Grief, Loss … Life Goes On

Grief, Loss … Life Goes On

butterfly message

For many years I had lived what I thought of as a charmed life, without any major losses or grief. Sure, I had grandparents who passed away and even aunts and uncles, but it didn’t feel catastrophic.

Then in the summer of 2011 my dear friend Julie lost her battle with cancer and I was engulfed in grief. My Pollyannaish life had disappeared in an instant and I felt the deep pain of loss and grief.

On October 14th, on my daily walk with the dogs in the arroyo behind my house, a butterfly appeared in front of me. I mean right in front of me as I almost stepped on it. I gently lifted it and placed it off to the side where no one would trample it. Much to my surprise and delight, a few seconds later it flew away.

At that moment I knew it was some kind of communication from someone who had died, and I thought Julie had contacted me. Feeling grateful and happy, I smiled to myself knowing that the butterfly was a message from the other side.

A few days later I received the horrendous news that Jonathan, my 35-year-old son, had taken his life five days earlier. I thought of the butterfly. Yes, it had been a sign, but it wasn’t from Julie. It was from Jon. The butterfly came to me two days after Jon had left the earth plane. It was the first of many messages.

I was filled with agony, pain, despair, and anguish, and the support I received from friends and family kept me afloat. It still does. Whenever I feel the waves of grief begin to suffocate me, I call out. On Facebook (it’s truly been a godsend), as well as phone calls and texts. And when the troops send me love and energy, I am able to rise out of the quagmire of deep grief and once again, choose to join the living.

Grief has no timetable. Sometimes it just shows up without any warning, and I find myself sinking. I am grateful to have wonderful support people in my life and I believe (for me it’s a knowingness) that Jon is okay and doing well. Sometimes I hear his voice, sometimes I feel his presence, and sometimes the Ghost Detect Pro app on my iPhone captures an image!

For instance, on my birthday this year, I was really missing my son and my dad (he passed away in May 2013 at age 95). These were the two men I have loved the most and, as I lay on my couch thinking about them, I shed many tears. I decided to turn my Ghost app on and, within a few minutes, it took a picture! Take a look at the two spheres of light near my feet – Dad and Jon spending time with me on my birthday!

Birthday, Balls of Light

When Jon died he left behind very few physical objects. The one that I claimed is a ceramic pendant that I had given him years before. On one side is an image of the sun, and the other side is “peace” in Egyptian. He had chose that particular one saying that our family trip to Egypt and Israel (for his Bar Mitzvah) had been a highlight of his life. I wear this pendant all the time, right over my heart center. Last month, however, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I am done wearing this?” And then, 2 days later, BAM, I dropped it and it chipped. I was filled with deep, deep grief and wailed, “my heart is broken.” For a little while I was inconsolable; the pendant was the outward manifestation of my broken heart.  When I reached out to my Facebook family and friends, they sent me love and energy, and I was able to breathe again as the pain began to subside. My question had been answered in a mighty big way: “NO, I AM NOT DONE WEARING THE PENDANT YET!” Instead of having it expertly repaired, I decided to put it back together myself adding fairy dust to the glue. It isn’t perfect….I didn’t want it to be, my heart will never be perfectly mended. Take a look for yourself at the photo below.

pendant, broken and mended

Life Goes On

What I have learned in these past 2½ years since the unspeakable happened (my adult child committed suicide) is that life does go on. And, within this life, there will be more times that grief will surprise me and I will again feel like I am suffocating and gasping for breath.

I visit the place of profound grief and despair, but I don’t live there and I don’t dwell there too long. And yet, as far down as I allow myself to go into the deep pit of mourning, that’s how high I’ve been able to ascend into newfound heights of joy.  What a roller coaster ride it has been. And it's been such a surprise to me that experiencing the deep depth of pain has been a springboard to new heights of bliss.

Unfortunately, many parents who have lost children to suicide end up taking their own lives. I have not been suicidal and what has helped me the most are:

  1. My support system. People who send me love, energy, and prayers any time I ask.
  2. Connecting with Jon’s spirit. For instance, a few months after Jon had died I thought I heard his voice while I was meditating. Immediately I started questioning this and thought I was making it all up. So I said to that voice, “Jon, if this is really you, then heat up the pendant (the ceramic pendant that I discussed above) that I am wearing.”  The voice replied, “Ma. There are some things that I haven’t learned how to do yet!” It made a believer out of me!
  3. My own spiritual practices and energy practices. I am in conscious contact with my loving Higher Power throughout the day,. Also, I use a tapping technique known as RITT (Rapidly Integrated Transformation Technique) –, in which I partner with Source/God to release pain and trauma. The name will soon be changed to SourceTapping!

[Note: Want to learn more energy practices in a fun-filled live conference atmosphere? Come to the Energy Psychology conference in Phoenix the end of May. I am offering a Breakout Session on Using Tapping as a treatment for Food Addiction and Compulsive Overeating.]

