We deal with lots of separation in our lives, which is why we all need ways to cope with separation. There are many different types of separation too - Divorce, friends move, we move, fights, death of parents, spouses, friends, siblings, and God forbid, children. The pain from separation is enormous. Here are some ways to cope with separation:
Physics offers one of the ways to cope with separation. If you remember the “conservation of mass”, nothing is created or destroyed, it just changes to a near death experience. Tons of accounts have been documented resulting in consistent stories of “where we go”.
As a society we write and create things that capture our fascination and struggle with “what’s next.” An example of this is after death communication. Check out "Hello from Heaven," by Bill and Judy Guggenheim.
Nothing is stronger than a first-hand spiritual experience. We often use technology to communicate with people in different physical locations. Several weeks after my dad’s death, my mom got a staticky call that was hard to hear. My mom asked in exasperation, “WHO is this?”, the caller answered “it’s Frank,” which was my dad’s name.
Another aspect of healing is the way we go about it. We need a better “on ramp” to help the process. For example, Celebrations of Life are justified by social acceptance to speed getting “over it.” Then everybody goes home, feels like dirt, and wonders why.
According to research done by Olson-Zaltman Associates, here's how to help people move on at a celebration of life service:
Where dinner theater meets memorial service. But better. Music that ties in with the script, casting family members, key messages, a gift bag with books, music, articles and a votive candle are great ideas. Hit the ground running toward healing, rather than reinventing it.
Make sure you connect with the guest of honor, and with one another. Often through a communal meal – “breaking bread” is a terrific bonding experience, customized in any number of ways. Share foods the person loved and you'll feel closer to him or her.
Take people from a dark space into one of hope, light and evidence by transforming your own life.
All of these things promote healing. Unresolved grief is a heavy bag, which affects everything, often resulting in depression and self-medication. Dealing with a tough subject and coming to a satisfactory conclusion is the way to go. Not avoidance, like the “taboo” status society assigns because it’s uncomfortable.
We don’t like going to the dentist, colonoscopies, going to court or doing taxes. But we deal with them, and are better for it.
Separation is no different.
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