MASTER COACH TRAINING
Module 16. Death, Tragedy, and Other Illusions
Video Two: You Can’t Die
Welcome to Video #2 in Module 16, Death, Tragedy, and Other Illusions. In this video, we confront the issue of death and dying, and the idea that death is an illusion.
Probably, the most difficult and contentious part of the Radical Forgiveness process is the reframe. It requires a willingness to go against everything one has ever believed about how things work in this world and asks that one be willing to accept that whatever is occurring is perfect and nothing wrong is happening.
It amazes me how many people actually find a way to let that be the truth for them as they do, albeit more often than not after having had an actual Radical Forgiveness experience. However, the one part of the reframe that people find the hardest to accept, in my experience, is that death is an illusion.
Everyone is confronted with death in one way or another throughout their lives, and it invariably causes a strong emotional reaction, especially if the death was perceived as a tragic one.
That means you’re likely to get clients who are struggling with the issue of death and dying — their own, perhaps as well as others, so you need to be clear in your own mind what death really means and how you can help a client reduce the suffering that so many people endure when someone close to them dies.
When the death of a loved one, or even a pet, comes gently and quite naturally at the end of life, we can prepare ourselves for it and deal with the loss without too much anguish. But if the death is premature, tragic, accidental, unexpected, or self-inflicted, the pain can be excruciating. Children who lose their parents at a young age may carry that loss all through their lives. Death is a constant presence in everyone’s life, and few escape what Stephen Levine called, “The rope-burn of grief.”
However, grief has two components. First, there is the intense pain of losing someone dear to us. Our pain is that they are no longer in our lives and we feel that loss intensely, not to mention other secondary emotions that often come with it, such as a feeling of abandonment, loneliness, sadness, fear, helplessness, and so
That part of grief we can do little about, except offer compassionate support to the person experiencing it. Unlike emotions such as anger and resentment, which we can simply decide to release once having expressed them, there is little you can do to about this element of grief. It has to take its time. You can’t hurry grief.
However, the second component is very different for it can be released very quickly. And that is the story we make up about the death itself, separate from the issue of loss. The content of the story about the death can include its timing, whether it should have happened at all, how it occurred, whether it could have been
prevented, who might be to blame, whether it was tragic, and so on. If the death was expected, natural and timely, then the story is not a huge one, and it will soon subside. It is often part of the denial process anyway, and to that extent is necessary and helpful to the person. However, if it it was other than normal, natural,
timely, and expected, the story about the death can be huge, stretching out for years and involving an enormous amount of mental and emotional struggle.
You will recall that in Part One, we made the distinction between pain and suffering. Well, obviously when we apply it to the death situation the pain of loss is THE pain. The story about the death is where all the suffering is. And while there is not much we can do about the pain of loss, we most certainly can help someone get rid
of or at the very least reduce the suffering by neutralizing that story.
And that’s where Radical Forgiveness comes in. We can reduce the suffering simply by having the person see the death from the Radical Forgiveness perspective.
Instead of them seeing it, as most people now do, as a failure, untimely, preventable, etc., the suffering is eased when we become open to the possibility that the death occurred exactly when and how it was meant to happen, according to the Divine plan. Also, by realizing that we have no right to judge it since it was of our
soul’s choosing, not ours. Even death by murder, if it were to happen, would be ‘perfect’ in the spiritual sense — though not in world of humanity terms, of course — because we would have to assume our soul wanted that experience.
Most of us also know people who swear that they had some circumstance in which they certainly would have died were it not for some unseen, hidden hand that saved them. Perhaps you’ve had this experience yourself.
Then there are many thousands of people who have had near-death experiences, who all come back with roughly the same story about feeling a loving presence that tells them that it is not their time yet.
Much as it tries to, science cannot prove anything to the contrary. Some of the theories that scientists come up with are infinitely more outrageous, stupid, and improbable than the ones they try to refute. This is not surprising since science is, by definition, the study of the physical universe. It is not equipped to even begin looking at what is essentially mystical and non-physical. It simply doesn’t have the tools.
The suffering is also reduced when one realizes and fully accepts that death is not real. Only the body dies since that part of is mortal. The soul is immortal. Death is simply a significant change in the frequency at which we vibrate that moves us from one state of being to another.
This is not to say that should there be some unsettling issues surrounding the circumstances of the death that one wouldn’t be concerned or wouldn’t want them investigated, but this is not to be confused with the grieving process or mixed up in the story about death itself. It’s a totally different story and one that is rooted
in the world of humanity, not the world of spirit.
So, the point is, if you can get your client to stop defining grief as being remorse over the death itself, their suffering will be greatly reduced, and they will love you for it. Their grief can then be all about their unbearable loss, and the pain of knowing that they will not have the person or pet in their lives anymore. Yes, that will take
time to accept, but it is made a whole lot easier by letting go of all that other junk. And you can help them with that, no question about it.
One way to help them is to take them through the following steps. You will find these written up as a pdf in the Resources section, but I would suggest you do this process verbally with the client as part of your discovery work with him or her.
Here are the steps:
Step #1. List all the incidents in your life where death separated you from someone who was important to you. Then do the following.
a) On a scale of 1 – 10, estimate how much grief you felt (or feel) over losing this person (or pet). Where 1 = hardly any at all, and 10 = intense grief and suffering.
b) Who do you blame or hold responsible for the death?
c) What feelings did you have immediately following the death?
d) What judgments or assessments did you have about the death?
e) How attached were you then to your story about the death? And now?
f) And finally, what feelings do you have now?
How they score this will vary according to the circumstances of the death. For example, if their mother died peacefully at the age of 95 after a long and happy life and was starting to get ill, their grief will be of a different order than if she died relatively young, having been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Parents who lose a child suffer a lot because for a child to predecease its own parents seems to be out of the natural order of things.
Step #2 Do they blame someone or some institution for the death, or for not preventing it? If they do, make a note that they must do a Radical Forgiveness worksheet on each of the people and/or institutions they blame. Another option is for them to do the 3-Letters process.
Step # 3. If your client feels some measure of responsibility for the person’s passing, even if it is irrational, you will need to support them doing a Radical Self-Empowerment Worksheet to clear the guilt, or if it is strong the Radical Self-Forgiveness online program.
Step #4. It is not uncommon for the one left behind to feel anger towards the one who died, even if it was no fault of their own. Death feels to us very much like abandonment. Ironically, now that they know it was the person’s choice to leave, your client might feel even more justified in feeling angry about him or her leaving your client to deal with the rest of their life alone. So, a Radical Forgiveness Worksheet or the 3-Letters on the dearly departed is probably going to be necessary. It is especially necessary if it was a suicide.
You should also stress that doing a worksheet on someone is not being disloyal or unfriendly. Energetically, one is doing it for them as much as for oneself, and in that sense, it is a very loving thing to do. If the person is dead, it releases them to move on.
Our job then, as Radical Living Coaches is to do our best to reduce the intensity of our client’s grief by draining it of all the erroneous assumptions about death itself, leaving only the raw pain of them not having the person in their life anymore.
We might also help those who are themselves facing imminent death. If we can be present with a person who is dying and able to see it not as a tragic event but as the person’s moment of expansion into the Love vibration, then we will be emitting the vibration of Love ourselves.
Even if the person has not been exposed to and accepted the Radical Forgiveness view about death and dying, we may feel the joy on their behalf because we know they are, in fact going home.
In the next video, we examine the correlation between Radical Grieving based on the Radical Forgiveness philosophy and traditional grief counseling based on the five stages of grief.
We’ll see you then.