Tag Archives: Grieving

A New Yorker’s Heart-wrenching Poem for September 11

Flower at September 11 MemorialOn 9/11/11, after news of the attacks surfaced, Mike Rosen didn’t know if his father would be coming home that day. In his child’s mind, all he knew was: he lived in New York; his dad worked in New York; thousands had been killed in a terrorist attack; his dad could be one of them.

Thankfully, he wasn’t. But thousands of other little boys and girls would not be as lucky. In this heart-wrenching slam poem, Rosen discusses his impressions of that day as a young boy, the collective pain that followed, and the remarkable character of New York City so highlighted in the aftermath of the attacks. This was not about “our god” or “their god,” he says, because in times like this we are all one, and the work to heal is collectively ours.

“That day no one in New York grabbed rifles, we grabbed bandanas and shovels and we started digging because our lives were underneath that rubble.”

Check it out:

Today is a solemn day for many. For those of us who are old enough to remember the events, we think back on where we were, what we were doing, how we felt when the news reached our awareness. But in addition to the pain, we may also feel a deep gratitude and compassion for the collective spirit that rose up, in New York and around the country, to affect the healing so desperately needed.

We bless the lives that were lost, those who survived, and all touched by September 11 and its aftereffects. We invite you to share your stories below.

Honoring My Mother on the Anniversary of Her Passing

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 10.26.43 AMIt’s a practice of healing and cleansing, one of renewal and expansion. As the shift happens, a rawness sets in. It is a total unshielding of spirit/heart/energy…whatever you choose to call it, it really doesn’t matter as it is one in the same. Once the breakthrough has taken place through yoga, you can’t hide.

Today she would have been 73. And fabulous.

A few sweet notes came in, three or four from family. I rolled through the day aware, but unfazed. I have been through 7 birthdays now without her, and 7 deathdays. I don’t miss her any differently on these days as I find little significance to the anniversary and birthday. Every day, any day, could be one of those dates. All those dates hold is one moment in time where she came, and left. There is an entire lifetime in between, so those are the days l choose to celebrate and honor.

Or do I? Is this my triumphant ego talking of my healing path? Am I seeing what is really happening here? Today, I had a distracted morning yoga session. Happy but not, light but heavy, sorta wanted to be there sorta didn’t. The class I taught in the evening was about the same. “Totally disconnected to spirit,” was how I described my feelings to a friend after class. Without seeing the connection to the importance of the day, I chose to teach heart openers themed on balance between all facets of ourselves needing acceptance, honor, and love. All facets include flaw, beauty, scar, perfection, imperfection, insecurity, spark, and even consciously choosing dark when light is handed over on a white glove. In order to live a life of honor and self-love, we must self-love all of it. Just as we need to deeply feel pain so we feel joy in even greater measure, we must also honor the dark and the dingy so we can even more so love the easier to love pieces that ignite us.

It wasn’t until 9:30 this evening that I realized why I had been off all day. It wasn’t so much that I was full of sorrow and pain, it was that I hadn’t taken the time out to honor her. It has taken me years to get to a place where the pain of losing her isn’t so strong it shows up physically in my body. As much as I don’t want these days to be of significance, as much as my ego would like to decide when and where I shall feel…the heart doesn’t follow suit. My energy body needed to honor and love her. My soul needed to connect with her through some kind of ceremony. Living in a much more raw and unshielded place these days, it just doesn’t fly anymore to let my mind do the driving.

For my 36th birthday last month a friend gave me a tuberose candle that has two wicks. Unbeknownst to her, it was my mom’s favorite scent. I lit two flames tonight, laid for a few minutes with each of my sleeping babes, ate rainier cherries (her favorite), and sat in the quiet to write this piece.

It doesn’t need to be a big production to quietly and ceremoniously honor the heart. It doesn’t need much…just a little attention, some raw love, honor, and recognition.

Heart mended for the time being, maybe even on its way to being healed.

Embrace Death, Live Life

(For this week’s audio podcast, click here.)

My mom,
Lois Dempsey Robbins, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in early March.  The disease spread very quickly and on June 13th, she passed away.  I was honored and grateful to be with her through her dying process.  It was both horrible and beautiful at the same time.

