I lost a cousin recently. He died of a drug overdose. I don’t think he meant for death to happen but it did and now his mother (my dear aunt) is grieving over the loss of yet another son. Though many people are grieving, it’s particularly sad that his only child must now go through life without the benefit of his loving dad (for my cousin did indeed love his son!).

As the family grieves, we are reminded of other losses we’ve suffered and we comfort each other with such words as “he’s with his brother now” and “his grandparents were surely there to greet him” and “what a loving guardian angel he will be”. All are true, I am sure, but it isn’t what we wanted. What we WANTED is him back in the body and walking among us. Until we learn to live with this major, devastating change, nothing will give comfort.

As for me, I’m trying to put it all into my own perspective, to remind myself that physical death, while a sad change for us, is really just a release of the soul from the body. It is NOT THE END. It’s a CHANGE. The essence of who we are in life remains with us in “death” and our return to spirit (for it is there from which we came) reunites us with loved ones already “there”.  I put parenthesis around “there” because the afterlife isn’t a “place” so much as a state of awareness.

So I attended my cousin’s “celebration of life” and I swear to you that I could clearly “see” them (my family members in spirit) and I knew they truly were rejoicing in his being among them (on the same level of awareness) once again. They were all smiling and happy and dancing to the music (it WAS a celebration of life after all) and the joy in their souls was genuine. Their regret, if they had any (for seriously, I don’t think there’s much in the way of “regret” over “there”), is our unawareness of their actual presence. Oh we were saying things like “He’s here with us, I feel him” but did we all truly understand how TRUE those sort of statements were? Though I cried and felt incredibly sad, it was for the grief going on around me and for the things I missed while he lived among us. His little brother shared stories that made us laugh and cry. He helped us become a bigger part of his big brother’s life and he gave us new memories to share in. Thanks for that, Ed, you were amazing!

I want to tell you something … our loved ones don’t “go away” and leave us with this big, gaping hole in our heart (that’s what it feels like, doesn’t it? Like a piece of our heart was ripped right out of our chest?). What they’ve done, what’s REALLY happened, is they have entered spirit, and through the bond of emotional attachment they bind themselves into that hole. So yeah, that hole you think is empty, it’s really filled with your loved one’s spiritual essence and you carry them wherever you go. True story. Our hearts, like the proverbial cups filled with love, truly does “runneth over”!

Our emotions are like beckoning beacons of light in the spirit world and when we are focused on a loved one there, they are instantly with us. Our FOCUS, you see, is energy in motion (true here in the physical world as it is in the spiritual one!) and it alerts them that we are in need of their comforting presence. Thoughts of loved ones are a direct “call” to them and they answer our summons EVERY TIME. Here’s an analogy you might like: Their presence in our heart is like a cell phone with a direct link (and the signal is always four bars!) and no matter where we are or how many others are making the same call, they answer it with their loving, spiritual presence!

Now, I get asked about that last part from time to time. How can someone in spirit be with so many people at the same time, especially when some may be spread out all over the world? That’s an easy one. A simple answer. There is no such thing as “time” and “distance” (space) in the spirit world. There is only “here” and “now” and as such, my Nana (for instance) can be here with me in Maine and my cousin in Florida at the exact same time. Our emotional connection is never severed. Ever. Love is the glue that binds. No truer statement can be said! So when I’m thinking of her, no matter how many others may be thinking of her too, my “call” to her is instant and wham, here she is! In spirit, anything is possible! Anything.

Something I wish more people understood and believed is that those in the spirit world can cause effects in the physical world that are meant to let a loved one know they are around. For instance, a song that reminds you of a loved one in spirit can suddenly come on the radio, or you might see a flower they loved, or smell an aroma of something you associate with them. It could be something as abstract as a heart in a cloud or as simple as a  butterfly fluttering about you (they are often used as a way for those in spirit to be physically close to you!).

Although my grandparents crossed into spirit over 30 years ago, I miss them to this day and when I am thinking about them, I might see their name on a sign or a license plate, or a song will come on that I associate with them (Nana loved to sing and Grampy loved to dance!) or I’ll just get a very strong feeling (emotional connection!) that they are near. When those moments happen, I feel their spiritual hug. It doesn’t make me stop missing them, but I do enjoy those little reminders that they haven’t “gone” anywhere.

But even so, despite all that and KNOWING my loved ones (in spirit) are fine, I grieve when they cross over. Life isn’t the same when we lose the physical presence of someone we love and whose company we enjoyed. It isn’t the same. It’s different in so many ways and it’s a tough thing to adjust to. It was hard losing Grampy and I grieved deeply but we still had Nana and that helped. Then she crossed over three months later. I thought I would never stop crying. I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again. I did not want to live my life without them in it. Oh I knew I’d lose them someday (and I stressed over that a LOT as a child!) but I always prayed they’d live a long, long time. When I say that, I’m telling you that I literally prayed for this almost every night during prayers and if I forgot to pray for it the night before, I corrected it immediately the next day! Their dying when I was just 21 was a major shock to me. I felt betrayed. I mean, I PRAYED…every fricken night I prayed…and they left me at the young age of 21. Nana was still in her 60s and Grampy had just turned 72. That isn’t old. Not by today’s standards. So what the heck? WHY did they die so darn young?

So you see I am still not totally over it. I can still get worked up over my “loss” and yet they visit me all the time! I mean, they are right HERE in my heart and I have that direct link to their souls. I SEE them in my dreams and I get messages and feelings from them quite often and STILL I am upset that they aren’t here physically! We never stop grieving. Never. The tears may stop but the grief lives permanently within us and somehow we just go on living with it. As we should because there are other joys to celebrate in life and their “death” doesn’t diminish those other joys. I have three children, four step-kids and sixteen grandchildren to share my life with, not to mention the spouses of my kids, an amazing husband, my brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and so on and so on!! I am VERY blessed. But I STILL miss my grandparents and I still cry over the physical loss of my nephew, my sister’s oldest son, who died from suicide. I cry for her and I cry for the things I didn’t do or say and for the emotional pain he was in before he decided he’d had enough and returned to spirit.

My cousin’s death brought my nephew’s right back into focus and then, of course, it brought my grandparents into focus as well. Our emotional connection with those we care for is NEVER severed and so we are just always and forever going to feel grief when we think of them. The longing for their physical presence will never stop. It just won’t. We live in a physical world and as such, physical presence means everything to us. Given that, I am trying to make their spiritual presence just as important and meaningful. Which is why I felt them (my other family members in spirit) and “saw” them clearly in my mind’s eye during my cousin’s celebration of life. I did feel comfort and I shared smiles and winks and special moments with them.

But I still wish they were here in the physical world. And that, folks, is how it is always going to be … until it’s our turn to cross into spirit and rejoin them “over there”.

Blessings to all of you. And spiritual hugs from all your loved ones! They will use whatever means possible to get through to you and I happily allowed them to use my fingers to write those words! (smile)

Until next time, onward to better things, upward to greatness and ever forward to a bright, loving future!

 

 

 

 

 

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