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When death comes for someone you can’t even imagine letting go of, it is a heartbreaking, soul-crushing experience. No one can prepare you for what you will feel. And what you feel might be so overwhelming and intense, that you do the natural thing - you put a barricade around yourself so no more pain can get in.

The thing is, if pain can’t get in, neither can healing. Or love. Or the sweetness of memories. All those things that broke your heart also once gave you the greatest of happiness.

Deep grief is not just painful - it is incredibly confusing and complex.

But there is a guiding ray of hope to those who can stay open to it. It comes in the form of synchronicities that waft their way in after a loved one dies. When you can allow yourself to engage with them, they’re like sign posts pointing the way to your healing. Things like sensing your loved one in the arrival of a butterfly. Or having a dream that didn’t feel like any other dream you’ve ever had. Or hearing the song they loved most just as you’re longing to see them one more time.

The more you notice them, acknowledge them and interact with them, the more they seem to happen. And suddenly you find yourself in an active relationship with someone you can no longer see.

Here is an example of what I mean. It is a story from my best friend, who lost her first born, young adult son almost 3 years ago.

"I had a dream this week that Ryder brought home a puppy. I said no. Take him back. He was sullen but silent. Then his friend told me if they returned him he'd be put down. So of course I said we'd keep him. Ryder went from sullen to sublimely happy.

Next day, I got a call from a friend who'd found a stray. Was I ready for one? WAS I EVER! And that is how Chance came to live with us.”

You can call that a coincidence if you want. I call it staying open to the ongoing spirit of a loved one; to the ongoing spirit of love.

Healing comes in graceful, unexpected ways. Sometimes it means taking a chance.

© 2016 Kathy Curtis, All rights reserved

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