When Grief Strikes

Recently, my family has been struck with that most unfortunate of news. A giant in our lives and a guiding light was recently diagnosed with late stage terminal cancer. While I have been mostly offline these past couple weeks, I would be honored to share my experience with grief that I have been going through, and hopefully it can bring some solace and perspective into your own life.

When we get the unthinkable news, it immediately puts everything in life into perspective. Little things that annoyed us, things that would cause fights, suddenly seem insignificant. Suddenly, conflicts and grudges become transformed into love and forgiveness. But we don’t need tragedy to remember this lesson. Death is always with us. Cells in our body die constantly, but new ones are also always being created. Every moment will pass on, but a new moment always follows.

Life is precious and everyday is a gift. I cried a hundred times for this man who was like a father to me. I will probably cry a thousand more times. But in every tear shed, in every weep and wail, is love. In every ache and pain, there is beauty. And so I feel every feeling deeply. I witness myself overcome with grief and I welcome the beautiful process. In the pain and teary eyes I see a man who left an indelible mark on every life he touched. I see a legacy of selflessness, wisdom and compassion.

If you are going through something similar, remember to allow yourself to grieve fully. Don’t resist it or fight it. Feel through it. Try not to avoid it or stuff it down. But above all, do not fear it. Be sad, be hurt, be broken. But do not be afraid. This is the process of life. To love means to one day lose. But one moment of love is greater than a lifetime of loss.

This is the natural, inevitable journey we will all go through. Within every birth is death, and within every death is birth. Within tragedy there is joyous celebration. And so even in death, there is eternal life. As we come from source and return to source, we know nothing can ever truly end or be born. We simply change forms, just as we do through the various stages of our life.

To quote Star Wars, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine.” When we lose our loved ones, as they merge from the illusion of separateness back into oneness, they become part of our lives in new and even more profound ways. When we can no longer make new memories, the ones we have become more cherished. They truly live on inside us.

Remember, even if you or a loved one gets sick, everything will be fine. Even if there is loss, everything will be fine. Even when everything is going wrong, it’s all perfectly fine and it will all be ok. How could it not be? If Earth gets wiped out by a comet tomorrow, everything will still be perfect and fine, happening exactly as it’s supposed to and it couldn’t have happened any other way. Earth had a good run after all. Far better than most planets. The only question for us is, how quickly and how much can we let go. We can, as the Buddha said, “Die before we die.” We can practice letting go before the universe inevitably takes away. It is simply to recognize the impermanence of everything. This is how we can face any uncertainty and enjoy our brief time on this beautiful green planet with presence and peace.

Wishing you a safe, healthy, and joyful week ahead,

Todd

Healing From Grief

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