The loss of a loved one

In a way this is the proper time to write a blog post about grief, since a large part of the world’s population connects this recent holiday we celebrated with Jesus’ suffering, demise and resurrection.

A few weeks ago my family and I got the sad news that my husband’s father had passed away in his sleep during the night. His health had been very fragile for many years, so it was something we had been waiting for, dreading and been trying to prepare us for, for a very long time. And still when the end finally came, it felt like a shock. It left us with a feeling of emptiness, great sadness and also a sense of gratitude for his sake – the pains he had suffered and the struggles with his body was finally over.

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When someone decides to leave (personally I am convinced it is a decision made on some level of us), it suddenly become easier to really see them. Maybe it is because the energetic bonds between us and the departed, shift from an on-going process of relationship to a point of conclusion. For me, I could see how much my father-in-law has taught me – just by being himself.


He was a remarkable man, complex in many ways and not always easy to deal with. He was concerned with the bigger picture, the greater good for the many and very loyal to Society –  rather than with his personal welfare and life. He was equipped with the same extraordinary sense of loyalty towards those he loved – his family and his many friends. He showed an unusual stableness in the love he felt for others, that often has caught my attention during the 20 some years that I have known him. Human emotions have, as you know, a tendency to be subjective and shift very rapidly in most of us, but he was different in this respect. If he decided someone was worth his love and care, then he loved and cared without questioning – even if there were disagreements and temporary bumps in the road. He somehow made a conscious decision to love someone. Of course the opposite was also true – but he always gave everyone a chance first to prove them worthy.


One of the most beautiful things about him, and something that is rare in people – he was completely oblivious to age, gender and origin. If he liked someone, then he did it without concern for the details. He made new friends everywhere. Now and then I have raised an eyebrow in surprise (or two!!) when some youngster with tattoos up to the elbows, hair on end and Dr Martin-boots did approached him with a big grin on their face saying: -Hey Svante, how’s it going, man?

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With his Saturnian correctness he always replied the same way: Oh, very well, thank you! Please let me introduce you to my dear son and my beloved daughter-in-law!

Courage to move forward even when life feels meaningless

The love of his life, my husband’s mother, passed more than ten years ago, and it was like the light died in his eyes that day. She was his joy, his sun, his happiness.

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It took him a long time to accept and heal enough to choose to become part of life again (even if the spark never returned). It takes courage to pick oneself up and decide to “go on living” after such a devastating crisis as the one he experienced. The only way, it seems, is to work right through the pain, however hopeless and insignificant everything feels. He managed to gather that courage in his own way, and continue forward, without suppressing the grief and sadness. To accept that life would be different from now on and he needed to find a new way, even if he didn’t like it one bit.


How to deal with limitations

He also taught me to look at limitations with other eyes than I used to. He was bound to an electric wheel-chair after a number of strokes. It would have been so easy to let the bitterness take over. He once was a very gifted pianist but due to the paralysis he could no longer play. And yet, with the loving help of his friends he went to the concert-hall listening to classical music performances each month –  instead of making the loss of his ability an excuse to turn his back to music completely. He was part of a book-club (even though he couldn’t read due to his eyes failing him) to “hang out with his friends”.

He went to the park every day from early spring to late autumn to sit under the trees, enjoying his glass of wine at the outdoor café and marvel at nature’s beauty. Sometimes together with his friends, sometimes all by himself (and then got Christmas greetings in the mail from the chef and postcards from the waitress when she went on vacation – remember what I said about making new friends ;). He chose to do what was important to him and found a way through the obstacles. I have many times wondered if I would have the same willpower to work my way through such massive difficulties, and have realised I probably wouldn’t. He was heroic in that respect.


The importance to allow the heart to speak

I was unprepared for the void this man left in me. Not until he was gone did I realise how much of my thoughts, concerns and love were tied to him. At the same time I am content in a strange way, because I had had the chance – and I had taken it – to show him how much I cared for and loved him. I feel very grateful for this, because the sadness is not tainted by remorse or guilt. I know that I am blessed in this particular relationship when it comes to closure, because there is often things left unsaid.

I have, and I am sure you also have the same experience too, that a relationship ends in disagreement and that the conflict never gets sorted out. Sometimes there is no way out, no way to part from each other in a peaceful way. Relationships are a big part of our learning in life, and sometimes it just is too hard to work it out. I think though, that it is possible to reach a place of peace  on an inner level if we do the inner work. We can release the other person through respecting our own feelings, through accepting the disagreements and finally through forgiving both ourselves and the other part, if that is necessary.

