How to Cope With Death
The only way we can really know what matters is to face living with the possibility of the loss of that very thing—moment to moment. That is what sweeps away pretense, falseness, what doesn’t matter. As well, it so quickly makes abundantly clear what does matter—love, telling someone how you really feel, being in the moment, seeing everything as though it is the last time you will see it this way. In times like these, even if one wishes, one cannot be mentally lazy or emotionally careless because one realizes the preciousness and the transience of life.
In our culture, people avoid facing death at all costs for as long as they can. Yet there is so much great value to be experienced in facing death, facing loss, facing the emotional void of not having the physical presence of someone who is so important to us. It would dramatically change how we live our life. Not necessarily in what we would accomplish, but in how we would react to what we would accomplish. There is no faster way to learn how to stay keenly in the now.
When experiencing loss of any magnitude, one goes through a stage of raw emotion; the roller coaster of composure and insanity. This is because the energy body is rearranging itself around a new configuration. When we have been one energy pattern for so long, it is quite uncomfortable to experience being suddenly shifted into a new pattern that, at least initially, is incomprehensible, inconceivable, unbearable.
Q: Is this why some people feel like they’re in a haze and not really sure of what they feel?
Yes, it’s a coping mechanism. When in doubt, humans are inclined to find a placeholder and stand on it.
Q: Is there a more productive way to be?
Yes, of course. Let yourself fall apart. Let yourself feel what you really feel. This is what is most productive for your spiritual, mental and emotional health. In the short term, it would appear quite messy to others, but let that be their problem. It is important to let yourself fully experience the experience.
Inevitably, death of a loved one sets one’s life up to shatter quite easily. But all that would shatter is what you no longer need anyway, so throw the rock. All that can break is what is not real, what doesn’t matter, what is a waste of energy. The shattering reveals who you really are. It can be painful but this is a very good thing. Initially one experiences the loss as unspeakable, but eventually we come to learn that there is a different kind of connection that comes out of all this that will allow us to stay in touch.
You will continue to feel the actual presence of a deceased loved one for quite some time, and may not know what to do with that because you’re misinterpreting it as a memory of him/her, which makes you sad. Yet if you knew to accept this experience of their presence as real, you would feel loved and not alone. Death does not separate. Indeed, it fully joins together. But because people are separated from their sensing selves, from their own emotional clarity, they misinterpret this positive experience and turn it into something negative through ignorance.
Q: So, many of the thoughts we have about a deceased loved one are not so much because we are missing them, but because we are feeling their presence?
You are missing them. But you are also feeling their presence and misinterpreting that as the memory of the deceased. Say that it’s your father who has died. You’ll be sitting there and suddenly a thought of your father will be triggered and you will say, “Oh, that’s a memory of when he said this or did that.” And you will believe that’s where the experience is happening or originating. When actually the experience is happening on a sensory intuitive level. Because the mind doesn’t know how to interpret that, it filters it through memory and says, “Oh, this is why I’m thinking of my father right now.”
Q: Are you saying that I’d be thinking about my father because he is actually present?
True. When you feel the spiritual presence of your loved ones, it has the effect of making you feel sort of itchy all over because you’re not accustomed to this kind of contact. When the mind looks for an answer, the only reasonable one it can come up with is that something triggered a memory.
Q: Does that mean then that my father is trying to contact me at different times? Or he’s in my presence at different times in a way stronger then other times?
Q: In those moments is he trying to communicate anything with me, or more simply and directly let me know that he is present?
Sometimes both. Sometimes one or the other. Mostly the dead have a need to reach to their loved ones because the loved one’s sadness finds them and draws the dead back to comfort and reassure that there is no separation. The