My opinion

“There is literally no such thing as death.” Ganga Stone

I have quoted Ganga Stone before and will probably be quoting her again in the future.

She wrote a book called “Start the Conversation”. This book is about her realization and conviction that we continue life after we discard our earthly bodies.

I am in agreement with all but two of her main conclusions in this valuable book.  One has to do with grief. She explains her view of differences between sadness and grief. She feels, that if we with certainty believe our loved ones still live, there is nothing to grieve about. Sadness is appropriate and grieving not necessary.

“Grief is not logical, not appropriate, not necessary, and in my view, not at all beneficial. But sadness makes all kinds of sense.”

Ms. Stone defines grieving as a response to the devastating idea of annihilation  – that death is the end of the person and the relationship. I define it differently.

True, there are circumstances where there is “More Joy Than Sorrow” as several books by Judy Voss describe. However, separation is difficult no matter what your beliefs.

When someone we love dies the majority need to grieve.  Loss necessitates a reshuffling of our emotions, beliefs, identities and of our daily routines. Even where there is relief or gratitude that they are no longer suffering, there is a period of adjustment to facing a future without their physical presence.

There may also be delayed grief about the illness and the loss of what once was.  Elsewhere I (and others) have described loss as a wound. When someone we love dies we are hurt. Our wounds need to heal and are less likely to heal properly if not attended to. If it is someone very close to us, it is often likened to an amputation which requires both treatment and “rehabilitation”. Even as we rejoice for them, we have to learn “to walk” again.

It is a time when we find ourselves looking at; our faith, our strengths, our fears, our dreams, our pasts and our futures. It is a time for sorting out what we think we know and what we truly believe.  Our lives are changed, and we need to find a way to adjust to this change and to repair parts of ourselves that feel broken. This is work. This is grief.  It is my opinion that sadness is a feeling and grief is a process.

“When married partners love each other tenderly, they think of eternity in regard to the marriage covenant, and not at all of its being terminated by death. Or if they do think about this, they grieve, until strengthened again with the thought of its continuing in the life to come.” Swedenborg

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