Dealing with a loss

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Dealing with a loss

Postby cm2000 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:29 pm

Hello friends. I'm posting in the Adyashanti forum only because I'm a little more comfortable with his teachings than with Tolle. Anyway, my mother has been ill with cancer for the last 8 years and, long story short, she is quickly running out of time. Now I know that my thoughts are just thoughts, that they have no basis in reality. Also, I know that losing someone close is always difficult, even for the "enlightened". I'm able to identify these thoughts and feelings I have concerning my mother's impending death as "borrowing trouble" - worrying about things that haven't happened yet, things like what life will be like without her, what my father will do without her, what my sister will do without her, and so on. So I know these thoughts are essentially wasted energy but I worry that if I don't allow these thoughts to generate in my mind then I'm not dealing with the issue. So I guess my question is, how do I deal with her coming death without falling down the rabbit hole of mental thought? Is it just finding a balance? Thank you.
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Re: Dealing with a loss

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:31 am

Balance is always a good thing - but imbalance is natural as well. There would be no movement, no growth, no life without it, we move between them quite naturally.

I'm moved to suggest a wisdom from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, the movements you are feeling when those questions arise are in growing into the balance between joy and sorrow. It's not just in the future, it is also now. Gibran poses that 'your joy is your sorrow unmasked. ... when you are joyous look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

I disagree that they are 'wasted energy', you are naturally touching on them as they are arising in your awareness, that your joys (and the joys of others) will arise as sorrows, and vice versa. If you were to waste all the precious moments when you are in your loved ones' company, or even in balancing your own emotions, that will have an impact on your experience, but equally if you deny the arising of the emotions or the thoughts, that too will impact on your experience. So the balancing is not linear - there are not joys/sorrows that belong or can be imprisoned in any particular time - a joy will arise when it will, as will a sorrow.

To follow your logic that you are 'borrowing trouble' before a thing has occurred, will you then be 'stealing (any) peace' after it has occurred? It is not logical, or helpful to deny what(ever) is arising in this moment.

Eight years is a long (relative) time to be living with this awareness, but in reality we are all eight years closer to our deaths, and time is running out for all of us. Can you recognise with equal awareness the times of arising joy, as well as the times of arising sorrow? Imbalance is only spending time in one, without appreciating the other.

As Gibran says, "But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced."

Dr Elisabeth Kubler Ross detailed arising emotions and how to recognise when one is distorting a natural arising into a malignant emotional response, and the impacts of 'unfinished business' etc in circumstances such as your own, in a book called Death is of Vital Importance.

When I am in similar situations, it's these two wisdoms that I look to - Gibran & Kubler-Ross, they are more experience specific than theoretical overlaying.

You are not 'empty', and neither is your heart or your mind.

Namaste and heart.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: Dealing with a loss

Postby Onceler » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:31 am

cm2000 wrote:Hello friends. I'm posting in the Adyashanti forum only because I'm a little more comfortable with his teachings than with Tolle. Anyway, my mother has been ill with cancer for the last 8 years and, long story short, she is quickly running out of time. Now I know that my thoughts are just thoughts, that they have no basis in reality. Also, I know that losing someone close is always difficult, even for the "enlightened". I'm able to identify these thoughts and feelings I have concerning my mother's impending death as "borrowing trouble" - worrying about things that haven't happened yet, things like what life will be like without her, what my father will do without her, what my sister will do without her, and so on. So I know these thoughts are essentially wasted energy but I worry that if I don't allow these thoughts to generate in my mind then I'm not dealing with the issue. So I guess my question is, how do I deal with her coming death without falling down the rabbit hole of mental thought? Is it just finding a balance? Thank you.


I lost my mother and mother in law within two weeks of each other this past August. Even tho both mothers were expected to die....my mother was in hospice and 93, it's still a shock and there's no way to prepare for it. However!, you will naturally find the right things to do and say, at exactly the right times. It will be painful, but real, just like the rest of life and in that reality lies the beauty. I found unexpected graces along the way and unexpected freedom from my past. with the death of my mother...my dad died 20 years ago. My mother lived cleanly as there does not seem to be a lot of baggage or lingering business for me, or any of my siblings. This was her gift to me.....any lingering guilt or shame about my past seems to be gone.

Death is grace and the following emotional milieu can be both clumsy and graceful.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Dealing with a loss

Postby KathleenBrugger » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:54 pm

Hi, I haven't lost either of my parents and so I don't have any personal experience with that kind of loss. I see there haven't been many answers to your question, so I thought I'd let you know about another thread recently where someone asked a similar question, maybe some of the responses there will be of value to you.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/
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