I’ve been friends with Mary Beth for several years. She contacted me in the early years of this blog, and was one of my first clients for “people spirits” (as opposed to the animal communication I’d been doing for years before.) She’s cool with me using her first name, by the way.
I just love this piece she wrote about her experience with her own son’s death and her journey through life after the unexpected and sudden loss of her son. With her permission, I’m sharing this with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Death of Grief
Being separated from a loved one by death is hard. When it’s your child, it’s worse. It sucks. Even if you know that the soul is eternal and that your loved one is “with you” in Spirit, it’s not the same as being physically present – not by a long shot.
I know. My son, Nathan, died in a car accident three years ago, at the age of 18. He was just starting to get his act together, too. To say I was devastated is an understatement. My world imploded. Everything changed. It was an act of courage just to get up in the morning and continue to function.
I found the Channeling Erik blog a few months later, which launched me on an incredible journey of discovery. I studied, found some awesome teachers, and ultimately changed my entire viewpoint on reality. That’s for another post. But, along the way, I learned to actually communicate with my son on the “other side”. I can sense him when he’s present and even have snippets of conversation. We have a continuing relationship. But, it still isn’t the same as his physical presence. I miss that immensely.
In life, when happy events occur, we associate things and dates with that happy feeling. Like, Christmas, birthdays, and graduations. When that time of year comes around, we celebrate, remember, and reinforce those feelings of happiness. Just hearing Christmas carols makes me happy. But, when tragic events occur, we associate THAT date with grief. When the anniversary of a tragic event rolls around, the grief breaks out anew, and we will mourn and (possibly) reinforce those feelings of loss.
Last April, Nathan would have turned 21. The surge of grief that emerged around that time frame caught me by surprise. Something about missing that milestone – when he would have been legally an adult – overwhelmed me. The third anniversary of his death followed two months later. I entered a period of pervasive sadness and wondered if I would ever, truly, get over Nathan’s passing.
Well maybe not, but Nathan decided to step in to help me out of my funk. There are certain songs that made me feel sad, like James Taylor’s Fire and Rain. The line “but I always thought I would see you again…” made me cry. Until one day, as I was listening to the lyrics, the image popped into my mind of Nathan, appearing as a wedding singer cradling a microphone, crooning the song in a melodramatic, over the top way. He completely overacted, crying and wailing his way through the chorus. I couldn’t help but laugh at his goofiness. And you know what? The laughter pushed out the sadness. Now, when I hear the song, it’s hard to be sad while remembering Nathan’s antics.
Another interaction occurred while I was looking at a special photograph of Nathan. It was taken during our last vacation trip together to the mountains. He is dressed in leathers, standing in front of his motorcycle with a beautiful mountain backdrop, smiling happily after successfully navigating a challenging curvy road. It was just so “Nathan”. We used that photo at his funeral. I gazed at the photo, sighing “Oh, Nathan” feeling the sadness and regret well up. Then, I sensed Nathan standing right beside me, one arm flung carelessly over my shoulder, shaking his head and saying, “Yeah, what a great dude, so handsome, so cool”. I couldn’t help it, I started laughing. I pushed at the air beside me and joked, “Stop it!” He protested, “But it’s true!” What a goofball. Ever since, I can’t feel too sad when seeing the photo, because I remember our joke together about it.
And then I “got it”. I finally got what he is trying to teach me. What if, we could – somehow – replace the sad associations with happy ones? Is that even possible?
I’m lucky in that I do have a continuing relationship with my son. I think everyone can have a continuing relationship with their loved ones that have crossed over, but that’s another post. Being able to laugh together about those things that were previously associated with loss, helps to smooth away the sadness, like ocean waves eroding a sand castle. The peaks of grief are still there, but they lessen over time as new, positive associations displace the sadness.
So, next year at Nathan’s birthday, I’m going to plan something FUN. I’m going to intentionally work at interjecting joy on that date. I’m going to invite Nathan along and we’ll celebrate his birthday together. Same for his date of passing. I can’t change the fact that he died. I don’t think anything can ever replace my longing for his physical presence. But I can live MY best life if I can move past the sadness and work at replacing it with joy. I think it will be a process.
Thanks Nathan. I love you.
6 thoughts on “Guest Mary Beth: The Death of Grief”
wow, mary beth, i love how you’re allowing yourself to reframe those experiences. nathan sounds like a hoot!
my experience is similar in some ways – channeling erik helped me through grieving and into connecting with spirit (but with my parents, who crossed over many years ago). while i’m in a pretty joyful place most days, i tend to get a bit tense in anticipation of those memory markers. especially with the holidays upon us, i’m going to take a page from your book and find ways to interject joy into those days.
thank you for sharing!!
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Mary Beth-Thank you for your story. I too found my way here through Channeling Eric. My son Bryan was 20 when he died. This March marks the 3rd year and it is still so hard. It is helpful to hear that other moms have more than just survived. I am working on it. I read everything I can find hoping to learn how to connect. It is not easy rebuilding a belief system that falls outside anything I was used to. You are lucky to have found teachers. I know you said that part of your story was for another post but I would be grateful for any advice, help or information you would be willing to pass on. It would be nice to find the laughter again. Thank you! and Thank you Kate!
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Thank you Melinda for commenting!
Melinda, I’ve done lots of reading and studying, but the best help I’ve gotten are my sessions with Kate. Through the sessions, I’ve been able to validate what I’m “receiving”, which has built my confidence and trust in my perceptions. It was so hard at first to separate the external inputs (from guides and loved ones) from my own head voice. I probably have been communicating with them all my life, I just thought I was talking to myself!
The other thing I’ve learned is how it feels when Nathan is near. There is a deep heart connection that I used to interpret as sadness. I finally realized that the feeling meant that he was right there beside me. It’s not sadness, it’s love.
You can be very sure that Bryan is around and would love nothing more than to see you happy.
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Thanks Mary Beth. I know exactly what you mean about the deep heart connection. I have felt it, it is an intense sadness but I also know that it is Bryan. I guess I need to work on leaving the connection open and just feeling the feelings.
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Nathan is a hoot!