My mom’s physical pain and deterioration, realizing that she was going to die and that at thirty-seven years old I would be without either of my parents (my dad died almost ten years ago), and knowing that my girls would grow up without their grandma (who absolutely adored them), were some of the most difficult parts of the experience.

However, the closeness, family connection, deep conversations, healing, insights, love, forgiveness, and support have been some of the most wonderful aspects of all of this – while she was sick, as she was dying, and in the past month or so since her death.

Four of the most intimate and sacred experiences of my life have been the births of our two girls and the deaths of each of my parents. I’m grateful and honored to have been able to experience all four of these magical moments live and in person. Although the emotions of the births and the deaths were quite different, the level of intimacy, sacredness, and profundity were of similar impact and depth for me.

I’m deeply engaged in my grief process right now – doing my best to stay present in the midst of the intense and contradictory thoughts and feelings I’ve been experiencing.  While I’ve been feeling sadness and pain, I also feel a lot of love and appreciation – both for my mother’s life and all she taught me, and for the experience of being with her through her death.

Death teaches us so much about life and about ourselves, even though it can be very difficult to comprehend and experience – especially when the person dying is someone very close to us. As a culture we don’t really talk about it, deal with it, or face it in an authentic way. It often seems too scary, mysterious, personal, loaded, heavy, emotional, tragic, andmore.

What if we embraced death – our own and that of those around us – in a real, vulnerable, and genuine way?  What if we lived life more aware of the fact that everyone around us, including ourselves, has a limited amount of time here on earth?

Embracing death consciously alters our experience of ourselves, others, and life in a fundamental and transformational way. It allows us to remember what truly matters and to put things in a healthy and empowering perspective. Doing this is much better for us than spending and wasting our time worrying, complaining, and surviving the circumstances, situations, and dramas of our lives, isn’t it?

One of the most profound things my mom said a few weeks before she died was, "I want people to know that they don’t have to suffer through this."  As the end was getting closer, my mom’s awareness, insight, and desire to share her wisdom increased and it was beautiful.

Below are some of the key lessons I learned from her as she began to embrace death in the final days and weeks of her life.  These are simple (although not easy) reminders for each of us about how to live life more fully:

1. Express Yourself – Say what you have to say, don’t hold things back.  As my mom got closer to death, she began to express herself with a deeper level of authenticity and transparency.  We had conversations about things we’d never talked about and she opened up in ways that were both liberating and inspiring.  Too often in life we hold back, keep secrets, and don’t share what’s real – based on our fear of rejection, judgment, and alienation.  Expressing ourselves is about letting go of our limiting filters and living life "out loud."

2. Forgive – My mom and I come from a long line of grudge holders. Like me, she could hold a grudge with the best of ’em.  I watched as she began to both consciously and unconsciously let go of her grudges and resentments, both big and small.  It was if she was saying, "Who cares?"  When you only have a few months (or weeks) to live, the idea that "Life’s too short," becomes more than a bumper sticker or a catch phrase, it’s a reality.  And, with this reality, the natural thing for us to do is to forgive those around us, and ourselves.

3. Live With Passion – Going for it, being bold, and living our lives with a genuine sense of passion is so important. However, it’s easy to get caught up in our concerns or to worry what other people will think about us. My mom, who was a pretty passionate woman throughout her life, began to live with a deeper level of passion, even as her body was deteriorating. In her final days and weeks, she engaged everyone in conversation, talked about what she was passionate about, shared grandiose ideas, and let go of many of her concerns about the opinions of others. It was amazing and such a great model and reminder of the importance of passion.

4. Acknowledge Others – At one point about a month or so before my mom died she said to me, "It’s so important to appreciate people…I don’t know why I haven’t done more of that in my life." Even in the midst of all she was going through and dealing with (pain, discomfort, medication, treatment, and the reality that her life was coming to an end), she went out of her way to let people know what she appreciated about them – and people shared their appreciation with her as well. My friend Janae set up a "joy line" for people to call and leave voice messages for my mom in her final days. We got close to fifty of the most beautiful messages, all expressing love and appreciation for my mom – most of which we were able to play for her before she passed away. Appreciation is the greatest gift we can give to others – and, we don’t have to wait until we’re dying to do it or until someone else is dying to let them know!

