There is no way around it, really. When someone dies, whom you love deeply, it hurts in a way that punctures your soul and leaves it weeping... sometimes permanently.
I want you to know, however, there is a hidden blessing and wisdom in the process of grief. I also know that you want to tell me to "shove it" about hidden blessings and wisdom while you are in deep grief. Of course you do, but it doesn't make it less true... and eventually, you will have the choice to let your sense of loss continue to be defined as a dark void within you, or if you will fill that new empty space with something miraculous that affirms YOUR life.
My life path completely changed when my father was sick with cancer for 5 years before his death. He knew it was coming. We all did. He had done his job already. I was a grown woman in my early 30's with my own life, but I think that anyone who has lost a parent will agree that there is never an age when you feel you don't need them. There is never an age when it feels okay.
In my circumstance, my father and I were always very similar. I remember thinking that I was more like my father than perhaps any other human being on the planet. He had an uncommon gift in the way he processed information. Some would have called him a genius, or inventive, or creative... or whatever, you get my drift. He had it within him to do something new and different, to chart some new course, to define or explain something in a new and unusual way that would matter to the world. He knew in his bones that he had this looming, overwhelming potential. And ultimately, his deepest struggle and regret at the end of his life was that he felt he did not accomplish whatever it was that he was put on the planet to do.
That's the ticket, isn't it? Are we here to do something? Is there some unremembered life purpose that we have, which is written in the marrow of our being, that haunts us with some familiar song we can barely hear?
I think the answer to that is, "yes".
My father's sickness and death made the song of my own life path so loud that I'm not sure how much of a choice I actually had to ignore it. Death has a way of clearing the dross, and bits of silly nonsense, which we seem to think is important, right out of the way. I mean... totally. Mortality also seems to make it necessary to consider a ~spiritual reality~ as something authentic. So, without much background or framework in formal religion, I found that when I reached out to a spiritual reality... that it absolutely reached back to me. It didn't just reach out to touch me. It swallowed me whole, chewed me up, and spit me back out onto a completely different course. It felt like that too. It wasn't gentle. It was a "holy-shit-get-the-license-plate-number-of-the-truck-that-just-hit-me" kind of not subtle.
It was the most important "path correction" I hope I will ever need. I don't want to do it again. It hurt like a Mo Fo and I'm still finding places within me that require healing and care because of it. Always a process, this evolving stuff, eh? Chip, chip, chip away at it. Eventually, the Art in the Stone will emerge from all the trimmings. I believe that, even if the process leaves me exhausted sometimes. Who am I to question the way it is done? I just wish it didn't hurt so much sometimes. I wish that for me, I wish that for you... but we have to work with what we have. Sometimes what we have in front of us is a world of pain. It is our choice what we do with it.
Grief offers us a choice to examine the course of our own life path, to ask the question, "At the end of my life, what will I regret?"
The answer to that, I believe, is that you will regret not doing what you were put on this planet to do. You will regret not making amends, not forgiving others, not expressing your love and passions, not expressing your unique potential as God gave you.
So, the most important thing you can do to honor the person you love who has died and left you this precious gift of crisis and trauma...is to find out what you were put on this planet to do, then get to the business of doing it.
In the cocoon of pain and loss, you have a clear line to your own spiritual reality. There is such tremendous power and support here. Reach out for it... surrender to it... let it consume you completely and cast you on whatever strange shore Divine Wisdom knows is right for you.
It's going to be a bumpy ride. You will feel unhinged, and at times, crazy as hell. Just keep reaching. Keep surrendering. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and fight with every ounce of your being to have courage when you want to run screaming from the building.
I can't tell you where you will end up... that is between you and God.
I can't tell you that you will feel endless waves of bliss and peace, even if you do find your life's path and follow it as sincerely as you can. Pain is one of the best catalysts, it seems, for change and evolution. The Divine can wield this tool with brutal precision when we aren't listening to more gentle persuasion.
I can tell you that your life will never be boring again and that the fire in your belly, the passion that fuels your ride, will have its own rewards. You will need very little from others that you cannot access from within. You will care much less about what other people think. Score. You will be living a life that is authentic for you... and the normal human duck-and-hide from what is important.... just falls away.
Allow your grief to give your life back to you. The window of opportunity is greatest in the moments of your greatest pain. Reach for it. Ask for help. Surrender.
Thanks Dad, for giving me the gift of living this wild and weird, but authentic life... of being on a path that I know I will not regret at the end of it. I may not be doing it perfectly, but I am doing it. I'm doing it with every ounce of my heart and soul...and every once and awhile, I discover more of myself hidden in some corner I didn't know existed, until it did.
It has not been easy... but it has been worth it.
May you be comforted and cared for in the Highest Possible way. May all those who suffer find solace. May your grief bless you with whatever shift in perspective you may need to truly live your life's purpose. May you receive what you need to support you in your Highest Good with as much Ease, Grace, Mercy, Compassion, and Love as possible.
Christopher and I have a brand new website and blog. :) I'm going to leave archived blog articles up in here, but all new articles will be published under the new site.
Our new website is here:
Our new blog, which we have integrated together, is here: