How Mourning Can Support A Soul's Journey

When a beloved one passes, it is natural to mourn. We all do so in our own way, and that must be respected. Some mourn for a long period of time with immense agony and emptiness. Others may stay strong and shed quiet tears alone in the night. It is not ours to judge how another mourns. Yet there are some aspects of death and mourning that can be helpful to know.

"What is to be done.... He lent to you for a time what is His own.... To weep for one who has left this world sometimes harms that person. One hears of many incidents of this kind. Therefore, it is the duty of the bereaved to remain calm and collected and pray for the spiritual welfare of the deceased. It is He who gives and He who again takes away. Thus, what can man do about it?" - Anandamayi Ma, Matri Vani, Vol. II

"42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." - 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, New International Version of the Bible

Most religions believe that only the body dies, and the soul lives on. For a time after death, the soul can hold onto the life it has left behind. But with death, the soul has already begun a new journey into an unknown world. The destiny of their personal growth lies before them, taking a form unique to the flow of their individual soul. Wherever it leads, it leads them forward to union with the Divine.

To mourn is to call out to that soul. Let it be a sweet good-bye, supporting them in their journey forward, rather than pleading or pining for their return. It is important to understand that in our mourning, the deceased still feels and knows our hearts. The separation is not a severing, but a release from this world. The nature of the transition has an effect on your deceased loved one. Therefore, even in the midst of our sorrow, we do best to keep our attention on what is most supportive for the journey of our loved one's soul. We honor and love them, yet we let them go.

At the depth of our being, we are eternally one with all that is. Our lives lived together with our loved ones have enlivened our oneness with them. That enlivened oneness lives on after death. Yet it is best we hold that oneness deep within our soul, not in the emotional turbulence of the pain of separation. We can aspire to that heavenly relationship of oneness, yet we attain it in our own way and in our own time. By leaning in the direction of release, we allow our deceased loved one to move on. We also allow those left in a physical body to rebuild their lives, and move forward in their journey upon this earth.

Just as currents tumbling down a mountain stream come together, separate, and then reunite, souls reunite in divine Oneness. Yet they do so in God's way, in God's time, not in the way or time of our worldly will.