by Christina Rasmussen, author of Where Did You Go?
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
—Tuesdays with Morrie
In the days, weeks and months that followed my 35-year-old husband’s death, I swung between mind-numbing grief and an insatiable search for him, for his essence. One moment I was painfully sad, the next moment I was hunting for his ghost, spirit body, soul—anything that was him.
Even though I’d been brought up Greek Orthodox, my religious background didn’t help me. In fact, immediately trying to apply my faith to my dire circumstances actually deepened my doubts about what faith really meant to me, my two young daughters, and life in general, that someone we loved dearly was now in a place called heaven, or the afterlife.
The journey that started the day my husband died has been the most important journey of my life. I spent those first few years after his passing barely surviving. Living day in and day out inside a routine that took away my passion for life. A routine based on fear of the future and dictated by my ego’s need to “protect” myself by keeping myself stuck in one place.
I hated my life, my future, and every moment of every day. I was envious of women whose husbands were still alive, envious of parents taking their kids out for pancakes on a Sunday morning and living their perfect lives. I was a bitter, angry young widow. Dark thoughts filled my head—an ugly monster roaring. Not a pretty picture, and one I’m not proud of. But it’s the truth. The years went by. The searching and rote surviving continued.
I threw myself into the world of brain science and discovered how the brain likes to loop grief and never let it go. I discovered that, for me, studying the brain was the only way out of the pain I was entrenched in. I could do something with what I was learning, instead of just existing in a never-ending state of grief, “waiting,” as so many books on grieving advised, “for time to heal me,” while at the same time telling me that “grief is supposed to last forever.” Those two concepts made me furious because waiting for precious time to pass was not the way I wanted to spend my life. But that exact advice—that terrible advice I was given—fueled my mission to impact the world of grief with an action-oriented process.
During the next several years that followed, I didn’t just get my own life back, I helped thousands of others do the same. And yet, there was always one part missing. I worked with so many people who continued to search for their lost beloveds—even after they had reclaimed their own lives—even when they were back to thriving again. I, too, continued this search.
In some way, it wasn’t enough to find our way back to a good life. Because once we had re-entered our lives and could face such questions like, “How can I possibly move on?”, we were hungry to discover the answers to even bigger questions. And one of the biggest questions that kept echoing through my mind was, “Where did you go?
The deeper into the science and theories I went, the more I realized how much our scientists already know about the universe, and about how life and death and our perception of it all really works. But so many of these findings have not made their way to the masses. For instance, there is substantial evidence—from personal accounts to theories in quantum physics, to discoveries accepted as facts in the scientific community—that life as we perceive it is merely one of many dimensions existing all around us at any given moment. And these different dimensions hold far more than what can been seen with he human eye.
I now realize that we’ve gone far in our discoveries but not far in our experiences, and certainly not far in the sharing of these discoveries. Therefore, here are five hard yet powerful lessons I’ve learned over the past decade of studying the science of life after loss—just a small highlight of what I dive deeper into in my brand new book, Where Did You Go? A Life-Changing Journey to Connect with Those We’ve Lost:
1. You are made to survive the hardest days of your life
You are born with the ability to change your life no matter how much loss, sadness and difficulty you are experiencing. You are born ready even though you don’t feel ready. You are literally hardwired to reinvent yourself and overcome. You don’t even have to learn to do it, you already know how. You just need to focus your energy gradually and accordingly. Grieve with each small step forward, one at a time, one day after the next.
This is your journey and you can write the map to where you are going. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, that you should just sit around and “wait” longer… that there is no way out right now. There is a way! And you are standing right in front of it.
Your life is your creation. When you start to know this—to truly know this—then you can be more in control of your life and what happens within it from moment to moment.
2. You are the primary creator of your life experience
In a very real sense, your life is created one day at a time by you and the people you choose to have around you. This is crucial to know. You are the creator of yourself and your destiny in each moment. In a very real sense, what you choose to experience, and who you choose to share each experience with, influences your ultimate creation.
In other words, you create your life by choosing the kind of story you want to tell every day. You create it by the way you respond to difficult and painful circumstances. By the way you see the world and by the people you choose to keep in your life. Or, as Marc and Angel have so perfectly stated in their recent NY Times bestseller, “You aren’t responsible for everything that happened to you, but you need to be responsible for undoing the thinking patterns these outcomes created. What you focus on grows stronger in your life. It’s time to change your response to what you remember, and step forward again with grace.”
3. Death is not the end
Death is not death. When someone you love dies, it just means they exist in another way—in another dimension that is non-local, non-geographical, non-physical looking. You have access to that dimension. Every day. Every moment. You don’t have to wait for them to contact you. You can be the one connecting with them. And they want to connect with you, too.
