The search for meaning when a loved one dies

Meaning affects everything we do; and equally important, it affects the body, as evidenced by the many examples of mind-body relationships, such as the placebo effect. Finding the meaning of death is not always easy and is sometimes difficult to find.

However, finding meaning when a loved one dies can make a difference in how you cope with their loss and reinvest in life. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, put it this way: “Meaning makes many things bearable, perhaps everything.”

The search for meaning is useless at the beginning of your pain; First, give yourself time to express your emotions and review the relationship. Over time, do your best to make sense of your loss. Here are seven considerations that have made sense to others after the death of a loved one that can help you on your own quest.

1. Meaning derived from the belief that there is a spiritual world. Many people have told experiences that have convinced them that there is a spiritual world and an afterlife. The Near Death Experience (NDE) has happened to more than 8 million people who report going through a tunnel, seeing others who have passed away, and a beautiful white light.

Others, who were mourning the death of a loved one, have experienced dreams, visions, and various synchronic and symbolic events, called Extraordinary Experiences (EE). These events provided enough comfort and evidence for them to believe that their loved ones are living in another existence. This had a great influence on the course of his mourning work.

2. Meaning derived from the celebration of life lived. This may include dedications, commemorations, carrying out a particular tradition, or volunteering in honor of the deceased. Some survivors have started support groups or have supported the recently deceased in their community, depending on their needs.

3. Meaning derived from the belief that there is a heaven and a hell. Many grieving people find comfort in their beliefs that their loved ones are in heaven with God. Additionally, many embrace the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, where they can pray to their loved ones and ask them to intercede with God for them.

4. Meaning derived from the belief that love never dies. Many who receive a contact from a deceased loved one or a divine being interpret it as an act of love. Their love for the deceased continues as they reinvest in life and establish a new, healthy but different relationship. Feeling loved and giving love when suffering is an underused but very effective coping tool.

5. Meaning derived from the belief that one day there will be a reunion with the deceased. Those who believe in an afterlife, heaven or receive an EE are often convinced that they will see their loved one again when they die. They are not afraid of death and reinvest their energies in their current life.

6. Meaning derived from the belief that the loved one still provides comfort, care, and support. “Even in death, he / she continues to give and care” is the thought of many who feel the presence of their loved one when they are in mourning. This is a deep example for you to emulate.

7. Meaning derived from the belief that the deceased is whole and healthy in a different existence. Many of the post-death contacts that the grief experience show the loved one whole and healthy again. They are grateful that the loved one is no longer in pain.

Obviously, there are many, many more ways that individual mourners find meaning in the death of their loved ones, helping them integrate their losses into their lives. Much depends on personal beliefs, the nature of the relationship with the deceased and the mode of death. The search for meaning is an important part of grieving work for most, and it often becomes a time when we are open to reviewing our worldview and beliefs about life and death.

Sometimes trying to make sense of death seems fruitless. For example, how do you make sense of the death of a four-month-old (this happened to me)? Eventually I was able to accept it. Still, it helps to find the cause of the experience and extract meaning from it with a trusted friend or family member. We need others to be with us at this time when we are in pain. Find the right person as you try to make sense of your loss.

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