Sometimes suicide happens – what do you do during this difficult time?

This week, someone in my circle of life committed suicide. She was someone who had moved to our community last fall, alone. She was a fragile, young woman.

Nevertheless, it came as a tremendous shock to all concerned, especially because her life was turning around, seemingly in a positive way. Everyone involved was mystified and wondering what in heaven’s name had caused this to happen – particularly at this time.

It seems like a lot of our psychic energy has been spent on trying to understand what exactly happened to cause this tragedy. This is something that happens after most suicides take place. We wonder and reflect on what exactly could have happened, and how this sad event could have been avoided. One life has been sadly, “snuffed out,” it seems unnecessarily!

I wrote some words in my first book, The Last Adventure of Life, about Unresolved Deaths including Suicide. I will share what I wrote here, because I believe it holds true:

Sometimes, things cannot be resolved in this lifetime, and people die under very challenging circumstances. At times, families and loved ones have to deal with suicidal deaths. Such moments are some of the most difficult ot live with afterward. Author and medium James Van Praagh suggests in his book, Talking to Heaven: A Medium’s Message of Life after Death (1997) that our thoughts and prayers are the best way to get through to such spirits.

First of all, we can send thoughts to those who have committed suicide to remind them to “stop wasting their energy by trying to get back into the physical world. They must realize that they have passed out of the physical body.” (p. 103) Our thoughts are the only way we can communicate with those who have left the earth, and apparently in some cases of suicide, as sometimes in other sudden deaths, the victim does not realize that they have actually died and left their physical vehicle behind. Secondly, we can send them thoughts of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, and light. We can help to bring comfort to their spirits and allow them to become more aware of their new situation.

I have learned that visualizing the violet flame encompassing all things purifies them. You might imagine sending or placing the purifying violet flame around the soul of your loved one. (If you are not familiar with the Violet Flame, you can find out more here.) Or you could visualize any negativity, either your own or your loved one’s, in the violet flame, allowing the negativity to purify and dissolve into pure white light. You could also envision taking your loved one to a beautiful place, like a magnificent garden, or beautiful healing waters where they can bathe, or someplace where you know they will find peace and comfort. You can then imagine them in this peaceful spot whenever you think of them, knowing and trusting that they, too, can and will find deep peace over time.

Most of all, it is important that the surviving loved ones do not blame themselves for what happened, or keep pondering the ‘what if” scenarios, or second-guessing why the death occurred in the way that it did. Even though guilt is almost unavoidable after a suicide, it is a crippling emotion, and it robs people of their confidence. So by all means, find creative ways to release any guilt you might be carrying around because of the suicide of a loved one. What has happened cannot be changed, and it is not your fault. (They had their own life and they chose to do what they chose to do – it was part of their free will) Let go of the past, and move forward into the future with abiding confidence and love. This is what your loved one would want for you, too.

I hope that these words may help you, as you ponder things unresolved in your life as well. As the all-encompassing   Melchizedek Prayer reads, “May there be Love, Truth, Beauty, Trust, Harmony and Peace for all living things everywhere! 

And if you desire some support in this area, please feel free to contact me, to talk, do energy work for release, etc.  

                                                                                                                          


String of celebrity deaths opens up conversations

Starting on the 10th of January when British singer, star, and trailblazer David Bowie (69) made his final transition, the world has been seeing quite a few celebrities make their exit from this earth: The revered British actor Alan Rickman (69) and musician Rene Angelil (73), Celine Dion’s husband (and manager), both died of cancer on January 14th. Then, Glenn Frey (67), the Eagles’ songwriter, guitarist and founding member made his transition on Monday, January 18th due to complications from several illnesses.

All of these Transitions, especially coming all at once, have got our attention. And in some cases, they have been helping us think about and reflect on death in some new ways. David Bowie’s death in particular, one in which Bowie clearly made some deliberate preparations, has clearly been assisting those persons already in the midst of dealing with end of life issues.

A Daily Mirror article published an article on January 18 titled “How David Bowie inspired a cancer patient at the end of her life – read doctor’s letter in full” (for full article, see: http://tinyurl.com/z4ukfdh) had a letter penned by Dr. Mark Taubert, a palliative care consultant at Vlindre NHS Trust in Cardiff.

In his moving letter, the end of life care expert Dr. Taubert told David Bowie that his death had sparked a “weighty” discussion with a dying woman in the hospital. He added that it had also opened up the possibility for some patients so that they could die at home, rather than in an institution. He wrote on the blog page of a British Medical Journal: “We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. … In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation.”

Dr, Taubert also wrote in his letter to Bowie that many of the people he talks with as part of his job “think that death predominantly happens in hospitals, in very clinical settings, but I presume you chose home and planned this in some detail. … This is one of our aims in palliative care, and your ability to achieve this may mean that others will see it as an option they would like fulfilled.”

These endings and reflections are reminding me of a powerful book that I found very meaningful several years ago, by a young Jewish scholar named Erica Brown. Her book is titled: Happier Endings: A Meditation on Life and Death (2013), and it is a remarkable, practical book covering a wide range of topics related to death and our culture (more at Erica Brown’s link).

One of the things I especially liked about this book, besides how practical and full of many stories and aspects of life and death it incorporated, is that Brown critiques Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief.

She says that the first four states of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression – actually all come under the one category, “Denial.” She then states that the last stage, Acceptance, needs to actually be called “Resignation,” not Acceptance, because usually people in our culture are not very good at accepting death. Rather, we become resigned to it. I believe this to be true.

But then she adds that there’s one more category that needs to be added: That of “Inspiration.” When someone is able to say the words “I need to be prepared” for death, then this intention gives the person Inspiration – in other words, “permission to love more fully, to say the words they’ve wanted to say for a lifetime, to repair and heal troubled relationships, and to entertain a range of ethereal and spiritual thoughts and actions often previously closed off, sealed, or masked by the pragmata of everyday anxieties. … Inspiration is an admission of possibility. It is the last gift we give the living.”  (p. 8)

I like this concept of bringing Inspiration into the topic of death! And I like to think that this is at least in part what I help people do, by writing about death, grief, change, transitions and endings of all kinds, calling people’s attention to these sorts of things that we’d normally rather not focus on.

Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.David BowieHappier Endings