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The Gift of Mourning

Learning That I'm Not Alone

Today I walked on my trail. It’s not really “my” trail, rather it’s a well-known picturesque trail in the mountains with pines and cedars, lots of wildlife and some gorgeous ridge views. I call it mine because I have walked it almost every day since my husband died over 3 years ago. I feel like I know every turn, every tree, every view by heart. I could walk it in my sleep.

Walking this trail brings me comfort. Even though it’s the same trail I’ve walked alone for a very long time, it seemed different today. Maybe it’s because I finally had the courage to launch my blog, or because I AM different; probably both.

What came to me is that old adage, “we are born alone, and we die alone”.

Well, not exactly...

Yes, the physical body comes in alone and goes out alone, but I’ve come to KNOW we are NEVER alone. We are always surrounded by our unseen friends: our passed-over loved ones, our guides and angels, and let’s not forget our connection to Spirit, God, Goddess, Source, Nature, Gaia, Higher Power, or however you want to refer to that great energy that connects us, loves us, and supports us.

Walking on the path is a metaphor for life’s journey. People pass me in both directions, sometimes walking alongside. Occasionally, they walk a very long way with me and then go their own separate way again. Sometimes they run quickly past me, and other times I pass them up. We are all on our own individual paths through life while fellow hikers come and go. My husband and I walked the same path for 17 years. We walked side-by-side, holding hands, (quite literally). Now he is gone from the physical plane, but I still feel him walking with me.

Grasping this concept of unseen energies has been a crucial part of my healing process. Part of the tragedy of losing my beloved husband is how alone I felt. Even though I reached out for help in every direction, I still felt terribly alone. When I would come home to my house after each day’s outings, I would sit in the dark feeling like I wanted to die. I could call a friend or my grief counselor, but I still felt utterly alone.

Feeling Alone vs Feeling Lonely

Sometimes we are alone and we feel emotionally grounded, calm and serene. Conversely, we can be in a crowded room with loving friends surrounding us and feel lonely. It's important to get clear on exactly which feeling we are experiencing. Personally, in my grief journey, I didn't feel loneliness until this year. Prior to that, I felt profoundly alone.

Learning to trust and connect with my guides and angels helped to calm the anxiety that being alone brought with it. Once I had a strong connection to Spirit I never felt alone again. There have been times when I've even thought that this is one of the reasons my husband left the planet when he did. On a spiritual level, it was time for me to deeply understand my connection to God. To prepare for, and not be afraid of, my own death, and the deaths of the many loved ones to come as I enter the "golden years".

Giving Ourselves the Space and Time to Feel

Turning to God and to my spiritual guides is a necessary part of my grief recovery. Sitting with the unseen beings and praying for guidance is an important part of my day. It’s not that I haven’t prayed or meditated before, quite the contrary, but now it seems like a matter of survival. I pray for connection, for guidance on this new path of grieving. I have never walked it this intensely and know I can’t do it alone. I ask my guides to hold my hand as I journey on this path by myself.

The grief path is really one that can only be walked alone, without other people, kind of like being born alone and dying alone.

Why do I say this? Because no two grief experiences are alike.

Of course, our Earth Angels support us on our journey, but as I was reaching out for help I kept thinking that I would come across someone who was feeling EXACTLY the same way I was, someone to commiserate with, but it didn't happen. And now I realize that's how it's supposed to be. We grow and learn so much more through our grief recovery as we experience it alone. Even grievers within families will have completely separate and unique grief experiences. This is why misunderstandings often occur within families. Some members may have expectations that other members are supposed to be feeling the same way they are. This is never the case.

Grievers need space to be alone, to feel their own sorrow in their own private way.

Trusting Spirit

If we already have a strong awareness of our connection to Spirit, then we are a step ahead in our grief recovery. Of course, whether we recognize it or not, we ARE always connected. It’s just the awareness of that connection that can change our lives for the better. I always believed in a higher power intellectually, but I didn't have the direct, daily experience with Spirit. It took a bit of work at first, but it was so worth it. It means setting aside "doing" and just "being".

Connecting with Spirit has a lot to do with trust and control. I believed that I was somehow in control of everything, including my loved one’s life and death journey. This made my grief experience more difficult. Trusting that there is a higher power and having direct experience with my loving guides/helpers/healers is crucial now for my grief recovery.

Letting go and trusting helped me face the truth about the illusion that I have any control over my death, or anyone else’s. This is true for all types of recovery – from addictions, from trauma, from grief. Bit by bit I understand this and bit by bit I let go. The more I let go, the more I can feel my pain. It is the sitting with this deep sorrow that has allowed me to recover. I gave myself the gift of mourning.

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