In light of all the passings of icons lately, I thought it best to share my learnings from experiencing death and allowing yourself the space necessary to grow and move forward.
Saying goodbye is something that we, inherently, as humans, hate doing. Whether you're saying so-long to an old pair of shoes, your first apartment, childhood pet, or a family member, we never can truly understand how to cope with the fact that this is something final; all we can do is try our best to rationalize and make sense of the life they lived and what experiences we can shed light on and memories to reflect upon moving forward. One of the hardest things is not knowing how much time you have left - the drawing out of it all can cause serious agony, and like ripping off an incredibly slow and painful bandaid. On the other hand, finding out someone passed away instantly is like having your heart hit by a truck as the wind is knocked out of you.
I've had to say goodbye to a lot of family, and though it never gets any easier, I've noticed similar patterns in their separate processes. Though the grieving varies depending on your relationship with each person, we can take some solace knowing and remembering the type of person they were -- if they were charismatic, spontaneous, giving, carefree, loving... generally we can tell ourselves they want us to continue onward with our head up, not mourning for too long before carrying on with our life. And to this point there is some validity; life is a cycle, eventually it ends, for every single one of us. Most of the time we aren't ready for it, but for how many things throughout our lives are we actually prepared? My grandfather had a long and slow demise due to Parkinson's Disease. It debilitated every one of his senses one after another, for so many years I remember him pushing through the struggle of new challenges - and in the end, I took relief and comfort in the belief that he was no longer suffering, and his soul and spirit was finally free from the pain of his body. I noticed with several relatives, as their bodies were giving out on them and they did their best to hold on -- they all held on in strength not out of fear of death, but out of fear of leaving the ones they loved alone without them. Once they had the time and space to connect with their most valued people, and gained that closure, they felt the ability to relax and stop fighting so hard, and they released, and they let go.
There's a book I read surrounding the death of my uncle and godfather, called Journey of Souls, which absolutely changed my life. I don't think I would have been able to take the sudden news while embarking on an adventure across Australia if I hadn't had the comfort of that book to bring a new perspective to the table. It's funny, as I read it, there was a sense of familiarity that encompassed me as I read it - though I had never researched the process of the Soul's journey between lives before, I understood it at a cellular, molecular level. This allowed me the space to know in confidence that I had my godfather as a spirit guide and one of my soul-mates, and with that he would never be far, but always embedded in my own stardust, merely a meditation away.
There are many different ways to cope, to process, to take it all in --- there is no right way, no better way, only what works for you, only what brings you comfort, and only what the situation allows for. We can go to church, take a trip, create our own bucket list, overhaul our life to channel ourselves into what we really want to do, but we must continue to live, because life continues around us. And when we finally reach the point where we try to help them cross-over, try and provide some relief, and unconditional love - not only for them, but for your Self. Saying goodbye is only temporary, we all unite over and over again, so it's really more of a "see you soon."