This has been one of the biggest discoveries I made while writing my new book, Where Did You Go? Those loved ones you’ve lost want you to say hi—they want you to talk to them. I know this can come across as peculiar; I am fully aware of that. But through my research and practice I have learned that death is just a word we use to describe the end of someone’s physical life. Not the absolute end of them.
4. Empty space is as full and real as you are
When you study quantum physics long enough you learn that your body, the table in front of you, the computer, the phone, the trees, the solid-looking things in your life are not really solid. They just appear solid and firm. The truth is that the nothingness of the space between your table and chairs, is the same as the table and chairs. Nothing and not nothing is one and the same. The empty space next to you, is made the way you are made.
One of the reasons this is important to understand is simply that the empty space you perceive around you is not really empty at all—it contains far more than what meets the eye, including the loved ones you’ve lost. They are still here but you can’t see them with your physical sense of sight. Your eyes can’t see all the light that exists in a different dimension. Your ears can’t hear all the sounds that exist there either. The people we think we’ve lost are right here inside all the space around us. We really aren’t alone when we are alone.
5. Nothing is impossible
There truly is a deeper reality, a deeper level of life that we can’t see from here, and it is where miracles originate from. Where healing takes place. Where everything gets created in the space around us. And this deeper, more hidden reality is in many ways more real than the one we perceive with our (flawed) physical senses. And you can bring everything you want from there to here. This only seems impossible to you right now. But it isn’t. NOTHING is impossible!
Not believing this—not knowing this—is like trying to drive a car at night without the lights on. There are always impossible obstacles and objects in front of us and around us that we can’t immediately see, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, or that they can’t affect us. Please don’t forget it. You are the driver of this experience you call life, and you now know what you need to work on, to turn the lights back on.
You Impossibly Survived the Unthinkable
In the end, one thing I know for sure is that life after loss can be the most extraordinary chapter of your life.
Because those of us who have lost someone we love now want the answers to the bigger questions we never even thought to ask before loss. The routine of the everyday life is not the same, and it surely isn’t enough. The basic answers to what life is about no longer seem to fit. We want more, we are the leaders, seekers and makers of the impossible future. Because of our deep grief, our forced access to higher levels of grit, and above all our close proximity to death through the loss of our loved ones, we have an evolutionary advantage. Know this. Let it sink in. Nothing is ever the same after such tragedies. It’s time to live your life in ways you never dreamed were possible! The world is waiting for people like you to show them the way.
After all, you made it this far, and that my friend was not easy. You went through the unthinkable and made it, and that’s why I believe you can do the impossible. As for me, the day my young husband died I made a promise to him, that I would live my life as if it has two lives in it. One for me and one for him. Full of wonder, love, adventure and above all the edge… the edge of my comfort zone! Tip toeing every day towards new horizons.
Closing Remarks by Angel
In her first book, Second Firsts, our good friend and grief educator, Christina Rasmussen, helped countless readers (including Marc and me) cope with and rebuild their lives after loss. She fused both her professional expertise as an educator and her personal experience of becoming a widow at age 35 to selflessly help others re-enter their lives after loss. However, even though Christina had rediscovered joy in her life after loss, and was now helping others do the same, she wrestled with one persistent question whenever she thought of her late husband: “Where did you go?”
Like so many of us who have lost loved ones, she continued to wonder what had become of her husband—and whether there is any hope of connecting with our loved ones after they have passed on. Now in her second book, Where Did You Go? A Life-Changing Journey to Connect with Those We’ve Lost, Christina reveals not only that the answer is “yes,” but that we all have the ability to reconnect with our lost loved ones, while accessing a timeless consciousness that can profoundly change our lives here and now.
Books about the afterlife generally fall into one of two categories: spiritual or science-based. Christina—who grew up in a small Greek town where religion permeated daily life, but who fell in love with neuroscience and psychology while studying in both Europe and the United States—merges the metaphysical with the scientific in Where Did You Go?, delving into quantum physics and brain science to make the invisible visible, and illuminate some of our most pressing spiritual questions.
If you have lost someone you love, this book is a must-read for 2019! And yes, like Christina mentioned above, I know the idea of reconnecting with a late loved one sounds impossible, but I ask you to open your mind and trust that death is only a gateway to a higher level of consciousness—be willing to challenge your perspective. You’ll be amazed by what you discover, one way or another.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 🙂
Now, it’s YOUR turn…
If you’re feeling up to it, I would love to hear from YOU in the comments section.
What have you learned, and how have you grown, through the experience of losing someone you love?
Anything else to share?
Please leave me a comment below.
