Survival Strengthens the Soul

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In the short time since I’ve created this blog, I’ve met many other parents that have lost a child. Many of them read the site, either sporadically or regularly. There’s a kinship among us. We relate to each other the way our best friends can’t. We’re drawn to each other. They know exactly how I’ve felt, what I’m feeling now and what I’ll feel next year.

This post is geared specifically towards my bereaved crew. We’re all at various stages of our loss. It’s been 13 months for me. For others I know, it’s only been a month. For some of you reading this, unfortunately, maybe it’s something that will happen in the future.

It’s a post of hope. It’s something to read when you’re in the pit. When you don’t feel like you can climb out. When you don’t feel like anyone hears your cries for help.

George Anderson is a medium. On his website he claims to have had a special relationship with souls since he was 6, and he’s dedicated his life to helping the bereaved cope with loss. According to a post on a message board for families that have lost a child, Anderson wrote these words.

This post isn’t to vouch for his abilities or credibility. Like I’ve written before, it’s all confusing to me. I just wanted to spread his message, which I hope can comfort either yourself or your loved ones that have or will experience tremendous loss. I hope it helps.

It’s become typical–yet  still always surprising–to hear from souls during a session who were  themselves bereaved parents on the earth, that not only was the struggle of their lifetime here necessary, but “worth it.”  That’s a rather  spectacular statement to make, considering how we already know how  difficult the path of a bereaved parent is.  Let’s face it–things have to be pretty darn good in the hereafter  for (formerly) bereaved parents to tell us here that every minute of the struggle here to continue after a devastating loss is not only worth  the immense cost to us, but it was necessary to their spiritual growth  and reward in their new world of joy.

The souls tell me  that reunion with the children they longed so much to see again is  breathtaking, and one of the most curious things they encounter is that  with regard to appearances, not a second seemed to have passed since  they last saw their children.  It seems literally as if we pick up  exactly where we left off, and that only once we are comfortable, we get to see the progression of the souls of our children almost exactly as  it would have happened on the earth.  It’s one of the joys the souls are most happy about–not having lost a minute of their child’s growth and  maturity.

What is so encouraging about sessions like these, where bereaved parents “talk” to parents here, is that they don’t try  to minimize the entire spiritual journey of a parent here by tossing out phrases like “it all gets better” or “you do get rewarded, so  relax”–they take the journey both they and we have gone through with a  seriousness that is unlike any other time in sessions.  The experience of having lost a child on the earth and having struggled through the  most difficult challenge of this lifetime (their words) has not at all  been forgotten by the souls–but it has been forgiven, since they now  see the arc of their lives, and the lives of their children, and how  necessary it all was as a means to a magnificent end.

I  can’t make you feel better when your heart is broken by just telling you  that as a bereaved parent, it will get better one day–that is part of  the spiritual lesson each of us will learn here.  But I can remind you  that when life seems at its most cruel and hopeless, parents just like  you survived it.  They not only survived, but they found everything they had lost, and much, much more.  I hope the example of these brave souls and their incredible words can at least help us understand that there  is Light ahead, and no matter how hard it is, we have to keep walking  toward that Light, where everything we love and have lost is waiting for us in a world where no harm will ever come to our loved ones or us  again.   From your sisters and brothers who walked the same path as you, and came out the other side in joy, you know they can be trusted to tell you the truth.  And it’s pretty spectacular.

I can’t wait to see Jax again. And if it really feels like not a minute has passed, it will be a glorious moment when we reunite. I can’t wait to rub my hand across that chicken-head hair of his.

Some of my bereaved brothers feel the same. To the point that perhaps they’ve seriously considered speeding up the process. It’s crossed my mind. I’m sure it’s at least crossed all of our minds for a second. But the hell we’re in isn’t for nothing.

So stay strong. When you’re not, let others carry you. When you’re feeling strong, let others lean on you. And when we do finally see our kids again, we’ll know surviving this hell was worth it.

9 thoughts on “Survival Strengthens the Soul

  1. It can’t come soon enough for me. I am disappointed every morning when I wake up and have to face the day….but face it I do, because I woke up, I must have something left to finish.

