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.  

                                                                                                                          


Reflections from a man acquainted with grief

Recently, I made a lovely connection through LinkedIn with a unique man named Dave Roberts, who is an educator at several Upstate NY colleges. He also specializes as a writer and counselor for the beareaved and those who suffer with addiction. I had the chance to interview him, and this is what he had to share.

1) What brought you into the arena of Grief Work?

The death of my 18-year-old daughter Jeannine in March of 2003 due to cancer, was the catalyst for my interest and passion for grief work. As a result of the challenges presented by her death, it was necessary to find meaning in a world that was and will be forever different, through service to individuals and families who have experienced catastrophic loss. It was necessary for me to embrace this perspective because I believe that we have two choices when we experience life altering loss: 1) to wallow permanently in the muck of despair, without transforming our grief, or 2) to wallow through the muck of despair, allowing it to lead us to find joy and meaning again.

2) How would distinguish yourself from other teachers and writers of grief?

That is a great question. I think one of the things that distinguishes me is that my writing is a product of my ongoing evolution or transformation from loss. So where I am at that particular moment comes out in my writing. Included in this are all of the connections and synchronicities that have allowed me to develop greater awareness of myself and my relationship to the world around me. It is a very transparent and empowering process for me to share a path that has allowed me to embrace a peaceful perspective after loss.

Another thing that I believe distinguishes me from other teachers and writers of grief is how I choose to view my experience. For example, many parents in my circumstances refer to themselves permanently as bereaved parents. I did see myself early on as a bereaved parent, but now I simply refer to myself as a parent who has experienced the death of a child. I also celebrate the fact that I am a husband, a father to two terrific sons, a college professor and a writer. The death of my daughter Jeannine has redefined my life experience, but it is not the totality of my life experience.

3) What brings you the most Joy around the work you do? 

I believe that the experience of death and its aftermath are among the most intimate of events that we experience in the human existence. I feel honored and inspired when I have the opportunity to witness the stories of individuals who have experienced loss. It is not only the stories about their friends or family who have died, it is about what they have discovered as a result of their challenges with death. Their stories and paths are to be honored.

4) What brings you the most anguish or sadness around the work you do?

The person that sees no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel after loss, and is permanently stuck in his or her pain. This perhaps is because the person has no coping skills that promote resiliency or that the expression of intense emotional pain is reinforced by others around them, unwittingly or otherwise without encouragement to transform it.

5) What teachings do you wish to leave with our readers ?

Support from others who have experienced and understand your pain is crucial to working through your grief. Shared pain is a gateway to hope.

Every emotion that we experience, both positive and negative, is a crucial piece in the mosaic that comprises the path we walk after the death of our loved ones. We can learn from everything.

Don’t be so focused on living in the present moment, that you ignore the teachings of your past.

Our grief journeys are marathons, not sprints. Be gentle with yourself.

Be Tiggers in the aftermath of loss. Tigger was my daughter Jeannine’s favorite Disney character because he bounced and was the only one. Bounce along your path to transformation anyway that works for you and respect others’ right to do the same. As long as you are not hurting yourself or others, it is all good.

Commit to walking in awareness of signs from our loved ones and understand that our relationships with our loved ones can continue after the physical body dies.

Thank you, Dave, for your words of wisdom here. Dave RobertsYou can see more on Dave Roberts and his writings here. He also writes for the Huffington Post.

Maria will be leading a “feel-good,” aromatherapy class called Joyful Transitions and the Essential Oils this evening at the Brilliant Moon. Please call them to register here: (360) 868-2190.