My conversation with a mother whose son had just died

My friend?s son recently died. At a mere 24 years old. His death, like the death of any child would, shook me to my core.

Empathizing with the parents in such a situation brings up our own greatest fears: the loss of our own children. We shudder, we shake our heads and tear up as we imagine this ? or rather at our inability to imagine such a painful thought.

Our conditioning has us believe in the linearity of time, so we naturally believe that as parents we should die before our children do. And because we believe longer is ?well, longer, we believe a longer life is a much better life compared to a shorter one. These beliefs end up making a death like this simply unbearable.

When I met my friend the other night, I had no words.

I knew that her grief as a mother would be too great to bear. And after all, what could I say to her – having not walked in her shoes?

But she surprised me. She looked me straight in the eye and said, ?I can clearly see two paths before me. One takes me straight to hell where I will burn up and self-destruct. The other one takes me closer to my divinity, closer to God.?

I was shocked at her insight.

Was she possibly ready to transform this death to a deeper spiritual awareness? Was she ready to turn this pain into power, meaning and purpose?

She continued, ?help me to turn this around. I have to turn this around. His death cannot be in vain.?

And so we began to talk.

What ensued was a powerful conversation about the transformation of pain to power; of death to life; of loss to meaning.

I said to her, ?Yes, indeed, you have a choice to make. The choice you ultimately make will stem from the story you have created around the fundamentals of life:

why we are here

what life and death mean

how we attract lessons to us, etc.


?The most powerful tool you have is your ability to create a story that uplifts you rather than one that kills your spirit. Your ability to craft the right story will be your glory.?


She replied, ?I have no choice. I have to be the writer of the right story. I will die if I don?t.?

I explained to her: ?Then you have to let go of all what culture has taught you about children, parents, time, space, life and death. You will need to revolutionize it all in your head. Only then will you be able to transform this experience into a transcendent one. It will take courage?no,? it will take more than courage, it will take guts, blood and the spirit of a warrior.?

?I am ready,? she said in a whisper.

?Life and death cannot be seen as linear. They must be seen as cyclical. You have to understand that we come to this earth to evolve. We carry the weight of each lifetime within us. And each time, we lessen the weight a bit. Each time, we inch a step forward toward our greatest light. This process takes lifetimes. Thousands of them perhaps. Your son did not come here to cause you pain. He came to inch you forward too, just as you helped him inch forward.?

She listened and then said, ?But he is dead now. What is the point of my living??

I replied, ?His death ultimately has nothing to do with you. It was his journey. Only his. As painful as it is to separate ourselves from our children, we must. They come bearing their own weights and burdens. Our sacred job is to help them release some of the weight. But we cannot empty them of all of it entirely. Sometimes the weight is just too much for one parent to release. He knew how much you could help him with and took that help. And then made a choice – unconsciously or consciously – to end this part of his journey. Time has no end or beginning. It is timeless. His journey doesn?t end here. Only this part of his journey is over, but he has a long path ahead.?

As she listened and nodded, she said, ?but this is all based on beliefs. He is not here and that is the only truth. What if all that you are telling me is rubbish??

I replied, ?You are absolutely right to ask that question. Let?s go there. Let?s not believe in all of this. Let?s believe that his death is indeed tragic because children should not die before parents. Does that give you solace? Does that make you want to leap out of bed and be of service to others? Let?s believe that he is absolutely no more, neither in body or spirit. Does this make you feel better or worse??

She said, ?Worse. I feel like I die when I think like this.?

I gently said, ?so then, why not craft a story that allows you to jump out of bed in the morning? It?s all a story anyway. This story or that story. So why not choose a story that enlivens you and allows you to live instead of die??

And after many hours, and cups of tea, she began to understand that she gets to choose. The decision was hers to make. She could either believe a story that everyone else believed in and effectively end her own life, or she could believe a story that allowed her to feel connected to her son forever. She could either believe that life is random, tragic and cruel, or believe that it was intentional, purposeful and intelligent.

She gets to choose.

And, this is where each of our power lies; in our ability to craft our story.

There is no law that says we need to believe something because our parents tell us to believe it or because everyone in our culture believes it.

No. There is no law that says that other?s beliefs must be our own. What we do in our own head is entirely up to us. Not a single person has a right to have a place in our own head but ourselves.

No, there is no crime in believing exactly what you wish to believe.

Wouldn?t you rather have the power to choose your beliefs every single day of your life?

Wake up every day and declare?

I choose to believe in the good in others

I choose to believe that the Universe is in my favor

I choose to believe that no one really dies

I choose to believe that I am wise and worthy

I choose to believe that my face and body are beautiful as is

I choose to believe that who I am is good enough as is

Are you exercising your sacred right to choose your own beliefs?

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