I haven’t written in almost a month. This is, in part, due to my recent period of “why-the-heck-is-this-happening-to-me?” Mine dates back to July 5th, when I received the news that a family member suddenly passed away. This vibrant 58 year-old woman was the epitome of selflessness and had the driest wit you can imagine. I was initially devastated by the news, but sadness soon melted into compassion as I accepted the universe’s decision to take this amazing woman from our lives… whether or not I understood it.
Traumatic? Yes. Peaceful? Also, yes. I read somewhere that over time, people who meditate and practice yoga learn to cope more easily when tragedy strikes because we’ve practiced non-resistance (i.e., surrendering to what is).
As Judith Orloff writes:
“The energy shift that occurs when a loved one dies is an adjustment all survivors must make, though most people remain unaware of it. We have no context within which to define the experience. Loss and subsequent grief are wrenching partially because in them we sacrifice a piece of ourselves, one not requisite for survival yet one whose absence leaves us vacant, vulnerable. This energy-based phenomenon needs to be recognized while we’re grieving. It will add clarity, a bittersweet awareness making closure more complete.”
While death makes us vulnerable, it also gives us the incredible gift of perspective. No matter what we may face (e.g., the “why-the-heck-is-this-happening-to-me?” periods in life when it seems as if one hit isn’t enough), we are forced to defer to the deceased to teach us how to live. With the passing of each relative, I find myself more respectful of my surroundings, more conscious of the way the leaves of a plant bend in the breeze, and more inclined to smile at people (when my intuition tells me to)…for I do not know when these moments will be gone.
Postscript: A day before I learned of my relative’s death, I set an intention for my dream (as I’ve done before), asking to receive a message about her. When I woke up in the morning, I told my boyfriend I hadn’t dreamt of anything. That’s when he turned to me and said, “I think I received your message. I dreamed that she passed away.” Imagine how surprised I was to learn that my intention can transfer to my boyfriend’s dreams! Are we really that in sync… or were our heads touching while we slept?!