dealing with deathRegardless of your beliefs about death, your body will express its entire spectrum of emotions when someone you love dies. Unfortunately, many cultures only give permission for certain emotions such as grief and sadness. Our bodies actually express the full spectrum of emotions from grief to joy. We also experience anger, guilt, depression, happiness and every other emotion.

A friend’s husband recently passed on and she was concerned about how angry she was. Most people around her expressed only sympathy and grief while she was experiencing a cornucopia of emotions. I encouraged her to acknowledge all of her emotions while they were bubbling up. If we do not acknowledge our emotions as they arise, the emotions will become stuck in our body and can even cause physical illness in the future.

Remember, your body is your vessel for you, the spirit, and you need to respect the body’s way of communicating with emotions. Any time you ignore your emotions, the body will eventually find a way to express itself. You may create strange circumstances in your life because of your unacknowledged emotions.

Another friend had a strong emotional response to a USA Memorial Day by crying half the day. He tuned into the grief of society as well as his own sadness about the deaths of so many. We were sending texts and I wrote him my experience with Memorial Day: “I always celebrate Memorial Day because I have had so many WWII and Vietnam friends. My late husband was in WWII as a medic in the Navy and Marines and they always celebrated. When asked about their celebrations they said, ‘because we are alive’. So, I have always rejoiced for both those who died and those who survived. They all sacrificed for us and I believe they deserve our love and joy as much as our tears. Hopefully, you can add some joy to your sadness to balance your feelings. My old friends were all fun, loving healers and would encourage some happiness mixed with the sadness.”

In my seventy-five years, I have experienced many deaths of loved ones. Every death experience has brought forth a variety of emotions and all of these emotions are important. Your body is your vessel in this physical world and will eventually die. You, the spirit, are eternal and do not die. The loss of a body disturbs your body because it becomes aware of its mortality. We need to be aware of and respect our bodies and understand that they will die. Only then can we accept the body’s experience and response to death.

You, the spirit, can comfort your body by accepting its emotions and also reassuring it that you can carry forward what you learned while in it, if you meditate and ground. Each body is a learning opportunity and your response to death can help you accept your own death when it comes.

By Mary Ellen Flora

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