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The Phenomenology of Death, Grief, Loss & healing

Been putting this post off for a while but finally the sentiment to write it has grabbed me.


My best friend recently died. My closest brother for the past 12 year of my life sadly passed away and this has been my first encounter with loosing someone close to me so I wanted to write about it as a bit of therapy and to philosophize on the situation abit.


It has now been 8 weeks since he passed. I helped carry his coffin 9 days ago.


After I was informed of his death my first reaction was shock. I think I only cried for around ten minutes that first night, and I even slept okay, around 6-7 hours before waking up in the morning and going to message him on facebook and then it hit me that he wont be replying.

I balled my eyes out the whole day! Snot down the nose, headache from crying so much balled my eyes out.


That's the interesting thing about the loss of someone close is there's no avoiding the pain of missing someone. I have strong ontological beliefs that my friend has reunited with the source of consciousness or is up with the DMT aliens that we shared an experience together seeing some time. But no ontological belief is a comfort in a time like this. It's an unavoidable punch in the face that you have to take the brunt off.


But as the old adage goes "this too shall pass"


The grief for me was a strange thing. The brain is very good at protecting you. It really delivers the grief to you in waves and the 5 old stages of grief seem to hold true but they kind of all hit you at once. You miss them, you get angry, you feel guilty etc etc until you reach a stage of acceptance.


Funerals are amazing things and if anyone ever looses a friend make sure you try your upmost to attend. Carrying the coffin of my fallen brother was one of the hardest things i've had to do but It was a good way to send him off, funerals are very much for us. The mourners. It solidifies the idea that the person is not coming back and it gives you a chance to remember them fondly with friends and gain comfort from those around you.


Another thing that was incredibly useful was to NOT BE ALONE IN UR GRIEF. Express yourself as much as you can to whoever you want, people will listen to you and they will be there for you. I am incredibly close friends with his girlfriend and spoke to her for alot of time each day and every day after he passed. It's interesting when you find someone else who was also with really close with that person you can go through the motions together. There may be emotions that you are repressing or blocking a little but by sharing this with another person you open yourself up to the possibility of that person helping you through that block.

Especially with things like guilt. You can sit there and be feeling guilty about not talking to them much for the past couple of months or whatever but really not wanting to talk about it and someone who you are sharing grief with will come out with why they feel guilty and then your more open to sharing and then before you know it your reminding eachother that there is no guilt.


Im writing in poor order here as it just comes to me... One of the things that took me by surprise was the physical exhaustion that the event took out of me. Mentally you expect it but physically I was surprised. I tried to return to work a few days after his death as i needed the distraction. My first days at work were VERY hazy. It was asif an extra filter has been put over my vision for the preceeding weeks.... Things aren't as crystal when you grief like this, I would get home from work and that would be it, id be done for the day. No motivation to do anything! Which I guess isn't too surprising in the circumstances.


SYNCHRONICITY and dreams: One of my most healing moments in the early stage of grief came through the most amazing synchronicity and its a true homage as to why we should learn to be open to such things. My friend was an avid pokemon card collector. Always used to send me pictures of the new shinies hes just pulled out of a pack. One week after his death I had finished work and right under the pedal of my bike was a shiny pokemon card. A chespin. I took this as a message that he was okay, he had passed over safely and was letting me know.

The following week I then had a dream. I recieveed a message from him. He said "It's all real bro, everything is real, It's mad up here" Which i took to mean he had found the DMT elves and was having a jolly good time.


Even now, the griefing process has not ended. But it all got a lot easier after the funeral, energy started to return along with clarity, because at the end of the day. None of our loved ones, when we pass, want us moping around for too long over them. We grieve and then we gain strength and do right by them and in their honour.


The loss of a loved one is one hell of an experience. I hope somewhere in this slightly messy text someone can take something from my experience to help them on their way to healing.


I will end with a poem


Written by yours truly


Loneliness is emptiness of a heart that was once full, It pales in significance to no love ever at all.

Loneliness is a cup now empty, replaced with the drink found in shops a plenty

But each time the cup is refilled by that which is not love It is folly and freezes to the cold air above.

With each filling of the cup comes a new morning frost, with each frost a crack a reminder to all that is lost.

Each time the cup is empty the crack shows more and more until we are broken and left behind the bartenders door.

But the crack is a reminder of that sweetest nectar, of a cup that remained full, no longer a painful disectar.

Cracks are but a mark of a life well lived, memories now fill that cup chipped with wisdom within.

So up we step out that bartenders door. Proud of our cracks and ready for more.



R.I.P to my greatest friend. I really fucking hope you get to fly around with DMT aliens and do all kinds of mad shit on the next leg of your journey


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