5. Surrender – While my mom clearly wasn’t happy about dying, didn’t want to leave us or her granddaughters, and felt like she had more to do on this earth, something happened about a month and a half before she died that was truly remarkable – she surrendered.  For my mom, who had a very strong will and was a "fighter" by nature, this probably wasn’t easy.  However, watching her surrender to what was happening and embrace the process of dying was truly inspirational and life-altering for those of us around her and for her as well.  So much of the beauty, healing, and transformation that occurred for her and for us during her dying process was a function of surrendering.  Surrendering isn’t about giving up, giving in, or selling out, it’s about making peace what is and choosing to embrace life (and in this case death) as it shows up.  Our ability (or inability) to surrender in life is directly related to the amount of peace and fulfillment we experience.

My mom taught me and all of us that even in the face of death, it is possible to experience joy – what a gift and a great lesson and legacy to leave behind. And, as each of us consciously choose to embrace the reality of death in our lives, we can liberate ourselves from needless suffering, worry, and fear – and in the process experience a deeper level of peace and fulfillment.

How do you feel about death? In what ways would embracing death impact your life and relationships in a positive way?   Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more on my blog

To listen to this week’s audio podcast, including additional thoughts, ideas, and tips, click

The Magic And Mystery Of Death

(For this week’s audio podcast, click here.)

In the past few weeks, two important people in my life suddenly passed away. These deaths have been shocking, sad, and painful for me. And, in the midst of sadness I’ve once again been reminded of the mystery and magic that I often experience when someone close to me dies.

I find death so mysterious because it doesn’t make much rational sense and often seems so random and unfair.  I also find it frustrating that we don’t do a very good job in our culture of talking about, dealing with, or embracing death.  It’s seen by most of us as a universally "bad" thing – awful, tragic, painful, hard, and negative in most cases.  While all of these things can be and often are true for us about death, especially when the person who dies is someone we love and care about and/or happens to be someone we consider "too young to die," there is so much more to it than just this.

As I’ve also experienced these past few weeks and at many other times in my life, there can be a great deal of magic, beauty, and joy that comes from death.  Due to the fact that we often avoid it, don’t want to talk about it, or would rather not deal with it (unless we are forced to do so) – we miss out on the magical and positive aspects of death and in doing so we aren’t able to live our lives as deeply and with as much freedom as we could if we embraced death more fully.

Why we avoid dealing with death

There are many reasons we avoid dealing with or even talking about death.  From what I’ve seen and experienced, here are some of the main reasons:

  • It can be very painful, sad, and scary

  • We often aren’t taught or encouraged to really deal with it – just to simply follow the "rules" and rituals of our family, religion, or community in order to get through it

  • We don’t know what to say, how to react, and don’t want to upset people

  • It can be overwhelming for many of us to consider our own death, or the deaths of those close to us

  • We aren’t comfortable experiencing or expressing some of the intense emotions that show up for us around death

  • Our culture is so obsessed with youth, beauty, and production (in a superficial sense), death is often seen as the ultimate "failure" – the complete absence of beauty, health, and productivity

  • It challenges us to question life, reality, and our core beliefs at the deepest level

For these and many other reasons, death is one of the biggest "taboo" subjects in our culture and remains in the "darkness" of our own lives on a personal level.  Sadly, not dealing with, talking about, or facing death in a real way creates a deep level of disconnection, fear, and a lack of authenticity in our lives and relationships.

The magic of death

What if we embraced death, talked about it, or shared our thoughts, feelings, questions, concerns, and more about it with the people around us?  While for some of us this may seem uncomfortable, undesirable, or even a little weird – think how liberating it would be and is when we’re willing to face death directly.

One of the highlights of my life was being in the room with my father and holding his hand when he took his last breath about 10 years ago..  It was incredibly sad, but at the same time deeply intimate, personal, and beautiful.  He was there when I came into the world and I got to be there when he left.  And, by facing death in a direct way – we can learn so much about life and ourselves, as I did when my dad died.  As one of my mentors said to me years ago, "Mike, if you live your life each day more aware of your own death, you will live very differently."  This is true for all of us.

