Grief isn't easier just because we believe in a spiritual reality. But it does give us more tools.
Your insides are shredded. Your stomach is knotted. Your mind leaps from place to place trying to find relief from the suffering. One coping tool after another, you try in a desperate attempt to keep your heart from tearing apart.
As I write this, my 90 year old father is being rushed to the emergency room. Again. I don't know if he's going to make it like he has before. My mind, in this instant, is filled with doubt.
This time, his lungs and body are full of fluid. His legs, as rigid as fat, iron pipes. His heart is pumping half the blood it should. He's not eating, too tired to force the mushed cauliflower and tasteless lump of liquefied potatoes. He sighs, his eyes closed. He rubs his forehead with his right hand, as if cradling his exhaustion.
I can tell the past two weeks of one thing after another have taken their toll. Mom and I talk on the phone daily. My plane ticket there is not for another week and a half, having purchased it a couple of months ago. She tells me how he's doing. My heart breaks.
When he has answered his direct line, he struggles to talk. He tells me his mouth feels dry and sticky, like some leftover adhesive that was forgotten during the medical team's haste to patch him up during his emergency abdominal surgery. I try to be strong. I remind him that football is starting soon. "When are the Steelers playing?" I ask. "Hey, I'll be there soon. Can't wait to see you. I love you."
I hang up and sob. You'd think I'd be prepared, but you'd be wrong. Just four months ago, I was with him as we coped with my 80 year old mother's latest surgery. She had to have her right kidney removed due to cancer.
I took their picture in the living room just prior to leaving the house for the hospital. He was youthfully dressed in a bold, blue-violet floral print button down that was thoughtfully tucked into his black skinny jeans. This is a man who looked closer to 69, not anywhere near 90 years old. Now, I fear what I'll see when I get there. I wonder if it's anything like what I'm imagining when my grief is at a peak.
Crying does help me release the energy that is built up inside. So does writing down my feelings as I type this into the keyboard. There are many things that I'm doing to cope with the thickness of emotion, the sense of pending loss and the sadness of quality time not spent.
Externally, I ask my friends to pray for dad, knowing that they really will. Yesterday, I reached out to an energy healer who I know for a fact is effective and who will be working distantly on him at 3 p.m. Pacific time. I make sure to get out for nature walks to move the grief energy through and out of my body. I do some qigong tapping of my body all over, but especially my lower back, where I'm storing tension. I hope that it replenishes with spacious movement inside.
Internally, I've been doing meditation, imagery and constructive self talk. When he's been in surgery, I choose to see in my mind's eye that spiritual light beings are in the operating room. They are operating through the surgical team. Their beautiful collective healing light is filling not only the room, but each and everyone in the room, as well as my father. I see sparkles of light within his body, which for me signifies the process and act of healing.
I envision that the surgery is complete, that everyone is smiling because the surgery went so well, especially dad. As far as self talk, I remind myself that experiments have shown that dad's brain is likely picking up these prayer energy signals, even if dad is consciously unaware of it. I say things to myself like, "It is entirely possible that God works a miracle through my father."
Dad's soul can heal his body if it is in its highest interest to do so. I have to accept that when dad passes, it is because his soul is ready for a new vehicle, a new expression and a new life form. His body is getting so worn out that much of what gave him joy is lost to him. He even had to give up golf this year and can't make the drive to the horse track.
I need to be understanding and unselfish in my prayers for him. I also practice gratitude. I am thankful for what we have shared, the love we've been able to express over the later years and how hard he worked over the decades to provide for his family, even though he hated his job. I'm thankful for having parents who loved one another, even past their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Grief is a roller coaster ride for sure. This morning I chose to stay in bed an extra hour to just cry and grieve. I allowed myself to feel and process the emotional energy. Especially after mom called to update me, through her own tears, that they were rushing him off to the emergency room. His maybe fifth visit in the past few months.
Moments ago, she called again to say that this latest doctor encouraged her saying, "I can fix this!" Telling her that she can bring him, yet again and again if needed, to at least help him get rid of the fluids. Hope was back in her voice, and in my heart. My body relaxed, even if only a little, as I dared to be optimistic.
Yes, I feel spiritual communion with the world above and below, so to speak. But inclusive within my awareness is that I am both soul and ego. Just like when we are standing on the razor's edge of our soul growth, grief is a time when both soul and ego are equally vying for attention. I give it to them, both of them.
I nurture my soul, purposefully continuing forward with its work. In my soul consciousness, I know beyond any doubt that death is an illusion and that life is the everlasting reality. I hold compassion for little Valerie, my ego, who feels the overwhelming stress of grief in the physical body, who will miss the physical presence of dad and who is in great need of much self-care and balancing.
When we are aware of the spiritual, the quantum, reality, we don't tend to fear death. We know that consciousness continues after it leaves the body. But that doesn't mean we don't grieve the loss we feel in this reality. It does open up ways to cope that others may not take seriously.
Such as, working with a medium like John Edwards that scientists like Gary E Schwartz, PhD have studied and verified are for real. Using our own psychic means to stay in communication with our loved ones who have passed from this realm. The more we touch and understand torsion fields and quantum consciousness, the more we feel confidence in its ability to keep us connected, even beyond death.
The thought of that helps me cope.