I have watched with interest, what happens after a family member dies, or is in the process of death: it is probably the most difficult and painful let go that human beings ever go through. The pain can be so excruciating that most choose to distract themselves from it. Death also acts as the greatest awakener for our existence on this earth. It certainly helps us to ask the important questions of “who am I?” and “where do I go when I die?”
When someone we know dies or is passing, some of us immediately think about our own mortality, recognizing that everything is impermanent and thus at a high level, normal day-to-day drama suddenly becomes meaningless. First we get an understanding that we don’t really matter in the overall scheme of things in life, because we will have to exit and leave everything behind. We go empty handed, just the way we came in….
This can be quite disorientating…… To recognize our contribution both good and bad as insignificant at this stage of life, is a painful process for our ego. Of course it will be matched with deep sorrow too. Let go in itself for the ego is tough, but when accompanied with understanding, letting go and surrendering leads to our liberation too, and does not need to carry such heart wrenching sorrow, that we are so accustomed to witness in the world today. My mother in law has been in a home for many years, alone, unrecognizable from the woman she once was! This acts as a daily reminder of impermanence to our family. We have the choice to surrender or struggle with what has unfolded in front of us, knowing full well that struggle acts as chains of burden. Let go is more dignified.
This is much the same, when we make a conclusion in life, about wrong-doing or injustice that we have encountered. At some point we have to let it ALL go too, along with its’ associated pain….and of course, as with anything, the let go is so much easier, if we have understood what those occurrences were trying to teach us. For example, if we have seen that we inadvertently had picked up a sabotaging pattern from a parent or elder, we can of course let go of our own automated responses and break the link to an old reactionary attitude of victimhood, resentment and bitterness. Let go happens effortlessly and instantly with understanding.
At death, and in life, when an understanding arises about ego division, and delusion, the soul always has a preference for unity as its’ priority. The soul thrives when it is in the state of sharing love. Ultimately that is our nature.
Let go at the time of death brings up the recognition that we go alone, but because of lack of awareness, it is rarely accompanied with the knowing that a sea of unconditional love awaits us at the other side of our transition. This is so unfortunate, because most of the people left behind, are usually mourning their own loss, and unaware of the fear that an individual who is passing must feel as they say their final goodbyes. If the soul understood that they have been given permission to move on, a joy in aloneness would surface too, a sense of joy of finally being set free from the body, unencumbered and free, the spirit would anticipate its union with love in a welcoming way. Sadly in most homes, the spirit is torn, not wanting to say goodbye to the grieving and yet knowing they have no choice and are forced to move on alone!
My friends’ father died this week, and along with Muhammad Ali’s passing, a realization that life is for living fearlessly without compromise has become even more prominent for me. We come alone and we go alone…….so why do we get entangled in playing small and compromising our needs? The bottom line that truly matters when such awakening moments arise, is to do what feels true to us, in the very short privileged time that we are visiting on this earth. IF this can be done without hurting any of our companions in the process and true friendship is maintained with our fellow travellers, we have reached the peak of our human experience.
When grieving family members hold on tight to the pain and grief from missing someone, never quite figuring their way back to enjoying their life without their lost one, such a loss of juice, creativity and potential is experienced. Again deep questions begin to arise for these people, but the inner angst can become such a dark cloud that its’ heaviness can freeze energy. It is almost like the fear of death becomes the cause to fear living too.
This pain is designed to be the early stages of finding our way into the light, but sadly many stay stuck here for a long time. In a similar way, not letting go of past trauma and history, equally too acts as a leakage that prevents us from living our life fully to its maximum potential.
Not letting go of a lost one, all said and done is selfish, since it sends messages to the one who has moved on, that they are not given permission to be in their new chapter of life. The one holding on, is doing so, simply because they miss them, and wants them in the physical form for their own benefit. The grief is not about love, or the fact that someone had an extra special bond. It is about our own pain of having to say the heart-wrenching goodbyes as we witness death of those that we are attached to, and our own fear of losing what we wanted to keep in our life. All grief and pain is about attachment, and of course that is extremely sorrowful, but it is all imposed and experienced so that we might get ready to embrace another way of living. A way that helps us to understand and know that nothing actually dies in life…it simply just changes form. All is both eternal and one.
Often people try to make sense of the precious life that has disappeared, and find meaning in the loss. They begin to value life more intimately and perhaps find a spiritual connection in the process to help them with accepting their loss. Life takes a new meaning of sharing their gratitude for life, and a new purpose arises to help themselves and those around them.
The photo above depicts the balloons that my friends’ family set free at his fathers’ funeral to let his spirit fly………When I saw this picture, it felt like, as each balloon was set free, symbolically the attachment to the one who had transitioned had happened too. In fact the one who had passed on, was given permission to fly, not look back, and enjoy the upcoming adventure, without the confines of the body and human restrictions. A world of pure love and freedom awaits this soul, and fortunately this family had the wisdom to recognize that no-one should be holding him back. They all collectively let go in a beautiful way.
This moment encouraged me to write this blog and to say that may we all learn how to let go and evolve beyond our current beliefs. Our own control over life is truly useless. Surrender and let go, leads to bliss and contentment, the only way to sanely live here on earth. Our birthright wants this for us. It is a state of fearless living and courage that can be canvassed by only those that choose to become self aware, and this is the most loving and beautiful task that we can undertake for ourselves and those around us.
I hope to continue holding a torch for those that are seeking to understand. LET GO, a beautiful learning that has come my way finally is one to be truly cherished. Good night . <3