Author Bio: Christina Rasmussen is an acclaimed grief educator, the author of Second Firsts and Where Did You Go? She is also the founder of The Life Reentry Institute and has helped countless people break out of what she coined the “waiting room” of grief to rebuild their lives through her Life Reentry Model. With this, she introduces a new model of grief based on the science of neuroplasticity. She describes grief as a catalyst for redefining identity, and outlines the process of “reentry”, or returning to life. Her mission is to change the way we grieve, the way we live, and how we define our potential in this life, and the hereafter.
Letting go of past losses has been the toughest journey of my life. There have been so many in my life that I find it hard to cope sometimes, but I do always find a way. The biggest was the loss of my husband to suicide nine years ago. The guilt and shame I carry from that has been a source of pain for so long. In the coming new year I know I can make even more progress…maybe I can finally find peace within myself once and for all by looking deeper and following your lead a bit. I will look for your books at the book store when I visit again soon. Thank you so much.
So sorry for your loss Linda – one thing I know for sure, we are not responsible for someone’s actions and we can’t save people unless they want to be saved –I hope you find a good grief counselor to help you unload the guilt and shame
Linda, first of all I am deeply sorry for your loss. I also had a disabled husband that took his life in 2017. The sadness feel everlasting. It has been painful road to navigate. Finding the appropriate therapist that would put me on a road of recovery was impossible. They would fall asleep, text in session, tell me that I was PTSD, inappropriate for their complicated grief group, or yell at me, or berate me for losing the one and only emergency contact person. I felt like I was in hell and I haven’t even made the choice to die. I was left penniless as my husband had spent my 401k without knowledge. Friends disappeared as my Rabbi explained: suicide was a huge stigma for those who were left behind. I had no idea what I was in for. My only family (one brother) doesn’t even contact me because he thinks I should have moved on after a six months after his death.
You are really strong and I am encouraged by this. Your story has given me hope today because after spending the holidays alone (no one has reached out and I cried) I feel you have made a difference my life. Thank you so much!
I’m thinking of you Ofira and sending you hugs and light. ??
All my love to you. My heart aches for you.
Sandy Baker says
You are in my thoughts and I hope you are in a better space now.
Please don’t give up!
Love and hugs,
M&A, I really appreciate your blog and this guest post by Christina truly resonated. I actually found your blog about six months ago when I googled “what if I just want to give up”, because I had been thinking about it a lot at that point. It will be five years in June since my husband died in a car crash and I can’t seem to move forward. In fact, sometimes I don’t think I want to. The pain keeps me close to him. But I have been coping and finding more strength lately. This post gave me comfort and more to think about. Will check out the book recommendations too. Thanks.
This article arrived in my email inbox at exactly the right moment!
After recent days with lots of tears. (Trying to continue making a new beginning work with my 2 young sons after my husband died 4 years ago and burying my brother too this year with no family members left.) I am grateful for everything I have. But with the step of making a new beginning, new emotions came along too and I could not stop crying. Reading this article and other articles and stories on this blog site gives me hope of something bigger…something more. That nothing happens without a lesson and opportunity for growth. And being present is the only thing that really counts. Thank you for sharing, Marc & and & Christina. I tell myself that the best is yet to come. I will pick up your books in 2019, without question.
Vicki Basha says
Thank you all for sharing. I too will look for your books. Just reading what others have gone through gives me a little hope.
Gai Nguyen says
Christina was incredible! In her great grief, how come she describes it in its very details so exactly? But sorry, she’s wrong in dwelling in the past for so long. She should have lived in the present, making it useful to the fullest. I don’t mean she’s used her time without benefit; however, I doubt if she used it in a useful way for herself and others.
I am going through a tough period after losing my first grandson at 24 years of age. It has been six months and it seems like yesterday. I miss him so much and I watch for signs from him all the time. We have not connected in sleep yet and if we have I do not remember it it in the morning. My grief consumes me. Tears just fall. He was so connected with us. And I don’t understand why I haven’t dreamt about him as yet. I want to see him so much ….?
Elda so sorry the loss of your precious grandson. It just takes time for you to wait for him to contact you and when he does, you will definitely remember it. He is still connected to you and closer to you than you know right now. Maybe try to focus on the infinite link of love between his heart and yours that even death can not take away. Wishing you peace and solace.
Julia Cichon says
I can identify w/ your situation because I lost my mother to suicide and 30 years later my youngest brother as well to suicide. My whole life has been in a struggle in dealing w/ the losses. Dreams of not being able to rescue them were early after their deaths. I feel I’ve been left hanging and grasping for the two most important people of my life. I miss them so much and remember the times both good and bad that we shared. Mostly good.
Maybe you just don’t remember
the dreams. I’m sorry for your loss.
What a remarkable post to read first thing on Christmas Eve! This spoke so deeply to a lifetime of losses I still carry unheralded. Reading on, I had an epiphany there might be a different path for me, and then I read: “It’s time to change your response to what you remember, and step forward again with grace.” This new day feels like a truly new beginning for me. Thank you.
