Equally as miraculous as life, is death. In fact, you can’t have one without the other. What other single life experience can get a person more in touch with just how little control each one of us really has? But there’s also a gift in death. Not only can it help one to live life to the fullest through an appreciation of the limited time that we have on earth, but death also presents an unparalleled opportunity to grow through the recognition and utilization of one’s resources and vulnerabilities. The trick is to harness the opportunity by giving oneself adequate time and means in which to grieve. By honoring one’s pain and process through practices like meditation, a person affords themselves the ability to utilize rich inner resources to move forward with purpose.
Leslie Davenport pens this recent Huffington Post on the power of grief and how navigating through it can be less confusing if you take note of several suggestions. According to Davenport, grief comes in several stages. Important is to remember to make room for your feelings, to create a ritual around a person’s passing and your own feelings about it, to let go of your expectations of how long it should take for one to fully grieve, and to connect with self and others. Use a grief meditation to help facilitate this connection:
Set aside 15 minutes of undisturbed time, and close your eyes. Start with three minutes simply focusing on natural slow breathing while you relax. Then allow an image to arise of a beautiful place — one that is peaceful and comfortable. As it takes shape, notice the colors, textures, light and sounds. Be aware of how you feel in this serene place, and bring anything into the environment that would support your comfort and ease. Take a moment to just enjoy being here.
Now invite the person you have lost to join you, knowing that their image may come in any form, and they may appear any age. Take time to greet them, and then express anything you would like to. Invite them to speak with you. Allow the experience to evolve spontaneously, connecting naturally while maintaining your own comfort.
Thank them for coming, and then close your imagery eyes as you bring your attention back to the room you are in. Take a few moments being present with your feelings and experiences.
Remember that no matter how your life circumstances change and your feelings ebb and flow, and even grappling with unanswerable questions, come home to the precious, miraculous being that you are, whole and living, here and now.
Read more from Davenport on using meditation to harness the power of your grief here.