The death of a loved one is a loss that is part of the human condition and is universal. The Stranger — mortality — confronts us with a new need to accept the reality of our loss and pain, a process that can include ambivalent feelings. Relief and anger can be mixed with love and grief. Altogether, we must adjust to an absence where once there was presence, relearn how to experience the world of relationship, and perhaps take on new life responsibilities at a time of emotional turmoil. Ego may find itself first helpless, then bereft of the soul and spirit needed to reweave life and meaning. There is also the need to balance one’s continuing internal connection with the deceased and the task of moving on with one’s life in a fulsome way.
“There was a man (though he seemed not simply a man but some combination creature or child like or otherworldly-maybe something that can turn into something else) and he was lying down and sort of whimpering. He was wearing a long light colored robe. Then I realized that on his side he had a large gaping wound and rotting flesh and there were birds, many, families of birds feeding on his flesh. He was in great pain but also kind of trance like and internal. I had to help him. It was a grave situation. He couldn’t help himself. He was helpless. He seemed pathetic. It would be a really long painful death. I didn’t know what could help but thought maybe if I took a hose and I could force the birds off with water. I did that and maybe someone was helping me because as I hosed it seemed there were another set of hands “cleaning” or holding the birds that came off. It was arduous. I thought it was a great infection and how could I get him or it to a hospital. Then I woke up.”
Olson, Susan. By Grief Transformed: Dreams and the Mourning Process
Blackie, Sharon: If Women Rose Rooted: A Life-Changing Journey to Authenticity and Belonging