Mourning is selfish. Do it anyway.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is inevitable. If you are human, you are going to have feelings of attachment to certain people and when those people are gone, it’s going to hurt. But, my Jewish friend said something deeply profound to me the day I told him Shayna had passed. He said “Mourning is for the living, Brian”. The dead do not suffer. The dead do not have regrets. I am a firm believer our souls survive the end of our physical existence. From both a faith perspective, being a universalist Christian and a scientific perspective, as someone who has studied near death experiences, past lives regression and in between life regression, I am convinced that Shayna is in a better place of utter freedom and no suffering.

Yet, we mourn. We know our loved ones are the lucky ones. They are the ones who have seen the thin veil rent wide open and gotten to not only see through, but step through. We know they have thrown off the weight of this world. In near death experiences people look at their bodies with detachment. While they love us, they do not want to return. Shayna, even being the gifted athlete she was never seemed quite comfortable with the burdens of having a physical body. She hated to move. Even getting up off of the couch to get ready for bed, she would say “I wish I could just be in bed.” Shayna had rheumatoid arthritis. I had to give her a shot bi-weekly. She was on methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug. Both these drugs can have awful side effects. I don’t know how much she thought about them. They were not spoken of. But, now all of that is behind Shayna. She is free from the troubles of this world.

We mourn that Shayna will never graduate high school, will never learn to drive, will never become a veterinarian. We mourn that we won’t get to see her bright smiling face in the afternoon when she would finally roll out of bed. But, these are losses for us, not for her. She is on to bigger and better things.

So, yes mourning is selfish. It’s for us and it is something we must do. What we should avoid is wallowing in it; becoming too comfortable or even attached to the pain. We should not punish ourselves by saying “I can’t do that without her being here.” It does not honor our loved ones when we let our lives end with their physical existence. It would be like saying “She went to the beach, so I’m going to sit here and cry.”

Ty and I will always, for the rest of this existence, miss our baby girl and wonder what might have been, but for her sake and ours, we will seek joy again, in this life- when the time is right.

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