Welcome to Sunday Mourning, a weekly series about grief.
What happens when we die? This is a question I've been asking myself for over twenty years. Recent studies show that people who are either grounded in spiritual or religious practices, or the opposite - atheists, have less anxiety about death than people who have no firm beliefs. .
I know this was the case for me. After my mother died I floundered for years to find a framework for which to understand her death. Why did she die at age 58? Would I ever see her again? Could she see me? I had no answers and looking for them seemed even harder than not, so for a long time I just didn't believe anything. .
But after my first daughter was born I was consumed with anxiety all over again. What would happen to her if I died? What would happen to me if she died? I felt compelled to search for answers. I talked to rabbis, priests, psychic mediums, shamans, you name it. Anyone I thought could tell me the answer. .
What I realized after a while was that I was searching for faith. For a way to believe in something bigger than me. Bigger than her. And each time I found glimpses of it I felt a little less anxious. .
I haven't found the exact answer but what I have found is that letting myself be open about it, letting myself wonder about it, has had a profound effect on my sense of peace about the people I've lost.
Do you have a belief about the afterlife? And if so, does it help you feel connected to your lost loved ones? Comment below. And tag someone you know who is grieving and let them know you're thinking about them. .
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