3 Ways Death Of Someone Close Can Impact Your Life
Many of my clients have had someone close to them die. In the medical world, losing someone close to you is considered to be the most traumatic event someone can go through (see the Top 10 most stressful factors). There are the obvious effects of grief or other conflicting emotions that can be worked through with a friend or therapist. Allowing time to grieve is important and doing this can be extremely helpful.
If you look a little deeper, it is possible to see more subtle effects than just the surface emotions. Trauma, such as the death of someone close, can be the start of something going not quite right in someone's life. Many new or amplified behaviours can appear, thoughts and emotional patterns can change that seem to stem from this one event, even if at first it does not appear related. In fact it can be surprising how these little things build up and become considerable road blocks or get in the way of being comfortable in yourself.
These 'other' effects can vary considerably from person to person but there are similarities and patterns with death related traumas. In this post I will relate 3 real life stories of people who have lost someone close and I will describe the journey of exploration from a spiritual perspective.
1. Repeated and amplified behavioural patterns
I had a client recently who came to me because she had not been feeling right since her abusive partner had died, 5 years before. She didn't have much more of an explanation but she knew that things had changed since then. After a number of sessions we started to discover that since his death, she had become more anxious; she felt stuck and dissatisfied with her life; and had even found a work associate who was filling the role of her abusive partner by proxy.
In each session I would take her deep into a meditative state and together we would explore how her own subtle energy would change when when she was close to this proxy figure and the emotions brought up by her deceased partner were brought up on a daily basis. We started to see that there was a sharp pain ignited in her chest area each time she was around this proxy woman. She would sense her partner's presence and she would recoil inside herself and shut down, just as she did when he was alive.
After a while we isolated this energetic fragment in her chest and cleared it with a spiritual ritual designed especially to remove fragments after someone dies (see my post '7 unusual death rituals'). The result was quite incredible. The week after the fragment had been cleared, my client was presented with an opportunity to leave her job, retire on a healthy package, move to a new city where she felt more at home and became generally much happier in herself. The pain in her chest had gone and her patterns of retreating into herself had disappeared.
It is hard to say that the clearing directly affected her life events, however, the emotional lift was obvious - she felt much lighter, like she could move on from her partner. She sounded much happier each time I talked to her after that. It will be an interesting one to watch, to see what else is possible for her.
2. Inability to love anyone else
My own father died when I was a teen. He had been deteriorating for many years so his death was almost a relief after all the suffering and confusion that surrounded his final years. The whole journey was quite painful for me as I was very fond of him. We both had the same birthday, so my arrival into the world had been seen as his birthday present.
At his death, I would say I was more stunned than anything else. I don't remember grieving that much, possibly some when my mother was upset, but my own grief ended fairly quickly. After a number of sessions with a Spiritual Practitioner, about 10 years after his death, I remembered that at the funeral I consciously chose to distance myself from feeling such hurt again and to stop feeling close to people. I remember for many years I always felt a non-physical barrier between myself and other people. On closer inspection, this decision at this traumatic time had impacted how I formed relationships when I was young - I was never able to fall in love.
But there was even more to it than this. When my practitioner and I looked closer at my subtle energy, we could see that I did not want to let go of my father and that I had kept a fragment of him in my heart. This was where my love was going. I would often feel his presence and would cry when I thought of him. He felt very close to me. It seemed as if his presence was always around me.
On a side note, this concept of a non-physical fragment, is not a new one. In Chinese medicine it is called kuei and in the Indian system it is called bhuta. It comes from the understanding that at the time of death, some subtle aspects of a person's consciousness break apart and choose to stay attached to other living beings. A Spiritual Practitioner is able to use spiritual vision to discern when such things exist. It is definitely not something to be afraid of and can be removed with the right tools.
After the clearing, I found that I was able to let go of my father and I was better able to get close to and love people in my life. I also found that I didn't cry as much when ever I thought of him but was still able to feel the light of his that had inspired me when I was young. It was a good step forward for me. I felt more myself and complete.
3. Turning grief into an opening
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to work with a client who had only lost her husband 4 weeks before we met. I say fortunate because in the first 6-8 weeks after death, the presence of the deceased person is still quite close to the physical world. This means that in our sessions, it is possible to help the deceased person on their journey, as well as help the client. I enjoy sharing this story a lot, because it really touched both of us.
My client was a special woman. She was someone who had over come great adversities in her life and in our sessions, her inner strength shone through. However, when she came to me the sadness she felt was profound. She and her husband had been together for over 40 years and they had been very close - he had been her greatest love. They had both practiced a lot of meditation and yoga through their life, so spiritual practice was second nature to both of them.
I chose to do a series of meditations with my client, that helped her feel the presence of her deceased husband. Each session was completely unique and having her there with him made all the difference, for him as well as for her. After a few sessions we found that the desperation that often accompanied her sadness was softened. She was able to say all she wanted to say to him and he was able to pass his light to her which helped her through the grief. It is difficult to pass with words just how amazing the meditations were. Each time was more magnificent than the last. We cried together and smiled together and both knew when the end had come.
It is important to say that non-physical presences don't usually communicate with words but his intention was very much felt. She learnt to feel this and even though it was difficult to watch him finally go to higher realms, the whole experience brought a level of peace that I hope will stay with her for a long time. I know the memory will stay with me for a life time.
This story is not so much about the negative effects of someone dying, but more how the experience of a loved one's death can turn from pain and loss into something magnificent. The time around death is precious and should be honoured as much as possible (see my post on 3 ways to honour someone's death). A spiritual perspective at this time can be incredibly valuable.