The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

terryboxing
  • No tags were found...

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

HELPING AFTER DEATH 315Remember too, when despair menaces you that giving in to itwill only disturb the one who has died. Your sorrow may evendrag her back from the path she may be taking toward a goodrebirth. And if you are consumed by grief you will cripple yourselffrom being able to help her. The steadier you are, the more positiveyour state of mind, the more comfort you will give her, and themore you will enable her to free herself.When you are sad, have the courage to say to yourself: "Whateverfeelings I am experiencing, they will all pass: even if theyreturn, they cannot last" Just as long as you do not try to prolongthem, all your feelings of loss and grief will naturally begin to dissolveand fall away.In our world, however, where we do not know that it iseven possible to help the dead, and where we have not facedthe fact of death at all, such a serene and wise reflection cannotbe easy. A person who is going through bereavement forthe first time may simply be shattered by the array of disturbingfeelings, of intense sadness, anger, denial, withdrawal, andguilt that they suddenly find are playing havoc inside them.Helping those who have just gone through the loss of someoneclose to them will call for all your patience and sensitivity.You will need to spend time with them and to let them talk,to listen silently without judgment as they recall their mostprivate memories, or go over again and again the details of thedeath. Above all, you will need simply to be there with themas they experience what is probably the fiercest sadness andpain of their entire lives. Make sure you make yourself availableto them at all times, even when they don't seem to needit. Carol, a widow, was interviewed for a video series ondeath one year after her husband had died. "When you lookback on the last year," she was asked, "who would you sayhad helped you the most?" She said: "The people who keptcalling and coming by, even though I said 'no.'"People who are grieving go through a kind of death. Justlike a person who is actually dying, they need to know thatthe disturbing emotions they are feeling are natural. Theyneed to know too that the process of mourning is a long andoften tortuous one, where grief returns again and again incycles. Their shock and numbness and disbelief will fade, andwill be replaced by a deep and at times desperate awarenessof the immensity of their loss, which itself will settle eventuallyinto a state of recovery and balance. Tell them this is apattern that will repeat itself over and over again, month after

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines