“HeartSpun Talk from the Crucible of Experience”©

From the life of Ken Matthies - Author, Poet, Real Life Storyteller

For many people dealing with issues of loss, grief and bereavement there’s also a spiritual aspect which can play a powerful role in their healing and recovery.

Within the community of religion, and faith in a living afterlife of the spirit to be found in peoples around the world, there is an acceptance of death which transcends beyond the human pain of those left behind to mourn their passing.

And within that transcendence there exists a huge reservoir of inner peace to be found about the death of their loved one. Within that peace itself lies the greatest personal healing tool of all – the belief that you will see your loved one once again when your own turn comes to join them in that afterlife.

The sheer healing power of this single truth alone cannot be calculated in the personal journey of someone who is healing from loss, grief and bereavement within this reality of spiritual belief.

In the throes of the actual pain which follows their death and the unleashing of all of our very human feelings of grief and bereavement about their loss, this truth can become temporarily overwhelmed in the rushes of these completely understandable and very normal emotions.

Yet it is this single truth of belief which becomes the sustaining factor of the healing process as you learn to deal with the human elements of the grief process. It allows the tempests of your pain to be calmed once again by your knowledge of and faith in that reconnection of your spirit to those that went before you.

I’m reminded of members of my family in this context, and how my own belief in that afterlife of the spirit has sustained me and helped me to recover from the human emotions of loss, grief and bereavement following their deaths.

There’s a lesson of spiritual healing for you in these memories I share.

Sometimes that inner peace can even be so strong right at the outset of a loved one’s dying that it carries you beyond their death directly into the final ‘Integration’ cycle of the healing process itself, as it did for me at my grandmother’s dying.

My grandmother was a real and vitally formative presence in my early life, and from the age of comprehension I had never been in doubt as to the power of her faith in God and her unshakeable belief in an afterlife that would reunite us once again.

As a 16 year old youth called to her home and bedside in the final hours of her life, my birth mother and I arrived to find her with eyes closed and already unable to speak because of her immense physical pain, able only to lightly squeeze our hands in recognition of whom we were to her.

What struck me immediately on entering the room was the presence of a wonderfully soft and joyful smile on her face – a smile which was to remain in place until her very last breath.

Along with my grandfather, mother and other close relatives we gathered around her bedside and sang hymns together to help her along on the final journey of her life on earth, even as her physical body itself visibly broke down in its final stages of the cancer claiming her life.

What remains so clearly etched in memory for me throughout this entire time is that smile of joy which never left her face, despite the ravages occurring to the physical shell housing her spirit. I remember standing in wonder as I witnessed the power of her faith carrying her above all pain and into the realm of the spiritual grace sustaining these final hours of her existence.

When it appeared to us that her final breath had been taken it was I who stepped to her side and put my ear to her chest to listen for heartbeat, and to her mouth to learn if she still breathed. And when neither was found it was I who kissed her cheek, closed her eyes and raised the blankets to cover her face as a sign of her death.

What was striking to me in the reality of those moments and their aftermath of a funeral placing her body at final rest, was that I never once felt the need or desire to weep my sorrow at her passing. Nor have I ever in the years which have flown by since she left us.

As mentioned earlier, it’s become clear over the passage of my years and accumulation of the knowledge surrounding the grieving process that I had immediately moved into the ‘Integration’ stage of the grieving process – completely bypassing the Avoidance and Confrontation stages because I knew without shadow of doubt where my grandmother’s spirit now lived.

Complete and utter acceptance of this spiritual truth – undoubtedly because I had witnessed her passing with my own eyes - had in this instance done away with the normal human need to experience those painful earlier stages of grief.

It’s true that my humanity missed her physical presence, her immense love and wisdom and the tastiest baking this side of heaven which regularly came forth from her oven – but I have never been grief stricken by her death. Both my spirit and mind have always known where she is and look forward with anticipation to greeting her once again in this afterlife of faith and belief.

While this is not the typical situation for most of you currently dealing with issues of grief, there is still a potent lesson within its example – that of the power of your spiritual beliefs to help you overcome grief and find healing from its effects in your heart and life.

It’s a power that should not be overlooked or bypassed on your personal journey of healing from loss, grief and bereavement.

Author's Bio: 

For almost forty years of his life Ken Matthies has been a writer and chronicler of life expressed in poetic form, following the family tradition laid down by his grandfather before him.

Faced with the dramatically life altering experience of his helicopter pilot daughter’s sudden death in 2002 he has grown to also become a literary author of true events based on his own life. Though grief opened his literary doors it is the Light of Love and Memories supplying the fuel of inspiration to write through them.

As a second-chance dad given the opportunity to verbally share his life stories with his newly rediscovered daughter it was she who told him that she believed him to be a ‘worthy man’ after having heard them, and who encouraged him that they should be shared in written form beyond her own life – not yet knowing as she said it that she was soon to leave him behind. As a bereaved father and writer learning how to live life again in the Light of his own Love and Memories of his daughter, he writes those stories now as a testament to her belief and faith in their value.

His full length book entitled "How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father's Story of Healing Light" was the first of these stories which he wrote in the Light of those Love and Memories.

He lives in the solitude and grandeur of a tiny southern Yukon village with his Tlingit native wife Skoehoeteen and the successor to their venerable old Tahltan bear dog Clancy Underfoot, who now happily awaits them at the Rainbow Bridge in Doggy Heaven. She’s a new female puppy named Hlinukts Seew which means ‘Sweet Rain’ in the Tlingit language, a wonderful phonetic variation in memory of Clancy’s name who was also called C.U. for short. It’s a good place to tell those stories from.

You can read more of Ken's writings and find his Amazon Kindle book at www.kenmatthies.com.