November 8 2011, Morning 11:30 am. I came in to see my mother, incapacitated, immobile, suffering from a broken femur bone, and lying on the floor. There was no movement. She had been like a vegetable in her bedroom since August 13, 2011, when she accidentally tripped while getting down from her bed.
She also had dementia from a lesion in her brain from her younger days. As a result, she lost her speech and the ability to recognise people.
My wife fed Amma some milk with a spoon on that fateful morning. I was about to turn and move out of her bedroom. My wife suddenly called out for me. ‘Murali, Murali, Amma is calling you.’ I looked at Amma. Her eyes were fixed on me. Her hands rose as if to say bye-bye to me. I thought I noticed a faint smile on her face. Her eyes closed. Hands dropped. She breathed her last. She wanted to live with me in her final days. Perhaps, her last wish was to die in front of me.
My wife and my dad tried to wake her up. Her soul had bid adieu to her body.
I sat down next to her body. Closed my eyes. Started Atma Shanthi meditation. I carried her soul through my meditative strength and merged her with the universal energy field. I meditated in the blissful divine state. When I concluded my meditation, I was indeed in a blissful state.
I consider this moment my greatest blessing in life.
I was anticipating this moment and was wishing her misery to end. I was there right next to her when it happened. Am I not a blessed son?
I am eternally thankful that fate allowed me to let her pass into eternity. I am grateful to Swamiji for teaching me Atma Shanthi meditation.
Grief can be devastating. It can take over your life. You may feel helpless and hopeless. But there are ways to deal with grief.
I went through several stages of grief, each lasting for a few days to weeks. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Denial was my first stage of grief. This was my initial reaction to the loss of Amma. I kept saying things like, ‘it wasn’t real,’ ‘I don’t believe that she wasn’t with me anymore,’ and ‘She will come back.’ I often talked to her aloud as if she were next to me. To this day, I have this habit, although I don’t grieve anymore or deny her death.
Anger was the second stage of my grief. I was angry with the doctors for giving up on her and not treating her. She was about 70 years of age when she left her mortal remains and departed on her eternal journey. She could have lived for a long time. I was angry with fate and God for some time.
Bargaining was the third stage of my grief. I attempted to change the outcome of the loss. I asked for favours, gave gifts, donated money and food, and promised to behave differently to cope with the loss.
Depression was the fourth stage of grief. Feelings of sadness and loneliness characterised it. I felt helpless. I briefly withdrew myself from society and isolated myself. I went into silence.
Acceptance was the fifth stage of grief. I learned to live with the loss. I let go of my desire to want my mom alive. Instead, I focused on living in the present. I realised that life goes on and I cannot control everything.
When I experienced the loss, I could have reacted emotionally. I might have cried, screamed, yelled, or acted strangely. My reactions could have been expected. Instead, I talked to my wife and my kids. I didn’t bottle up my emotions for long. It helped me to cope with the loss.
Grieving didn’t mean I was weak. It simply showed that I was human.
Although meditation isn’t a cure for grief, it helped me cope with it. Here are three ways I used meditation to cope with my grief:
- Focus on something positive. I focused on things I love about myself, my loved ones, and my life.
- Think about the future. I thought about what I would like to accomplish in the future. As I sat in silence and introspected regularly after my mom’s death, I set a vision to realise myself and be one with heaven inside me. I decided to dedicate my life to my dream.
- Let go of negative thoughts. I started to let go of any negative thoughts that came to my mind. I superimposed them with positive thoughts. I worked hard to let go of my anger. I let go of my worries.
I miss my Amma.
Of course, I cried much later on the night of her death when it dawned on me that she was no more. I love her. She remains a great source of inspiration for me.
Each time I miss her, I meditate for her. My meditation helped me to keep her close to my heart. Even to this day, I think she is with me, looking after me from her divine abode, protecting and guiding me.
I hope you are inspired by reading my article.
I hope my experience helps you or someone you love to manage their grief. Is there anything you would like to offer as tips to manage grief? Put it down in the comments below.
I love you.
Remember, I am here to help you succeed.
Let me know how I can help you.
Be Blessed by the Divine!
Krish Murali Eswar.