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The Journey of Grief & Loss

Death - Ending - Transition - New Beginning - Rebirth 

Many fear the Death card in tarot. It is the idea of the unknown that shakes us to the core. We can theorize what happens at death, but won't actually know until our time comes. Experiencing smaller deaths throughout our lifetime prepares us for the final transition from the physical to the eternal. 

Death itself is a transition from one state to another. It may indicate the death of a state of being, a belief, or a situation. It could portend the ending of a relationship or the actual end of our time on the physical plane. The type of ending can be interpreted in the context of the cards around it. 

When death occurs, there is a loss of some kind, one that we grieve over. The stages of grief apply to all forms of death, change, and transition as they help us to adjust to the new state that is created by the ending of the old. The loss of a loved one can be shattering or it may bring relief, depending on the circumstances. It is always life changing and forces us to reevaluate our own lives and the way we live. 

Inevitably, loss urges us to review our relationship with the person we have lost, considering the ways we interacted, spent and wasted time, and replay the last conversations we had with them. A new way of being beckons as we adapt to the new circumstances, requiring us to choose to lose ourselves in despair or to honor our loved one by making the most of the time we have left on this earth. 

In some cases, the type of death calls us to create a charity or a movement to address the issues that plagued our loved one, eventually resulting in their demise. In others, we may look at the ending as blessed relief from pain or misery, our loved one released from the torment of illness, addiction, or emotional discord. Or it may seem senseless and untimely, as with death resulting from an accident.

Our beliefs regarding Spirit/God/Universe and those constructs that organize our beliefs around the nature of the soul and where it goes when it leaves the physical body dictate our reaction to the death. Our subsequent actions, emotional responses, and ultimate acceptance of the situation depend on these beliefs. As such, a deep exploration of how we feel about the nature of Sprit and of the Soul help to put the loss into perspective. Without this, grief may linger and destroy our ability to carry on.

To consider the deceased to have transitioned rather than being extinguished allows for them to live on in spirit. The person has gone through a profound transformation and has joyously reconnected to Spirit. If the beliefs do not include a separate soul, then the person lives on in our hearts, in our thoughts, and in our actions. We honor them by behaving lovingly toward ourselves and others and remembering them with kindness. In this way, we can keep them with us and the transition is made smoother. We still miss them, but understanding the role they played in our lives and in the lives of others puts their life purpose into perspective.

With death comes the search for the eternal "why," as we attempt to make sense of the loss. Whether this has to do with a physical death or the smaller deaths that come with change of any kind, seeing the bigger picture and understanding the lessons held in the circumstance allows for growth in the face of difficult transitions.

Death suggests the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. An ending can be positive in light of a fresh start. To bring in new energy, a void must be created. Remember that an ending is not necessarily a bad thing; it may be timely to your growth process.  Detach from the emotionality of the situation.  Be aware of the implications of what is ending and consider how the death of a particular situation, relationship, loved one, or part of yourself is necessary for you to move forward.

Death is part of the journey of life; death feeds life, just as a vulture feeds on the carcasses of animals in order to survive. The dead leaves of autumn feed the soil so that new growth can occur in spring. Death makes us appreciate life and enhances our gratitude for the time we get to spend with a person or doing a certain thing. Change is a form of death, which is why we find it difficult to shift from the old to the new. It brings with it the discomfort of the unknown, yet allows us to expand our experience and regenerate ourselves as we navigate the many transitions of life.  

Copyright Diane Wing, M.A., all rights reserved


Diane Wing, M.A. enjoys exploring the mysteries of life and the way that people experience themselves and the world around them.  Wing’s books create a transformational experience for the reader while incorporating a bit of the unexpected. Many say that her fiction has a sense of Karmic justice rendered within the realm of the unknown and that her non-fiction brings about a heightened awareness of the self and the world to enhance understanding of our own internal transformations.


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Comment by Kathy Custren on September 14, 2016 at 8:33pm

Hi, Diane - your article is being forwarded to the publishers. We will be mentioning copyright citations in our upcoming instructions, but if you are issuing a ready copy, to us or any other publisher, please be sure to include the original date of your article. This way, your original does have its dated protection no matter what other publishing-related enhancement may be included. ~ Blessings! 

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