August 13, 2015

Turning Death into Diamonds.

diamonds, sparkling light, ocean

Here is where we can turn death into diamonds.

I recall when my brother ended his own life thirteen years ago, the biggest invitation and opportunity I experienced was to go within myself. I felt it very early on, yet didn’t listen to the initial call for a few years later.

I can’t say one way or another if this is a common experience for others in grief. I feel we may misinterpret this invitation to explore within. We like to judge and label our hurt as the absence of love.

How very wrong we are. We hurt because we love. We forget that we are love.

My brother’s suicide was the greatest catalyst to take stock of my own life. I knew that my grief had its own intelligence and it was trying to tell me something. There was work to be done and layers to be stripped back if I was to create a space for self-healing. Going inside meant I had to be brave. I had to face my pain and my fears if I was to move through the thick fog of suffering as a suicide loss survivor.

That calling rose up from the pit of my being. A powerful force that generally was ignored in the distraction of modern life. Change, growth, deeper insight and healing was a bumpy road I felt was available to me. I just had to make a choice—did I want to explore my grief and survive this life-changing event? Or did I want to continuously wallow in the weight of my brother’s loss and cloak myself in the after effects of suicide loss for years on end?

I knew deep down that my brother would have wanted me to go on and live a happy, healthy and prosperous life. The challenge was to really come to know myself. To recognize my own thoughts and my identification and attachment to the painful ones. Thoughts of suffering and fear were a relentless pattern that eventually became a way of being.

When I begun the process of becoming more intimate with myself a few breakthroughs happened.

One: I was able to sit with the thoughts and emotions of the past and allow myself to fully engage with them, feel them wholeheartedly and then release them. I was able to harness the power of forgiveness and see how those thoughts and emotions had benefited me in the present moment, unlocking a door to growth.

Two: When I was able to strip back the layers of suffering—the guilt, blame, shame, anger, isolation and other fear based emotions—I began to remember my own light. My authentic, loving self emerged. It was like seeing the world for the first time. Clarity of mind and self—this sense of purpose—stared me in the face with a smile. I no longer harbored any angst towards my brother or myself. In that acceptance I felt off the hook and able to proceed in my new life armed with a greater appreciation and gratitude for my brother and the life I had been gifted.

Three: I understood the balance and equilibrium in life. Deaths happen. But life continues. It’s death that gives life a chance. My brother’s death had a divine order to it. His passing was my gift. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss him any less. What it does mean is that I love him even more.

Events like suicide loss change you. To deny that it doesn’t is to deny the truth. And for most of us, the truth is scary. It’s scary because we’ve been taught to live our lives in boxes—a conditioning that takes us further away from that diamond that exists within us.

What scared me was how shiny this diamond of mine really was! The reality that I may be so much more powerful, creative, magnetic, giving and loving eluded me. Life can beat you up and keep you down if you let it. Or if you look a little closer, and that means looking closer within you, will you see and feel a love and joy that is always available to you in the present.

We’re here to celebrate and swim with life. That means honoring the lives we have lost too. In these times of pain and suffering seek the diamond in the rough because it’s there. Celebrate yourself and what you uniquely bring to this world and share it with us. When you feel good, you feel God and that’s the diamond that exists within you.


Relephant Read:

Grieving the Mindful Way.


Author: Marshall Dunn

Editor: Renee Jahnke

Images: Jenny Downing-Flickr & Anissa Wood-Flickr


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