Grieving the loss of a loved one is, by far, the deepest form of pain that I know. The void that replaces the person we love seems unbearable at times, infinite in its depth, and darker than any night, lonelier than any silence. There is hope, though. There is love to be shared, there is strength to be felt, there is light to be seen, and there are some really good things that are never going to leave you.
“In the darkness we can find light. In the confusion of seemingly senseless events, we can find meaning. In the absence of a dear one, we can continue to find happiness, love and peace of mind. We are the belief-makers. Our ability to design and influence personal and shared experiences knows no bounds. In such a user-friendly universe, nothing is impossible.” – Barry Neil Kaufman, Happiness Is a Choice
Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. It’s a personal experience and a universal understanding. It’s healing to accept the experience of grieving, and to give time some time. If we try to bury our grief, we tend to show it in other ways, such as anger or self-sabotage. Though it can be really hard to disentangle the two, grief does not need to be synonymous with suffering. We can grieve wholeheartedly without giving up on love.
I’ve always admired these words by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
These words remind me that love never dies and spirit knows no loss. Using this perception, grief becomes a tool of healing rather than a way to suffer. We can grieve with a tender and loving intention, because we dearly miss what we feel is lost on the human level. We can perceive our grief as a sign of love rather than a symbol of despair.
Time may or may not heal every wound–this I am not sure of yet–but time does bring grace, gratitude, and beauty, if we let it. Time can show us our resilience and our purpose. The passing days can bring shows of splendor that seem to come from another world, and in this way we can feel more connected to the spiritual truth that we’re all part of.
Here are a few of my own thoughts that keep coming to me (maybe from this peaceful state) while, lovingly, grieving the loss of a loved one…
A Few Thoughts on Healing with the Loss of a Loved One
You can live in their honor.
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran
Losing a loved one is a human experience. The love that never ceases is a spiritual experience, and a sign of their beautiful presence in your life still. When you allow their love to live through you and go beyond you, you honor them. Their life can be given so much power and significance by the way you choose to respond (to anything)–with fear or with love.
The life of the loved one you have lost can become an inspiration to be more loving, open, honest, honorable, and, yes, even happy. In this way, death can become a healing for the living. We pick up the gifts that our loved one has left us with. They have given us the gift of love, and it’s up to us to use it as a tool for healing over suffering.
Although we cannot explain the meanderings of the river of life, with all of its unexpected twists and heart-wrenching turns, we can find beauty and love springing forth from it. We can find the beauty by becoming it, and then giving it to others in honor of our loved ones.
You are resilient.
“The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again. Nor should you be the same, nor should you want to.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Sometimes you don’t know how strong you can be until being strong is your only choice. Something my father told me once is that “we will rebuild, together.” Now that he is not here in human form anymore, I still feel the power of that message. Anything is possible when we replace “I” with “we.” And yes, we can rebuild from anything and remain whole using the love we share with each other.
There is no certain end to this period of grief, but you can try to keep your thoughts in line with optimism. Your thoughts can help you manifest hope in your mourning. Being kind to yourself during this process is a great show of strength, for it allows you to take the time you need and to open up to all of love’s gifts.
Love sends the hope that whispers in our ear to remind us that we are strong. Love gives us an open heart so that we can live more fully in the light. Love gives us permission to embrace our grief, not to bury it. Love gives us room for growth and opportunities for self-discovery.
This is the greatest gift of love: eternal presence. It transforms death from an ending into a continuation.
If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, know that when you continue loving them in their physical absence, the power of your love transforms physical loss into spiritual presence. That’s how strong love is. That’s how strong you are.
You are here for a reason.
“You are here on purpose and for a purpose and that purpose involves making a difference in the lives of others.” – Billy Cox
Just as your loved one’s life and death can be given so much meaning and significance, so can your life spread the same inspiring messages to the world around you (and within you). Your loved one lived their purpose, and you are living yours. Through this loss and grief, you can ask yourself some questions that spark a purpose: how is your purpose now even more entangled with theirs?
What was their reason for being in your life? What did they do to change your outlook on life, even in the smallest ways? In what ways did they bring love, humor, light, laughter, patience, honesty, compassion, wisdom, beauty, and life into your days?
Answer these questions. Think about your answers. Remember your loved one’s purpose in your own life, and let their journey guide you down a path of greater meaning from this day forward.
Love is a sign that you’re worthy of living this life; you’re meant to be here. Put your hand over your heart and feel it beating for you, with you. Every beat is a sign of your purpose on this earth. Feel that purpose of life pulsing through your veins, beating in your chest, breathing through your soul.
You are here for a reason. That reason is to be you.
You’re here to inspire others to love more, learn more, feel more, enjoy more, smile more… just as the person you’re missing now has inspired you in their own way. The way your loved one’s life matters to you is the way your life matters to someone else.
Live like your life matters, because there’s more beauty in store for you in the future than you could ever imagine in your present.
You can also read this post sharing 11 lessons I’ve learned from losing a loved one.
How has grieving the loss of a loved one inspired you to live more lovingly in the world? How has grief cracked you open so that more light can get in? Please share your own healing words, uplifting thoughts, and any personal experiences that you have endured or are currently working through, with me, and all of us reading, in the comments.
Share this post with someone you love.
You can live in honor. You are resilient. You are here for a reason.