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Author Topic: What do you think about death?? I think Im becoming less spiritual....  (Read 6598 times)
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #15: December 11, 2008, 02:19:27 pm »

it was five months ago, almost six.

Solstice will be the six month marker of my mom's death.  I'm still processing it and hoping the world will get shiny again one day. For reasons I won't go into here I don't think I'm actually capable of a loss of faith, but I can turn my back on it, get grumpy, and refuse to play.  I moved half-way across the province a few months ago and there have been a lot of things I've just plain refused to put in place.  I can't get to the deep place that makes them work properly, so I don't see the point in going through the motions.

My mom and I were spiritually similar and my whole family was and is close, so I don't have that sense of disconnection and almost betrayal that you seem to be feeling, but I do know that some things just don't seem as important anymore.  The puzzle has a missing piece and it's not simply lost under the rug.  That hole in the picture has to stay and I have to get used to seeing it.  Hopefully over time it won't be the only thing I can see.

For now I'm just going with the things that still have meaning and necessity in my spiritual life.  I don't want to force it, but I keep the other things in my awareness so I will know if/when they start to come back.  I think they're dormant because I can't work with them right now, not that they're gone forever.  I'm a great believer in time and patience, and indulging myself in the moment.  Having to hold it together on the day she died (I was the only one capable of making all the phone calls that had to be made and organizing the sudden influx of food and cousins that happened in the next few days) made me a bit distant and isolated for a time, and delayed my grief until a ferociously organized family friend arrived and took over.  She had lost her own mom in the preceding year and perfectly and tactfully allowed the rest of us to relax into our grief.  It doesn't sound like you had that blessing.

Give it time.  We may be at the same stage of loss and letting go.  I'm about twenty years older than you, but this was the first significant loss in my life.  It tends to dull and tarnish some of the joyful things I used to do because, in the face of life and death, the other things start seeming trivial and meaningless.  They're not, and I'm sure they will wake up again when it's time.  It's just that now is the time for grief and waiting and if I don't acknowledge that it will go underground and take even longer to heal.

Don't be upset with yourself for feeling sad, doubtful, cynical, and impatient with happy shiny things, and don't consider them totally lost to you yet.  I smelled berries the other day when I was sweeping up (and had had no berries in the house for weeks) and it 'woke me up' a bit because that smell is a strong signal to me when doing certain magical and religious things.  It was just a tiny reminder, and I wasn't doing anything that would normally cause it, but it was like a promise.  A small sign that this limbo won't last forever.

If you don't want to talk to a counselor, have you considered a journal.  If you need to say mean and petty things you don't want anybody else to read, you can write pages specifically for burning, just to let out the garbage so you can heal.  Don't give up on the happy shiny things yet.  It just isn't the right time for them now.

Absent
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Starglade
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« Reply #16: December 11, 2008, 05:35:51 pm »


I lost my mom in February. What Marilyn said, I can nod and point and all that--it's much the same here. Especially the part about the puzzle piece; it's no longer just lost, it's gone. Period. End of story.

It's hard for me sometimes to look at the pictures we have in the house here, with my parents and myself and my daughter as a baby/toddler/preschooler. There's one in particular of her with my mom, taken at my parents' golden wedding celebration. Mom had it put into a lovely wooden frame engraved with one word: "Love."

I'm crying just typing this. It's a hurt that comes and goes. When it comes, it's vicious. When it goes... it's gone, somewhere, until it comes back.

I second the suggestions folks have made so far. Not a bad one in the lot, that I can tell.
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southerngoddes
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« Reply #17: December 12, 2008, 12:21:59 pm »

I know that a lost of an important person in hour lives can be very painful, but as I say before, this is not the first time I face this situation, and never before I felt like this, by the contrary, I accepted death as a normal and welcome fact, as another step, never as something sad.
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southerngoddes
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« Reply #18: December 12, 2008, 02:21:19 pm »

just to make sure; for all who read this forum, death has been a concept developed personally or by some or by religion or partially? I mean with help of religion belief and personal thoughts. If it is like this, with help of both, how do you manage that?? what you keep from religion and what not?? what is , in general, your personal adding?
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Jenett
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« Reply #19: December 12, 2008, 03:33:50 pm »

I know that a lost of an important person in hour lives can be very painful, but as I say before, this is not the first time I face this situation, and never before I felt like this, by the contrary, I accepted death as a normal and welcome fact, as another step, never as something sad.

The thing is - no death is like any other. They're all unique.

The death of my grandmother (the only one I knew) did not hit me very hard. I miss her, I wish I'd had more chances to talk to her. But she was also in her late 80s, had been struggling for a long time with health problems, and was less and less able to do the things she loved. Her death wasn't nearly as painful as that of my father - who was far more intertwined in my life (and would have been, even after I went off to college, moved out, etc.)

