Over the last few weeks, I have given you a glimpse into what it’s like to lose someone close to you – more specifically to lose a child. Perhaps you have found these posts intense at times? Or maybe a little confronting? Or perhaps you have skimmed over them, not wanting to read about this at that moment. I get it! What are you supposed to do right? How are you supposed to react? How are you supposed to feel? There really is no wrong or answer.
My mind drifts back to Ben’s ‘buddy bench’ in primary school. The leaders had to come up with an initiative as part of Anti Bullying Day. Ben had the idea of a designated bench where kids could sit if they were not playing with anyone or were sad, lonely or being picked on. The leaders could then go over and check on them or keep them company.
You may have heard this story before, but my point today is that the bench was painted red in honour of one of the kids that had been at the school and died the previous year. Ben was about 12 at the time and I remember thinking I couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like to lose a child – to lose him. I didn’t even want to think about it. I listened to Ben’s story and hugged him tightly, ‘I am SO glad I have you in my life…’ and my life continued.
Today I often think about that family who I never met and never knew. It’s ironic that I became part of their club and today I have more of an idea of how they must have felt and how they probably still feel today. Life has a weird way of showing us things or teaching us lessons that are not obvious until years later… if ever at all.
I guess it reinforces my belief in that everything happens for a reason and we are all connected in some way. Everything that happens is also part of a bigger picture. I believe that when you die you get to see a movie of sorts of your whole life. You see all the things that happened and what the reasons were.
I imagine it’s like a day of enlightenment where everything suddenly makes sense. I believe that we are beyond negative feelings at that point and just observe the events like we would watching a film. I am so looking forward to seeing my movie!
I have been surprised at the number of schools I have contacted with the idea of speaking to the students, receiving an interested and positive response in the first contact. Often, the follow up is that they are ‘fully booked’ this year or ‘will keep my details’ for the future and ‘take care’. I smile and draw on the power of a ‘monks mind’.
I wonder what must be so much more important to teach kids, that they cannot leave room for having a conversation about Life, Death and Choice.
Fortunately, I am not easily offended and am learning to accept people for who they are and where they are at regardless of my own personal belief or opinion. I know I am not for everyone and I am more than comfortable with that.
Life and death ARE confronting, and most people are not comfortable discussing in depth either subject. It should probably be officially put up there with Politics and Religion! What I also know is that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’
When you lose a child, or your child loses a friend or sibling, you are scrambling to make sense of what has happened. You will draw on anything you can remember, or you have heard, to help you get through the moment. You will reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in years, if you have the slightest feeling, they may help you understand or feel ‘normal’.
I spoke at a charity event many years ago. On the day I connected with another mother who had lost her 8-year-old son in a tractor accident on her property. She had set up a foundation in his name and donated teddy bears to siblings and the families who had experienced loss.
Ben was very much alive and well at the time and my heart broke for this woman.
Many years later she was one of the first people I contacted after Ben moved on. I had never imagined I would ever see her or speak to her again. Deep in my mind though, I always remembered her offering whatever she could as a resource to other parents. I remembered her kindness and compassion. And I remember thinking how ‘brave’ she was to do what she was doing.
She was driven to keep her son’s name alive and to make his life count.
You never know when you might need to draw on something someone said or offered long ago. When you might need to call on someone with a ‘lived experience’.
Often at my talks I am asked,
‘How do you cope today, like on a daily basis, without Ben?’
It probably comes down to the fact that I feel I have no other option – and these five points.
• I have a firm grip on what I believe happens when our loved ones ‘die’, as we describe it. (I only believe our physical form dies).
• I have no regrets with Ben and wouldn’t change anything about our relationship. Today I live my life trying to have no regrets about anything, should the ‘worst case’ scenario happen again.
• I have created my own relationship in a different form with Ben. Whilst I cannot hug, kiss or hold him, I know he is always with me.
• I know that we are never really alone and every single one of us is connected.
• My job is to continually find my purpose in life and continue to develop the best version of me. In doing this I can also continue Ben’s legacy.
So, to finish off this series, I will leave you with
15 things that I believe Ben and the departed want you to know 💙
i. There is a part of me with you always. Even if I reincarnate and begin a new life as, or with, someone else, a part of me remains at the source. A part of you is also there so I am always with you. We are always connected.
ii. I do communicate with you – you just don’t always recognise the messages or signs for what they are.
iii. I am with you always and whenever you need me. Close your eyes, relax your mind, and feel me. You will feel peace. You will feel love. You will feel powerful emotion. Sometimes this will take physical form in the tears that roll down your cheek.
iv. Death is not the end. There is nothing to be scared of.
v. I am in the ultimate most magnificent space. I am inconceivably happy, overflowing with joy and immersed in the most powerful and enveloping ‘love’, humans can only dream about.
vi. There are no words to do justice in describing life after death. There are no negative emotions or feelings. There is only ‘being’.
vii. The greatest thing you can do on earth is to find your purpose and live your life continually adding value to others. Make it count.
viii. You are part of a bigger picture. Don’t try and understand everything that happens. You can’t. Most of the time it’s not even about you.
ix. Live your life with no regret. It is a futile emotion. You cannot change the past, only the present.
x. When you smile, laugh or love someone, you honour our relationship. You are not replacing me, and you will never forget me.
xi. There is nothing you could have done. My earth life was part of my pre decided journey.
xii. I chose you to be my mother, father, sister or brother. This was all deliberate.
xiii. If you are my best friend, my colleague or acquaintance there is a reason. If you never met me but have heard of me now, there is a reason.
xiv. There are no coincidences, and nothing is random.
xv. We will meet again. Until then, stay strong, love with all your heart and do whatever you need to do in order to get through the hard times – and what you now know to be your worst nightmare.
Dalya xx 💙