Long after we have returned our loved ones to the earth and celebrated their lives with those who loved them most, there comes a time when we find ourselves alone with the pain and sorrow from the loss of their physical presence. Those who care about us and who provided support and comfort move on with their lives. Grief groups, therapy, and various other modalities may help. The one true constant, however, who is always there to provide us solace and guidance is Mother Nature.
A slow walk through a forest, a stroll along a lake, or simply sitting and gazing at the sky can tap us into a wellspring of wisdom and a sense of companionship in ways we may have never experienced or needed. We may notice a certain wildlife species that seems to stir something inside us. For example, my late mother always enjoyed watching the crows outside our kitchen window.
“What do you like about the crows?” I once asked her.
“I like the way they walk with that attitude, their chests puffed out, and shout what they have to say,” she responded.
I think she envied the self-assuredness the crows exhibited. When she passed away, I found that a crow would appear at odd times and either fly right above me or land on a nearby branch and begin cawing repeatedly. The sound of the crow triggered something inside me that made me feel like it was my mother paying me a visit. This comforts me.
When my maternal grandmother died, it was such a bone-chilling cold day we couldn’t bury her after her funeral because the ground was frozen solid. On the way home, I noticed a ladybug crawling on the window beside me. I reached out and held it in my hand, watching it crawl along, and again, I had a sensation like it was my grandmother with me. It eventually flew away, but ever since then, very often in unseasonable weather for ladybugs to be present, a ladybug will land on me, and I get that sensation of her presence which always warms my heart.
Visiting with Mother Nature in whatever way we have access to, can also provide us with wisdom about life through the many metaphors it provides. A new branch sprouting from a fallen tree rotting in a pond displays the cycle of life. A cloud passing by in the form of an angel or the light streaming through the clouds as the sunrises can make us feel connected to the divine. Watching a batch of daffodils emerge from the soil in spring may make us feel that our loved one’s soul has flowered beyond this earthly life. Gazing at a night sky filled with stars can humble us and remind us that we are all a small part of this vast Universe.
When the pain of grief becomes just too much to bear, remember Love Never Dies.
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