Our brains are like a tape recorder and a camera. Most every day there is a photographic memory that comes to light of an event that happened when our beloved family member left us in our life on earth. Did we do enough? We can not possibly be responsible enough for any one else’s lives, somehow life happens and our loved ones become adults. A wrong path, a different path, still a journey we take and our souls are not the same. My journey of loss has finally reached acceptance and the burden of grief has lifted.
Jesse cortese says
Good words of wisdom.
I am thankful for the Lord and Jesus Christ my savor.
Chandra Lawson says
Thank you for this, it came at just the right time and I look forward to reading the book. My husband passed away 3 yrs ago at age 52. Our youngest was in college, and we had the best of our life together ahead of us. I could not see beyond the day I found him, or see my future without him. I tried to join him a couple of months ago and thankfully I was unsuccessful and woke the next day. How could I even think of putting my family through such pain as I was in? I’ve started therapy and admited that I need help, and that’s a start. I’m talking about my grief with others instead of hiding it and myself. To all going through the same I offer a hug and to know your not alonr.
Julia Cichon says
When my brother died at age 44 I felt such a strong pull to join him. A few months later I was taking things out of the trunk of my car and saw a water bottle with the liquid in it. I opened it and could smell the contents that he had drunk to end his life. I’m still puzzled by that because it means must have put it there before he drank it w/o me seeing him do it. Two weeks after his death I received a birthday greeting from him with a word puzzle through USPS. All the words I uncovered were so positive, like “adventure”, “enthusiasm”, “patience”, “happiness”, and names of places and trips we took.
I do not believe in coincidence, this post came to me at just the right time as well. My dear son passed 7 years ago. This time of year is always difficult but manageable. This year is a disaster. I have NO Christmas spirit, his loss has now become so final. Unbearable at times. Many other family issues and haunting memories of childhood etc now populate my thoughts. I need to ready this book. Thank you, I so appreciate your thoughts, guidance and insights.
Todd D. Osburn says
I completely relate. After a somewhat short fight with cancer, I sat at my mom’s bedside four years ago this morning and watched her take her last breath. I lost a brother and she lost a son years ago…..totally get the no spirit, I decorated for the holiday but the closer it came the less I seemed to care. Keep your head up.
Mary Dunivan says
I do not know where your post worked its way to me but, I am thankful that it did. I have lost my husband, 8 yrs and my daughter 5 yrs. This journey that I have been on is so painful still. I am also writing a book but, it is more about my journey and how I regained my closeness to God. I had been gone from my Catholic faith for 30 yrs. I did a lot of work and I now feel close to God. Still the pain at the holidays sometimes takes me down. Especially when I am out and about and see mothers with their daughters and husbands with their wives…Might never get better. I have had to just walk out of the store. Envious of them. Wanting to turn the clock back. God bless you and I am thankful that you and others share the pain and give new light to some of our situations. I have become a source for a lot of other women in loss of parents, husbands and loved ones in general since my journey. I believe the light in me from God shows and shines to others and that is progress in itself…I am able to give what I have been given…God Bless…+
K. McBride says
Thank you for the article. I have also lost many people I love, though, thank God, not my husband, kids or grand kids. My heart breaks because no mother or grandmother should have to bury a child. I don’t have the faith that I used to have. I just don’t know how to process grief. Instead, it feels like I am afraid to live, afraid to love (though I do with all my heart), afraid to be left alone. Your article explains why I am stuck in this vicious cycle of fear and pain. I know that I will refer to it often because I felt a sense of peace in your words. To all of you who have lost husbands, children or grand children, I hope with all of my heart that the pain will gradually give way to fond remembrances and deeper bonds with your loved ones. Fear is my biggest enemy. May God, peace, karma or whatever you believe in bring you more moments of joy than pain.
Dianne Dearlove says
I cannot stress enough the importance of reaching out for help when you experience death.I am struggling with a relationship ending as a result of his family not wanting to see Dad with anyone else.I have been widowed 18 years,he 11.We have been together 10 years.My family loves him and respects him.My heart aches for him when he sees me ignored.No one ever said that Life would be easy.Change can happen.I truly believe that the future is not in my hands.It is by articles like this that give me encouragement.Keep up your wonderful work,helping others through Life’s challenges.
Robin Pereira says
I miss my dad every day since he passed. He comes to me in dreams, but he never speaks and I wonder why. The same thing happens with my mother. She is there, but says nothing. Sometimes my dad has a look of disapproval and I don’t know what that means.
I will try the recommended reading and maybe I will find an answer. I lost my best friend and I was having a hard time dealingwith it. We were 26 years old–too young for this finality. After a while with my grief still strong, she came to me in a dream and told me not to grieve anymore. She was fine and in a better place. I never saw her again, but I was able to move past the pain by believing in what she said. More and more as I grow older, I find myself believing that death is not the end and that gives me peace.
