Trigger warning: Discussions of death, grieving.
The annual Halloween celebrations are approaching, and everyone is concerned about what to wear and which party to attend. However, the real background of Halloween is a more spiritual one. Halloween, or also called Samhain, is surrounded by the matter of death and rebirth. It is a day to cherish ancestors, loved ones that have died and leave behind what doesn’t serve your life anymore.
Death is all around us. We all know that we will die at the end. Some even might argue that we keep ourselves busy to escape the realisation that we will die in one way or another.
This might seem like a morbid thing to say. However, witchcraft and spirituality, the culture where Samhain has its roots, teaches to embrace the thought of death to welcome something new in your life. It can be relieving to get comfortable with the thought that everything is temporary. Living in the moment and appreciating the given things in life get to put things in a different light.
The loss might be one of the hardest things to deal with. It was a typical school day, and my parents picked me up after a long day of lessons and high school drama. I went into the car and noticed the upset expression that my mother and father shared. “Did someone die?” I said jokingly. My parents exchanged a shocked stare and had to tell me that my “grandmother”(I called her grandmother, even though we were not blood-related) died while I was busy complaining about my maths tasks.
What do you do with such information?
Everyone deals with loss differently. I think the first thing I felt was nothing. I might have even laughed. I remember reading an article about visitors going to Auschwitz and laughing out of a reaction of shock and despair. Then, after the first moment of shock and emptiness, you experience those little moments where you want to call the person, share something that happened in your day, and notice that they are not there anymore. From one day to another. Gone.
Everyone loses someone at some point. It doesn’t always have to be physical; losing someone that you love is painful—going through a breakup, romantically or platonically. When you lose contact with a person from one day to another, you feel the void they have left. The memories that you have, the jokes that you could make, the people that both of you know, everything haunts you. Going through spiritual work means looking at things from a different perspective. Understanding why something hurts is as vital as acknowledging that it hurts.
Why do loved ones leave us?
It is the circle of life (excuse me for quoting The Lion King). Death comes with rebirth, and everything starts again. No matter what happens, I am grateful for the people that entered my life either way. Everyone teaches you another lesson, makes you leave your comfort zone and learn that different people approach events differently.
After Dumbledore dies, Harry Potter goes on a quest to understand who he truly was. But, first, he asks himself: “Did I ever really know him?”.
I, for myself, got to experience that questioning the relationship you have had can be dangerous. The person that you are wondering about is not there to answer anymore. No matter what you find, you will always have half of the story. Additionally, you will interpret the results that you get from your perspective. It can even ruin the good memories that you have left.
What happens after you lose someone?
The five different stages of grief helped process what I was living in my mind without knowing how to label it.
While all of these apply, and putting a name on the steps helps, the vital part is the fluidity of the healing stages. Emotions fluctuate, and outside influences make a big difference in your feelings.
What is it that you loved about the person? And why did they leave your life?
Often, we take things personally. We reflect things on our ego and what we see in others is truly what we see in ourselves. Are you mad at the person that you have lost, or are you angry at yourself?
Looking into the mirror and understanding what you have done wrong can be hurtful. That’s why many of us try to escape that process as much as we can. We don’t gain anything from running away, though. No matter how fast you run, you can’t hide from your own shadow.
I have lost someone. And I guess so did you.
I haven’t lost the love that I felt for them. I haven’t lost the intimate moments that I can replay in my mind. And I haven’t lost the strength that guided me through the pain.
Letting go means that you believe that you might never have what you have had in the past. But that you might find something else as precious or even more beautiful in the process.
I have lost someone. But I can never lose myself.
And as long as I can’t lose myself, my journey goes on, and so does yours.
Feature image credit: rebelsmarket.com