There are so many beautiful lessons that death teaches us, even in the midst of the pain, loss, confusion, anger, fear and more.  When we’re willing to embrace death and remember that everyone and everything in physical form will eventually die, we’re reminded to:

  • Appreciate ourselves, each other, and life – RIGHT NOW
  • Let go of our attachment to other people’s opinions, our obsession with appearances, and our self consciousness about many superficial aspects of our lives
  • Connect to others in a deep, intimate, and vulnerable way
  • Speak up, go for what we truly want, and live in the present moment
  • Be grateful for what we have and for life as it is, not "someday" when things work out perfectly (which never happens anyway)

Death can be one of the greatest teachers for us in life – but not if we spend most of our time avoiding it because it can be painful, scary, or uncomfortable.  Take a moment right now to think about some of the important people who have died in your life.  What did you learn from them both through their life and their death?  What gifts have you been given in the form of tragedy in your life?  How could embracing death more fully impact your life in a positive and important way?

As we consider these and other questions about death, it’s obvious that the answers aren’t simple and easy…neither is life.  However, when we’re willing to engage, embrace, and deal with death (and life) with a true sense of empathy, passion, and authenticity – we’re able to not only "make it," but to actually learn, grow, and thrive – regardless of the circumstances and even in the face of death.

How do you feel about death? How willing are you to think about, talk about, and face death (your own and others) directly?  Would it make a positive difference in your life if you had more freedom and peace around death? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more on my blog

To listen to this week’s audio podcast, including additional thoughts, ideas, and tips, click

Pennies From Heaven

They say when an angel misses you, they toss a penny down from heaven. Sadly, not everyone knows how much truth there is in this old adage.

Spirit has many interesting ways to communicate with us, and always on a very personal level. Your spiritual signs and signals can range from the truly spectacular to the very mundane. And sometimes they can be found in the most unusual places, or when they are least expected. Two of the most commonly sighted phenomena are coins or ‘pennies’, as well as feathers. Depending on your personal belief system, these items are left around for us by loved ones, angels, or animal and spirit guides.

No matter where you believe your signs may be coming from, they are most certainly meant especially for you, and they always have a sincere and personal meaning, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may appear to be.


So, don’t pass by that penny, When you’re feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven, that an Angel’s tossed to you – Charles Marshburn


Of course, many skeptics doubt that these phenomena exist, and it is often discounted as mere superstition or urban myth. I have, however, had several powerful personal experiences of such signs over the years, and I also hear frequent reports from friends and clients who experience the same thing. Spirit has indeed taught me some very valuable lessons through different signs and signals, and these personal, first-hand experiences contradict the most one-dimensional or misguided opinion of any skeptic.

A dear friend and client recently received very compelling confirmation of the signs she had been questioning for years.* She is currently in the midst of a major life transition and a personal transformation. For quite some time now we have been discussing the signs she has been receiving in the form of popular songs. She keeps hearing them: over the radio, in the gym and in the shopping mall. Once she even heard it on the phone, after she was placed on hold by a call centre. The signs keep coming consistently; every time she asks for them, she receives them. But the doubt secretly creeps back into her mind soon after. What if it was just her imagination?

Two days ago she messaged me, wanting to know if the latest incident was another sign. There is a specific song she has always associated with a certain special person in her life, for a very particular reason. She had now heard this song on three separate occasions at very significant moments. Each time it happened she was either with this person, or she was specifically thinking of him, or she was asking for a sign about him.


When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one – Mignon McLaughlin


I explained to her that we sometimes receive the same signs more than once, in order to overcome our doubt or fear. In her case she was getting her signs in three’s. But I also knew that she had to see proof of this for herself, before she would feel truly content. I therefore suggested she ask for a confirmation of the fact that important signs come to her in three’s.

The answer came sooner than anticipated. She was in a public place when she received my response. She did not even have to ask for confirmation. The minute she opened my text message on her cellphone, even before she had finished reading all of it, she discovered three pennies on a seat she was about to sit down on.

She immediately sent me the news and I then assured her that pennies are a well-known sign for many people all over the world. I also urged her to keep the pennies in a safe place and have another look at them later, because sometimes the dates or other engravings on them also have special meanings.

