HOW TO SAY GOODBYE TO A LOVED ONE WHO HAS PASSED?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

How do you say goodbye to a loved one that has passed away and gone to the other side? My uncle just died last week and I felt relieved that he doesn’t suffer any longer and I feel happy that he can be with my grandmother now. From where they are, they can do so much actually but I feel sad to see everyone crying. How do we say goodbye and let the soul go back to where it belongs?

—Joe (France)

DEAR JOE:

My heart is with you and your family. I think that your presence and your awareness that his spirit exists even beyond his physical existence must in and of itself be a big help to your relatives. Please continue to shine your light on the truth of spirit being forever while giving yourself and your family members permission to mourn and to continue to release their grief for as long as they need to. Even when we know our loved ones live on in spirit, it is of course sad to not be able to hug them in the same way or pick up the phone and call them.

While everyone is in the process of healing from their loss, perhaps you all could spend time sharing stories of what made your uncle a unique man and share stories of the times they had with him that were very special to each person.

If possible, perhaps you all could do something to honor his memory in a way that resonates with his values. For example, if the environment was important to him, you could plant a tree in his honor. If he was a strong proponent of education, you could start a small scholarship fund in his name.

I personally love organizations such as Heifer International (www.heifer.org), which provides people with gifts that allow them to sustain themselves. If you all wanted, you could come together as a family and make a donation in his name for $120 to buy a goat for a family in need that will sustain them through its milk for many years to come, as just one example.

You may want to try some of these suggestions and then, as a family, release him to the Creator with all of your love and the knowledge that he continues to be well cared for by the One who made him.

I pray for you and your family and send my love and healing wishes.

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