Bonita Snodgrass says
I am 62 and have learned there are many forms of loss.
The loss of health. I eat right , am active and have reasonable genetics. Yet the ever increasing loss of my youthful energy and body is, at times, the stuff of tears. Oscar Wilde said it best, “Youth is wasted on the Young”. Yet day by day, I find a way to appreciate my body. It no longer has to meet a societal standard. My weight, my scars, the wrinkles and greying hair are the road maps of who I am.
The loss through disconnecting is deep, but we can learn to think of that important loved one with affection and through memories. They are still in the world, just not yours. This is a truth for 3 of my siblings and a few friends. I had to learn to let them go. I miss them, I miss the times we shared. But I’ve have to accept, we each walk our own paths, and there are many forks in it.
The loss of dreams have been the deepest. We live with expectations. Few of us will reach a point that we exist without them. While I have modified my current ones and am actively watching out for potential ones , those dreams in my past remain bittersweet. I was to be the first in many years for my family to be married to my first husband forever. Time spent reveling in my daughters, their intelligence, quick wit, their beauty and compassion infused my heart with the expectations of their future successes. With the great lives ahead. The certainty in my heart that my Mother and I would grow old best friends. But my first husband fell very short of who I had believed him to be, so after 14 months he abandoned us. Our 1 year old and the child I was carrying. My daughter’s remained “perfect” until 20 and 16. One quit college to marry her first love, they had children they can’t afford and live in constant squalor. The other allowed the sense of compassion I had taken such pride in to choose every person with drug and moral issues. It was dreadful when she became an addict. My amazing Mother spent her last 4.5 years lost to Alzhiemer. I cared for her until her last few months, when siblings insisted on time to make their own adjustment and good bus. She forgot who I was and lived in a lost maze. When she died 6 days prior to her scheduled return to our home I crumpled. My husband, after 27 years of marriage had an affair. I had allowed myself to become over medicated for depression and bipolar. I’d become a zombie, incapable of real interaction. After learning of the affair I attempted suicide 3 times. My sense of self worth bottomed out. However these things did not finish me. No longer married to husband #1 made it possible for me to finish the education I’d put on hold and become an RN. I grew into an excellent mother. Protecting, caring for and educating my Girls . It took a long time to come to grips to the knowledge I had done enough, my best that the lives they chose were just that, their choice. They have given us 5 incredible grandkids, 3 of whom we are raising. And I have hope without the feelings of certainty, that they will choose differently. I finally understood that having Mom live with us for the nearly 9 years of the end of her life made me stronger. I was able to accept what her disease was doing. As it had slowly progressed I made small adjustments. At the very end I was grateful that she no longer lived in pain and fear. The affair that nearly killed me turned out to be an incredible blessing. I changed doctors. Stopped the 18 meds. Learned to cope with hallucinations and confusion. I acknowledged my part in it. My husband remained at my side caring for my needs. Supporting me in every way, yet he was adrift. I was no longer a companion. I was a responsibility. I couldn’t hold a conversation. No longer invested in letting him know his worth. The woman he had allowed into his life could and did these things. It was when she began to demand he divorce me and marry her that he broke it off. The pain on discovery spurred my need to become who I was instead of what I had become. It strengthen me. Now 15 years later we are still devoted to each other. And once more best friends. I know the depth of our relationship and it Springs from our cores.
All of these losses truly made me who I am. They are chapters in my life. I am grateful that , despite the pain, they tempered me.
My husband is 78. I can say without hesitation he is the Love of my Life. I realize the odds are against him out living me. And I fear that happening to the depths of my soul. Should it happen I know the following.
Everyday together gives us chances to express our love. That the tragedy would lay in not taking every opportunity to hug, kiss and hold hands. You can never tell another you love them too much. And the utter conviction. We have loved before and even if it takes 100 years, we will find each other again.
Thanks for this post. I am 26yrs and I lost my mom when I was just 4yrs. But it pains me up to date, it’s as if it happened yesterday. The pain becomes too much every time I hear my friends crying out their failures, successes, joy, sadness, problems, progress…you name it to their mothers. And me, I just keep everything inside my heart. Nothing is painful like loosing your loved ones.
We lost our son. 3 months and 13 days ago. I still hope he comes back. We were so close. I write this and cry. It is so empty inside me and how could I be happy ever again, I don’t know. And I feel guilty. So much I could have done better, when he was with us. What helps a little is that I know, that he loves me and he knows, that I loved him. We got a granddaughter, his daughter, this is the reason to go on, but happiness. I don’t know. I cry, when I am alone, so I don’t beg compassion from others.There is not really somebody to talk about it, I don’t want to disturb and hurt my wife more. That’s why I write here. To strangers. In the better moments I think, that his soul is coming inside me, so we share my body now. I’m a kitesurfer, so I go surfing and show him the beauty of the sea and nature and talk to him. But I cry every day. And miss him so much. We were not only father and son, we were also friends and had much common. I was egoistic sometimes and tended to organize his life. He was so kind, sweetest heart I ever know. I only hope, that when I die, I go straight to him and we are together again.
