Tag Archives: departures

Grief: accompanying others

If I have only one line to say when someone just recently lost a loved one, its hard to pick the best. I know that to me most of the things people said to me when I lost my daughter meant they were wordless so whatever came from their mouths wasn’t about the worlds, but about the empathy and about the inability to find the right words. I know that because I feel the same when I see someone who has just lost their dear ones.

What did I do to cope? I just let it all come in, welcomed all feelings and emotions and rage and sadness to take over, yet remaining myself. I did feel like they would tear me apart from inside, and I felt physical, mental, spiritual pain 24 hours. Yet I trusted that I couldn’t do otherwise, I couldn’t hide it nor push it away, and so the only way was to accept them and know that they would become a part of me. Life was never going to be the same. I had been stamped with a stamp on the forehead that I thought would never touch me. Yet I embraced it as I embraced life itself. Because this was a part of me now and for ever. 

So what do I say? Allow whatever comes through you to happen. Just allow yourself to feel all those feelings in a conscious and deep way. Theres no other way out. It made me weak forever, and in that weakness I realized my infinite strength. I did not succumb to those so that means I survived. And If I could survive the unsurvivable then that means that life does heal and there is nothing in the world that happens to those who are not ready. I saw this all as a blessing and was grateful for that pain, for that loss, for that falling apart. It felt as if my physical body was changing skin, my chest with a heavy emptiness, my heart physically broken. And in that void I realized God. And God chose me for this because I was strong inside and I could allow myself to be weak. And I breathed that all deeply in and out, not pushing it away by breathing shallowly or refusing to breath in, but by breathing in that pain deeper and deeper and deeper. That was the healing. And If I did it, then anyone can do it. Sinking sinking farther within with a conscious deep breath. Until the pain subsided and life went forth. ONLY at its due time. Without that pause, that lingering in the void, the feelings can trap us. Life will move again around other things – meaningless they might seem then – and joy will reign again, after the healing has happened. 

And what about what others say? mostly they will say the wrong things. Just empathize with them. Your heart is broken and that is why it is now bigger and full of kindness, and others cannot imagine that. And please remember that every person has their own way to grief and needs to be allowed to grief their own way. 

There was this one saying that really supported me all the way through:

“Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart.
Never give up, never lose hope.
Allah says, “The broken ones are my beloved.”
Crush your heart. Be broken.
– Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir, aka Nobody, Son of Nobody.

In the pitch black darkness you can find a blinding light. It is not a light to be seen with the eyes, but it is the true light of the soul. 

Maybe this is my line. 

May we all find that light over and over again in all of our little or big darknesses, that is my prayer.

PS- mothers and family members around the world have started many different beautiful projects after the loss of a dear one. Check out Ben’s Bells, spreading kindness all over. 
And thanks to my dear sister Nirvair Kaur Khalsa from Tucson who told me that story and gifted me the beautiful book Tear Soup, which I highly recommend (and I keep some copies at home to gift in such cases)

– In service of the divine in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

 
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On death and dying in life

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other—that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.” – Mother Theresa

Sat nam dear family,
Last weekend in the Kundalini yoga teacher training level 1 I was sharing the teachings on death. A question came up for which I was not prepared and my answer was not very deep. Since then I want to elaborate more on my own experiences with death, and I take this opportunity to share it with all of you.

I die every day with every breath. Every night before going to bed, I prepare myself to die. I let go of every thing, every experience that happened in the day. I die when I allow these to take over: all my thoughts, all my praises, all my glory and my shame, all my errors and shortcomings, all my lessons to learn, all my attachments, all my ego, my greed, my anger and my desires. My limited self dies when I let go of these.

I died many times when as a young brave fearless woman committed many mistakes. I am forever thankful to my Guru for keeping me under his protection in these times. I died little deaths every day when I retreated from the world, either by disgust or by unconformity with this world, with the reality of how it is structured and the banality under which it runs. I die every moment I see injustice and all I can do is trust Guru takes care of it.

I grieve, oh I grieve for that comfort zone, for that ignorance which is sweet and does not question anything. I grief and remember how life was so easy being unconscious. When I wouldn’t challenge myself every day to become a better person. When I would just be a passive animal wandering in the earth without purpose nor connection to the me within me.

