The world is going through a turbulent time and it is obvious people might be feeling the same energy on a daily basis. It kind of gets important to learn ways on how to deal spiritually with death, complex emotions, and all the hysteria going on around us. Everyone has their fair share of challenges. Here is my little attempt to make this less challenging and guidance towards healing. I was recently asked below written questions as a part of the interview on death and coping, and I have decided to share them raw and as honest as it can get here.
Question: The practice of the last rites of the deceased has changed during the lockdown. How does a loved one cope with depression, anxiety, pain, blame, and anger since loved ones of Covid positive deceased are not even allowed inside the crematorium or burial ground? (Only one relative can accompany the dead body and has to wait outside at the crematorium gate. If loved ones are tested positive, they are allowed to see the body in the hospital from far away)
Answer: Death is a complicated subject for the most because first it’s not an everyday thing in someone’s life and second we still haven’t come into terms with the acceptance of death yet that, spiritually, it is a profound transforming transition phase for the soul. And everyone who is involved in this transition, directly or indirectly, has some level of responsibility for the passing soul and the gift of life that is still available with the others. This responsibility a doctor, nurse, police, or crematorium feels for the above is beyond their powers. They have disciplined their whole lives to be able to stand up to such extreme moments.
So, as a result of their strict rules and regulations, we, as loved ones, will eventually feel triggered because we recognize that deep down somewhere both of our helplessness is matching. Our expectations have just been shattered. We feel disappointed in the system. The grief that we felt because of the passing of a loved one has just become multiplied. Even though everyone goes on expressing their grief in a multitude of emotions and develop their coping mechanisms which can be both healthy or otherwise, I would suggest these 3 cyclic steps to be followed at all times until this phase has passed.
Follow 1–2–3 and anytime one feels stuck at any step, step back on the previous step. When the 3rd phase is finally completed then restart with step 1. This way, slowly the reality will start feeling less grim and overwhelming.
1. REALITY CHECK
- Accept that whatever is happening is a part of the present.
- Accept that everyone is doing their best to save as many lives as possible.
- If more people allowed, reality can become harder to cope if someone else in the family got affected too.
2. EMOTION CHECK
- Check with yourself if you’re not going into the anticipatory grief (AG) that you’re reliving the grief in your mind first before something worst can happen.
- Anytime, you find yourself falling in AG, immediately go back to a Reality check.
- Allow emotions to follow motion, cry, express grief.
- Anytime, you find yourself suppressing emotions, again go back to a Reality check.
3. GIVE MEANING
- When our mind and heart are in sync with the awareness of reality and our emotional state, we are more open to accept everything that just happened with us and give meaning to the passing.
- By giving meaning, negative and intense emotions become open-ended, making us open to accept the other realities and cope better.
- Anytime giving a meaning feels wrong, immediately go back to Emotion check.
- After first closure, head back to Reality check again with the new reality we have just unlocked in our minds.
Read next : How to listen effectively when silence speaks.
Question: Even in cases of normal death, only twenty people are allowed. Considering people work in different countries and cities and are away from their families at the time of the lockdown, in case of death in the family and unable to reach, how do you view it spiritually and what it is teaching us?
Answer: Spiritually, every one of us is pushed to stand in our bigger picture reality. Death, as people feel it as life-threatening, actually manifests itself as life-threatening making us despise it even more. Death of our loved one seems wrong, unjustified and untimely to us even if it’s normal death or otherwise because it’s not every day that people experience deaths in their closed circles. When a loved one passes, it has been seen that the soul always knows unconsciously that when and how it is going to depart. This is how the soul has devised its soul contact and once life lesson is over, it must progress ahead.
But, we as loved and attached ones left behind, the other reality appears imaginable so most of the time what we feel is our own emotions and may even make the soul who is just about to depart more fearful. Emotions are very contagious. So, for the sake of our loved ones, if we can, we must :
- First of all, never dive in anticipatory grief of death. Favorable emotions attract favorable circumstances.
- If one is about to pass, then try to come in peace with it yourself and pass on the same to the passing person. It is scarier for them so equip them with your love, not fear, for their forward journey. Do it even if you don’t believe in any soul business.
- Once the passing has become a reality, follow the three steps of reality and emotion check to transmute after giving yourself some days of mourning. A meaning always gives a lesson to the people, and thereafter, life appears bigger than what we just experienced.
- Do not expect yourself to be strong, but vigilant. It has now become your responsibility to respect your own life, the other loved ones, and giving a health closure to the soul so that it can pass into the light.
Question: No one to console the family of the deceased. How can one maintain equilibrium during that time to avoid going into shock or do anything drastic to oneself?
Answer: Vigilance and vulnerability are great tools when in complex grief. Maintaining equilibrium is like building a discipline. You do it regardless of motivation. You can express grief while being in the discipline.
Plan a set of guidelines for yourself that you will do whenever you feel disoriented. You just have to mechanically reach there without investing emotions and thoughts. Keep emergency numbers on speed dial. Routinely check on everyone and just share with any projected worry. Shared grief makes it a little less hard to express with everyone. Take things lightly. Do more of what used to make you feel at peace when intense situations.
To be continued…