Thank you for writing this article. I wonder is there a way to connect to others, even though they haven’t died? Both of my adult children no longer speak to me and the grief has been debilitating for me. I can only surmise why they cut contact, because I’ve not been able to speak to them about the why. I would love to feel that there is some contact in another way and also to feel that my life still has meaning. I walk through the days and would love some company. Christine
I lost my mother when i was 27 yrs. old. I grew up and living in the Philippines where family tie is strong. I was so close to my mother, to me she was everything to the point that i was dependent on her. So when she succumbed to blood cancer, i was devastated, everything turned upside down and it felt that there a hole was punched through my heart that will never heal. But, three years after, i started to accept the truth, which made me realize that everything has a purpose, that God is in control and all-knowing, that everything happens in His perfect time. I realized that God gave me a few months to prepare myself for her passing as my mother fell ill for several months, and her passing, though painful, taught me to be stronger, and look after myself. Those are the invaluable lessons that i will always appreciate from this experience. So to anyone who has lost a loved one, you may not see the reason behind it but trust the process, and trust in the Lord.
Waniyah Zarrar says
“Love has no age, no limit; and no death”
The day my grandmother died was a feeling of great sorrow and grief. I was only 6 when the unexplainable happened and I was confined with sadness for the rest of my life until one day I saw a dream in which a person – unfamiliar to me – came in my dream and told me to get up and live my life because life is too short to spend it for grief, a hideous enemy, which will bring you nothing but sadness. Sitting in sorrow won’t solve your problems and nor will crying, but on the other hand, if you remember your grandmother for life and follow her footsteps, her soul would hopefully rest in peace rather seeing you cry all day and night.
That day I understood that life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one, so accept your fate because life takes turns and you have to cope up with them as grief, sadness, sorrow, etc… wouldn’t make them any better.
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
~Leonardo da Vinci
Life Coach Tushar Vakil says
Your story is really inspiring for thousands of people who are blessed with good fortunes but lacking because of courage. God bless! I appreciate your efforts. Merry Christmas !
Jan Howard says
Writing about my son’s death for the past 10 years has been very therapeutic, and is one way God has brought healing to my heart:
Today marks 10 years since Jonathan died. Jonathan was our beloved son, and David’s dear brother. Other family members and friends were also devastated by his loss. But this is not a plea of sympathy for Jonathan, or us. Rather, it is a story of God’s grace.
Jonathan’s cancer journey began soon after college graduation, May 2007. That Fall he began having chest pain and tests showed he had Ewing’s Sarcoma. For 14 months, Jonathan endured countless hospital trips for chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries. This caused Jonathan much suffering, but he was so brave! He also had a strong faith in Jesus, which encouraged him, as well as us. Sometimes I think about that dark time and remember how very demanding, and draining it was physically, emotionally, and mentally for all of us! It seemed like at the time though, we were on auto-pilot, just going through the motions, and trying to push our deepest fears away from our thoughts.
Then, on November 24, 2008, the inevitable happened; Jonathan died. No matter how much you try to prepare yourself for this, there is no good way to prepare for losing one’s child! It felt like a bomb exploded! Our close knit family felt ripped apart, and deep in grief, I felt like I lost some of my own will to live. I could not imagine then that we would ever experience anymore future joys or happiness. Thankfully, I was wrong.
When I felt at my weakest point, and too lost to reach out to God, He reached down to me. My tears continued, and my broken heart didn’t heal overnight. But, slowly, and surely I felt Jesus give me His wonderful comfort and peace. In time, I also got more involved in life, and even found myself smiling again, and having hope for the future.
For anyone reading this who may also be going through a hard time, I want to encourage you. Seek the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, and mind, and strength. Run to Him, with all your worries, doubts, and fears. We have such a great Savior in Jesus! His love, and power to help us is always available to His children. God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we would like Him too, but this much is true: Jesus is always with us, and He is ever faithful to bring us through whatever we are facing. Trust Him!
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Paul M Troesch says
This made me think and helped me articulate my thoughts about life in this dimension and the next. I have talked with a number of Traumatized war veterans that struggle to believe in more than one dimension of life.
I realized that we have a choice to believe in something or we can believe in nothing. Either way it is a way we think that leads us to believing in something.
Just because I cannot see something (Wind, Cells, Atoms, Protons, Love) does not mean it does not exist. I watched the wind move the branches of my holly tree this morning. I did not see the wind but I watched the limbs of the tree move.
