Last week I outlined the basic idea of Radical Grieving and how closely it relates to the Radical Forgiveness philosophy. Let’s now look at the assumptions implicit in this way of looking at life and death.
Assumption #1. Our souls are immortal. When we incarnate we take on a body in order to be able to experience separation emotionally. Our physical body is a temporary vehicle much prone to wearing out after a few score years. It helps to do what we need to do to live life on the physical plane. When the time comes to revert to being solely in the World of Spirit, we drop the vehicle and return home. This means, then, that death is an illusion. It just looks like death to us because all we can see is a body. I doubt there are many people alive today who do not believe that death is just a transition between one realm of existence and another. The evidence for it is irrefutable.
Assumption #2. There is no such thing as an untimely death. The timing of our death is not a mistake. We choose the moment to go home, and it may have been decided before we incarnated. Who hasn’t heard the saying, “When your number’s up, that’s it?” The implication there is clear. But we also have free will, so we can change it if we want to—if, for instance, some opportunity arises that looks as if it would serve our soul’s purpose to hang around for a little longer. But basically, our death is predetermined, and it happens when it is meant to happen. Who’s to say that, in the grand scheme of things, dying at, say, age 25 is any worse or better than dying at 85, especially if there’s a fair chance we come back again?
There’s story about a soul who decided he wanted to incarnate but only for a very short time. In a previous lifetime, he had known great opulence, but had hoarded all his wealth. At the same time, he had deprived the people he ruled over of the basic necessities of life, and many had starved to death.
“Send me to be born in a place in the world where people are really starving,” he said. “I want to experience that kind of deprivation as a way to balance my soul’s energy. Set it up that I die of starvation after three years. That will be perfect for me.”
So he went in, and after three years, his soul group stood around waiting for him to come back. He didn’t come. One day, after all of 17 years had passed, he popped back up.
“Where have you been?” everyone asked. “You were only going to be a human for three years, and you have been away seventeen.”
“I know,” replied the soul, “I tried to live my mission, but those darn missionaries kept feeding me!”
Assumption #3. The manner in which we die is also perfect. This is much more difficult for us to work with. People often say, “I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid that I might suffer a lot of pain in the process. It’s how I might die that is the issue for me.”
I think there is a lot more to it than that. Often the pain they talk about comes about through a deep need to resist death. It is our fear of death that keeps us in the game of separation and in the fear vibration, so in that sense it is perfect. But once we have awakened to the truth of who we are and why we are here we will be able to see death as the natural culmination of our mission on earth and the final healing of our separation.
Our pain will be much reduced once we have stopped thinking of death as tragic or that it should not have happened. Then our grief simply becomes about our unbearable loss. It’s not the death itself that’s so tragic; it is that the person isn’t here anymore. It would be just the same if the person had gone to live on the other side of the world for good, never to be heard of again. That might even be worse since we might construe it as a punishment or a rejection of us. Suicide apart, it’s hard to think of someone’s death as abandonment, even though it can feel like it sometimes.
Yet, having said all that, when it comes to the actual timing and manner of the person’s death, we will have strong feelings, of course, as would any compassionate human being. Watching a person die in pain and agony is no moment for a spiritual bypass.
And of course, if someone dies at an early age, we will always wonder what kind of life he or she would have had if it had gone the full three score and ten? It does seem like a life wasted or cut short, and it brings sadness and tears to our eyes.
The AIDs epidemic cut short the lives of so many of our most gifted artists and performers who, we say, might have gone on for years gifting their extraordinary talents to humanity. Rudolph Nureyev, the Russian Ballet dancer, the film star Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen immediately come to my mind. What a terrible loss they and people like them were to humanity. But who knows what new talent they were they able to inspire from the other side? How do we know they are not already back in another body contributing to humanity in some other way? We don’t. But it’s good to think that life goes on and that it all goes around in this way – nobody dying; nothing wasted; nothing lost.
So, not only will we, through the Radical Grieving process, reduce the intensity of our grief by draining it of all the erroneous assumptions about death itself, leaving only the raw pain of not having the person in our life any more, we will also (potentially anyway) help others go through the dying process. When you can be present with a person who is dying, and see it not as a tragic event but as their moment of expansion into the Love vibration, then you will be emitting the vibration of Love yourself. You may even feel joy on their behalf because you know they are going home. If it is a loved one you are helping to transition, your own grief will come later.
Another big benefit of Radical Grieving is that in taking on the idea that there was perfection in the death exactly as it happened, you’re less likely to hold the person’s soul back by grasping on. Seeing that your grief is very intense, long lasting and full of anger and deep sadness, the departed soul might become unable to leave you and will remain stuck in the astral plane, unable to fully go into the light. With Radical Grieving, this is much less likely.
I hope you will examine your assumptions about life and death and shift to the Radical Living perspective. When you’re aware of the truth of who you are and why you are here, you’ll be able to stop thinking of death as tragic and start seeing it as the natural culmination of your mission on earth and the final healing of your experience of separation.