I have been contemplating the concept of death. It was brought up on our spirit adventure trip in Costa Rica where one day we discussed what it meant to each of us. And then just five days later I learned of a sudden death in my immediate family – my sister-in-law had been killed in a car accident, leaving my brother widowed and my 16 year old niece and 12 year old nephew without a mother.
I had had discussions about death with Coach Glitz and others before. I have never felt afraid of death myself. I believe it is a natural part of life – we will all die at some point. We understand life because of death – and that often propels us to live life more fully. In my reflections on the concept, I felt that though it would be difficult for those left behind, we were given the strength and power to move through it. We would continue to miss the person that departed, but we would move on with our lives, feeling richer that they had been a part of it. I have lost extended family, pets and colleagues before, and each time I moved through the grief to learn from the relationship I shared with them and keep them in fond memories. And so I felt death bring new opportunities and in a sense new beginnings. Because there is a beginning after every end, right?! When a chapter in a book is finished, a new one starts. One day ends so a new one may begin. When a flower dies, it leaves nutrients and space for something else to grow. So there must be something that blooms from the death of a person, right?
This recent experience has been more intense. I don’t know if it is because it was so sudden, because she was younger, or because it has rocked the core of our family. It may be because I simply feel my emotions more intensely now as part of my journey. But it hurts worse than I can remember. My heart breaks for my brother, niece and nephew, and I feel so helpless. They live in Florida (as do my sister-in-law’s parents), and my parents are in Michigan; so I also felt so isolated and alone here in Colorado by myself. I didn’t realize I would feel grief so intensely. And as I gave in to the emotions and allowed them to ‘have their way with me’, I was reminded by a dear friend that there would be positives that came from this, and I remembered a feminine goddess weekly wisdom post about seeing gratitude in everything, especially the tough things. And so I started to take note of what those were and could be.
The communications among my family have increased over the past two weeks. We are sharing much more emotion with each other and expressing our love and support more frequently. I realized I was not alone – so many reached out to me and my family to show love and support. My brother is allowing his emotions to be seen by everyone and is being more open with his kids. He has expressed how this has shown him that family is so very important because you never know when something might happen. I see the relationships among my immediate family members growing! New beginnings – what a blessing!
I am grateful that my sister-in-law came into our lives and family. She brought joy into my brother’s life for nearly 20 years. Together they produced my amazing niece and nephew. She has left the world a better place for having been here – I see that in my brother’s family. They will miss her terribly for as long as they are here – we all will. We will all grow from this – we will all bloom into bigger and brighter flowers because of the sun she has provided and will continue to through memories. I hope sharing this helps you when you have to face this – know you are not alone and that new beginnings will come – day always follows the night.