Where two rivers joined, I spotted a large dead Ponderosa pine which had fallen down a steep ravine on its side, half of its trunk submerged in the water. Carefully navigating my way down the ravine, I felt excited….This was the first day of my vacation and the tree was the perfect place for me to relax and meditate. As I lay down with my back fully supported by the trunk of the tree and my body soaking up the warmth of the sun, I dangled my feet in the water. The snow melt from the mountains was fresh and the water was freezing. I promptly removed them!

Surrounded by tall pine trees, their needles glistened in the sun, the sound of rushing water soothed my soul. Taking in the beauty all around me, my heart opened and tears welled up in my eyes. I witnessed the abundance, perfection, and grace in nature. The river flowed naturally without hesitation. Even though there were boulders and tree stumps in its path, it conformed and flowed around and over them, but never stopped. It crossed each obstacle with ease. There was no efforting, trying or resisting. It was simply and naturally BEING what it is…a source of beauty and life.

Even the dead tree provided beauty and life. It reminded me that death is only a transition of form. It is the birth of new life, a natural part of evolution. When something dies, something new is born. The death of a loved one can act as a catalyst for spiritual awakening, creating expansion and new life within us. It creates a longing within us to connect to the one who has transitioned. Focusing our attention on the unseen, connecting with their soul, we experience a glimpse of that which is eternal. As we experience more and more of these moments of connection, our awareness expands and we come to know in every cell of our being that our soul carries on even after our body dies. Without the fear of death, we are free to fully live.

Many of us, after the death of a loved one, have experienced this spiritual awakening, this connection to Infinite Source, to Love. Then, when we experience grief days, weeks, months or years later, we think, “Oh no, what’s wrong? I experienced these higher vibration feelings and now I can’t seem to find my connection anymore.” We try everything to re-connect and avoid or push away our grief. We have been taught that grief is a lower vibration emotion resulting from our belief in separation which is an illusion. But, the more we resist our grief, the more we feel stuck and suffer.

On the other hand, allowing grief to flow naturally like the river, we feel more alive. Surrendering to the mystery of death, we let go of control, and open to new possibilities for life. Our capacity to hold within us more love, light, and compassion grows along with our capacity to connect intuitively to the energetic and spiritual realms.

“Do not surrender your grief so quickly. Let it cut more deeply. Let it ferment and season you as few human or divine ingredients can.” – Hafiz of Persia