How to be Resilient: Surviving the Death of a Loved One

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Surviving the death of a loved one requires resilience. How to survive a heartbreak, how to survive the death of a husband, a child or a close friend requires deep resilience that is built over time.

No matter what type of loss we are experiencing, our heart will feel shattered, broken and beyond emotional repair. But I learned that the heart is miraculous and resilient. The heart is capable of healing and will emerge stronger than ever. The heart itself will help the healing process if we allow it to feel the loss thoroughly and completely. Allowing yourself to feel this takes love, compassion and patience. Resilience is built upon these beautiful gifts of the heart.

In order to access these gifts, which are actually practical tools,  requires slowing down and taking the time to reflect and acknowledge what has happened and how you feel. Release from the emotional pain will eventually come but first there will need to be acceptance and forgiveness of a life event we cannot change. It’s already happened and now we are at choice as to how we will respond and move forward. Or not. This too is a choice.

I came to realize the power of choice after my husband and 13 year old daughter were killed in the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008. In the immediate aftermath I could choose to hate or I could choose to love. I chose love. How love would play out in my life has been the journey of my new life after my old life died along with Alan and Naomi. By choosing love, a new path was laid out, my personal ‘yellow brick road’ that would bring me home to myself.

I learned that love comes in many forms and each day I choose love I open myself to one of those forms of love. Some days love shows up as patience. Other days love requires forgiveness, acceptance and understanding. Love is what builds resilience of the heart. I found it simplifies life to choose to be loving and open to how that may show up each day. When I embrace whatever form of love is required of me I also allow myself to receive love in that form. This is the most spiritual practice I have ever done after over 40 years of daily meditation. It turns out that a love meditation is not sitting with eyes closed, it is living life, embracing life and allow love to fill my life with its gifts.

Kia Scherr

kia@onelifealliance.org


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