Spiritual life is the journey that we take from who and how we were to who we shall become. We do not take that journey alone! In the beginning others feed us, care for us and protect us. As our innate self-centeredness clashes with the otherness of life and our narcissistic desires are thwarted we can feel as if we are going it alone since no one seems to see things our way or understands why our desires should be fulfilled. If we are truly blessed, however, there are others in our life who pull us out of ourselves and enable us to love others and to realize that we are not alone. But what does one do when they die?
One of the difficulties in mourning the passing of a loved one is that while their body is gone and no longer touched, held or kissed by us their physical possessions are still present. These objects are so imbued with memories attached to them they symbolically become the loved-one’s enduring presence here. This makes mourning a very confusing business… are they gone, or not? It can feel as if we are indeed alone in a sea of suffering! The fact is that we are not alone and our departed are still with us! We are molded by our time with them and once they pass over they do not desert us or sever their relationship with us! Just as they once taught us to read, make pasta correctly or to love they continue to guide us in whatever new way is possible!
Being incarnated spirits we humans are extremely tactile creatures. We spend our earthly lives doing all the things grounded in physicality like touching, tasting, hearing, seeing. As children grow in infancy we teach them the game of peek-a-boo. We cover our face so that they cannot see it and then quickly uncover it while saying, “Peek-a-boo!” Through this game babies gradually come to understand that that just because they cannot see our face does not mean that we are gone. It is the same with the death of a loved one! Just because we can no longer see them or touch them or hear them or taste them does not mean that they are gone. Develop the habit of speaking with them and you will see!