so we forgot it’s there. It’s high time we realised and put it back on the list. Thank you Heather for sharing this.

    1. I like your comment Joseph. If we live each day joyfully, there will be no regrets when it comes to our death and no feeling of being ripped off when we are old. The joy is not out there, but within and we can choose that every day.

  21. It is interesting how our attachments to the pictures of how we want life to be or need it to be are all part of the grief and regret we feel when someone close to us is passing over but when we consider karma, what we have come here to clear and our own choices we can do away with the need for it to be any different to what it actually is.

  22. When we misinterpret surrender to mean “giving up or giving in” then we are going to fight death but when we understand surrender to be obedience to a divine plan then we do not have a problem with death.

  23. The words ‘unfamiliarity of surrender’ really stuck out for me in this blog. We love to hold onto our creation in life, many of us having an unwillingness to surrender what we have invested in (our creation). The more we surrender to the grandness we are from the easier it is to surrender our creation. We begin to feel that this divine grandness far out weighs the creation we have so prided ourselves on for many lives.

  24. There is something very precious about these times when family members or close friends die. It is lovely to see family sharing time talking around a bed where someone is dying and observing where everyone is all at.

  25. It is natural to grieve the passing of someone you love, as although we understand that death is never the end but rather a completion of a cycle and the being lives on, we are still saying goodbye to the person who we knew, loved and shared our live with in physical form.

    1. In society no one really talks about dying- I experienced this when my mother died. There is this reluctance in being direct and ask about the circumstances. It needs to become as natural as possible, as it is nothing unnatural . The more it becomes everyday talk about the truth, it looses this unspoken scariness.

  26. We can have so many pictures of how we think life should be and how we should be with people and them with us, and there’s a letting go for all of us in this which the dying process really highlights (the ultimate surrender for those watching and those dying) – we are asked to see where we’ve been attached and to let go and grief may be part of that … it’s like everyone involved is offered an opportunity to let go and heal any old hurts.

  27. Reading this article brings me to the moment my Grandmothers body was lowered into her grave. There were songs playing that she dearly loved and whilst there was the sense of grief and loss there was also great joy in remembering the beauty of the essence that was my Grandmother and to be honest I found myself doing a little jig to the music. It is quite a sad affair that funerals are looked upon as moments to grieve loved ones and the many and differing feelings that we feel during these times are pushed down to oblige with the general belief of others. This subject really is a great conversation to have, one that has been needed for a very long time.

  28. Sometimes we have a picture of how we will be when a loved one is due to pass over, and the picture may involve us being distraught, very sad for a long time or even depressed. What I have found is that none of my pictures played out as expected and I took everything in my stride; yes there were moments of feeling the loss of someone not physically in our lives anymore but on the whole, the days after the passing of my mother and father were nothing like I had imagined.

  29. Such a beautiful sharing Heather, your wisdom and understanding around the dying process is inspiring and deeply healing to read.

  30. When someone close to us passes over most of us want to bury ourselves in the sand and get back to life as soon as possible but when we choose this way of being we miss out on valuable healing for ourselves and others. Whatever comes up for us during the death of a loved one it comes up for a purpose and we can either ignore and pretend it is not there or we can embrace all that has been offered and heal.

  31. We can become consumed by grief so it is awesome that you honoured yourself feeling a sadness but observed this instead of identifying with it and absorbing it which is a poison to the body and ourselves.

  32. I wonder how I would feel and be when someone close to me is dying. Death is a topic where true reflections are needed as the picture that we are offered now is one where there is grief and sadness—but is this the truth to the clearing and dissolution of the physical body that death truly brings?

  33. It is so important to break the pictures about death and dying. That beginning and end feeling keeps us as mankind in the illusion of linear life instead of the spherical vastness that is all around us.

  34. The passing of loved ones seems to affect everyone in a different way, depending on their beliefs and foundation. Whenever I consider a major life event actually happening to me, knowing that I have the support of the Universal Medicine team with me is such a confirmation. This team of people know how to love and support without sympathy. The light and power they live and move reminds me of the power that dwells within.

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