My mother has suffered the loss of her husband. The grief of losing such a deep, meaningful, and especially loving marriage has devastated her. It has been about seven months since his death and she needs some spiritual guidance concerning the situation.
I have been studying Gnosis for about four years and practicing for about two years. My mother and I have been living together for a while, since I am sick, and this has given us an opportunity to help her with the bereavement and to study Gnosis together. In my opinion, she does not have much experience with awakening consciousness and meditating, as she is also sick. I think that her meditating on the situation is an answer but this is difficult for her to do. Although she does try to meditate on the bereavement and the situation, she is unable to reach a helpful Samadhi and comprehension regarding her bereavement.
We have tried several things to help her. Grief counseling did not really help. One on one conversations between us about her pain and feelings about her grief do help, but she says that she needs the type of help that a woman, especially one that has lost her husband, can provide, and I am male. Since my father's death, we have listened to the 'Death' course on gnosticteachings.org, read Beyond Death, and a few other similar resources. As great as all of those resources are, we did not particularly find them as applicable to her bereavement. I have Googled subjects like, 'How to help bereavement,' 'Ways to deal with grief,' etc. but not found anything significantly useful. I do what I can to help the situation, such as taking his ashes out to eat at his favorite restaurant, pray for him, etc. There seems to be little that can be done to significantly and definitively help my mother though.
I am twenty-seven. My mother is sixty-seven, and my dad was sixty-five when he died. He died of colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver. We only found out about the cancer a few months before his death when he started to feel so badly that he had to go to the doctor and find out what was going on. He had a major stroke in 2005, and a minor stroke in 2012. Over the past fifteen years, he had felt very badly and feeble. However, he had been able to keep a technically full time job that he was able to do with part time hours. It was a job that fit him very well, and he often said how lucky we were because it was about the only job he could do. He had a hard and strenuous life and thought that the reason he felt so badly and could only do so little over the past several years was because he was "just worn out," which made sense. We now know that it was probably the cancer that was making him feel so badly. Of course, the cancer could have been prevented if he had gotten a colonoscopy when he was supposed to at forty years of age and more regularly scheduled ones along the years, yet he was very much so against medicine (he had his major stroke because he would not take his medicine) and colonoscopies and those sort of things, even though my mother begged and begged him to get a colonoscopy until she eventually saw that there was no point in asking. He was a smart man but after he found out that he had cancer and was lying in the hospital bed he said something along the lines of, "Oh, I am so sorry. I was just being my same old stupid stubborn self for not getting a colonoscopy." I personally do not have any noticeable resentment toward him for not getting a colonoscopy, nor is my own grief and bereavement a problem. My mother also does not resent him for not getting a colonoscopy. One of the major problems for her is that she has, in theory, another twenty or twenty-five years to live without her husband.
There are many additional problems related to her husband's death. Her father also died of old age about four months later, about three months ago. Among the family, there is really only myself, my mother, and my grandmother who is quite old. I know that she frets about what she is going to do when and if I leave. She tries to not expect me to live with her for another twenty years, and although I might do so, she really does not expect me to and worries about how she is going to go on alone. She often says things like, "I do not know what I would have done had you not been here with me through the entire ordeal." However, she is in no sense clingy and trying to keep me here with her. I am, in a sense, the only thing keeping her going right now. We have also been left in a dire financial situation since the only source of income, my father's, is now missing; we have huge financial debts. Also, my mother does not have any good friends nearby, such as in town. It somehow seems relevant to mention that I also do not have any good friends nearby. We both feel too bad to do anything. It is an accomplishment just to get to the grocery store. In addition to these problems, my mother is suffering from the conflict of growing up Southern Baptist for sixty-seven years and the dogma that the only way to Heaven is by believing in Jesus. Since studying Gnosis she is having extreme trouble letting go of the belief that believing in Jesus will get us to Heaven, so she does not know if her husband is in Heaven but really wants him to be in Heaven. Lastly, my mother's grief is augmented by the type of relationship she had to her husband: as my parents say, "a near perfect marriage." Esoterically, this is not necessarily true, but in the context of modern society, they got along and loved each other extraordinarily.
My mother and I also get along and love each other extraordinarily. She has read over this post and thinks it is very good and accurate. We have come to the conclusion that she is just not getting the kind of help that is needed and that this inquiry is the best resource we are able to access. Any suggested prayers, rituals, mantras, incense, activities or courses of action, things to do with his ashes, ways that we could somehow in our limited capacity spiritually contact my dad so that she may have closure regarding where he is and how he is doing, reading material, things to meditate on, any advice etc. would be much appreciated. Thank you. Be well.