>Reconnecting with life after bereavement

29 May

>In this post I want to look at the irreplaceable loss of bereaved parents. I had planned to complete my account about meeting my spirit guides but, for whatever reason, I am being led to do this post.

When someone dies a void opens up in the fabric of the family and the community. The community is able to respond fairly quickly in replacing the person – the boss hires a new worker, the team recruits a new member, etc. The family’s response is usually much slower, and even then, varying members are affected differently. I remember thinking about this concept weeks before Andre was killed, when I heard the news of the death of a popular, young football player. The team and community were distracted with grief, and I remember saying to someone, “In a few months they will have moved on and only his family will still be there to grieve him.”

I have had time to reflect on the issue of replacement, or maybe a less mechanistic word would be ‘reconnection’. I remember consoling Andre’s girlfriend shortly after the funeral, and thinking, “At least she will one day meet someone else. It is I who will never have another son.” I also know that if young Josh gets a loving father he will be able to reconnect easily to this relationship and not have to grieve the absence of his real father all his life.

But it is harder for the parents and grandparents who must sit and stare into the void for a long time, if not forever. Yet, the idea of reconnection, at some level, would seem to be an important part of our recovery as it gives us an outlet to redirect some of the love we hold.

In his book Ritual – Power, Healing and Community, Malidoma Some notes. “When love exists it must continue, or it will turn dangerous for the person who loves. Human feelings are an energy that can turn dangerous, negative, if not honoured. So when a loved one dies, those who survive must reconnect the ‘plugs’ from the dead person to people who are still alive.”

I guess this explains why so many survivors feel the need to get involved in trying to help others who have suffered. It may also explain why persons who lock themselves away, physically or emotionally, tend to have a harder time moving back into life.

So, how do parents reconnect the plugs? I guess the answer to that will be very specific to each individual. For me, it was very important to develop a relationship with my grandson, but also to reach out to other young people. There is such a great need for parents in the world, persons who can mentor and guide. I see parents in conflict with their kids over what they want for them, as opposed to what the child feels the need to do in order to express him/herself in the world, and I just want to say, “Just enjoy the fact that they are with you.” Maybe, if nothing else, this is this perspective that we, bereaved parents, can provide.
I found an article called ‘How Grieving Can have a Positive Effect on your Life’, that has some useful tips on reconnecting with life after the loss of a loved one.


2 Responses to “>Reconnecting with life after bereavement”

  1. Trixie Belden May 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    >It's true that there's no grief that matches that of a parent who loses a child, at any age. Sadly, it's not commonly talked about and it affects marriages, communities and more. For many years, I volunteered with an organization led by Dr. Ken Druck who specializes in child loss grieving programs, and earlier this year they launched a virtual community to help people. It's not getting as much traction as they'd like because they need help getting the word out. You can see it here: http://www.jennadruckcenter.org/virtual-healing-community There are discussion boards and videos, among other things. I'm glad that you have a grandson; while he's certainly not a substitute for Andre, he's a living reminder and a wonderful spirit for you to nurture. Much love and blessings to you as you continue to work through these feelings and loss.- Dana

  2. Spiritdancer May 31, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    >Thanks for the kind thoughts and the link. I will certainly check out this community.

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