Do you know anyone in this world who hasn’t dealt with the loss of a loved one? I don’t.
Deep loss may stem from death, divorce, separation, abandonment, etc. The list is actually quite long! My spiritual memoir, From Bagels to Curry: A Jewish Yogi’s Account of the Passing of A Parent, addresses loss through death, both personally and universally. My father’s passing from a brutal cancer 9 years ago was fraught with difficulties for me—and also filled with some of the most precious moments of my life. It makes for quite a story, as I hope you’ll read.
This post focuses on 8 tips to help you move forward one step at a time, through what might be the most challenging test of your life. While the act of grieving can leave you feeling uprooted on every level, the opportunities for inner growth can be, quite literally, life-transforming.
In the next-to-last chapter of The Essential Flower Essence Handbook (now in 6 languages and used by Doctors Without Borders to train their physicians in the art and science of flower essences), I’ve summarized the core truth of SiNE’s messages to us. Below is a similar list that focuses on helping you to cope with deep loss. Whether you’ve lost a beloved pet or a dear partner . . . grief is still grief.
I hope this list of suggestions will help you to move forward and—as my niece who recently suffered a great loss has learned—to live each day more vitally than ever.
You can also use this list conversely to pick which flower essence/s you feel drawn to, to absorb its lessons to live fully—and yes, joyfully.
- The grieving process cannot be second-guessed. It has no rhyme, reason, or formula. You cannot think your way out of it, avoid it, or circumvent it. Instead, find ways to work with the ups and downs of the journey to overcoming it. (Avocado Essence/good memory).
- Don’t be surprised if you feel worse at times after making steady upward progress. There is no logical pattern to this journey. The heart will follow its own path based on its own wisdom. (Orange Essence/enthusiasm)
- It’s helpful to be aware that unexpected places, activities, and holidays may trigger your sense of loss as freshly as if it just happened. Be vigilant and keep your energy high, even if it requires effort! Take one day, or one hour, at a time. (Corn Essence/mental vitality)
- Accept the fact that you may have to do some work on yourself! Don’t think you can walk effortlessly through the grieving process. Most people have to make a conscious choice to improve. You may need to take yourself by the shoulders and have a good talk with yourself in order to move through the slumps. Affirm that you can raise your energy and rise above your difficulties. (Coconut Essence/uplifted spiritual awareness)
- Don’t judge or compare yourself to others who seem to be doing better than you with their own grieving process. If you feel supported and inspired by them, good for you. There’s a much more productive use of your energy than self-criticism, which will ultimately get you nowhere! (Date Essence/tender sweetness)
- Be really kind to yourself, as you would treat a child who has suffered greatly. This loss may be one of the biggest tests of your life, bringing you some of the greatest opportunities for growth and expansion. Again referring to my wise niece, she said she’d never felt her life become so dim yet at the same time, so rich. (Raspberry Essence/kindness, compassion)
- Resistance is futile. “She was too young,” might be your mantra about someone who passed away at an early age (and even 80 is early!). Or, “No one deserved this fate less than him.” These types of attitudes exemplify a resistance to the natural flow of life. We might even say that overcoming resistance is mankind’s sole challenge. Learn to accept, as well as embrace, the tests that place you in a state of conflict. (Pear Essence/peacefulness)
- Find ways to be happy even in the midst of your grief. Build on those moments and let them carry you forward to a new way of living beyond the constant trials and disappointments of this world. Make the decision to simply BE happy. And stick with it. (Cherry Essence/cheerfulness)
So, how does all this sound? Is it time to get on with your life, change yourself for the better and, in so doing, help make the world a better place? See what you think! (And if you’re in the areas of Seattle, WA on June 17, or Nevada City, CA August 25-25, come to my workshop and seminar on topics related to this blog.)