Sometimes, if you are open to it, you can receive amazing information in the most unlikely ways. For example, there was a driver who was taking a woman to the airport when she received the news that a family member had died. The woman gasped and her driver, who was from another culture, asked if she was okay. Normally she would just say “I am fine” because she is a private person. On this particular occasion, however, she shared her situation with this driver. Upon hearing the news, this gentleman shared his cultural belief and at that moment…it was exactly what she needed to hear.
He said, “When the soul leaves the body, it can take a long time or it can happen very quickly. No matter how, it is painful. It is painful for the one who is dying, and it is painful for those who are left behind. The separation of the soul from the body, that is the ending of life. That is death. No matter how it happens, there is pain.”
When death is sudden and totally unexpected, you may find that you and your family members react in ways that seem strange and unfamiliar. You get the call. Something terrible has happened. Someone has died. You are stunned.
As you begin to process the news, you may experience a strong pull to see where it happened. This is a normal response. Before you can accept the reality of the death you may have to see.
Seeing a loved one after their passing is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary for many. If you feel you need to see, honor your need. The funeral director understands this need and can help you. Even if your mother always said, “I don’t want people to see me after I die”, she probably didn’t understand back then how her passing would affect you now. Talk to the funeral director and he or she will help you honor your mother’s wishes and satisfy your need as well.
In addition to accepting the reality that a death has occurred, those who experience a sudden loss also have the burden of working out how the death happened and why it happened. Many questions will go through their mind:
- Who didn’t do what they needed to do to prevent the awful reality?
- Who is accountable? Is it, me? Did I miss something?
- Should there be a law?
- Why? Why? Why?
This is a normal. Be patient with your family members as each of you must work through this in your own personal way. When the soul leaves the body it is always painful, but when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly, there are additional burdens to work through.