May 19, 1989
Tomorrow is May 19, which will be 19 years that my husband Tony, father of my three children, died at age 43 of undiagnosed coronary artery disease. I found him dead on the couch in my living room, with my four-year old son and six-year old daughter standing beside me.
In the midst of my brother and friend taking them away, followed by the EMT's working on him and ushering me into the dining room where I stood, shattered, alone, I heard a clear voice way beyond myself say the following: "There is only an endless present, and that present is filled with love". I think that allowed me to surrender to the healing power of grief.
Grief is a Tidal Wave to Which We Must Surrender
It is an irresistable tidal wave, actually. It amazes me when I see others try to resist it, because it is so futile! And yet, we have lived so many centuries in a world that runs from death, stupidly thinking that running will somehow sneak us in to live forever.
That is not how we live forever. We live forever by surrendering to the largest truths of life, which returns us to our indestructible spiritual essence, part of the All That Is.
The Challenge of Acceptance
How many times do we have to face the simple fact that we all die, and that coming to terms with that truth wherever it weaves itself throughout our life will restore grace, peace and power to us in all corresponding right alignments? It is not worth a single moment of our time and focus to attempt to convince our ego or anyone else's, actually, of this truth. We just have to somehow find the courage of let go enough within ourselves to yield to it, trusting it will find us, and well care for us in the bargain.
Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who, in addition to being a physician, was a metaphysical counselor and wonderful spiritual writer in her lifetime, first defined the normal stages of grief while researching patients who were told they had a terminal illness. She named five successive stages: denial, bargaining, anger, hopelessness/helplessness and acceptance.
The Loss of Resistance
These are organic, multidimensional stages, and as their own intractable "waves", come in their own time and realities, overlapping each other and determining their own course. We have no power to manage or predetermine these stages. We do have the capacity to be present with them and acknowledge their appearance. They do, after all, explain a lot of what drives us to express each corresponding stage.
When we resist these waves, we interrupt the tremendous healing power of grief to lead us to higher resolution, which brings heightened awareness, personal power and spiritual guidance. During subsequent losses whatever unfinished grief remains is added to the present crisis.
You can Enter the Multidimensional Wave for Healing
How much courage does it take to ask ourselves where we are in this particular moment in our lives with a particular stage of grief? I invite you to do just that by settling back, closing your eyes, taking a couple of deep cleansing breaths, and entering a deeper meditative state.
Now imagine grief as its own high, healing wave, surprisingly like your breath. Further imagine grief as having five smaller waves like dimensions that compose this larger wave, which are the five stages of grief.
You Can Receive Higher Guidance
Imagine how easily you can ask your breath to lead you to whatever particular "subwaves" your consciousness is presently traveling in through the grief cycle. Experience whatever happens, allowing it to bring you its own place of completion for now. As this occurs, say "Thank you" to the wave, and easily, gradually return to full, waking consciousness, and open your eyes.
Take a few minutes and record your experience, which can include drawing if you wish. Also record whatever insights naturally occur. Now consider your inner sense of where these waves want you to go. Can you call on your courage and higher guidance to honor your commitment to your own larger healing path of truth?
The Amazing Path to Creation
Nineteen years later I still grieve for many reasons, including the fact that acceptance is never meant to cause us to erase what we have lost. Acceptance is its own alchemy that sweeps in miraculous spiritual gifts of understanding the power of unconditional love and letting go. Healing and evolution is won by the flaming spirit, who purifies and stretches beyond what was ever known and understood before.
I suppose this is also the alchemy of creation, and our birthright. In these troubled times filled with so many losses and shortsighted, infantile coping responses we are challenged to live up to the whispered promise of our infinite courage that never leaves us, and dare to seek what we know in our heart of hearts is the nature of our purpose on the earth plane.
A Foundation of Wholism
We are meant to never separate ourselves from ourselves, both within and without the scope of our lives. We deny at our peril, for when we have twisted ourselves into frauds we wander lost without our center.
How our consciousness can stretch to accept the amazing, terrible paradox of love and loss, betrayal and recovery is beyond analyzing. When we know we have found our way in experiencing this miraculous spiritual oddyssey that is the never-ending subject of great myths, we come of transformational age, inspiring all whom we touch to higher becoming.