Death Is No “Gift”…Or Is It?

I got some strong feedback disagreeing with some of what I said yesterday about death. Hearing the feedback brought me awareness of how my words could come across – It definitely could sound like I am discounting grief and that wasn't my intention. I apologize if that's how it sounds to you.

One concern was about saying such things to someone who has just lost a loved one. It's true… these thoughts are not necessarily for the newly bereaved. I suppose I was sharing more from a “philosophical” perspective – I was trying to teach through the lens of Universal Principles – I may not have done it very well. 🙁

Let me see if I can say it a little bit better….

It seems the word “gift” was a trigger for some….

I DO believe in the grieving process. I think it is essential to “melt” the pain of loss through tears and expression. And it takes however long it takes. I have also experienced for myself and heard others say that they received many “gifts” through the process of loss. Let me name a few of my own.

The grieving process for my father opened me to a whole new level of personal growth work – Breathwork was a “gift” that came to me as a result of my own grief process. It became a primary vehicle for cleansing and releasing my own emotional body as well as powerfully transforming resource in my work with others.

My father's dying process brought healing between us in a way that had not been possible until then. We were finally able to get real with each other – say things we had both wanted to say, and forgive, accept and express our gratitude for each other – ALL because of his dying. There were SO many gifts there. Death was definitely a friend for him … he was facing a long hard struggle if he lived on. He was tired and told me he was looking forward to moving on. My impression was that he saw it as a gift. There were SO many gifts in that whole sacred passage for us. I have had similar experiences with the friends I was priviledged to be close to through their dying process.

I continue my relationship with them all internally. I talk with my dad, for instance…I'll hear him just as plain as day and seemingly out of the blue sometime… hear him comment on something I'm doing or thinking. He is still “alive” in me.

Yes, there is a very physical “missing” that I definitely experience on occasion for my father and for close friends who have died. I like to give myself permission to feel it and allow it to bring up those, sometimes painfully sweet memories of our past togetherness. I also notice the stories that come with the pain and am careful to investigate the ones that take me too far down the frequency scale. For instance, one belief that came up for me was, “I have to suffer for a long time when someone I love dies, or it means I didn't care.” I've investigated that one and found it to be untrue for me.

I have come to believe that my deceased loved ones want me to move on, to find happiness again and grow to be the best I can be … what better honoring of them than to say, “I learned from your passing. I have integrated what I learned in a way that enables me to, not only be a better person, but also be of more service to others.” Or, in other words, “I have assimilated the best of what I learned from you … you and I are now one. You live on in and through me.” At least that is what I hope those I leave behind feel in relation to my passing.

One other thought… and this is just for me… I understand if it doesn't fit for you. My greatest desire is to live in harmony with what is … I am totally miserable when I fight against life – or death. WHAT IS, IS. Death, whether it's death of someone or some thing, teaches us surrender to what is. Death is the ultimate finality … my desire is to be at peace with it because I have no choice. As a result I look for the highest frequency explanation about this phenomena which is a fact of life … because I cannot change it. (The Serenity Prayer; “Lord, help me accept the things I cannot change…”)

My desire is to have a way of understanding this thing I cannot control so that I can align and be in harmony with the reality of it. To see it as the enemy implies that I am a victim, at the mercy of a cruel and meaningless Universe. This does not work for me at all.

I can see how this can come across as intellectual platitudes. However, for me it is very real. It works. I am able to relax about my own dying and accept the reality of death around me better when I see it this way. That is all I am trying to say.

I hope I did a better job this time. 🙂

Blessings, Lynne

One Response

  1. Lynne,

    I am sorry to hear about your son’s passing. I know how hard it is to lose a child. My son took his own life in Feb 2015. He was 30 years old and suffered many childhood traumas. Alcohol and resulting malnutrition and all the bad emotional junk that goes with that, coupled with a victim mentality handed down by his father (me) from my father set the stage and alcohol cleared the way for him to end his suffering with a gun. He would never have done that if he wasn’t malnourished and stinkin drunk, and if I had been as aware as I am today of victim consciousness I might have been able to help him turn things around.

    My vows to “Break The Cycle” were very strong – but I lacked many of the skills I needed to be emotionally available to my kids and wasn’t a great dad.

    Fortunately my Mother had not suffered abuse or neglect and had some self worth that I could latch onto. After my own struggles with alcohol abuse, particularly after my son’s suicide, left me nutritionally void and suffering from “victim mentality” supported by all the well meaning people who told me how badly I should be feeling – I was really in a challenging place. I couldn’t take my own life – I wouldn’t do that to my children, ex-wife (son’s Mother), my current wife and step children, or my siblings and aging Mother. I couldn’t continue to drink and use drugs to cope as this was taxing my adrenal system to the max leaving me short fused and lashing out at everyone/everything and making everything much worse.

    I’ve been trained in T.A., hypnosis, NLP, and have been into self help since I was in treatment for alcohol/drugs at age 15. None of this awakened me to my biggest problem – my beliefs. Your book Beyond Victim Consciousness saved my marriage and probably my life, but more importantly I’m able to feel some joy again knowing the culprit has been exposed to the light and it’s like a switch got flipped.

    Are there gifts in death – even such a horrible death as your own child’s suicide? Yes, and if I get my wish, my children and grandchildren and on will be free from victim consciousness and live with peace in their hearts.

    Love and peace to you my friend. You’ve given me a second chance.

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