I’ve written about friends and counseling as ways to survive in this world of grief. Part or counseling is groups which I wrote about yesterday. Groups are collections of like minded people. Ty has found comfort in some grief groups both online and in person. For her meeting with other grievers is helpful. For me, not so much. A friend of mine started a Facebook group for grieving parents and invited me to help her administer it. I’m not as active in it as I should be. For me, it’s the continuing bonds approach that helps. I don’t want to know how to grieve. I want to know how to remain in contact with Shayna, to look forward to seeing her again, to be convinced she isn’t dead, she is still here. So, I am active in a group that focuses on Near Death Experiences and what we can learn from those. I’m part of a group of mediums. I’m in a group that talks about After Death Communications (signs that we get). I don’t talk much in those groups never having had an NDE, not being a medium and not getting some of the wild signs others get. But, being able to listen to and interact with people who believe as I do or as I am training myself to is extremely beneficial. Through hanging out with them I have found invaluable resources, books, podcasts, YouTube videos that have been just what I needed for the next leg of my journey.
While grief is a solitary journey in many ways, unique to each of us and something no one can take away from us, we are social creatures and really are designed to be interdependent. We crave validation. It’s one thing to believe in all of this “woo woo” stuff, but if you’re on your own, your mind is going to try to talk you out of it. If you have a dream or see a butterfly acting strangely or feel your loved one’s presence in the room, you’re going to rationalize it away unless you have people saying “Yeah, that happened to me.”
After Shayna passed I started sharing some of my beliefs about the afterlife, signs, mediums and the like. People I have known for over a decade started sharing stories with me of things that they have experienced. They had never shared them with me before and rarely tell anyone because first our society doesn’t talk about death and second, you’re supposed to believe in heaven but not believe our loved ones are still here with us now or we can really know anything about it. Being in a group founded on those beliefs, gives people permission to open up and you can hear some amazingly beautiful things, things that at first seem too good to be true, things that will help get you through the the night.
When I read this passage, I took it on faith for a long time. But after a couple of decades of investigation, I now know it’s true. What awaits us is indescribable, unimaginable.
What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.