The next day I received a follow-up: “Thanks Anthon! You wouldn’t believe this, but later yesterday I saw three feathers. Well, actually four, I saw one at first and did a double take – but dismissed it, then an hour or so later saw a cluster of three feathers together on the floor.”


The angels are so enamored of the language that is spoken in heaven that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Messages from the spiritual realm are potentially life-changing, but they so often pass us by, unnoticed, mostly because of our lack of awareness. In fact, some of us are so stubborn or oblivious to our metaphysical reality that we first have to receive a pebble, then a rock and finally a ton of bricks, before we eventually sit up and pay attention! First there is a message, then a lesson and finally comes the crisis.

If you have never experienced the wonder of witnessing the effect of such miraculous signs and signals in your life, I highly recommend that you consider giving it a shot. What do you stand to lose? All you need to do is heighten your awareness and increase your consciousness. Don’t allow yourself to let your mystical reminders and spiritual signposts pass you by forever.

Signs and signals from the spiritual realm always have a purpose. Most often they are important guideposts or ‘traffic signs’ along our life path, confirming our choices, decisions and actions. Sometimes we receive these messages to console us in times of distress or sadness, while at other times they come as warnings, urging us to proceed with caution.

Reading your special signs and signals is your divine right, and a basic skill that anyone can develop. Some gurus would have you believe that this is a complex art or science, or that it requires special psychic abilities or years of study and practice. The truth is that this is a blessing freely available to all of us, regardless of whom we are or what we believe in. All you need to do is ask, and it will be given.


The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform – Charles Baudelaire


The best way to start reading signs is by simply becoming more aware. Take more notice of the small wonders that happen in the world around you every day. Look out for patterns and synchronicities, because there are no ‘coincidences’ in life. Everything happens for a reason; there are no windfalls, only godsends.

Soon you will begin to discover your unique set of personal symbols and patterns. Your special signs could come in the form of dreams, colors, words, numbers, sounds, songs, computer messages, clouds, images, animals, people, places or specific objects, like coins and feathers. They could also come in a certain order or they may be repeated a certain number of times. The list of possibilities and combinations is truly endless. It is also very different for each individual, depending on your belief system, as well as your cultural background and your unique personality and interests.

Always keep your expectations simple and don’t expect weird riddles or complex messages. The message is always very clear and direct. The intention is after all to communicate and guide, not to confuse, frighten or mislead you. Also, use some common sense. If you never listen to the radio, you certainly cannot expect it to become a conduit for spiritual communication. Your signs will show up in accessible ways that complement your lifestyle, or match your personal outlook. All you need to do is become more aware and be open to the process.


Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves – English Proverb


Finally, we need to be thankful for every sign or message we receive. Express your gratitude by being kind to yourself and others, and show your appreciation by caring for all living creatures, as well as our magnificent planet. Count each and every blessing.

The Universe is an abundant and interactive place of wonder and magic; it is ready and waiting to respond to your needs. You can heal your life and make all your wishes come true. Spirit wants the opportunity to guide you and protect you on your journey through life.

Acknowledge your higher self and learn to trust your intuition. You have inside of you a deep well of wisdom and you are connected to everything in the Universe. You are part of an infinite and ever-expanding grid of spiritual consciousness.

Use your signs and godsends to re-design your life and create the destiny you truly want; learn to apply your divine ‘early warning system’ to avoid unnecessary obstacles and setbacks along the way. All you need to do is ask. Reclaim what is rightfully yours.

* Dedicated to my friend ‘Ms C’. Thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Love And Loss Are Naturally Linked

When you open yourself to love, you open yourself to loss.  When you suffer the loss of someone you love, you experience the painful emotion we call grief because it’s a natural response to loss.  Yet, to the person going through this afflictive emotion, the experience feels overwhelming because death is a direct blow to our souls.

I would like to help you understand that going through this painful emotion means it is a process, not an event.  And, depending on the personal connection you had with the person, it is very individual and can be a long process.  And yet, the grieving process itself is universal: we feel sad when we experience loss.

