Two of my yoga students passed away this summer unexpectedly and at-first it really scared me because I realized I could lose anyone I love suddenly, but then it made me appreciate everyone and each moment that much more. Also, I started to go deeper into my spiritual practice again and realized I don't believe in death.
We all have different perspectives on what happens when we die, but in the end..we were there before we were here, so on a really deep level we know where we go.
I love to write about taboo subjects to demystify them. Our culture is obsessed with looking young, being young, and pretending we never die. So, when death does happen we often have a hard time accepting it. I haven't lost anyone super close to me, so I asked my good friend who lost her dad a few years ago and thought she was going to die when she got cancer last year what she would suggest to support others who have lost someone:
~Sympathy Cards are really helpful
~Letting people know you are there for them and thinking about them
~The worst is when people avoid you
~The person grieving doesn't want to go into the details with everyone
~"I'm sorry for your loss" is nice for acquaintances but If you are closer you can offer to talk about it
~Continue to reach out. So much of the time people stop calling or writing after a month, but ask your grieving friend/s to tea, to go on a walk...keep reaching out
What about how to grieve?
"Death is just shedding your body. It is like taking off your shirt and throwing it away. So why are we afraid? At the time of death, the entire life you have lived is panoramically shown to you, and you are made the judge. If you can forgive yourself at that time, you are liberated."
My friend suggested the book:
A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis
Some Tips from friends who have lost loved ones:
~Continue your yoga practice even if you cry through the whole class
~Share stories of your loved one who has passed
~Get weekly or twice a week massage, especially if it was your partner who passed
~Let yourself fall apart for a while and ask friends to bring you food and snuggles and movies
~Stay connected, continue to talk to a friend at-least once a day or go on a walk or whatever you enjoy doing
~Deepen your spiritual practice
~Allow the grief to move through you..it may arrive at funny times, but just allow it to flow
~Adopt a pet or mentor a child..find ways to put your love into beings that need you
~Everyone grieves differently
"I am the ocean of consciousness. Sometimes I become the little wave of the body, but I am never just the wave without the Ocean of God."
"When I have left this physical form, I will be with you more than I ever was in this life."
Feel free to share helpful advice on grieving and dying below.