Some Thoughts on Dealing with the Death of a Loved One...
The death of a loved one is one of the greatest challenges we will
face in life. It happens to all of us, sooner or later, and can be
overwhelming. The loss might involve a spouse, child, grandchild,
sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, niece, close
friend, partner, pet or any beloved significant other. The loss can be
unexpected and sudden, even tragic, or it can be something one has time
to prepare for in advance of the fact.
The circumstances of and reactions to loss vary with each individual.
Reactions can be emotional, such as deep sadness or depression, despondency
or withdrawal, desperation or even suicidal thoughts. Reactions
can be physical, such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite, overeating,
loss of concentration, loss or gain of weight. While some people may try
to push grief away, it is usually inevitable. Losing a loved one hurts
deeply to the core.
The passage of time can help one to recover, but there is no timeline
for grief. For some, it seems to last a lifetime; for others the sadness
fades with time, and the lasting memories bring comfort. The popular
adage rings true that “you do not do grief…grief does you.” There is no
shame in grieving. It is a normal and natural process.
Typically, there are three challenges that accompany the loss
of a loved one:
- Coping with emotional pain including loneliness and sadness and
the physical reactions described above;
- Worrying about how to fill the void of time and
companionship left by the passing of a loved one, including feeling
overwhelmed by duties or functions formerly handled by the departed
love one; and
- Concern about what has become of the departed loved one—is there
a heaven and does consciousness or the soul survive bodily death?
Eternea offers information and resources for those who may be grieving.
We hope these provide solace and comfort, perhaps even inspiration or
a change in perspective.
An excellent source of comfort for those dealing with grief from the loss of a loved one is Spark Seekers, by Rabbi HaLevi and co-authored
with Ellen Frankel, LCSW. Spark Seekers shares new perspectives on grief and loss, as well as valuable and practical insights
spanning different religions and spiritual traditions, for anyone seeking to emerge from death's darkness into life's light with meaaning,
purpose and inspiration.
Additional readings on the eternal nature of the soul may be found here:
or at our
online book store.
Link to our Message Board for those who are grieving or can
offer support to others:
Grieving and support
for one person's "Thoughts Surrounding the Loss of a Loved One".
How one will handle the emotional pain associated with grief is
entirely an individual matter. Some prefer to remain private with their
grief and are not comfortable talking with family, friends or
professionals. However, as often, the process of grieving, after a time
of introspection, may ease precisely by seeking support from groups in
the community or from professional counseling.
For anyone who would like to invite the assistance of a trained
counselor, almost every community and has licensed professionals
experienced in grief counseling, and most health insurance covers some
mental health treatment or support.
Additionally, hospice programs in nearly every community throughout
the United Sates offers bereavement counseling and support groups.
To find the location of a hospice near you, contact the
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Several organizations offer specialized bereavement counseling or
support such as:
For parents enduring the loss of a child:
For children dealing with the loss of a parent:
Other organizations can be readily found through a basic internet
Most of those who have experienced loss recommend you seek and accept
help from friends or family or support groups or professionals. Some
can offer healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with death. Others
can offer hope that healing is possible. Let their presence and support
surround you and uplift you, warming your heart and easing your burden.
Allowing others to be of assistance is also a way for them to
participate in your grieving process and “pay forward” the help they may
have received when dealing with their own loss.
The question of the afterlife
A frequent concern during the grieving process is the consideration
of an afterlife. Surviving family and friends can feel anxiety brought
about by the new void in their lives. Some may find comfort in their
religious or spiritual beliefs, and others may question whether their
departed loved one is actually in a better place. Further, belief in an
afterlife, by itself, is not a remedy for grief nor does it prevent
grief from occurring. Even those with the firmest convictions about an
afterlife can feel consumed by grief because their loved one no longer
exists in “physical form.”
An overwhelming number of reports from people who have had near-death
experiences, as reported on this and other web sites, indicate that
there is nothing to fear in relation to physical death, for death is not
the end of one’s existence. Many have reported that deceased family
members and friends greeted them as they came close to crossing to the
other side. Death marks the end of our physical body, but not the end of
one’s non-physical existence, consciousness or soul. NDE reports also
affirm that the aspect of one’s being which has consciousness, thought
and feeling, does indeed appear to survive bodily death and continue to
Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)
These observations are not presented as “religious” conviction.
Rather, they support an inferred conclusion reached by Eternea’s
scientific team based on empirical findings from credible research by
frontier science, focused on spiritually transformative experiences and
the nature of consciousness, explained in detail elsewhere on this web
Studies of after-death communications, such as the comprehensive
study undertaken by Bill and Judy Guggenheim, indicate that
communication between departed loved ones and their surviving friends or
family members is commonplace. See
After-Death Communications (ADCs)
Reports from hospice nurses and both professional and
non-professional caregivers validate the connection and experiences a
dying person can have with the other side prior to death. When the
caregivers can acknowledge and offer support and positive discussion
about these experiences with the dying person, it can be a tremendous
help to both individuals and their relationship at a time when they may
be grieving in advance of death. See
Death Awareness Experiences (NDAs)
FinaFinally, we understand from
on behalf of their clients with their departed loved ones that the veil between the
so-called living and the so-called dead is very thin. Verifiable
information conveyed by the departed loved one through the medium to the
surviving loved one demonstrates that departed loved ones are very much
aware of what is taking place in our lives in real time, even our
innermost thoughts and feelings. Such communications can bring comfort
and confirmation during grief. One case study by certified medium
Laura Lynne Jackson illustrates the value felt by Eternea’s
Co-Founder and CEO, John Audette, in January 2011.
Click here for an account of John’s session
and reported benefits.
One source for locating a medium, one who has met certain objective
criteria and has been tested, is:
Eternea does not endorse any particular medium and encourages you to
seek references or your own inner guidance prior to engaging such
In Proof of Heaven, the account of his personal near-death
experience, Dr. Eben Alexander shares some of the wisdom he brought back
from the realm of pure consciousness—messages that can bring comfort to
- You are loved
- You have
nothing to fear.
- There is
nothing you can do wrong.
- We are each
eternal beings and when we die a physical death we reunite with our
higher soul which has always known the truth and purpose of our
- The single
most important force in the Universe is unconditional Love.
In the face of this evidence from NDEs, ADCs, NDA, mediumistic
communications and other experiences, one can be reassured that any
perceived separation between us and our departed loved ones is a
reflection of our limited perception and understanding, and this applies
to our departed pets as well. We are all eternal beings, joined
together eternally through the everlasting bond of unconditional love.
We will meet again. Ours is a spiritual dance through eternity.
In his celebrated work Jonathan Livingston Seagull, author Richard
Bach wrote about separation and saying good-bye to someone we dearly
love. As Jonathan Livingston Seagull is preparing to leave his seagull
flock in order to develop as an individual, without the limitations or
restricted normative behavior imposed upon him by the flock, he offers
timeless wisdom to his best friend Frederick Seagull, as he also ponders
his angst over the separation that is about to take place.
Take away time, and all you have is now.
Take away space and all you have is here.
Don’t you think somewhere between here and now,
we will see each other once in a while?
Bach, in later writings, says there really is no such place as far
away and no such thing as separation. When we view death and loss from
this higher perspective, it does not take the pain of loss, but it is
does help us understand what is meant in the Biblical passage, 1
Oh, death, where is thy victory?
Oh, death, where is thy sting?