I tell you this because I think about Ray and Jenna and Michael and ask myself “where did they go”. I now believe they didn’t go anywhere. They are with us in the same way the wind is with us. This is what I believe in today going forward. I hope it helps affirm your belief as it has mine.
Chazwagwa Edison Fani says
Am inspired by what you have gone through. I lost my wife and best friend in 2017 a day after she had gave birth to a baby boy through C-Section. My life was shuttered. I have bobbin struggling to cope with the loss especially for the first six months. I was however inspired to soldier on by the presence of this boy and two of his other siblings as i have to take care of them. The experience is a terrible one. I have since accepted that I cannot change anything but learn to leave with it. I will get the book for more insights on connecting with departed loved ones.
The harder lesson wrought by this and like books, I fear, will be in eternity.
The truth you live now will determine that.
A theoretical multiverse, based on romantic and self-contradicting notions of life and afterlife, space and matter, and unprovable, hence, pseudo- science, may be comforting but if it isn’t true then it’s pretty poor comfort–especially compared to that provided by the Loving God, known by all who’ve ever known Him through faith in Christ’s finished work on the Cross.
And tragically, what is found in this book will keep people from knowing the comfort of that True God who IS there.
Well, It does seem so kind, to give reassuring words that comfort–Universal transformation into another, higher, state of being where our loved one(s) exists in another dimension or plane and where we meet & commune with their disembodied new self– sounds so good!
But, I would rather be in communion with the True and living God (with whom I have true communion now, and will some day be with Him forever in my true home, alongside my Husband, my Mother, my Father and all the rest) than to imagine that these departed Loves are hanging around here in the ether, and therefore not with Him!
When Jesus said, “I am The Way, the Truth and the Life; no-one comes to The Father except through Me”, He was speaking about life both here and after death–an eternal now. And though we cling hard to any other truth, Jesus also spoke of a real Hell where we are separated from Him forever and a real Heaven where we are forever with Him.
Now, either God as a risen, redeeming Christ, creator & ruler of our lives as revealed in the Bible, is true — or it is not! In which case, the book’s paradigm may be true, but these may not be both true –excluding as the book does God, Jesus and Heaven & Hell, and instead making US the rulers & inventors of our own lives. (even if we cleverly invent a different, more palatable cosmic christ, who isn’t Christ the God-man.) –Since these two paradigms are contradictory, and cannot be both true; at least one of these must be a self-delusion or a lie.
Lies and self-delusions, are indeed paltry comforts, no matter how glowingly and convincingly they are believed and presented
Each of us decides…
Is it Truth, that an ineffably Good and Loving, All Knowing, All Wise and All Powerful, Beautiful & Perfect God, who Created everything — this Being, infinitely Greater than me, his lowly creation (who possesses not one of those attributes), has given me (and you, if you want to be His) to Christ; and He has given Christ to me (and to you, if you want Him).
As for me, my comfort is that He is here (in the ether, if you will); and my precious Loves are there in Heaven with Him, where He is also (not being constrained by time, matter or space–both of which He designed & made) And when I go, There will I be with Him also.
And as for Dreams? My dreams of my peeps are but longing & loving remembrances of them–and I write down and treasure every one. But do I think I am actually communing with him, them? No. It is my love for them that lives here with me.
They are not here, dear people.
But they are in a truly Blessed place, free from all pain or grief. And close by is the God who chose them to live always under the wonderful wings of his Love.
That is the truth, my dears.
My Husband passed some weeks ago, and I am looking for him. I stumbled upon your article, looking for a way to begin to write about his life, our life…, and here I felt the fit of your words, a first. Thank you.
I like the way you describe this, I just wish I could believe it. My husband took his life two months ago and left me with three young children and his senior father. I feel like the future is impossible without him. “Where did you go?” I ask that question at least once a day. I don’t even know that I have fully digested that he is gone and I keep waiting for him to come home. I have not even tried to get counselling yet because I don’t think anyone can help me at this point. Your post has helped me a little though. At least for tonight I can think maybe this is possible
I lost my husband of almost 20 years to brain cancer, In one day my world was turned upside down and in 2 months of his diagnosis he was gone! I am so thank-ful that I got to care for him till the end. He had no pain and went very peacefully!! I miss him very much and everything that could go wrong since his death has!! Sometimes I wonder how much more can I stand!!! I try to remember the Love that we had instead of the loss but there are still good days and bad days!! All of a sudden I find myself crying!! I miss him very much!! Everyday we are given a gift from god!!!I never thought I would be living life without and sometimes I wonder how can I do this without him,,,
Radona Castille says
One thing is true the pain cleats keeps you close
Hi lost my husband 4 months ago and still feels like yesterday I don’t know how to live my life with out him he and our boys was my life and I can not take the longing and hurt any more I miss him dearly I don’t even look after myself any more I’m feeling lost I lost my husband in a tragic accident right in front of me and my boys how do I live with that the one moment he’s with me the next moment he’s life was taken away feel hearts broken and depressed
Patricia Beaver says
I am interested in those who have worked to build a new life. I managed to support my husband through two years of chemotherapy and increasing responsibilities. I was determined to relieve him of worry and concern for me. Adrenaline and conviction carried me through those two years. , However, it was increasingly lonely and tiring, all of which I washed over to carry on with my personal mission.