Because we will all suffer loss as part our life’s journey, we all need time and spiritual healing.  But our world wants us to hurry up and get on with things.  This expectation – whether from society or people in our lives – doesn’t work with the grieving process because loss, as love, is embedded deep in our souls and cannot and should not be rushed.

When someone you loved has died, your life feels different because it is different.  In your grief process you will long for the person.  If you have lost a beloved child, your grief will go on and on and you will need to find additional support in your life to survive.    

When we are grieving a loss, we often feel we want to be alone and we pull away from others.  This detaching isolates us more and increases the loneliness of loss which can move our grief into a depression and then, worse, into despair.  That dark hole of despair is much harder to climb out of and much more difficult to manage than grief which is hard enough to bear.
So, don’t go it alone.  Remember what Winnie the Pooh once remarked, "You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes." Here are some suggestions to get you out of your corner of the forest:
   One       Share your pain with compassionate family members and friends.
   Two       Talk with a rabbi, priest, minister or person of faith and spiritual beliefs.
   Three    Find a counselor who understands loss personally and clinically.
    Four      Nourish you body, rest frequently, exercise moderately.
    Five       Commit to volunteer somewhere.
    Seven   Receive hugs from comforting supporters.

Today I’ve focused more on the loss of someone to death.  In a future article I’ll address other kinds of losses.  In the meantime remember: it takes great courage and work to survive your shattering losses and your grief is testimony to the love you were able to give.  

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP

Psychotherapist and Author of When Every Day Matters (Simple Abundance Press)

St. Paul’s and Better Yourself Books, Mumbai



Coping with Grief

When a loved ones make the transition to the world of spirit, those of us still on the earth plane, experience intense grief.

Grief is one of the hardest things to cope with in life, but cope we must, because as we get older, many people in our lives will enter the world of spirit before we do.  However difficult, there are ways to cope with grief.  Following are some suggestions:

Join a "Grief Group."  Being with others who are also experiencing grief can be extremely helpful, even though the idea may not be appealing at first. One of my clients said to me "Why do I want to be with all those sad people?" I told her that being with others who are sad would allow her compassion for others to come forward and she would find herself helping others who are in emotional pain.   There is nothing more healing than helping another person.

Invite Distraction:  If you are in emotional pain, you NEED a break. Rent movies, go to a museum or do anything else that will distract you from  your pain. Of course if you watch a movie there will be things that will remind you of the loved one you have lost.  Most likely your relief from  your grief will not be 100%, but right now even 50% relief would be great for you.

Read Positive Books:  While it may make you angry when people suggest that you think positively when you are in grief, that is exactly what you need to do.  Never have you needed positive thinking as much as you do now.  It is only through faith that life will get better someday, that any of us can withstand the heart breaking feelings of grief.  Go to the library, your book shelf or the bookstore and get books by positive authors.  I will suggest one of my book/CD packages that is especially helpful to those in grief. It is called "Heart and Sound."  Books by Eckhart Tolle will also be good for you at this time.

Know that Life is Eternal: As a psychic medium, I have it proven to me again and again, that when we die, our spirits live on.  Having this knowledge has helped me to understand that my loved ones in the world of spirit are still there for me. I also know they are ok. Those who had cancer do not have cancer anymore. Those who had mental problems, do not have mental problems anymore.  I also know that when it is my time to go to spirit, I will be with my loved ones, and in the meantime, their spirits are around me, watching over me.  If you feel inclined, visit a Spiritualist church as we in the religion of Spiritualism understand that life is eternal and we communicate with those who have passed on. You do not have to be a Spiritualist to attend a service.

Take Extra Care of Yourself: When you are in deep grief, you must do everything you can to take good care of yourself.  This is the time to eat healthy food, exercise and get enough sleep.  Take a look at your schedule and make sure that you have time to do what you need to do for yourself.  Also make time to be with the people you feel comfortable with. In some cases, you may have to take a trip to spend time with a family member or close friend.

Grief is DIFFICULT to cope with and if you want to cope you need to WORK HARD to cope.   You cannot allow yourself to be wrapped in your grief 24/7. Know that your loved one in spirit would not want you to do that.  Our loved ones who have passed on, want us to live happily for the rest of our lives. 

Psychic Medium and Inspirational Author Carole Lynne



 PHOTO (cc): Flickr /  .Andi. ♡

Unleashing Your Glow from Grief

Let’s be honest, the last place I wanted to visit was grief.  I avoided it like a peanut butter and mayo sandwich.  Most of us avoid our darker emotions but it’s not a good idea.  In the past, when something happened in life, I instantly bounced back on my two feet.  To be even more honest, grief scared me.  When I entered it I checked out and felt like a loser.  Through the last few years, particularly the last few months, I have come to experience it in a different light.  We each need a warm mud bath at times to clean out our ignorance and shed a clearer perception within ourselves.  Grief is a difficult experience for all of us to go through but it is by your side.  She is your best girlfriend.  She goes to the depths of you.  Then she waits and waits to rise with you while illuminating the universal truths in your life and your power.

In the last couple of months my sense of security had fallen away and I felt too raw to function in the world.  I was peddling the ferocious waters of grief and the only thing left for me to do was to completely surrender and see where it would lead me.  There were no short cuts.  It was inevitable.  I couldn’t ignore that this was the time to dust off and heal parts of my life.  Grief uncovers the imbalances between what we are feeling and who we truly are.  Thus, it gives us the chance to eliminate the unconscious perceptions that we tightly hold and this has brought me a step closer to a more whole and happier place inside myself.

In the mist of grief, my teacher walked by me and said “Don’t hold a backpack filled with rocks by yourself.  Hand some rocks out.”  It was taking me tremendous amount of energy to give birth to a new truth and I was becoming impatient so as a lover of collaboration I instantly asked people for help, which allowed me to take one baby step at a time to discover more balance.

The tendencies for imbalance in our daily life are all around us.  Since we live in difficult times we become muddled up and go against our personal voice. We take hold of cigarettes and drugs, late night snacking, or confusion around our sexuality.  We become cloudy in our minds.  Grief came knocking me down to confront the cloudiness that separated me from reality.  Our five senses is how the mind and body communicate with each other and with the environment.  When our senses become cloudy, we can’t sense ourselves.  For instance, before we place chocolate on our tongue, the mind has already associated it with how it tasted to us in the past and how it effected our mood.  Therefore, cultivating a refreshing tasting diet can leave you with feel good thoughts and feelings!

Grief isn’t gentle, she waves over us and, for a short time, we forget who we are.  It gave me the chance to dig deep, be gentle, experience more dimensions and behind all the excuses- know myself a bit more.

Let me know about your own soul’s grief by leaving a comment in the Precious Radiance community!

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / horizon

Grieving Father’s Death


I lost my father August of 2009. He left to his native Mexico on his birthday to get treatment. He passed five days later. He was an alcoholic and his body stopped functioning. I was unable to fly to his funeral I was three weeks away from giving birth to my son. I feel as if he is still over there even though I know he has passed. I feel as if I haven’t been able to grieve. I feel anger and resentment because my entire family were able to be there. I feel as if I’m the only one in denial. I don’t know how to come to terms with the grief that I feel is somewhere deep down inside me.


When a death is hard to grieve because you have not been a part of the burial ceremonies, then you may need a way to make it more tangible. It may help to go visit his gravesite and spend some time there expressing your feelings and thoughts. If that is not possible then get a picture of him and talk to it. Have a good cry if it comes naturally. Again express your feelings, fears, frustrations, love, … whatever comes up as you remember your father and his life. If you feel too self-conscious talking out loud,  then write it all down in a notebook.  And periodically you can pause and listen and notice if anything arises in you that feels like a response from your dad. Write that down as well. Don’t worry if it’s “real” or not, that is not the point. The point is to grieve properly so you can heal and move on with your life.

If you give this process the time and attention it needs, you will be able to access your grief and get past your anger and resentment over missing the funeral.



For more information go to deepakchopra.com

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Got Closure? How to Move Forward Powerfully and Positively

Each of us experiences some kind of loss in this lifetime. People come and go from our lives, whether by choice or circumstance. How we cope with these events affects how we move forward, how we see the world, and how we feel about our lives.

