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Old Ideas On Grief & Letting Them Go

As the anniversary of my brother's death approached, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wanted everything to be perfect, I hoped for him to be happy and proud of how we celebrated him. I wanted to honor him in a way that would make him sooo happy and sooo peaceful. This desire is challenging even when not dealing with grief waves, which I was leading up to the weekend of his passing. One minute I would feel perfectly content with our plans, the next overcome with anxiety that the plans weren't good enough to honor him. This caused me to circle from happy to lashing out in anxiety over and over again.

When I feel overwhelmed with emotions, I do not channel the other side. I do this because my own feelings tend to get in the way and affect the readings. Sure enough, my brother found another way to get the message across to me. My spiritual mentor texted me how she feels my brother is desperate for us to laugh. She reminded me that being happy is not dishonoring him, but EXACTLY what his soul wants. I know this is the truth and trust her. I fully believe that my brother would want us to be happy. However, I struggle with the idea that happiness is not how you honor someone who has passed. I have a deep routed belief that to really honor someone I must suffer in sadness and grief. I thought this was the only way I could show my brother the respect he deserves.  I debated back and forth for a couple hours between what my mentor said and what I believed to be true.

Eventually, I had the intuitive thought to do some self Reiki. Through reiki, I tapped into a state of calm, I was able to look at my feelings without being attached to them, I found a deeper understanding of what was ACTUALLY happening verses what my mind was telling me. It allowed me to release the limiting belief that suffering is the only way to honor my brother's memory. Reiki helped me shift my perspective and realize that true honor comes from finding joy and happiness in his life and mine. This is what my brother wants for me and is in line with how he lived. My brother did whatever he desired whenever he wished, which meant calling out of work to spend time fishing or showing up at a family event with a new puppy. He was quiet, but a jokester. He had a sense of calm to him unlike anyone else I have ever met. He knew how to find peace and joy.

Suddenly I thought, Isn't it best to honor someone by giving them exactly what they want? How many times do I have to be told by mediums and light workers that my brother is not the one who needs happiness since he already has all the happiness I could ever imagine, but I am the one who needs happiness? So I decided to let go of all the expectations I had for the weekend. I decided that whatever happens, if people are angry or confused in grief, wherever they are at in their journey with grief, I will be consistent I will be at peace.  

A prayer I meditate on to help me with this is the St Francis prayer. Which goes

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

where there is hatred, let me bring love,

where there is offense, let me bring pardon.

Where there is discord, let me bring union.

Where there is error, let me bring truth.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, let me bring light.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy,.

Oh Lord, let me not seek as much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love

for it is in the giving that one receives, 

it is in the self-forgetting that one finds,

it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,

It is in dying that one is raise to eternal life.

Letting go of expectations and old ideas about how I should grieve was unexplainably freeing. It helped me show up for my family in a way my brother would've shown up for us - which made me feel closer to him. It helped me find comfort and peace in his passing. Accepting I do not have to cry and sit in bed to mourn correctly helped me spread his legacy of love and laughter through my own happiness.

Over the weekend I stayed at my parents' house with my sister. I focused on gratitude that I have a husband who lets me do whatever I need to grieve. Focusing on what I do have instead of what I do not have helped me show up to this hard weekend without being stuck in the emotional pull of the grief waves. Saturday my parents had his friends over. We ate pizza and looked through his fishing lures. His friends taught us about fishing lures and shared stories none of us knew about my brother. It was amazing to learn about how he acted around his friends. We watched videos of him and looked at pictures on our phones. The energy was peaceful and calm - exactly like my brother was. 

The next day we embraced his love of nature and spontaneity. We hiked one of his favorite trails in New Jersey. We lit a biodegradable candle and set it to float in the river. His friend stopped to fish at every spot we saw - exactly what my brother would've done. The dogs ran in and out of the water causing us all to laugh. The birds chirped and the sound of the river was peaceful. I imagine exactly like what my brothers version of Heaven looks like.

On the way home we stopped for ice cream and all got extra large cones with lots of toppings!

The peaceful and calm energy that surrounded us during the weekend perfectly reflected what my spiritual mentor said my brother wanted. I have no doubt he was there with us, guiding us every step and bringing us joy through laughter and shared memories.

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