What awaits us after we leave this world? Is there life after death? I’m sure we could debate that for hours on end. The question many of ask is, “what awaits us on the other side?”
Hundreds of books have been written, many met with skepticism. Many people who claim they have encountered death have claimed that those moments were of the most peaceful, warm and wonderful moments of their lives. Many have claimed that they saw a light. Some say they saw people they loved who had passed standing before them in the moments they were near death.
So I ask you, is there a better place that awaits us? Is there a place of peace and love, a place where no evil exists? Where the concept of pain does not exist?
Most of us fear death. I know I do, but as I write this piece to you I think about all the people I’ve talked to or read about who, after being confronted by death, have described “crossing over” and my fear begins to slowly disintegrate. If there is a wonderful place that awaits us when we die then maybe death isn’t so bad and maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid or saddened by this inevitable part of life.
Each year the pieces of our lives begin to fall in place. As I grow older I begin to understand so many things that never made sense to me before. At the end, when we finally put the puzzle pieces together, and our time here is up, where are we supposed to go with all the knowledge we’ve collected?
Maybe we should not think of the word death, as sounding so morbid and so final. Maybe our passing loved ones are not really leaving us. Maybe their souls cross over while they remain in our hearts. Even death can’t take their love, their cares, or their memories. They leave everything wonderful about them with us.
When they were physically with you, they listened and watched over you, they cared for you, and protected you. They loved you and their love will remain with you eternally embedded in your heart and soul forever.
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
Some helpful tips to help you cope with the loss of a loved one:
1. Turn to friends and family members – Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Draw a loved one closer rather than avoiding them and accept the assistance that is offered. Oftentimes, people want to help but do not know how, so tell them what you need – whether it is a shoulder to cry on or help with funeral arrangements.
2. Draw comfort from your faith – If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you – such as praying, meditating, or going to church – can offer solace. If you are questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.
3. Join a support group – Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers.
4. Talk to a therapist or grief counselor – If your grief feels like too much to bear, call a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.
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