How to be mindful of letting our loved ones depart in peace?


 December 2, 1019 

 

Last month we talked about how to cope with the loss of a loved one and how to support a grieving child or friend. We mentioned that grief should be experienced as intensely as possible. We have been left alone, we are angered and we are often burdened with new responsibilities or problems that we never had to deal with before. We should give ourselves as much time as we need. However, we also need to allow a deceased person to depart to the other side. Have you ever thought about whether your grief might influence your deceased loved one’s decision to pass to the other side or remain stuck among the living?

Based on forty years of research, we find that most souls decide NOT to transition to the other side. There are many reasons for that, which are described in detail in Wanda Pratnicka’s book “Possessed by Ghosts.”  In this blog post, we will focus on how the living can contribute to a soul’s decision to not pass beyond the curtain of death. We will use two examples from recent clients to help you better understand how this process works.

 

“Please don’t leave me. How can I live without you?”

Not long ago, Mary, a mother of two small children reached out to us for help. Her husband passed away five years ago from cancer, and since then, her emotional and physical health significantly declined. She was suffering from depression, anxiety attacks, insomnia, fatigue, and frequent headaches. When we conducted a checkup, we discovered that her husband’s soul had attached to her. Even though he was battling cancer for months, and they had time to digest the news of his approaching death, once it happened, his passing proved so overwhelming for him and his wife that he could not leave this plane of existence. The widow was terrified by the unknown—how would she manage to raise her kids and handle her finances alone? After his death, she talked to him for weeks and begged him not to leave. She even went as far as contacting a medium to try to communicate with her husband. She eventually became angry at him for not seeing a doctor sooner, which would have increased his chances of recovery and blamed herself for ignoring his initial symptoms.

Many people behave in a similar manner after losing a loved one. They often demand that their deceased loved one not leave them. They plead to him/her desperately by saying things like, “Stay, don’t go,” “What am I going to do without you?,” “Why did you leave me,” “How can I live without you?”  It is understandable that after the death of a loved one, a person’s entire world collapses and they have a difficult time thinking clearly. Most people become so focused on their own pain after losing a loved one, that they completely forget that a deceased person is going through a tough transition that  can be painful as well. Often, when a loved one’s soul finds itself in an unknown reality, they have a difficult time leaving their life on Earth. So when the living person pleads for the soul to return, it puts the deceased in a very unpleasant position. On one hand, they want to transition to the other side, but on the other, their loved one’s demands hold them back. As a result, many souls decide to remain with their loved ones.

 

What can be done differently?

A conversation with a loved one who recently passed away should sound more like this: “I love you. Go to God. Go to the Light and don’t be afraid. This is a tough situation for me, but I will get through this.” This approach offers freedom to a soul, and also encourages them to transition to the other side.

As discussed above, after the death of her husband, Mary grew angry with him and also had feelings of guilt. This is a very common occurrence. Many people often find themselves resenting the deceased for dying, for leaving them alone, and for not having the strength to recover from their disease. What most people don’t realize is that even though a deceased person can no longer experience physical pain, his or her spirit can feel emotions directed towards them even more intensely. In some ways, the physical body serves as a barrier and prevents emotions from reaching us.

Anger, guilt, and other negative emotions directed towards a loved one are like a magnet that attracts the soul to stay amongst the living, resulting in the soul’s need to possess us.

It would be best, if before our loved one’s death, we forgave them for everything and forgave ourselves, as well. This way, they can depart in peace. If we didn’t do it before their death, it should be done immediately after we discover these negative feelings. We recommend a simple technique that has helped many people to clear their negative emotions.

You can read about it HERE.

 

Delayed Funerals

Below is an example of a different case, which is quite the opposite of the one above.

An elderly man lost his wife in a car accident. Since they were financially challenged and his family lived far away, he decided to cremate his wife’s body and delay her funeral for a future time. He brought her ashes home and kept them in their living room, thinking that, in some way, her remains would console him. He would often talk to the ashes in the same way he talked to his wife when she was alive. He would discuss his recent events at his job, what has been happening with their dog, what he was planning to do next weekend, etc. He didn’t feel real grief because he felt as if his wife was still with him.

A few weeks after strange things started to happen at the house. Some things would go missing, and he would find the items somewhere else days later. He would hear noises as if someone was walking around the house, and at night, he would sense someone lying down next to him in bed. On a few occasions, he would even hear someone whispering his name.

After a checkup was conducted, it turned out that his wife didn’t transition to the other side, and returned home to continue her life, convinced that she was still alive.

Most souls don’t know, or they don’t believe that they have died. For them, nothing has changed. They continue to see the physical world, and they think they can still function within it. The moment of death is often so quick that even people who were in the hospital for months could mistake their death for a miraculous recovery. In his case, since his wife died in a car accident, it made it even harder for the soul to realize that she was not alive anymore since death happened unexpectedly.

His wife simply returned home because everything pointed her in the direction that she was still alive—there was no funeral, her house was in the same order as she left it, and no one had grieved her loss.

 

Funeral Customs – Past and Present

In the past, after a person passed away, their body was kept at home for a few days.  Mourners dressed in black and surrounded the body day and night praying. We are referring to a Catholic approach, however, many other religions marked the death of a loved one in much more intense ways. Candles were lit and mirrors were usually covered. It was a message to the deceased that they were not alive anymore. This allowed for the deceased to understand that something had changed in their home.

Today there is an increasing trend of delaying funerals, which is very alarming. There are many reasons why families choose to delay funerals—busy schedules, finances, inclement weather, etc. Some people delay funerals so long that they actually never end up taking place.  

Mary Lynn Smith once wrote in a Star Tribune newspaper, “It’s not like a birthday party, graduation or an optional event. Funerals are mandatory. People are looking for a convenient way to handle these things, and death isn’t convenient.” Postponing a funeral even for a month could cause great harm. The longer a soul lingers amongst the living, the harder it becomes to believe that they never died, ultimately making it more difficult to convince a soul to move on.

If death happened unexpectedly, our efforts should be even more intensified because the soul could be still in shock.

If we sense a soul’s presence around us, we should immediately address them by name and say something like, “John, you are no longer alive. Go to God, go to the other side, don’t stay here. Forgive yourself for everything and forgive others. Don’t be afraid.” Sometimes, we should even go to their grave and show them where they have been buried.

Those who have lost someone should make every effort to help the dying person pass through to the other side. One may mourn, but we shouldn’t detain the deceased from crossing over to the other side. If we do that, we harm not only the dead, but ourselves, as well.

 

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