Solitude and quietness have been my two best friends since my Dad passed away just over a month ago. For me - grief, loss and mourning has required that I keep my life as wide open and empty as possible so my mindbodyspirit can absorb and process at it's own pace. To allow for unstructured days, late nights and long lie ins for when sleep doesn't come. To allow for dream work (a visual, nocturnal restlessness in itself), journalling, just sitting and being, tears, thinking, pondering, remembering. I want to remember and re-visit the special moments from the last days of my Dad's physical life.
It feels as if I miss Dad in every single cell of my body, like they are all crying (and if you've ever read Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert, that probably is what's happening). I let them cry and release. David Kessler rightly puts it that every person's grief process is as unique as their fingerprint. You can't predict how you will grieve when a loved one passes. I thought I'd fall apart - I haven't. And then I wonder - will I? The sadness hovers over me, it's always in the background yet at times I feel elated, happy, joyful, serene. That surprises me.
I still feel deeply cracked open by my Dad's passing, being there at that very moment of his transition feels weirdly mystical, something ethereal, profound. A blessing. As if I've been initiated in to another place of knowing. Elizabeth Kubler Ross (EKR) likens a death to a birth, the dying person being birthed in to their next phase of their existence. It depends whether you believe the soul goes on or not. I do and can definitely feel Dad's presence around me in many different ways. Strangely, I feel closer to Dad than ever before. Yet I miss his gentle and soulful physical presence.
Being open and curious about Dad's passing, grief and loss is teaching me so much more than I could have imagined. Dad gave me the opportunity to witness the transition of a soul departing it's body and in doing so has totally wiped away my fear of death - my death and the death of others close to me - I'm not scared any more. It's just nothing to be frightened of.
I'd like to tell you that the last week of my Dad's life was all peaceful, serene and spiritual and that's what has alleviated my fears. It wasn't at all like that, a lot of the last week was difficult, medicalised and traumatic. Dad's departure from the physical world was sudden and unexpected. Yet, what we did do very well as a family was to give Dad love, support, comfort and guidance throughout especially in the last 5 hours of his life.
A month onwards and my grief process feels like it is going deeper and not getting easier. I feel like a spiritual detective investigating my own case. Various people are telling me what or how I will feel and when. And whilst sage advice and readings defintely help and are well meaning there's a lot of it I just cannot relate to.
It's amazing that every single one of us will die yet we struggle with it or deny it. Maybe EKR was right - death is the new birth. If we thought like this, how would it change the way we lived and died?