There's also a lot more things in my life my father never saw - any of my graduations (high school, college, grad school). My sister's graduate degrees. Any of our weddings. (On the other hand, had he still been around, I don't know that I'd have married my ex-husband.) Not only is it a different kind of grief, but it's persistent in a different way, because everytime a big event comes up, I wish he'd been able to be there.

For the people around you, it's also the first time your particular father has died - for your grandmother, it may be particularly painful for her to lose a son, depending on her own culture and expectations, for example. Other deaths might have had different responses because the expectations or relationships were a bit different.

You're also a different person than you were at the time of any other deaths. You've had some different experiences - and you've probably changed as a result of the previous losses, even if you can't pin down exactly what changed. This is also normal and human, because people change over time, in many and varied ways.

In other words, treat this however you need to, and don't worry about comparing it too much to other experiences. If you're responding to it differently, or grieving differently, or need different things, that's normal and reasonable. Do what you need to do that helps you find the support, consideration, and time to grieve that you need.

People are individuals - it's normal and expected that how someone responds to one
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« Reply #20: December 12, 2008, 03:58:59 pm »

just to make sure; for all who read this forum, death has been a concept developed personally or by some or by religion or partially? I mean with help of religion belief and personal thoughts. If it is like this, with help of both, how do you manage that?? what you keep from religion and what not?? what is , in general, your personal adding?

When my father died, I was 15, and an active Catholic. While I never fully turned away from religion, I did spend a lot of time when we knew he would likely die (but not quite when - he was diagnosed with cancer, and given 6-12 months to live at the time of diagnosis) and some time after he died re-examining what I thought about death, religion, and how they all related.

I was helped by having some very supportive friends, and by having some very supportive people and other resources outside my immediate family (though, in hindsight, I remember *very* little clearly from the 9 months or so after his death. And my relationship with my mother changed dramatically during that time, too.) I was seriously horseback riding at the time, too, and I spent a bunch of time crying into my beloved Dorothy's mane that year. 

I feel strongly that he was still watching out for me in some way. I would leave the house after arguments with my mother later in high school and college, and ask him to talk sense into her. (It always worked: I'd come home from a long walk to calm down, and she'd apologise. It was always about stuff I was actually right about, mind you.)

These days, my path says that death is part of an eternal cycle of rebirth, growth, and death. I'm also part of a tradition that specifically and systematically honors our ancestors (including blood family but not *only* blood family.) But really, most of it's the same: living a good life matters, remembering those we've lost matters, some part of them continues, whether that's memories or some part of their spirit.

I do believe that some part of my father has continued on as an ancestor who keeps an eye out over me, and I think that some part of him has been reborn. (I've felt his sense of presence drop off significantly in the last year or two. Not totally gone, but very different in feel.)

That said, the anniversary of his death was very hard for me for a number of years (particularly as he died Nov. 3rd, and that coincides in both Catholic tradition and Wiccan-based practice with times you remember the dead in particular.) It only started getting better when I started seriously exploring Wiccan-based practice: Samhain rituals (or something close to that) did a lot to give me a more personally beneficial way to process grief at that time of year. (Time has also obviously helped, too.)

And it's been hard at a few other times - most recently my 3rd degree in the tradition I work in. I don't know that he'd approve of my religious choices, exactly, but there are parts of it I would deeply have loved to discuss with him.
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« Reply #21: December 22, 2008, 11:04:12 pm »

this fact has made think about death.....I would like to know what do you think about this important fact, which, for some,is also part of life by itself

For myself, I think death is what brings meaning to life.  Think about it.  We know we will personally die.  We cannot avoid it.  We hope to have 80 years of life but know there is a good chance we will die long before our 80th birthday. To paraphrase Emperor Palpatine,  "Death is unavoidable, it is our destiny..."

Knowing we will die brings a sense of urgency to life.  We have things we want to accomplish, places to visit, people to meet, etc. 

Then there is religion.  Would religion be as important to us if thought we would not die?  A major aspect of most religions is to prepare us for the afterlife, sometimes to the detriment of this life.

If we thought we would not die, life would loose all urgency.  Why rush to do anything. After all, we will always have tomorrow to do it.  Life would be reduced to day-to-day existence. 

Just something to think about..

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Atheris
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« Reply #22: January 13, 2009, 09:33:16 am »

Would religion be as important to us if thought we would not die?  A major aspect of most religions is to prepare us for the afterlife, sometimes to the detriment of this life.

i wonder about this. i am, basically, a pantheist. therefore, i believe that divinity is in the center of all things. i believe that god is that life force which flows through everything. so, am i preparing myself for death? not really. would my spirituality be any less important to me if i were to find out that i am never going to die? not really.
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