Something in the air changes. You feel it, even though you can’t prove it. There is just this sense that they are near. Invisible, but there. What do you do in a moment like that? I have worked with hundreds of people learning to process their grief through writing, and I can’t remember anyone who hasn’t experienced this. We all feel a little funny about it, because we question whether we simply want it so badly that we imagine it into being. Some things will remain a mystery to us until we’re on the other side. But most of us have been taught to believe one of two things: that we won’t be with our loved ones till we join them in heaven, or that death is the end of things. We aren’t taught that they might be able to visit us, here. But what if they can? I’ll never forget the day, after so many episodes of being “visited,” that I simply stopped questioning whether it was real. The thing that made me stop was imagining I was the one who had died, and that I had been trying, over and over, to let my loved ones know I was ok. And after watching them get a moment of comfort, and then discount it as a hope or a wish, I imagined how devastated I would be. I decided right then and there that I would not only accept these visitations as real, I would communicate with my loved one and let them know how much it meant to me to have them let me know they were near. And then something changed for me. A big piece of my grief transformed into a feeling of lightness and hope. A more profound connection with my loved one took hold, and it has never stopped growing. At this point in my life, I have experienced too many things to believe the limited view we all got about death. In fact, I think it is through these important losses that we stretch ourselves, spiritually, and learn just how much more we can know and perceive through our spirits than through our logic-driven brains. Just because someone dies does not mean that relationship is over. Of course it has to change, but there is a kind of ongoing communication we are still able to have if we will remain open to it. What IF death is simply a change in form? We know consciousness doesn’t die, because it is made of energy. And energy can’t be killed. It can only be transformed into something else. If you're struggling to go on without an important loved one, I hope you can give yourself the gift of staying open when you sense their presence. You will change and grow if you can find the courage to allow your loved one to co-exist in your world from where they are. You will become more sensitive, more appreciative, and more comforted. If you can find a way to listen to the silence of their presence, you may discover things you never understood while they were alive. The one thing I will tell you is that writing about these experiences will not only make them more real for you, the information that flows through your pen is different than what flows through your mind. Once it’s out on the page, the story of your relationship can continue to unfold. A pen and a piece of paper can soothe your feelings, while allowing your loved one to continue to communicate with you. Moving through your grief in an expressive way heals your heart and nurtures the growth of your spirit.
Let the healing begin. Your loved one wants this for you. I believe they need to know you’re ok, as much as you need to know they are. Sharing peace from my pen to yours, Kathy Curtis
Photo credit: Ondrej Prosicky