I died along with my precious daughter Vida, the moment she left her body as a newborn, far away from me. Oh how I wandered around those blue ethers, acquired a wisdom which is deeper than the deepest ocean. I wandered like a ghost around her memory, around my empty hands and empty womb, around those moments of bliss she brought me. I wandered and found God, Brahm himself, who told me I should come back and live again in this world, celebrate her memory and the futility of life itself, attaching myself a the feet of the Guru where all is forgiven. In every cell of mine, through deep deep pain, I was reshaped. Oh it hurt. Every single cell hurt more than death itself. Every single cell shook and vibrated with an unknown caliber to me. I was reborn into this life, back from where I was left, with a new mission, with a deeper connection to God.

And I forgot. I forgot all these times I died and my mind wandered away with my ego. I did not honour the beauty and the effort of all these beings who helped me die in my limited being so I could live in my limitless self! I was angry to anger itself for ripping me off my most profound experience within this lifetime.

So yes, I have died. I have died and keep on dying until I truly and infinitely die in my ego, die in my selfishness, die in this time and space. I die with every challenge and I am grateful for each one of these deaths. For when I truly go, I will already know the path and will not need to kill each of these inner monsters in those three seconds, when the film of life runs through my eyes.

Yes I die. I die every time I am grateful. I die when I let go of my limitations. I reform myself again and again and again every time I take on a challenge and turn it towards God, coming out victorious in my soul, in my heart and in my infinity.

For peace is found at the end of the path, not at the beginning. To begin with, we need to work, work, work, sweat from work so that we can liberate others with us, when the time comes.

Jinee Naam dhiaaiaa gae masakat ghaal, Naanak te mukh ujlee ketii chhuti naal. 

In humble gratitude to the divine in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

Hold the void

There is an indescribable beauty and sweetness to separation. Be it death, longing, a short departure, it is a very poetic realm of separation that lives and relives every time a situation like this happens. Numerologically speaking, this is the realm of number 2: tension, longing, missing, absence, abyss, black, blues, emotion, organic…
The most beautiful part of that longing is the re-union. It is a joy beyond joys, a fulfillment that impregnates the heart with an infinite love. For this to happen there needs to be a separation. There is no other way.
When we often say goodbye, when we come to visit to Canada or Mexico, My parents always say “in order to meet again, we must leave”. This is just as true as it gets.
That sweetness of leaving implies a void, a fear of using that emptiness inside: “how can I be empty? What will happen to me? How can I fill it as quick as possible?” This is the first reaction of the human. Yet the art of pressing that sweetness from the emptiness is to hold that space of void. To pause. To meditate and contemplate that sacredness, that tension, that separation.
Hold it.
It won’t kill you.
It will make you stronger.
Hold it.
Don’t rush.
Hold it.
Stay still.
Be.
You will receive the treasure hidden behind it all.
And only then a reunion will happen. And the heart will be fulfilled once more, with a nectar so sweet it will pour out from every single one of your pores. If you just stay still.

In gratitude,
Sukhdev Kaur

Departing

Dear family,
The time has arrived that departures and goodbyes approach. In our short visit to Canada, we must go back home to Estonia, and leave the family.
The heart is never ready to say goodbye. After being together with loved ones, an amalgamation occurs and we often forget about the blessing it is (we may go into everyday issues which are very unimportant). It takes time to prepare for the separation to happen, and it is painful. Any departure is a time to stop and reflect, breathe and let go. It is a small death, because something dies in us, that wholeness becomes a temporary void, which will eventually filled by life itself, in any of it’s many forms.
Life, as in it’s everyday amalgamated form, is an offering of light, a spectacle and an illusory play of balance. When the night comes, when the departures and farewells approach, we may perceive the subtlety and delicate balance of true life. It is hanging by a thread. It is very very delicate, and we notice it only in these moments of twilight and darkness.

There is a line in the Kirtan Sohila, the evening prayer of Sikh Dharma, which refers to god’s role as the destroyer of fear, this fear of separation, of being dissolved into divided parts and not belonging to the one:

kaisee aartee ho-ay. bhav khandnaa tayree aartee.
What a beautiful Aartee, lamp-lit worship service this is! O Destroyer of Fear, this is Your Ceremony of Light.

anhataa sabad vaajant bhayree. ||1|| rahaa-o.
The Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad is the vibration of the temple drums.

The aartee, the true worship of lights and lamps, is the whole creation, not the ritual itself with which we often become entangled, nor the illusion of shine and bliss that comes from the light itself.

Let the abyss grow to swallow our fears and may god carry us across the world ocean in a graceful way.

Blessings to each and every soul part of this great maha atma.

In humble gratitude to the one.
Sukhdev Kaur