By Frannie Hoffman
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.—Rabindranath Tagore
The early and sudden death of my husband, Steve, has forever changed me. My journey through unimaginable depths of grief has brought me, finally, to a place of greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the precious gifts life continues to offer me.
I believe that there are not enough preparations or instructions in the world that are adequate to help us understand the true depths of grief.
Facing the challenges that come when we lose a loved one sometimes feels unbearable but we must do it. We begin again courageously as we take baby steps to create a new life while honoring the past.
As a spiritual counselor, I have helped many work through grief and other emotions that leave us feeling stuck, out of balance, and disconnected from our true selves. Yet none of my personal or professional experiences prepared me for what lay ahead—physically, emotionally or spiritually—in the wake of Steve’s transition.
My years of meditation and mindful living helped me to feel deeply, everything that Steve’s transition brought to me. I wanted to run away to Bali like Elizabeth Gilbert describes in her book Eat, Pray, Love. I was left with it all, and I let it bring me to my knees.
There was a stronger force within me that would reach into my body and mind. It would open me up. I would walk on, sometimes blind and deaf and with so much pain and fear. I allowed my God to take the lead of this new dance, and then I felt Spirit carry me into a mind that had only silence. I embraced this unknown place within me. Here I would get nourished and listen to the birds’ song of new life. I would rest in a quiet mind and let this inner something—God, Universe, Presence—help me go on and tell my story.
My beloved left his body from an aneurism and yet I know now that it was his way to go – quick and clean. I am sure he didn’t want to leave me, but his soul was finished and his mission with me complete. He had voiced to me a few times during his last day that this was the best day of his life. It was the worst day of my life.
Grief was knocking on my door. It consumed me like a hungry animal, wild and merciless.
I had no choice but to let it in and take over every cell of my being. I had no idea that I would crumble into millions of pieces. I felt I had no choice but to let go and allow grief to teach me everything I did not know.
It was so hard to open my eyes to the daylight. I felt as if I was underneath something so heavy that I was struggling for breath. I could not see anything but darkness and the pain to think a thought shoved me deeply into the abyss. There was no sound but my own. I cried and cried the longing for him. I was crushed under the wall of grief. It had fallen on top of me. All of me was crushed and, even though it was him who died, I was dead and left upon the floor like a shattered piece of porcelain. I was scattered upon the ground in a million pieces. Where did I go? Where was I now? I was lost in the valley of sorrow.
Then one day I woke up from the dream. I was taken by the hand of spirit, and every piece of me joined back into the perfect form of the One. I was whole again. I was wrapped in the arms of the Divine, never forgotten; only loved.
He was there, more alive than ever before. I saw him with every part of me. I felt him inside and all around me. I knew that everything was okay and the plan was unfolding without my effort. All I had to do was trust in God. This perfect creator who knows all things had not forgotten me. This love was all that is real. This dream of separation became the doorway to everything. The plan was unfolding without my effort. All I had to do was trust in God.
I remembered to allow myself to breathe. The silence of the mind began to fill my heart with what is real. Here I was kissed most sweetly by the Divine. I took the hand of what was waiting for me. This sacred journey we are on, where death was only a doorway into new life. Love could never die. His body was gone, yet more of him was here to dance this life with me. I felt him in this world. He spoke to me through nature, music, sunsets, clouds, and through the voice and touch of my fellow human beings and all creation. He showed me who I truly was.
His exit from his body brought me home to the One. Now as I give myself to spirit and allow God’s ever present being to guide my life, I am free. I am free to share this love with all of humanity. No one is separate from me as I walk on. I now can choose to see the light of love in all of my brothers and sisters. I bow to this experience for now I can see who I truly am. Thank you, thank you for this life where love does not exclude anyone or anything. This world we are a part of is a reflection of the One. The one perfect being that is pure love takes my hand even when I fall. For I have a choice to join with spirit, where all of my loved ones have returned as life shows me the way. Here I am not forgotten for love remembers.
(Excerpt from Frannie Hoffman’s upcoming book Good Grief! Loss—The Doorway to New Life.)
Frannie Hoffman is a spiritual intuitive, educator, and a transformational leader. She has touched the lives of thousands across the United States and Canada for the past 20 years through her Circle of Light meditations, spiritual counseling practice, writings and compelling seminars, and workshops. She devotes herself to the life of inner transformation, inspiring and helping others reconnect and tap into their infinite energy that heals and liberates. Frannie is the author of From Modeling Clothes to Modeling Self. For more information visit www.FrannieHoffman.com.
This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.Transformation-Publishing.com and all ebook formats.