I’m not the only person to have been through a divorce. When my first marriage ended after 17 years, I thought I handled it well. It was an amicable parting, and we maintained a friendly relationship. But then a few years later my sister’s husband died unexpectedly. My grief brought up new emotions, and I felt sad and angry and hurt as I relived the divorce in my mind. I realized through this experience that although I had moved on, I hadn’t really gotten over it; I didn’t have closure. I saw the parallels between my sister’s loss and my own, and I actively sought to come up with a formula through which we could both alleviate our pain.

Relationships take many forms: marriage, friendships, family, co-workers, classmates, lovers. Whenever two people have some kind of a connection, a relationship is established. Our energy goes into these connections, our emotions, our hopes, our human vulnerabilities. A relationship is an organism itself, and it can have a life cycle. But since relationship is a spiritual organism, it doesn’t die. It merely changes shape. The relationships we build with the people we encounter continue in spirit, in memories, and in lessons learned.

We are invested in our relationships with other people. We spend our time, and emotions, developing a kind of bond with a person. We give of ourselves, through our love, our friendship, our concern, and our efforts.

When we are faced with what seems to be the “end” of a relationship, we may feel loss, grief, anger or pain. We might even feel relief, or freedom. We may question the purpose for this change, whether it is abrupt or expected, and the necessity of it. The change may or may not be our choice, or our desire, but something we must learn to live with. The uneasiness may nag at us for years as we struggle to understand. How do we get that “closure” that our hearts and minds so desperately seek so that we can move forward with our lives?

We need to shift our perspective a little bit when it comes to relationships. In our human form, we see the illusion of death, and the ending of relationships. But what really takes place is a transformation. As we learn and grow through our relationships, our relationships evolve. We can use this evolution as an opportunity for continued growth, and for personal transformation. The pains that we feel are growing pains. However a relationship changes, whether it is a loss from physical death, a divorce, a move away, a growing up, or a falling out, we can not only survive, but thrive, knowing that everything, always, is exactly the way it is meant to be.

A Natural Law works whether we are aware of it or not. It is a principle of nature that is in effect at all times, without favoritism. Gravity is a natural law. It works the same for everyone, at all times. By being aware of gravity, we can move about more freely, with less risk of pain from falling down.

The Law of Relationship is two-fold. It says:

1) We are all connected.

2) We are here to help each other.

We are all connected in one way or another. We feel the same emotions; we share the same experiences. We are brothers and sisters on this planet. This connection bonds us, and gives us a relationship with each other. A mother in any part the world, can relate to another mother she has never seen because she knows what it means, and how it feels, to be a mother. We are all born the same way, and have to learn how to walk and talk and find our way in the world. We face challenges and heartache, no matter where we live, or how we live. Our connection cannot be broken.

With our challenges and experiences we learn and grow. Our relationships bring us many challenges and experiences, and through our relationships we learn and grow. This is how we help each other. We may not even know that we are doing it, but just by being in a person’s life, in some small way, we are contributing to the learning process, as they are contributing to ours. Our actions affect other people in ways we can’t even imagine. Even in times when we feel hurt by someone, that is an opportunity for us to learn and grow. We might not realize it in the moment, but in some strange and miraculous way, we are helping each other by going through this experience together.

Closure is different than grief. Grieving is looking back; closure is about looking ahead. We want to let go and move on. This is what closure gives us. We may have gone through the grieving process and still not have the closure we seek. The law of relationship helps us to maneuver our way through the five set process of closure: Recognition, Acceptance, Understanding, Integration, and Gratitude. When we reach a feeling of gratitude, we know we’ve come full circle to experience closure.

Closure is actually the perfect word for it. It’s more than neatly tying up loose ends. Think about life as a series of events and relationships, all linked together in some sort of artistic way, like a beautiful piece of jewelry. We can’t wear a necklace or a bracelet if the chain is just left dangling. The jewelry maker finishes off the piece by adding a clasp, one loop that kind of ties together the beginning and the end, the start and the finish, so that what we are left with is one strong continuous chain. Our closure is that clasp. Closure helps it all make sense. It turns something seemingly broken into something useful, purposeful, and lovely.

Lissa Coffey is the author of CLOSURE and the Law of Relationship: Endings as New Beginnings.  http://www.ClosureBook.com

 PHOTO: Flickr / ecstaticist

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