Reach out

There is an energetic connection between us and the people we hold dear, and when we give ourselves time to “really be present” in our daily life – we can feel them. Sometimes we get a hunch to contact someone, and for some reason we do not listen to that hunch before it is too late. When something of great importance is about to happen to one of those close persons – we know about it on some level. In hindsight it sometimes feel obvious what was about to take place, but we were so busy, so stressed or maybe scared to really listen in to what our intuition tells us. So we let that inner knowing pass by unattended.

Many times I have personally felt regrets for not telling someone how important they are to me, how much I love them, how grateful I am to have them in my life. With some I have feared to make them feel awkward if I come to close. With others I have even worried that they will perceive me as a little bit silly if I express my love. So from time to time, I hold my words back and then I regret it deeply when there is no one there to tell it to.


Maybe the lack of negative emotions around the loss around him or simply my habit of working with the energetics has made me sensitive. Whatever reason there is, I am going to share an extraordinary experience I had after my father-in-law’s passing.

When this sad news had reached us, we went to his home. It felt empty, like he had switched off the light and left. It had been done with no regrets from his part.

We were busy with “the doings” the entire day. Sometimes the practicalities are helpful because it gives us a way of postponing the feelings of loss for a little while. There are people to call, arrangements to make and the doing can ease of the rawness of grief. Not until late in the evening, when we had put our little daughter to bed, I had a moment to just feel my own sadness. I had felt overwhelmed by responsibility the entire day, wanting to comfort my husband in his grief and ease his pain, feeling lost and inadequate when I tried to explain where grand-dad was to our 5 year-old daughter. Silently I feared all the practicalities we had in front of us to deal with wondering if I would be able to do them well enough. I took a deep breath – and what happened then was amazing. The most exquisite energy slowly wrapping itself around me, a soft and mild peace at first which then developed into love. At that very moment it was like all of that heaviness was lifted off me and I heard a voice in my head: You do not have to carry this alone! We are going to help you!

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I realised that they were both there, both my husband’s father and mother. I could feel him and I recognised his solid love which I have so often experienced when the two of us had our deep conversations – but in a much stronger and refined version. His message was – I am going to help you structure things so you do them in the right order and as easy as possible.

I could feel her and her warm motherly energy filled with a giggly and joyful charm, comforting me and I heard her say: – You know, it is important that you look smart, that will make you feel much better. You need to go out shopping! I started to giggle when I heard this, for it was so typical for her to say a thing like that. She acknowledged how I had helped my husband to buy a new suit for the funeral, found appropriate clothes for our daughter, planning for the sad farewell to make it as respectful and as light as possible for those who would come to mourn him. I had postponed my own needs to take care of “for later”. Love was infused in me, wrapped around me, supporting me in a way I have never felt before. I felt like a child with loving parents directing their focus and their unconditional love towards me. All the heaviness was lifted off me for and a great deal of the sadness too – since I felt their presence to clearly. I realised they were not gone, but still there in another form caring for us.

I guess I had a childish belief that our loved ones can come and communicate with us, make their presence known, and to comfort us. However, not in my wildest dreams I thought that they could help us! These two have kept their promise – all the arrangements have been very smooth and easy to make, the perfect people have showed up at the perfect time along the way. (I swear to you, my mother-in-law was my “personal shopper” and was hovering around me in the department store when I was searching for clothes!)

The ending of life is something most of us fear in one way or another. Weather that is fear for our own physical death – where we will go, or the loss of the people we hold dear – to be left alone without their presence in our life.

Somehow I think I was shown something really important in this experience. Since I was at peace I could sense them, see them. When the sadness is too dense, when we are preoccupied with guilt and regret, or when we try too hard to connect – our loved ones who have transitioned, cannot reach us. We then have enwrapped us in an impenetrable mental and emotional shell. So they wait until we can listen. That is why many can sense the deceased when they expect it the least – when the guards are down so to speak.

I am so grateful for this experience, if gave me a feeling of connectedness, of hope and reassurance. For me it proved that love is constant even if form changes, and nothing is lost.  I know that each and everyone need their personal experience of connection to really sort out what to believe about the afterlife. I hope by sharing my story you will feel less fearful if you have a similar experience. I also hope my story can be of comfort if you are struggling with grief in this moment. Life is so precious, our relationships are so precious, and if you feel the urge to tell someone how much you love them but hesitate – please, reconsider, take the chance! We never know what tomorrow will bring and the world become so much better if we sprinkle a bit of extra love around us!

In a few days we, his extended family and dear friends will mourn our loss and celebrate his life and transitioning. I am so grateful that I had the honour to travel alongside him for a stretch of the road. Thank you, dearest!

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Take care of yourself, and thank you for reading my post.







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