When my father died, I did not get to say goodbye. He died across the country, so when I heard the news the next morning, I comforted my mother and silently spoke to his spirit with my thanks and blessings. That was six years ago, and I still am saying goodbye – and hello – to him. At odd moments I will feel his presence, or notice something that reminds me of him, and I will say, ‘Oh, there you are. Hi, Dad.’
If you are lucky, you already have or will get to have the experience of being with someone close – a relative, a friend, a beloved pet – as they are dying. It is a mysterious, potent time to witness and midwife another, to encourage them that it’s okay to go on and to actively release them to leave the body. And once they die, it’s so striking that this sacred vessel of the body is not the same as the person. We suffer from attachment to that familiar physical form, when the spirit flies free.
If you orient to the continuity of the Soul and maintain relationships with the Ancestors, there is a diminishment of vivid contact you have with your beloveds who’ve died. With inner hearing and sensing we can receive messages and love, with prayer or ritual or loving thoughts we can communicate to them. I wish I had had more time with my father while he was alive, but I still feel our continuing conversation reverberate through my waking awareness.
May it be so for you and your lost ones. May you feel this ongoing process of grieving and saying goodbye, as well as the surprising new ways that the relationship continues and new wisdom is learned. The love doesn’t go away; it is transformed.