Re: theos-l digest: February 01, 1999
Feb 03, 1999 11:40 PM
by Murray Stentiford
Replying to Christine
<< a greater ability to empathise with others >>
>I would agree and say this was the greatest gift I received from my own grief
>experience(s). I really understand suffering from the "inside" now, not just
>in the abstract, and as a result am more understanding of others. It has
>lessened my arrogance - I no longer assume bad things only happen to other
Ah, yes, re the gift. My lesson is to realise real deep down, that bad
things don't happen just to me. I also need more arrogance in some of the
floors of my building, and less in others - just so as to be balanced :-)
<< There have been times, in the past, while
> grieving, that I have awoken with the feeling that "something" happened -
> something that helped me, something that comforted me, something that told
> me all is well. >>
>This happens to me in waking moments also. I often think it is my father,
>sending caring vibes from beyond.
I always like to hear of other people's experiences in these things. I
remember once, a few months after my first wife died, having a lovely and
quite startling experience while I was quietly sitting reading a book when
suddenly, in a kaleidoscopic intrusion into the normal sequence of time,
she seemed (her presence felt and seen) to look over my shoulder at the
book and make a really chirpy, slightly teasing remark with a hugely
cheerful feeling. It seemed to happen really quickly in physical time and
was gone almost instantly, but it completely changed my mood. It only ever
happened once, but I'm grateful for it to this day.
>Interesting distinction. I remember when my father died, I was so terrified
>to look into the casket for fear of what I would see and how I would feel.
>heart was pounding when I walked up to it, but I felt it was something I had
>to do. Well, to my surprise when I looked in, a wave of relief came over me
>and the powerful message, "Your father is not joined to this body anymore.
>The person you knew and loved as your father is somewhere good and safe." He
>is not *this*, I thought, and was comforted.
That's lovely and is another case where, if people take the courage, they
are amply repaid. The sight and, better still, touch of a loved one in
death, conveys the reality of their being *gone* with an unquestionable
finality that sinks into one's physical being and sets the stage for a
healthy grief process. I believe people - children included no less -
should be allowed and encouraged to be with and touch their dead loved
one's body, for this simple healthy reason. Ideas of squeamishness or fear
picked up from society one way or the other need to be weeded out of the
cultural stream as unhelpful trash, in my opinion.
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