Grief, Loss...Life Goes On

Yesterday was another challenging day for me. A close friend was celebrating the 2 year anniversary of his son’s death, a Facebook friend just lost her son, my dad’s stone setting is next week, and (for those astrologically-minded) I am going through a difficult transit – Pluto quincunx Uranus. I turned on my Ghost Detect Pro app, put my phone on my desk and BEEP – it took a picture. Check it out – the image reminds me, once again, that I am not alone.

Celestial Support

Do you have a belief in life after death? I’d enjoy reading your comments below.

Love and Blessings,

Meryl sig copy

P.S. Before I began to re-read what I had written here, I asked Jon if he'd like to make an appearance, turned the app on, and put the phone down facing the ceiling.  Take a look at the interesting pic I got. How many hearts do you see???      Hi Jonny!! 🙂

Grief, Loss...

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Grief, Loss … Life Goes On — 21 Comments

  1. Dear Meryl,
    Where does one even begin to comment on such profound sharing? I often feel I cannot even begin to understand the pain and grief a parent must experience after the death of a child(even an adult child, especially after suicide). Your writing has brought me closer to that place where I can see a road to recovery.I have friends and acquaintances who have suffered unexpected loss and despite all my compassion for them, never felt it was enough. I read of the strength your support system, both virtual and real, has provided you and it guides and teaches me.

    I never heard of the ghost app but will pass info as well as this blog along to those who I know are suffering. With Mother’s Day approaching, it must be a difficult time for you.You offer so much to others through your work and I feel you have a journey ahead to continue to heal, live and help others. I will post this on all social platforms as a way to reach those who need your sensitive words.

    • Roslyn, I so much appreciate your gratitude and your compassion. And thanks for passing this along to others…I know at some point this will be the topic of my next book! 🙂

  2. Grief is a process everyone must go through at some time. As a mother, I can imagine the pain you have gone through although, thankfully I have not experienced that pain as you have. I do believe in life after death and am thankful I am able to trust God with that pathway through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. That belief and trust is what has offered peace and comfort during the grief periods I have had in my life. It is that peace and comfort that is helping me right now as my own mother is battling cancer at the age of 93. God still has a reason for her to be here on earth because medically all odds of her still being here have been exhausted. I believe it is her extreme faith in knowing she has a future home in heaven that has kept her pain free and at peace during this journey. Thank you for feeling the freedom to share your grief. It will help others.

    • My mom is also 93 and battled cancer a few years ago. I am glad your mom is pain free and at peace. Thanks for your comments.

  3. It is painful to go through grief and takes so much out of us. I am so sorry for all that you’ve been through and still having to face. The pictures are incredible! Amazing! I do believe that our loved ones that have passed are watching over us. I’ve had so many deaths in my family and friends but I haven’t yet seen these balls of light…or perhaps I wasn’t aware. Thank you for sharing your touching story. Sending much love and blessings.

    • Thanks so much, Alexandra. I don’t get the balls of light with my regular camera; I downloaded a free app – Ghost Detect Pro – that captures the images.

  4. You are an amazing woman with so much to give and share. Our experiences in life teach us and make us stronger ~ I am so happy you can find the love and joy in sharing with others – it is like using your experiences to heal yourself. <3 Thank you so very much for sharing and I look foward to connecting more.

  5. Awesome awesome post. Wow, so much sadness and transformation and magic all wrapped up in the things that happen in life that we can’t ignore. I refer to them as the metaphysical 2 x 4’s up side the head. Something we hold dear is lost. I can not even imagine the depth of sadness you have felt. What an amazing journey and what a beautiful gift, of not only the message of butterfly, but of your son. You are very blessed indeed.

  6. Wow You have me with watery eyes and almost in tears!
    Such a wonderfully written story of you dealing with grief, spiritualism and life. You had so much grief to move through, what strength you must of had to push yourself to a better place. It’s lovely that your son is so close to you now and your relationship is strong and loving! I’d say the picture is full of hearts, almost as though it is made from heart lights. I believe life after death is life continued through another dimension just a tiny sliver away…. Life is amazing and keeps on going even after death because rebirth is happening in the next degree 🙂

    • I loved reading your comments, Gilly. Yes, I too see a bunch of hearts in that picture. I appreciate your sharing how my words touched you.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing with us such difficult moments of your life. The beginning of your story is similar to mine, I even thought that life was too good to be true, until I lose the most important person of my life. Yes…life goes on, and yes…I do believe in life after death, and I’m sure that I will meet him again!

  8. It is a touching story Meryl. I cannot understand the way you feel because I have not lost anybody close to me yet. But I like to think that they give us sign from where they are. Thanks for sharing this story. xxx

  9. Thank you so much Meryl for sharing your story. I’m a firm believer that there is life after death and I too have felt the warmth and reassurance from other sources. In my case it was a Robin who came to visit me shortly after my Grandmother died. Many birds visit my yard but this one was different…thanks again for your story and for sharing a bit about RITT.

    • You are very welcome, Stephanie. How wonderful that the robin came to you and that you recognized it!

  10. Meryl, this post is is so profoundly beautiful in it’s openness and vulnerability. Thank you so much for sharing it and for letting me get to know your heart, your spirit, and your son. Blessings to you.

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