  2. In my book I discuss the desire to commit suicide after the loss of a child. I describe it as two threads which are interwoven. We wish to see our child but we don’t wish to hurt ourselves. Unfortunately, those desires are in conflict. The only way we can see our child is to leave the physical existence. This conflict can and does create intense turmoil. Seeing our child is an act of love, suicide is an act of destruction.

    Thank you Seth for this deeply poignant passage which offers solace and hope. I think it helps clarify the issues that many bereaved parents struggle with. Your generosity in sharing with others who struggle is a testament to you and Jax. May Godspeed on this terrible journey.

    J.Marie Sheppard

      • Deb~ You are correct in your statement that the accurate term is “dies/died by suicide” versus “commits suicide”. However, among suicide victims and survivors, professional lingo is rarely utilized; rather, they speak in the vernacular. In this regard, the expression, “commits suicide” is far more a common occurrence than “died by suicide”.

        Suicide victims/survivors rarely concern themselves with the proper words to utilize; most are too traumatized to what is and will remain a stunning, unbelievable or understandable, emotional blow. In the days, months, years which follow, facing the emotional fallout requires patience and extraordinary courage. Most of us are “with it” enough to know that “died by suicide” is the proper terminology; but few of us are in the emotional position to care enough to make it an issue. We are simply dealing with far more.

        You claim to be an expert in this subject matter as well as a bereaved counselor of sorts, I’m rather surprised by this rather harsh response. The parents who read this blog are very fragile. Care should be taken with our words.l

  3. Seth,
    Thank you for sharing this. I have never hear of George Anderson, but his words gave me hope.

    I never really thought of suicide, but the thought of dying no longer scares me at ALL. I know we are still here, waking up each day for some reason…

  4. J.Marie Sheppard, is my sister-in-law. Anderson is an amazing Medium, but I’ve also experienced my loved ones who have passed from suicide. Not a child which is the worst then any human can experience. My husband, J. Marie’s brother-in-law suicided before her son. I am a Medium and have helped millions of people connect with their loved ones. Mat became a police officer after my husband died by suicide. FYI: No one commits suicide…it’s a disease. They die by suicide. Become an advocate and let’s change the imagine of suicide. It’s a terrible disease. But, we can change the imagine of suicide.

    Peace, Love…Deb Sheppard

    • Well ,Deb, people do commit suicide. The word commit merely means to carry out. Suicide, by definition, is a noun rather than a verb. So, while people sometimes say a person “suicided” it doesn’t really make sense. Perhaps a mental illness leads to this action, perhaps it is a sudden impulse; that is difficult to determine in some cases. We can all agree that it leaves pain and turmoil behind. The stigma of suicide is not the language; it is the perception. While you have every right to dislike the language, it is unseemly and out of line to call someone out for using common vernacular.
      I am interested, however, in your claims to be a medium who has helped “millions of people”. That is quite a feat.

  5. Deb~ Research does indicate the possibility that suicide is a “disease”. When studies of the brains of people who have died by suicide were conducted post mortem, there were a quite a few noticeable differences between people who died by suicide versus those who died from other causes. This leads to the conclusion that suicide is a result of a disease of the brain (Mann & Currier, 2012). The studies focused on specific areas of the brain, especially the serotonergic system, adrenergic system and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis (HPA), which are the mood, thinking and stress reaction part of the brain. In the same vein, research includes neurobiological impairments as something to consider when depression and other underlying mental disorders are present (this includes stressors which occur over long periods of time without reprieve], “One of the key challenges of neurobiological studies is determining the abnormalities in genes, brain structures or brain function that differentiate depressed people who died by suicide from depressed people who died by other causes (AFSP.org, 2016).”

    Due to the ongoing research, it is important to refrain from blanket terms such as “illness” or “diseases” and remember that these are individuals who left behind loved ones in incredible pain. Empathy should be provided in abundance. Many loved ones cringe when their member is “labeled”; especially by the word sickness or disease.

    They say that suicide does not end the pain, it simply passes it on to somebody else. Family members and others who remain behind face a multitude of challenges. Extreme empathy, understanding, and the absence of labels is the desirable approach.

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