Grief and Relief

I lost my mother rather unexpectedly about a year ago. This was a very different experience for me and one that invited me to see how many expectations there are around death and grieving.

Six years ago, my mother became rapidly ill with Parkinson’s disease. It started wit a small tremor in one hand and then sudden sever cramps which put her in the hospital. She looked at least 10 years older in one strike. She lived in a care-home permanently after that.

One day, she was dosing off in an abnormal way, and so they sent her to the hospital. She was having a sever brain hemorrhage and we had to face the fact that she would never wake up again.

While I was with her, I sensed that she didn’t want to struggle anymore with the cramps and pains. So as I sat by her sickbed, I asked her to let go of all the beliefs she had  about needing to stay, or needing to do something before she could leave. I sung to her, kept her company, told her we would be fine, and that everything was in order. I gave her the choice to stay or to go, and within a week she chose to die.

There are a huge number of ”rules” about how we are supposed to feel or react when someone dies. We are expected to be grief stricken, sad and there are even “stages of grief” as described in popular current psychology. It is expected that we will experience denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance!

What if there were no ”right” way of doing grief? And what if it were not even a doing?

There is so much in this world that we think we have to do right or get right.

What if we just allowed ourself to be, whatever that would be in any given time, without judgement.

All those expectations were actually more heavy to me than the loss itself. There were all these expectations around me, and people leaning in toward me with false caring. I don’t mean that people are deliberately lying to us in those times, but sometimes the burden of the expectations of others is more difficult than whatever it is we are presented with in the actual present moment.

If we are not aware, our expectations can kind of lock the person that has lost someone up in the narrow little box of grieving.

What if we instead were able to be opened by the experience and just be with what is? How much more freedom for the grieving person would that be?

One of the unexpected experiences I had when my mother died was a sense of relief, and a sense of getting my energy back from whatever her points of view about my identity were. She had many points of views about how I was, and how I was supposed to be. I discovered that a big portion of my identity was tied to her. And now that she was gone I had the freedom to create myself as I wanted to be.

What if there were not a set label or box you had to live up to and be? What if we were allowed to create ourselves the way we desired every day?

Could you imagine waking up every day and ask yourself.

“Who am I today”?  Who do I want to be?

Would that be more of a fun adventure? Rather than having to stay the same as every one expects you to be so they will know you are still friends, related, partners or what ever connection you have. We are limiting ourselves and others by this constant need to stay the same to still have contact.

What if that was never needed? How much more of a fun adventure would life be?

I know of people experiencing sensations of euphoria, very unexpectedly, right after a loved ones suicide. What if it was totally possible without guilt to perceive and sense everything? What if the choice to not live anymore was euphoric to that person/being?

What if the Being never really dies, only the body?

What if the way to honor the passed was to dance, sing and laugh also, and to cry when you wish to or your body needs to. I have seen people choosing to have their totally own grief experience and they may not even have been so ”easy” as having a mother dying. I mean somewhere we know our parents won’t be here for ever. It’s not as expected when a loved spouse or child dies.

What if even their passing was joyful and a relief to them? How could you honor their memory and You?

What if there were no right or wrong way to grief?

What I also discovered is that yes, I sometimes miss my mother being around to ask her advice on things, or to tell her things about my children and my life. And I totally honor her choice of not having to cope anymore with the pain she was in. She was free to choose, and I am happy that she made her choice, and I could be there to be in peaceful support of it.

What if we could allow everyone to have their choice regardless of what that choice is? And what if we could allow us some kindness to ourselves in the midst of loss. What would that look like for you?

What is the kindest thing you could choose?

The processes and questions found in this text are from Access Consciousness which was founded by Gary Douglas and Dr. Dain Heer, and among other things is a set of tools which assist people in becoming more conscious about the way in which they move through the world. You can find more information about Access by visiting or by getting in touch with me.

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