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

898 thoughts on “Grief and the Healing it Offers

  1. I can relate to that Heather, to the grief we can feel when someone is passing over. To me it is about allowing myself to feel the love and care for one another that I have missed in this relationship that is bringing up that feeling of grief and is actually not emotional at all. Just to allow that deep connection with that inner feeling that I simply have missed that important aspect that is so essential to our being, for me is a grace to become aware of.

  2. Thank you Heather, I often wonder if, even though I know death to be a transitional phase and for me a feeling of going home, I often wonder how I will feel when my parent pass over and have held a picture of what that grief looks and feels like. I can see the pull to anticipate pain and sorrow which means I can see I still have much to learn about trusting in the relationship I have here and now, not living to a picture. This article has been good to read to bring that up.

  3. The honesty to feel what we feel, including deep grief and sadness is essential, and to add to that a knowing that sometimes our sadness, or for that matter anger or frustration comes from pictures we have about how life is or should be that simply aren’t true.

    1. I am seeing that more and more Heather, the pictures that we hold ourselves to and others to that actually stop us from having a relationship with ourselves, others or indeed life in an uncluttered way. It brings in so much hurt, sadness, resentment bitterness even outright anger.

    2. Your words ring like a bell in the darkness Heather. I am reading this blog in the preparation of attending a funeral of a suicide. There is not so much grief, but sadness in knowing they will be coming back in the same energy as they have left in! And Yes, I had held a picture of them conquering their demons this time around.

    3. I can relate to the anger and the sadness you speak of Heather, and even though I had read that there are stages to grieving I had not felt the anger in myself until a recent death in the family. But it makes sense that if we hold onto a picture of the way we think life should be and that picture gets smashed, then we will feel angry.
      In my situation I woke with a tight right jaw and asked myself what could I have got angry about the previous day, and then I realised I was angry at the sudden death of this family member, but once I had acknowledged the anger out loud and expressed this to my family members, the next day the sadness came up.

  4. Thank you Heather for sharing a beautiful experience of your parents passing, by allowing yourself to feel the grief and come to an understanding of the childhood hurts that needed to be healed. all supported by your foundation of love that you have built for yourself.

  5. Thanks Heather it was very supportive reading about your journey understanding your childhood and other hurts, attachments and control relating to the grief you felt. I can relate, I’ve felt myself hanging onto how I wanted life to have been different instead of being in the present moment and with my essence, and how it related to my grief.

  6. It is so clear from reading your very honest blog Heather that the foundation you had built with your understanding of life and death supported you steadily after the passing of your parents; a time that would test any of our foundations. But the way you all prepared for the end of their lives ensured that as much healing as possible would take place beforehand, leaving little to wobble this foundation. How amazing it would be if everyone who was facing the end of their life, and those around them, were able to share so openly and honestly and to prepare all that was necessary, leaving nothing incomplete.

  7. When people are passing over there is a lot that comes up for us to look at, how we have lived, how much love we have expressed, things that we have held onto etc. It is like we are given a period of grace to really look at, reflect on and choose what is important to us.

  8. Why is ‘real fun’ an anagram for funeral? Could it be that is the way it should be, a celebration! Or, do we look at the cup as half empty and see them as Not real fun at all? Then there are those that enjoy dangerous sports that they think are real fun…

  9. Controlling our lives to the very end – is this why so many people cling to their possessions and homes which are far too big and too much work to look after? Approaching the end of one’s life is a process of letting go and it can go hand in hand with being fully involved and pro-active in whatever way that is possible. But control and authority are two very different things. One is fear based and the other is power.

  10. Dying is letting go control, it is our spirit who is not controlling anymore. That is what we fear, we don’t like that as spirits.

  11. ‘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.’ That is truth.. And so well said. At the same time this sentence deeply resonates, as I acknowledged I just got the same investment in life – as I preferred having a comfortable life , instead of one of true awareness, being present and truthfull in my every way.. I learned that the same commitment I have made to be invested in life, emotions and illusions ; this same effort I can now put in to living truth and awareness in all parts of my life. Now I am interested to know what intelligence will rise from that form of living.. I am up for it, I choose to be committed to surrender myself into ~Soul.

  12. I have found that grief does surface and that tears do come. Knowing that death is part of life and the beginning of another cycle does not stop it from happening. But the tears and the grief are just that, expressions from the body over losing people who were so very much a part of our life. But it doesn’t last long and will not descend into prolonged states of sadness, anxiety and entrenched grief, depression even.

  13. Letting go of what we were so attached to in life. Then we see how it was never worthwhile to attach to others anyway. As the true connection does not need those entanglements. We are and will be always connected and brought back into union anyway. And the other was never really true as we all belong to the same divine source.

  14. The feelings of your parents passing over are quite common. There is often sadness, grief and perhaps regret about the quality of the persons life, the choices they have made but also our part in this. It is a very honest time where we realise where hurts and grudges may have been held long past their due date or where love has not been expressed in full. What is different is understanding that the grief and honesty offers a huge opportunity for healing and letting go of old hurts and patterns.

  15. Thank you Heather, it’s very powerful how you describe recognising that the hurts were not you, just something you had taken on and by not identifying with them as they came up you could truly observe what was there to heal and let go of.

