I’m sharing my interview with Matt Welsh from Spiritual Media Blog. I believe it’s time to broaden the discussion about death and dying. I don’t believe we have to walk the path of anger, denial, and bargaining to reach the final destination of acceptance. I believe that there is joy beneath the sorrow and that others too can start at acceptance and stay there throughout their journey of recovery. This might fly in the face of what’s considered “normal grieving”, but what I found true for me was an amazing feeling of ease, comfort and nurturing – what I refer to as Grace – that kept me from drowning in the mire of doubt, wishful thinking and regret. There really is joy beneath the sorrow for you too.
Q&A with Della Temple, author of Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss
Why did you write your book?
Walking in Grace with Grief Meditations for Healing After Loss is a book from my heart. When my son died in a solo car accident four years ago, I grieved a different kind of grief. Along with the deep anguish and searing pain of losing a loved one, within 48 hours of his death, I found myself in what I refer to as a state of Grace. I don’t know how else to explain it. I didn’t feel anger or rage against a God that had taken my son. I experienced sorrow; a deep, fathomless sadness; grief; love; acceptance; compassion; and happiness-yes happiness-all at once. I felt the Divine surrounding me, offering comfort and support. I knew deep within my soul that my son’s Spirit lived on. He had left his body, but he was alive as a Spirit. This profound acceptance and belief were the keys, I believe, in my ability to walk this path in a different manner.
I wrote this book because I want to broaden the discussion about death and dying. I don’t believe we have to walk the path of anger, denial, and bargaining to reach the final destination of acceptance. I believe that others too can start at acceptance and stay there throughout their journey of recovery. This might fly in the face of what’s considered “normal grieving”, but what I found true for me was an amazing feeling of ease, comfort and nurturing – what I refer to as Grace – that kept me from drowning in the mire of doubt, wishful thinking and regret.
Can you explain in a little more detail what you mean?
For me, the pain of sorrow was particularly intense when I allowed myself to descend into the “what ifs” and “if he’d only lived” stories. That’s when I experienced a sadness that was full of self-pity, agony, and despair. So every time my thoughts wandered to the what-if-my-son-had-lived stories, I pulled myself back. I literally would not allow myself to experience those thoughts. I forced myself to think of something else-to remember a time from the past when he made me laugh, or to remember his voice or his smell. Anything but a what-if-he’d-lived story. This took energy and effort, but I think it made the difference in how I healed. I shifted the thought and experienced my sorrow in a different vibration if that makes any sense. It was a higher, cleaner vibration-a healing vibration full of love and mercy. This vibration felt full of acceptance, kindness, and gentleness. I knew that if I could stay in this vibration-if I could surround myself with thoughts and feelings that resonated there-I could heal this deep wound. I had tools to help me stay in this vibration, and I share those tools in the various healing meditations in the book. In fact, the meditations have become a standard part of my everyday life and continue to help me maintain a profound acceptance of life as it is, not as I wish it might be.
How do you balance giving yourself time to grieve and remember someone with still allowing yourself to move forward?
There’s not a right way or a wrong way to grieve. Each person deals with their grief as best they can. What I found worked for me was being aware – staying conscious – of how I felt each moment. If I felt like laughing I laughed, if I felt like talking about my son, I did so. If I felt like crying, I allowed myself a good cry. This is what I call Conscious Grieving. Being consciously aware of how we feel and allowing all the emotions of sorrow and pain to exist while simultaneously taking a step forward on our path of being something new. I share some practical skills such as grounding to the earth and “filling in” with life-force energy so that you can stay healthy as you move through this time of becoming something new. Because that’s what we are doing; becoming something new. Our world has changed – our life is in upheaval – and we will never return to the “before” times. We are moving forward into this state of being without, a time of honoring what was and wondering what will be.
How do you balance giving yourself time to experience and express painful emotions associated with loss such as sadness, regret, or confusion while still remaining at peace and faithful?
