In my afterlife topics group we were discussing what suffering we go through in this world and whether or not it is necessary and/or beneficial. A couple of us who have had children transition started talking about how we are permanently and irrevocably changed by this event. One person talked about how her partner was never the same, up until the day she died. From her perspective, her partner’s life had been destroyed by the murder of her child. Others of us talked about the changes we have seen in ourselves. Some just can’t believe the suffering is necessary, beneficial or planned. Others, like myself, absolutely do believe it’s all of the above.
We are all on a spectrum, on a point somewhere along the continuum of being aware of the spiritual aspect of our beings and being completely oblivious to it. On a scale of 0-100, there are those who think this is all there is. They’d be at about a zero. Most people have some notion that there is something more, but they don’t think about it much. They certainly don’t contemplate their mortality. Even if they’ve had parents or elderly people who have gone before them, they might make little notice. When someone goes out of turn though, when it’s a child who leaves, it makes you take a whole new look at everything in the world. You’re made aware not only of your own mortality. You’re made aware that nothing is predictable. You realize that this world makes little sense without opening to a bigger picture. If you can make that shift in paradigms, from a purely material world, to this world being a temporary stop on a much longer journey, you have some hope of surviving this with some amount of sanity left. For the rest of parents going through this, I don’t know how they do it. But, after having made that shift, to the rest of the world, you might look a little insane. While most people are hovering in the single digits on the spiritual awareness scale, you’re moving higher and higher on the scale and away from “normal”. And, as you move away from the normal people, from their perspective, you’re losing it. You look for signs. You notice synchronicities. You might start to meditate. You might seek out a different church. Things you used to care a lot about you might not care about at all. Things you didn’t care about suddenly become of extreme importance.
People who have NDEs are dramatically transformed when they return. They offer suffer from depression and disorientation. They often get divorced. I think having a child die is very similar to an NDE. I know I’ve been near death and not just physically. And, in a very real way, a part of me died the day that Shayna transitioned and that part of me won’t be returning to this life. I understand now why the divorce rate among mourning parents is so high. Suddenly, the person you have been married to all these years is a different person. You’re a different person. Trying to get to know the new you is difficult enough without trying to get to know the other new person living in your house. For many people it’s simply too much.
As I navigate the twists and turns of grief, I’m trying to stay rooted in your world, the world of people who are still focused here. I try to maintain a sense of normalcy so I seem normal to other people. But, my attention is drawn away. I find myself often in a room full of people, but feeling all alone as I contemplate the nature of the world I find myself in, wonder if Shayna is here with me, and look forward with great anticipation to a day that most people dread, the day when I can take off this meatsuit and get some rest from this rat race.