Without a doubt, the most painful experience in life is the loss of a loved one. The most devastating for most people is the loss of a child or a spouse. Over the years, I have had the fortune to conduct seminars on death and immortality, and also support groups for those who have recently lost loved ones.
I am very grateful to all those who have attended and taught me by sharing their emotions, experiences and insights through the various stages of coping with this extremely painful and often totally overwhelming event.
EMOTIONS FREQUENTLY EXPERIENCED
Before discussing these emotions, I would like to clearly state that I respect the depth and strength with which they can flood our being. Thus, when I point out other ways of looking at what is happening, it is not because I do not recognize the power or validity of these emotions.
The fact is, however, we cannot change what has happened and need to get on with our lives. Also our evolutionary process demands that we begin to perceive ourselves, life and death in ways more aligned with the truth of our immortal nature. We need to transcend the limits created by our exclusive identification with our bodies and minds.
We need to recognize, accept, admit and express all the below-mentioned emotions. We would do well to seek help in doing so. Then, we need to move on to the next step and work on transforming them, until we again find our happiness, gratitude and love for life.
Some may feel that they will be betraying their loved ones if they do not feel their pain and may prefer not to be free. This is obviously a personal choice which each must make. My personal perception is that we do not help our loved ones with these emotions and that they would prefer that we be well and continue our lives as happily and creatively as we can.
(For more details about each of the emotions and alternative ways of perceiving, please refer to the Psychology of Happiness.)
Affirmations for overcoming emotions associated with the loss of our loved one.
It is okay to be happy.
1. The pain of losing a loved one is similar to losing a part of our body. It hurts. We feel a part of our own selves is missing. It is simply inconceivable to us that our loved one simply does not exist anymore – as a body. We expect at any moment to hear or see him or her again.
Even though until now I have felt hurt ( sorrow, pain) without (name of person)____ , I now experience the fullness of my being and my purpose in life.
2. We can fear that we will not be able to continue living without the person whom we?ve lost. This applies especially to widows who have been programmed to believe they are weak and need a husband in order to be safe, secure or socially accepted. It also applies to all situations in which we feel that we need that other person emotionally, physically, socially, mentally, economically or in any other way.
Even though until now I have feared that I would not be able to continue without (name of person) ____, I now feel confident and fully capable to dealing with whatever life brings me.
3. We might feel injustice and bitterness that “Life” or God took our loved one. This is more intense when the departed one was young, a child or a spouse in the prime of life.
Even though until now I have felt injustice (bitterness) that (name of person) ____ has left his/her body (died), I now accept that there is (might be) a higher justice and wisdom as to why this has happened.
4. We might experience depression and disillusionment that life has no meaning without our loved one. This again is especially true when we have lost a child or spouse who was the “purpose of our lives”, who was our main occupation.
Even though until now I felt depressed and that life had no meaning (happiness) without (name of person) ____ , I now experience the fullness of my being and am connecting with my life purpose.
5. We might feel Guilty that we did not sufficiently express our love to that person. We might think, “I did not show him enough love. I scolded him too much. I complained too much. I was negative and unpleasant. I never told him how much I loved, respected and appreciated him. I was unpleasant and nagging.”
Even though until now I felt guilty that I did not express my love adequately to (name of person) ____ , I now mentally communicate my love to him/her now and experience his/her forgiveness and our mutual love.
6. We might feel guilty thinking we could have done more to keep him or her alive. We might think, “I should have taken him to another doctor, to another hospital. If only we had done this other operation. If only I had been there when he died, I could have prevented it. It is all my fault. I am to blame for his death.”
Even though until now I felt guilty that maybe I did not do what I could to keep (name of person) ____ alive, I now realize I did whatever I could with the information that I had (that one?s life and death are controlled from a higher level).
7. Some of us might experience sorrow, disappointment, disillusionment and bitterness that we do not have the emotional support we expected from friends and relatives.
Even though until now I felt sorrow (disappointment, disillusionment, bitterness) because I am not getting the support I expected from others, I now understand that they are giving whatever they can.
8. We may feel loneliness. We may think, “It is difficult to connect with other people. They are not open, not friendly. I have no one to talk to, to share with, to be myself with.”
Even though until now I felt lonely without ______ , I am now opening up to my relationship with myself, others and God.
9. We could likely feel jealous that others still have their loved ones and we do not.
Even though until now I felt jealous of those who still have their loved ones, I am now happy for them and wish them well.
10. It would be natural to feel anger toward those who were in some way connected with or “responsible for” our loved one?s death. Perhaps a doctor made a mistake, or someone was driving recklessly, and now our loved one is dead.
Even though until now I felt anger towards those who are “responsible” for (name)?s death, I now trust that powers higher than they control life and death.
11. We might also feel anger toward or rejection from our loved one who “chose” to leave the earth plane at this time, leaving us here alone. We may interpret this as a form of rejection, abandonment and lack of love.
Even though until now felt I anger towards (name) _____ for leaving me here, I now trust that powers higher than he/she control life and death.
12. We may also feel guilt (shame) if we do not feel pain. That we must feel unhappy and of course never express joy in front of others for some time at least.
Even though until now I felt guilt (shame) that I am not as unhappy as I think I “should” be, I now realize that such feelings help no one.
There may be many other emotions that are not listed here.