One of the chapters in the book is called Learning to Ride the Wave. It’s about finding that balance of expressing your emotions fully and completely without falling into the pit of despair and depression.
From a metaphysical point of view, when you cry, your loss moves through the various layers of your energy body and exits your system. This is the “release” we feel at the end of a good cry. What was literally attached to your physical body has been removed, leaving you calm, peaceful, and renewed. After my loss, I cried often, and I cried deeply. I keened for my loved one. I accepted this gut-wrenching, razor-sharp, searing pain for what it was-a natural healing process.
As I cried, I kept the self-pity and despair stories at bay. I used a technique called Blowing Up a Rose to keep the thoughts of what might have been from taking root in my body and mind. This energy tool helped to keep the lower vibrational feelings of regret, anger and confusion from taking over. It allowed me to find the peace and joy beneath the sorrow. That’s riding the wave; being consciously aware of your emotions and finding a way to experience them fully and completely while remaining upright as you navigate this world of sorrow.
What advice would you have for someone who feels like they don’t understand certain aspects of why things happened the way they did in a relationship with a loved one who they’ve lost?
What helped me deal with the unexpected timing of my son’s death was my understanding of Life Contracts. I believe in reincarnation-that we exist as eternal Spirits and come to earth to experience certain challenges and emotions. As we make ready for our trip to earth, we call together the Spirit forms of our soon-to-be-parents, siblings, friends, and colleagues. God is there too. We gather around a big “conference table in the sky,” and we design our soon-to-be life. We think about what our main purpose will be in this lifetime, and we design a life that presents many challenges and learning opportunities. This Contract of Life includes many variables, or different paths that a person may take once they come to earth. Some paths are straight and narrow, leading right to the person’s overarching purpose while other paths are full of curves and unexpected dips and bumps. Some life paths are long, and others are short.
Once this Contract of Life is blessed by God, and all parties agree to play their part, we come here to earth to live it. Some souls choose short lifetimes; others choose long ones. Each is perfect just as it was designed. While this is not easy for those of us left behind, we must honor the timing of a death. It is not for us to say whether life was too short. It is perfectly right just the way it is.
Any other books you are thinking about writing? And, Why?
I released two books this year. As I was writing Walking in Grace with Grief, I was also writing a book about stopping the mind chatter, Tame Your Inner Critic Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose. Both books utilize the same set of “energy tools” – grounding to the earth, filling in with life-force energy, protecting yourself from the unwanted thoughts and feelings of others. Of course Tame Your Inner Critic isn’t about grief, but surprisingly they overlap in many areas. So after writing two books in short order, I think it will be another year or two before I write another. But, I’m already thinking about a children’s book on losing a loved one. Even children can learn to ride the wave of grief without falling into the stories of what might have been. We will see what next year brings!
Where can we get a copy of your book?
Walking in Grace with Grief Meditations for Healing After Loss is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online outlets. Or call your local bookstore, and have them order it! And, if you want more information about Tame Your Inner Critic, please come say hi at dellatemple.com. I would love to hear from you.
About the Author
Della Temple writes about melding the worlds of the physical and the metaphysical. She combines her love of anything analytical with her wide-ranging interest in quantum physics and the world of energetic healing. She is a certified Reiki Master and has studied clairvoyance and psychic healing at Boulder Psychic Institute.
When she lost her son in a solo car accident, Della experienced a different kind of grief – one full of sorrow; a deep, fathomless sadness; love; acceptance; compassion; and happiness-yes happiness-all at once. She knew that her loved one was still “alive” in Spirit, and often felt him surrounding her in love and comfort-especially during the first year after his passing. Accepting this as a natural occurrence, their Spirit to Spirit talks became an integral part of Della’s healing journey. She was also surrounded by some unusual friends who helped her navigate this world of death, Spirit, and Life after Life.
Della writes about her experience in the hopes of broadening the discussion around death and grieving. Through the healing meditations and energy tools explained throughout the book, it is Della’s hope that the reader will connect to the joy and grace that exists beneath the sorrow and pain of loss.