By Linda Drake
You have just lost a loved one and the intensity of your pain is indescribable. You look around wondering how you are going to survive without this person in your life. You are mystified as you look at the world going on as usual when your life is falling apart because you have a gaping whole in your heart. Your world has changed in the blink of an eye and it will never be the same and neither will you. Friends and relatives compassionately try to console you by saying that time will heal the pain, and for some of you the pain may ease in time. Unfortunately quite often if it is a close relationship we carry the intensity of the pain to our own grave. The most difficult part of this experience is that we are shocked and unprepared for the intensity of the grieving process and the length of time that it can affect our lives. Death is inevitable, it is part of the soul’s journey from one lifetime to another, but our society does not understand about death. This leaves us unprepared for the emotions that can overcome us when we experience the loss of loved ones. Many religions and spiritual teaching define death as the doorway home but what about those of us left behind?
With the baby boomers aging, many of us are facing a time in our lives when the welfare of our parents has now become our responsibility. We are often confronted with helping them struggle with illnesses that may eventually end their lives or maybe they have been blessed with a long life and you know that soon they will be leaving you. Either way it is more than likely that you will be faced with the death of your parents. To have the opportunity of walking with a parent to the doorway of death is one that I see as a privilege, as well as an amazing learning experience. Being in denial will not help the process. It will only hurt more when they are gone if you have failed to embrace the opportunity to say goodbye in your own way and allow them to do the same. If they are able to communicate with you, take this time to talk about their life or to reminisce about your joyful childhood memories. Tell them you love them, even if you are not comfortable expressing your emotions verbally this will become a treasured moment. The loved one who is dying also needs to have the opportunity to express their thoughts.
This can be a blissful time of sharing. It is also helpful to understand the dying process so that you can assist your loved one in this beautiful journey of returning home to Spirit. For many of us this time together can be an opportunity of healing for all involved in the process, unfortunately not all of our parent-child relationships were perfect. If a parent dies and a healing has not occurred, the adult-child may experience a sense of abandonment that comes forward from its childhood experiences. This is accompanied by anger that things were not as they desired in their relationship with their parent and these emotions become an intricate part of their grief. Seldom are we prepared for the emotions of fear of abandonment and, anger when we are facing a parent’s death but understanding where they are coming from helps you work through these emotions. We are often tied up in such a knot of emotions during this time that they are hard to define. The most important key to healing is love and forgiveness. Accept that your parent did the best they could at the time and for you to hold on to any negative emotions with them as they are leaving only contribute to the struggle within your life. This is a time to open your heart and begin the healing process with them.
It is also essential that you understand how emotionally and physically draining the dying process can be for the family.
If your loved one is taken from you suddenly do not feel that you have lost your opportunity to say goodbye. In my book “Reaching through the Veil to Heal”” (Llewellyn Worldwide 2006) I shares true stories about how your loved ones in spirit hears what you says to them. Often the energy of their spirit body is back in your presence just moments after the spirit has left the physical body and made its transition. They continue to communicate with you; unfortunately most of you are not able to hear their words. This is where trust comes in.
Many of us talk to Spirit even though we can not see him, this is trusting that he is there for us. Spirit gives us feelings of comfort, messages of joy and signs that he is present within our lives. Your loved ones in spirit do the same thing as they interact with you. “YOU CAN NOT SEE WHAT YOU DO NOT LOOK FOR”. Talk with your loved one in spirit and allow yourself to feel the love they have for you. No matter what your relationship was prior to their passing, they return to you in spirit body with unconditional love for you, focused on helping you fulfill your life purpose.
For many of us the loss of a loved one and the intensity of grief that we experience will be one of the hardest challenges of our lives. Few of our previous experiences prepare us for the emotions we will experience during the grieving process. We all grieve differently depending on our relationship with the loved one and our personality types. For some of us when we lose a loved one we are able to hold things together, going on with our lives while grieving in our own private way and in our own time frame; we are the strength that everyone else relies on. This is the logical personality type that is in full control of their emotions and chooses not to experience them until they are ready. Then there is the emotional personality type, you feel your loss with every fiber of your existence and you can quickly become caught up on the emotional roller coaster of grief. Your emotions are so intense that you typically have little or no control over them. Your compassionate heart is the beautiful part of which you are, but when you are hurting, you then need the assistance of others like you to help you through the pain. Without help this grief can begin sabotaging the quality of your life. This is when you must reach out to your family, your friends, your church or a grief support group. If these are not available to you then you should begin searching for books that will help you better understand what you are going through. This is why we wrote our book “Reaching Through the Veil to Heal”, because people need a better understanding of what to expect when they lose a loved one and how to move forward with their lives.
It is possible for you to continue to have a relationship with your loved one even after their physical death. This is what we call the” circle of love” just because your loved one is no longer in the physical body does not mean that they have abandoned you. They have a spirit that will live on forever as we all do. The love that you had for each other while you were in this lifetime is just as intense when expressed from their spirit body and will also go on forever. They are continuing to interact with you; it is you that has a difficulty time receiving their messages of love. I am often asked “why can’t I hear my loved one in spirit. He comes to others but never to me.” Sometimes the pain you are experiencing is just too intense to allow them to come through at first. Sometimes it is your belief system that prevents you from receiving but that does not detour them from giving you messages or maybe you just do not know what to look for, as the signs may be subtle but their love for you is patient. When our loved ones are trying to get messages through to us they are able to use many different means of communication. They often try to use our own bodily senses to take our minds and hearts to the memory of them.
You may hear your name quietly whispered as you stand in the shower or when you are first waking up from sleep. You may smell a fragrance that you associate with your loved one, or smell cigarette smoke when there is no one else around. You may think you see them in a crowded room but when you get closer it looks nothing like them. I call this shape shifting, as they project the image of themselves over someone else for a brief moment. They may turn the television or radio on or off or change the channels. Often they will flicker the lights as you walk into a room. They may leave coins for you. The coins, as with all of the signs are an effort to get your attention, to keep their memory alive within you so that they can continue to interact with you. It is their way of giving you comfort to help you work through the grieving process.
Once when I was explaining about pennies a lady asked “What if that particular penny was not left by my husband for me? Maybe someone just dropped it.” I responded to her, “It is not important whether your husband left that particular penny or not, it was the sight of that penny that made you stop and think about your husband. You were given the opportunity at that moment to remember and feel the love that you had for each other.” That is the point of pennies; they are something our loved ones can use to stop our busy lives long enough to get our attention. The coins do not always have to be pennies, for example one of my clients tells me about her brother wanting to be unique so heal ways brings her three dimes to remind her of him. Not one, but always three lying together in various places, sometimes on her desk, on her dresser or in the car. At first she thought it was coincidence but it has been happening for years now.
When your loved one has died your world seems to stop momentarily and sometimes for an extended period of time while you try to pick up the pieces and figure out who you are and where you are going. The truth is your world will never be the same. Someone that you loved has been ripped from your life. You begin viewing things from a different perspective. This is your opportunity to raise the consciousness of your awareness and experience a closer spiritual connection with Spirit as well as your loved ones in spirit. You have an important purpose to fulfill and now is the time to accomplish all that you desire. Loss can be a very painful however after loss comes re-birth.
Sometimes referred to as a “celebrity psychic”, author Linda Drake has appeared on ABC TV & NBC TV, “Good Morning Arizona”, “Austin News 8” and national radio and publications worldwide. She is a monthly guest on Lime Radio and is currently doing a nationwide book tour. Visit http://www.lindadrakebooks.com/