“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” ? Rabindranath Tagore
It takes courage to look at our own light and darkness with equal enthusiasm. Perhaps this is why we can feel so very lost when someone we love dies. Yet within these moments of seeming darkness, the indelible light of our soul awaits. The soul is our unique and immortal essence, which has two parts: the finite and the infinite self. Our finite self—inclusive of our personality, emotions, and ego—accepts the world as a physical reality. Since all things, people, and objects within our material world die or can be destroyed, the finite self perceives death as an end, which can inspire great confusion and fear. Our infinite self knows we are immortal, because our essence is energy or spirit, which never ceases to exist. Although the inherent duality of our essence seems contradictory, we are best when we are soul-centered, striving to honor both our physical and spiritual natures.
It is difficult to cultivate such balance when we are in grief, because we all mourn differently. Our grief is different with each soul. When someone you love dies, your physical reality is permanently altered, so it is our finite self that must be nurtured and allowed time to mourn. Since death reminds us that this existence is temporary, you can feel introspective perhaps revisiting what you believe, what you have been taught, and deeply question what you think you know.
Grief is the sorrow we feel when someone dies. Mourning is the process of navigating our grief. Soul-centered grieving allows the infinite self to guide the finite self as it mourns and adjusts to a new reality. By honoring our emotions, fears, and doubts as spiritual opportunities, we can begin to understand and integrate the gifts and evolutionary invitations the departed soul has inspired within us.
My work as a medium allows me to facilitate soul conversations between my clients and their loved ones and pets in the spirit world. Within these sessions, I am able to witness the empowerment that comes from soul-centered grieving. No matter the transgressions of the soul in spirit, once my client has another opportunity to connect to their loved one, the healing that can transpire is miraculous. Whether it is an apology, congratulations, or a simple acknowledgment of what has transpired since their soul has died, I witness the fears and antiquated stories long held by the finite self dissipate, and the wisdom and healing power of the spirit world reignite the light within my client. These sacred conversations have taught me how to live fully. Death can inspire us to be different, and from that perspective we truly honor the souls who have died.
Here are a few ways your soul can be comforted and nurtured when you are mourning:
Keep It Kind and Simple
Your finite self will display a myriad of emotions. In the beginning, just get through each day. Breathe. Honor how you feel. Listen to what you need. If you have tasks to do, make a list. Focus on what you are doing as a way to be present. Be fine with what gets done. Spend some time recharging in what is stunning and alive in nature. Go for a walk, a drive, work in the garden, go to the ocean, watch the sunrise or sunset, but allow yourself to practice breathing, moving, and taking in each day.
Conscious Communication and Connecting
Your finite self may wish to isolate, so practice equal exchanges with others. Identify your friends and allow them to help you. Practice receiving. Delegate things that need to be done. Communicate your needs. Find a friend, support group, or grief professional so you can begin allowing yourself to process your grief. Whether you wish to participate or simply listen to the stories of others, you will be processing and honoring your departed loved ones, as well as creating a sacred space for others to mourn. Pray. Your soul is eternal and has so much support. Find out how your life can be different by trusting in a power greater than your own. Explore a new spiritual path, attend church, read a book, or research the afterlife. The questions we ask when someone dies help create the next direction we will explore. Talk to your departed loved ones; they can hear you. Ask for signs. It will help you look up and into the world around you.
Learning from Their Soul
Our infinite self knows life happens for us to help us evolve. When a loved one dies, your finite self will experience an equal death of self, because who you were to that person must also change. The spiritual opportunity is to celebrate how their soul empowered your becoming and integrate it into your future relationships. Ask yourself these questions:
What role did I play with this person?
What was the blessing of the role?
What did their soul teach me about myself?
What would I have done differently?
What more could I have done more?
What needs releasing and forgiving?
Your soul bond is immortal. They came here to touch into this world and allow growth and change. Celebrate them. Organize a soul celebration where everyone shares memories. Make a collage, memory book, or tribute garden, so their soul can continue living. Donate or raise money in their honor. Fulfill a wish they may not have seen realized. Release balloons, get a tattoo, take that trip, make a space in your home for their picture and things they loved. Thank them for their service.
Although their soul has died, honor their life by living yours fully. Be kind, honest, and personally responsible. Integrate what they taught you. Apologize and compliment more. You are one of a kind and the hope of the universe. Gift this world with your magic. That is why you are here!
Austyn Wells, GC-C, is a spiritual medium, grief counselor, and “soul gardener” who empowers individuals to create soul-centered lives. Developer of the Divine Spark Cards© and the Divine Insight Cards©, she combines intuition and mediumship with shamanism, energy medicine, and sacred ceremony.