Left Behind

You’ve loved and you’ve lost. Sometimes you suffer the most incredible loss of all: A loved one has passed on to the other side and you’ve been left behind.

There is no greater pain of separation. Familiar songs, scenic moments, thousands of triggers immediately smash through your heart and you can feel the blood flowing out of your life, crippling you as you drop to your knees in despair.

There is no darker or lonelier place to be as you are overcome with the thoughts crashing through your mind, the lost opportunities, things left unsaid and an endless repertoire of if onlies…

And no time of year is worse than the holiday season, when songs, shows and sounds instantly take you back to this dark place causing your heart to dissolve into hopeless nothingness, as it becomes never more apparent than this moment in time when may have never felt so abandoned and alone.

Yet, amidst all this pain of separation, your loved one is reaching out to you with everything they can, to let you know

You Are Never Alone

You are never alone and your loved one is not that far away.

If you could hear what they are trying to tell you, you could understand they have never been so happy and they do not feel the sense of loss that you feel because they are always with you. In fact, they’ve never loved you more than they do now, because on the other side they have an unlimited capacity to love, care about you and enjoy every breath you take and every move you make as they walk alongside you every step of the way.

It’s so hard for us to wrap our heads around such an idea because all we can feel is the pain of separation, yet nothing is further from the truth.

If you could just allow your attention to shift to the perspective of your loved one, you would see such a different scene.

You would see your happy, healthy loved one looking their best and feeling better than possible in the dimension where we live our lives. They are free to walk alongside us, see everything, all the while loving us more deeply than ever. Sharing every moment.

Occasionally, they are overwhelmed by your sense of separation and take you in the most heartfelt loving embrace, loving you and every cell of your being. You can’t see them, but they find ways to signal this loving embrace to you the only way they can.

A song comes on the radio, you find yourself in familiar surroundings, you hear their name, or think you hear their voice saying your name, the phone rings and there’s no one there, or a million other possible signs trigger a massive, overwhelming feeling deep within your soul.

And you are loved, so loved that it is unfathomable and not knowing otherwise, the only sense you can make of it is that you have been painfully left behind but you are loved, loved more than ever before.

But it all gets lost in translation because though they can see us, we cannot see them.

If you could just allow it for a moment, the next time you feel this overwhelming sense of feeling coming on, try to see the even through the eyes of your loved one.

If you’re like me, your tears of desperation change instantly to tears of admiration and joy as you are so grateful for your loved one reaching out and loving you in such a miraculous cross-dimensional manner.

Have something to say? They already know, but they are listening right now. Take this time to say it, they’re listening and loving you, waiting to hear your words.

Love and life keep getting better and even more amazing if you would just allow it.

If you’re allowing, here it comes…

Everyone Is Dying

What can I do to express my support to someone grieving over the recent loss of a loved one?

I am so sorry for your loss of a loved one and grieving

As I age, I am seeing my contemporaries – people I have known, followed, admired, loved deeply or been related to – end their journey on this physical 3-dimensional plane.

While I am an incredibly emotional person, I am less adept at expressing my feelings than others to whom it comes naturally.

Due to loss of loved ones in my life, as well as being more spiritually inclined, I have a good understanding about what death brings and a good feeling about what transpires on the other side. So, now, when someone passes away, I am not as sad and depressed about the person’s passing.

Yes, I feel very sorrowful about the separation of the person that I regarded highly in this life and my inability to see them, or interact with them the same way in my experience of this time and space.

But I am less sad for the individual who has passed over. I have a strong sense that everything is better than it’s ever been – or possibly could be – for that person; and that he or she is not far from me.

Still, all around me, people are making the transition, exiting this world as we know it. After all, we all seem to be doing it, as it appears that everyone is dying.

How can I help someone who has lost a loved one?

In many ways, death can be a cruel concept to embrace, especially if it comes as a surprise.

The person who has died is not suffering, but those who remain can be deeply impacted by this immense sense of loss and grief.

How can you help?

Be mindful not to over-extend your concern. Much of the emotional impact being felt by the person struggling with the loss is internal. While they need to feel as though everything is going to be okay, it’s the last thing they want to hear. Being respectful of this temporary state of confusion is important.

So, how do I express compassion without being offensive?
(That’s the tricky part.)
Food

The most meaningful gesture that anyone showed me in my moment of grief was to bring over a meal. Not to stay and visit (for many of us, most of our work is internal. We just need some space to get a grip on things), just to drop off a meal.

Why, you might ask, would this be so meaningful? Because the last thing I had a thought of was self nourishment, as is the case with most people in mourning. Yet it is important that one’s body and mind has the necessary fuel to effectively traverse the processing of this emotional trauma. Your meal can help contribute to their wellbeing as you express your concern and support.

Touch

If you are so inclined and have the ability to do so, extend an opportunity for a little physical contact. Maybe offer your handshake or place your hand on their arm – do not initiate a full on hug, let them do that, if they feel open to that much contact – and speak these words, “I am so sorry.”

Listen

That is all that you say. Let the person who is grieving say anything they are feeling, allow them the space to emote any way they feel is necessary in this moment, without any response, input or correction from you. Not now.

Tears are acceptable

If you have prepared by having some tissues on hand, and they begin to cry, offer them a tissue, but resist the urge to offer counsel. In this moment, just giving them the opportunity to release all the pent up emotion is the greatest gift of all.

You need not be a pillar of strength, if there are tears – and you feel them coming on – you do not have to hold them back, remembering that you are there for them. Do not overpower their release of emotion, and if you must speak about the person who has passed, refer only to a happy recollection with a smile.

Then ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

There may be one small thing that you could do for the person grieving that would be significantly meaningful to the person who is grieving.

Keep in touch

Reach out in small ways to let them know that they are in your thoughts, a brief text, appropriate emoticon, card or quick phone call (without overdoing it) can help someone feel better knowing that someone cares in this sensitive time.

This is a very difficult time for anyone – and knowing that someone is there, regardless of how they feel – is highly regarded support.

Sending love and light to you, if have lost a loved one…
I am so sorry.