  16. Traditionally death is a sad topic for us to consider, and at best makes us inspired for a moment to make ‘the best’ of the time we perceive we have left. When you know in yourself that we reincarnate, you might think that this takes the grief away. But this does not seem to be the case, for we still need to face the truth of our choices, and those of others too and all the moments they chose not to evolve and neither did you. What I hear in what you share Heather, is that without feeling the true consequences of our acts, we simply come back and do them again. And so there is no death or end to the disharmony, when if we felt it, there truly could be.

  17. One of the most beautiful gifts that Universal Medicine offers in it’s teachings, is to observe life and not absorb it. With observation true learning is on offer, we get to feel that we are part of a much grander existence and our life becomes a forever expansion.

  18. I am really sitting with the fact the hurts we feel in childhood sometimes only surface after the person has passed and it is twofold for me. There is the fact the hurt cannot be talked about with the other person any more but also it is like the energetic thread that held it in place have been let go of as well and there is now space to feel it.

  19. Having a strong foundation is imperative if we are to withstand the things that we all experience in life. This foundation needs to be built on self-care and self-love and a deep commitment to honouring our body and our being.

  20. I’m realising more and more that the pain, regret and grief that we experience around death is actually so much about life itself – knowing we have lived a measured life where we have not expressed in full the love that we feel for those around us. Hence there is no completion, so much is left unsaid and that person who passes doesn’t get to feel the depth of love we hold them in, and this is a regret so many in society carry. Express our love in full, cherish every day in the fullness of what it is offering us, and death is then the natural graceful passing onto the next cycle.

  21. I love that in the awareness of the emotions that rose in you, you allowed the space to see the truth of what was true or not within the relationships and let go and heal what you needed to from the reflection that was offered. This is a truly beautiful way to move through life regardless of the circumstances or who is involved.

  22. For many death is seen as the end of a life and can be quite confronting and emotional. When we build a solid foundation for which we feel and move our body we can remain more observant to the situations we are faced with, including the passing of friends or family. When we are more observant of situations and not overcome by the emotions, beliefs and images that come our way, we are able to be more clear and not become overwhelmed or stressed when life shifts and changes.

  23. Such a beautiful tender story heather, thank you for sharing your vulnerability, experience, love and wisdom. There is no doubt that a lot comes up for us when people close to us pass over. Feelings of hurt and pain are inevitable; but not sustained or debilitating; the loving circle of life flows on.

  24. The loving foundation you speak of is so important Heather. Without it we are at the mercy of the emotions. With it we can feel them, observe them and let them pass. A huge difference and one that gives us the choice to be empowered if we choose.

  25. One of the truly extraordinary and yet so subtle gifts that Universal Medicine brings to humanity (one of the many!) is the wisdom of the energetic truth of the rhythm of our lives, of living and dying , of re-birth and death , of karma and responsibility, and with this awareness comes a far-reaching liberation from what entraps so may people.

  26. Beautiful to read your honest sharing Heather and to feel how you have build a solid foundation of love which made it possible for you to not identify with what was coming up after the death of your parents, observing your own emotions but also what was coming towards you in forms of sympathy. The topic of death, dying and grief is there for everyone and surrender to what we are here for is an important part of getting clarity on these subjects in our lives.

  27. Loved reading this, you sharing your truth about the healing that grief brings is very powerfull and for us all to see that grief is a part of the process of letting go of the physical being of a loved one passed. It is for us to allow ourselves to feel that which is in the way, and what we can let go.

  28. I have had many family members pass over particularly when I was quite young and I always remember adults telling me to be strong and brave . This confused me greatly because I felt quite sad at the time but was told not to show how I really felt. What I have learned from these experiences is that it is so very healing to allow people the space to feel what is coming up for them and to note that death can be a celebration time of one’s life moving into another cycle and beginning anew.

  29. When I was young I had a picture of what I wanted family life to be and compared it to my friends family’s and so family life never lived up to my expectations and there was always a longing for it to be different. It is only in the last few years that I have accepted that if I wanted my relationship with my family to change it is up to me to change how I view family life, and that expectations have no value and change nothing. Letting go of all expectations and old hurts has meant that every time I meet my family I meet them for who they are and not the loaded expectations of how I would like them to be. This allows them to be free and it is interesting to see how our relationship has changed. I appreciate the grace I still have with my mother to build a relationship based on love and not old hurts, it is amazing how powerful this can be.

  30. When I was in my teens I could not even image what life would be like without my parents and often wondered how I would cope and how much I would miss them, but when the time came it was the most natural thing I had ever experienced. I felt strong throughout the whole process and just knew exactly how to support them and other members of my family.

  31. A natural passing over and grieving for these people is very different process to the horror, shock and trauma of someone choosing suicide.

  32. It feels important that you have claimed your knowing of reincarnation as a fact. Critics/sceptics would argue that people who believe in reincarnation need to, in order to find some form of comfort. I have also had this knowing all my life/lives and it has nothing to do with comfort. It makes sense since everything is a part of small and large cycles. Why would we be exempt from that? I find people who don’t believe in reincarnation are the ones seeking comfort. It can be seen as a relief or reward, to die and kick back in heaven forever more. We are here to learn, grow and pull each other out of the illusions we are living in.

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