Dealing with loss in the family: How meditation can help

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During this difficult time, many of us are struggling to absorb the infinite grief in our hearts for loved ones who have left us for their heavenly abode.

It may push us into asking some particularly hard questions like: Why did this happen? Why do I have to suffer like this? Why can’t I get over it? Why did they have to die? In the tangled web of “Why,” we cannot find the reasons or words to make sense of our sadness.

Grief is a strong emotion, and it causes a great sense of suffering in our lives. At the same time, though, it can also be a great teacher. When Gautam Buddha saw a deceased person for the first time, a strong current passed through his being, marking the moment that changed his life path forever.

When faced with uncertain situations, it is difficult to control our emotions and focus upon our daily lives. These are moments that come up in everyone’s life. We all deal with it differently.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t wait for us to catch up. So how can we stay driven towards our responsibilities towards work, life, and society while dealing with this suffering and grief for a loved one?

Learning to cope

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars,” Khalil Gibran once wrote. Today, these words remind us that, no matter how dark the times may seem, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel… eventually.

It may be a long road ahead, but here are the baby steps to begin:

· Right understanding of the situation and a gradual acceptance that this is the course of nature. Death is a natural part of our life cycle. Understanding this saves us from false comforts and brings us closer to healing.

· Right concentration on the important things in life. As tough as it may seem, concentrating on the positive things in life like our family, our work, our kids, and our support systems can keep us rooted in the present.

· Right actions to deal with an agitated mind. It can be difficult to meditate when emotions are overflowing, but meditation will eventually help us distract ourselves form grief and focus on being, and feeling, better.

READ ALSO: Mindfulness meditation

dealing with loss and grief? meditation can help
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Benefits of meditation

Over time, people have found ways to adapt meditation and its many benefits into their daily routines. It can be as simple as breathing exercises and mantra meditating, or it can extend to shavasana (lying down pose), yoga nidra (guided sleep meditation), or kirtan (chanting of holy name).

Meditation can be practised in any comfortable position where we can keep our spine straight, like sitting on a chair. Unlike popular belief, sitting cross-legged in padmasana isn’t always required for meditation.

Of course, a crucial aspect to achieving the benefits of meditation is consistency. Even if it’s five minutes a day, it’s important to practice it at the same time every day.

A huge part of the healing process is learning to accept the uncertainty of things we once thought to be constant, and to let go. With regular meditation, this sadness can eventually be transformed into strength.

When we stop looking over our shoulder at the past instead of ahead to the future, letting go of futile and ultimately painful goals, we embark on a spiritual path with strength and resolve.

With the help of meditation, we can slowly ensure that grief no longer controls our life but sits quietly in our hearts, making us value the gift of life and keeping our hearts open for others who are on the same path as us.

READ ALSO: Emotional Intelligence: 10 ways to improve self awareness

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