I knew then and I know now and I have to build a new life. It will be a different way of living. When I looked forward to retirement, I looked forward to a new life in retirement. It is an opportunity to do things and I was unable to do when we both worked. Only four months after retirement and four months after downsizing my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the next two years, it seems that the message I was giving myself was the same , I needed to build a new life. I was so busy keeping my commitment to help my husband be worry free that I never took the time to envision building a new life without him. I knew then, and I know now, that it is a journey .
I am in the beginning stages of the journey. Right now I am in the exploration stage. It reminds me of searching for a sunken ship. that I know holds treasures. I am not sure what I will discover. Like most marriages, there were some things which brought me joy that I gave up during my married life. I plan to explore those things first.
My beloved husband, my soulmate of 15 years died 3 weeks ago, next to me. I did not know. He felt asleep and never woke up. I did CPR, I prayed, I offered my life to God, but nothing help. My soulmate left this world. He had a painful and progressive autoimmune disorder. He was in pain for the past 9 years. However, we traveled the world. We visited Hawaii for 15 times, London for 8, etc for 15 years until last year. This week we were supposed to travel to Australia, but now he is gone. He died in our living room, I was sitting behind me. Nothing was different. It was just another day with his painful illness and I was happy that he finally felt a sleep, because i knew it that sleeping always help with his pain. But, he never woke up. Now, I am lost,sad, lonely, stuck, furious, etc. We had no children. He was me and I was him. We were ONE. I am the loved of his life and he is the loved of mine. This life/ dimension make no sense to me anymore.
Joanne Borg says
My husband and father of my 2 young boys passed away 8 weeks ago at 43 years of age. I am also struggling with the question and often find myself talking out loud and asking him ‘Where did you go?’
Thank you all for sharing your experiences.
To all that have lost loved ones.
My heart goes out to all of you that have lost loved ones. I lost my husband a year ago this month. Grieving is a very lonely place. People who you thought were your friends do not call or come around.
There are days l do not want to get out of bed. But l push myself and go to work. I work with cancer patients and it makes me forget my pain for 8 hours. there are no words to describe the feeling of loneliness . My husband was my best friend and soul mate and l miss him every minute of the day. I would do anything to hold and kiss him again. After reading all your stories l wish l could put my arms around you all and give you a very large hug. God Bless you all….. and l hope the angels are watching over us.
Just this evening I became aware almost 3 years after my husband’s death that he misrepresented some important facts about who he was, and led me to believe and know him in a way that wasn’t true. I am reeling from this awareness. It’s hard to be non- judgmental. I love someone who wasn’t real and now he doesn’t exist.
I am not sure about death taking someone to higher consciousness. I think they are a pure essence of themselves after they die, but higher consciousness implies gaining some wisdom – perhaps it’s simply clarity. To gain wisdom takes time. He left a can of worms behind and I don’t know what to do about what I can do about it. I am at a loss on so many levels. Can you direct me please? Thank you for your consideration.
Jane doe says
My first husband in 2018 and now, my 35 year old fiance. I am 37 and lost my mother and two loves of my life with no support system. Thank you for bringing science into the mix and giving me a different perspective because two huge losses after letting my chapter 2 in my heart, trusting another father for my girls! His loss has been excruciating. My whole life not because of him mind you because of ME choices I’m making, limitations and trust issues are affecting my daily life. I don’t blame game anymore however I’m becoming someone I don’t want to be. I am stuck and have no way out…
It’s been 4 years since my husband’s sudden death. He was my everything and since his passing I have felt so alone in the world. Even though I have wonderful children, friends and family that love me, it doesn’t matter. I feel as if I have no future. I’m studying radiology, am a waitress and 47 years old. I can’t understand why I have to start over. I am very jealous of everyone who has a husband or boyfriend. Mostly I hide it, but I really want to stop feeling this way and don’t know how. Even when I achieve difficult things, I don’t enjoy it. I keep trying, but am reminded how he will never be with me again and grief lasts a lifetime. Its no life that anyone wants.
Thank you so much for this I just lost my husband 2 months ago and it has been horrible with me and my 2 little girls you give me hope that there is light at the end