I found out last week that one of my clients passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. The last time I saw her was late last year and she shared with me that she did not feel ready to leave her children and grandchildren, she had even traveled to South America to try some alternative therapies. As I sat there listening to her with admiration in my heart for her strength and courage, I began to feel waves and waves of peace washing over me and permeating throughout the whole room. I knew then that no matter what was on the horizon for her, she was truly in the arms of the Divine and I especially feel that way now.
I have found myself thinking a lot about her family. How do you say goodbye to a loved one in the middle of a global pandemic? It’s never easy to lose a mother, grandmother, spouse or a best friend but knowing you can come together with family and friends to honor your loved one with a memorial or a funeral brings great comfort and is an integral part of healing in the grieving process. At this time of social distancing and for our own safety, this is not an option. Even being with your loved one in person as they are dying is not possible for so many at this particular time in our history. I am sure there will be memorial services in the future when it’s safe to gather again but there are things you can do in the meantime to honor your loved one who is in transition or has passed away.
My friends Sue & Susan both lost their Uncles recently and expressed how heartbreaking it was to not be there in person to say goodbye. Sue said it helped her to video chat with her Uncle to say everything that was in her heart. After he passed, she made phone calls for her Aunt and, with her participation, wrote her Uncles obituary. Susan wrote to her Uncle telling him it was okay to let go and follow the Angels to the light. Her mom read the letter to him twice and she said it helped and brought such peace and comfort to them. Both Sue and Susan expressed that taking these action steps to be part of their loved one’s dying process was meaningful and healing.
Don’t ever underestimate the comfort that a handwritten note can bring. I know when I lost my mother last year, we ran her obituary in the small town in South Florida that I grew up in. I had childhood friends I had not talked to in decades reach out with notes and cards to offer their condolence and it meant much to me. One of my favorite Oprah stories is when she was going through a very difficult time, one of her audience members handed her a little piece of folded up paper. When she opened it up it said, "Every morning when I wake up, I pray for you." Oprah said just the thought of a stranger praying for her every day filled her heart with strength and gratitude.
Here are some healing rituals you can do:
- Plant a tree in your backyard or in a pot for your back porch to honor your loved one who just passed.
- You can create an altar using a small table, coffee table, or even the top of your dresser and place a beautiful scarf, towel, or blanket over it. Then you can place a picture of your loved one, a candle, and any other special mementos that remind you of the love that you shared.
- Make a donation to your loved one's favorite cause or charity in their name.
- Make a picture or video collage of your deceased loved one with your favorite pictures and memories to share with friends and family.
- Call on Arch Angel Azreal, the Angel of comfort, and he will surround you and your loved ones with his healing love while you are grieving I work with this Arch Angel all the time and he is one of the most gentle, serene and deeply comforting Angels I have ever experienced.
- Gather resources to support you as you grieve. Two of my favorites are, Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Hickman and On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
This time of social distancing and isolation won’t last forever. We will be able to come together again to hug and hold each other’s hands as we honor and say goodbye to our loved ones. I suspect it will be so much sweeter, heartfelt and profoundly healing when we do.