Moving Through Loss Without Losing Yourself

Grief has many faces, from the stabbing pain of recent loss, to the long-term shift in perspective. It can inform our choices about how we live, and change our priorities and motivations. Grief may numb us initially, but in time can cause us to feel more deeply, helping us to have a conscious connection to the loved one who has passed from this existence, or to help others through their losses. Instead of the emptiness that grief highlights after a loss, grief can build a bridge to a mindfulness that encompasses something much larger than just this mortal life.

Illuminating Our Human Compassion

Whether the loss is personal, or has happened to someone we know, or affects our global community, compassion and service become positive, life-affirming elements of grief. Grief can be the inspiration behind reaching out, either in our meditations and prayers, or with supportive action. Lighting a candle is a symbol for remembrance and a guide for the departed on their journey from this existence. It quite literally illuminates our human compassion and love. When we hear of accidents, natural disasters, or acts of violence, grief connects us and evokes empathy. Even if not directly affected by the loss, we know, because we are human, that the people left behind will begin a journey.

If a tragic loss occurs, there is shock and deep sadness, especially when someone young dies. We tend to want some semblance of order to life and death, and often hang on to the idea that a person needs to complete their life in order for it to make sense for them to pass on. In reality, a young life lost is just as complete as an older person’s death. Whatever stretch of time we have in this existence is exactly as long as we are supposed to be here. It is the quality – not the quantity – of our existence that matters. Even a baby leaves a mark on the continuum of time. As painful as it is, we have to let go of the idea that there is some kind of injustice in loss that seems tragic.  We must integrate the concept that no one is immune from death and the transient nature of life.

The Importance Of Praying For Those Who Have Passed

There is power in prayer and meditation that can directly help the souls that pass on, and their loved ones. It is our service to one another to manifest this compassion. We should always be sending out the conscious energy of sympathy and holding it mindfully for the world.

When you start to look beyond yourself and help others, whether it’s with service, charitable monies, or even just with your consciousness, you are turning grief into giving. When souls are leaving the planet and you have the ability to sit still and meditate on compassion, they can utilize your energy to cross over without fear.

Finding Joy In Service

The manifestation of enduring happiness for yourself – the kind that accepts that there will be times of sadness and grief  – will only come when you serve another being. It is very rewarding knowing someone who is suffering or in pain feels relief because of what you said or did. Money, possessions, or status, will never trump that energy. Service IS your path to what is rightfully yours. Service will bring you joy. Helping others is a beneficial, positive expression of grief when dealing with loss. It is easy to have empathy for somebody who is suffering – you do not need to have absolute enlightenment, or be a healer. People heal themselves all the time. You are an important witness to their healing when you hold loving compassion for them. 

Loss and death are the ultimate acts of surrender and devotion to the continuum of time and its divine nature. We are here to learn to give, and to receive, and the process of mourning loss and death is a perfect reflection of that. Your life derives meaning from how you choose to approach the journey and give of yourself. We receive a finality of our earthly presence to remind us that we are the same – we all die and bring only our spirit to another existence. Each of us deserves the same love, kindness, and compassion as any other being. In the end, our ultimate service is to give ourselves away. If we look at the loss of a loved one from that perspective, we remember that there are larger forces at work. That person has finished their time here and is needed elsewhere.


Get A Grip Series

GRIEF by Derek O’Neill, guides you through an exploration of one of the most universal but difficult transitions we face. By looking at the nature of impermanence, the process of letting go, karma and energy – among many other topics – Derek presents a deeply reflective but concise roadmap to understanding grief and shifting its effect in your life.

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