- First off, let yourself cry, grieve and be angry. Once you’re over that, it’s easier to let in the good memories. According to Native American teachings, human beings are born with two natural medicines: laughter and tears. Never be afraid to use them.
- Remember the good times; reminisce and laugh with friends about the departed so as keep their spirit alive in your heart.
- Look for signs from the spirit world that your loved one is surrounding you and sending love. If there is a type of animal, plant or flower they had an affinity with, keep your eyes open for sightings to remind you of them.
- Do things they enjoyed doing. Toast them and order their favourite dish.
- Get together with mutual friends and celebrate their life.
- Express gratitude for the fabulous gifts they brought to your life.
- Honor their best qualities. Now actively embrace those qualities into your own life.
- Espouse the Native viewpoint that death is a natural part of life. In indigenous societies, death is not feared. Natives teach that death is not the opposite of life, rather, it is the opposite of birth. Embrace that philosophy. As survivors, we grieve because we miss our loved ones, yet they have actually gone on to a magnificent afterlife.
Some cultures keep the departed close to their heart by celebrating them at certain times of the year as do the Mexicans do in their Day of the Dead Celebration. Celebrate that your loved one has gone onto the next life and will be there to welcome you when it’s your turn.
The sooner you grasp that death a natural journey, the easier it will be for you to accept its arrival.
“There is no death, only a change of worlds.” – Chief Seattle
Try to view death as portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Frye’s powerful prayer written by in 1932, reflecting the Native American view of death:
Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet white doves in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.