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June 03, 2005


How do we let go when someone we love dies? It's one of the most difficult passages we face as human beings. Many of us rely on the concept of an "afterlife" to help us through this transition. And even though our loved one has passed away, we want to keep our connection to them open.

My mother had a degenerative disease that took ten years to take her; I was 11 years old when the process started. Hers was one of those cases that when the end approached, we all said things like, "It's a blessing" or "It will end her suffering." But such platitudes did nothing to ease the sadness and pain we felt at her passing.

Losing her under those conditions was very difficult for me. I became depressed, crying all of the time and cursing life for such unfairness. This went on for many months. During that time I kept having dreams about her where she appeared whole and healthy. Those dreams only made it worse for me. Why couldn't she have been healthy for real? Why did she have to leave us?

As the months progressed, the dreams became more frequent and she began talking to me in my dreams. At first she said things like, "I'm fine, don't worry about me." Then she would say things like, "I'm happy, you don't have to cry over me." Finally, several months after she died, I had a dream where she came to me and she was almost angry with me. She said, "Linda, you have to let me go!” My sorrow was tying her to me, preventing her from going on.

Grief is a process that we need to get through, not live in for the rest of our lives. Our loved ones have places to go to and people to see – if we love them we have to let them go.

Posted by Linda Dalton at June 3, 2005 05:46 PM


that's interesting. i had the same dream about a living person. we broke up three months later.

Posted by: rlt at November 27, 2005 01:18 PM

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