Tag Archive: loss


I dedicate this post to a friend on twitter who is dealing with overwhelming anguish from the loss of not one loved one but both her mom and dad… May energy, love and light always burn bright in their memory…

Famous philosopher, Joseph Campbell once said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us”. This statement rings wisdom on many levels. We as humans like to be in control of our destinies. Being that suffering is intrinsic to life; the habit of trying to control our surroundings can in itself cause suffering. North Americans especially have this need or urge to be in control. Here in the west, there is a need for immediate gratification and convenience as well the need to manipulate and manage our surrounding environment. You see it with the pressure to be financially successful and even with the United States government and its sometimes misguided foreign entanglements. Of course not all aspects of control are considered a bad thing, but it does cause problems when life rears unpredictable results like loss. We also attach ourselves to such adornments of love, companionship and communion. Losing something or someone dear to us is exacerbated by attachment and loss of control. Love and friendship connect us in ways that create immense grief when this love and friendship is taken away. We can’t be at fault for loving someone or something – it is human nature. Still, there is a need to let go of the attachments that cause us suffering. Grief is one of those attachments. Being that loss is inherent to life, it is also something we can’t control. When we can’t control something as intricate and amazing as the life of a loved one; there can be this feeling of helplessness that envelops us. Our lives can fill with anxiety and we tend to question the Universe.  Much like earlier blogs in regard to the concept of space as it relates to our mind and the Universe;  we need to make space for loss. We need to be mindful of our thoughts and try not to cling to transient affections when all that is left is memories. Cherish the great memories but let go of the guilt, anger and grief. Letting go does not mean we do not care. Letting go simply means we stop trying to control outcomes that are completely unavoidable. It means to stop doing the impossible by trying to control destiny. Instead, we should focus on what we can control which is ourselves. This is done with love: Love for ourselves and how it relates to our True Nature and love for those here in the now and hereafter.

Personally, recovering from loss caused me to question everything I knew about life, and particularly it caused me to question my faith in God and religion. I could not reconcile how something so beautiful and amazing could be gone. I blamed God. I questioned myself. I questioned God. But on one autumn day when the skies seemed to finally clear and the fog in my mind lifted, I realized that the chaos I felt in my heart was so complex and so visceral because matters of life and death are never simple. Recall the Big Bang theory – the origin of the Cosmos – An unknown phenomenon sparked the imbalance that allowed for the possibility of life on earth. For years, this mystery has spun scientific and philosophical debates on the ultimate paradox of life – from nothing came everything. The fallacy in my thinking was in attempting to find an explanation for why I lost a loved one.  Recovering from grief has shown me that there is no real truth in paradox. Sure, our lives seem governed by them – life and death, night and day, and good and evil – but the real truth of paradoxes is not that they lie at polar opposites, but that they rotate in a seemingly endless cycle of rebirth, seasons and cause and effect – A Mandala….  The truth of life and death for me was that I hurt so badly because I lost a love, but love was the very thing that was going to heal me. Love could make me suffer and soar all in a cycle of loss and gain and immense sadness and joy.

In all this confusion, one thing is certain – circular patterns, not paradoxes, describe and govern our Universe. Love is one of life’s ultimate circular bonds because we are born to love and we return to love when we die. Love can cause us life’s greatest joy and also life’s greatest sorrow. It is our blue skies and also our heart’s most tumultuous storm. Most importantly, love is what will ultimately heal us as we process loss. We will find comfort in our memories of love and of the love we lost. We will find support in the love of those we reach out to. We will find inspiration in the love we have for those still with us. We will honor lost love by loving ourselves and our life enough to let go of attachments that cloud our vision with pain and suffering.

Find love in your memories –not pain.

Celebrate your lost love by celebrating the family you still have – hug them and love them!

Remember that anxiety is only a cloud obscuring the sun which is your True Nature…

Be steadfast, strong and love what you still have. Have faith that love will conquer and fill your heart with energy, light and bliss again – it has to – it is a unwritten law of the Universe!

John C. Bader

New Responsive Universe Promo Video

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Earlier this week I lost an elderly family member. She died peacefully of natural causes with family by her side. She is in a better place now.

I was on a bike ride this morning and memories of her jumped into my head. I thought back to her spicy southwestern cooking that she was known for and the long life she lived. I hoped her life was good to her. Was she happy, fulfilled and smiling back on her past as she slipped past the threshold of mortality to the sublime?

Only she can answer that I suppose…

Decades ago, I was one of the first grand children in the family and for years I was the center of attention. She used to call me “John John” and even continued to do so in my adult life. My thoughts continued to meander and as I was riding my bike and I could not help to notice the pretty white wild flowers that edged the bike trail under the dawn light. The sun was out and their small intricate flower petals were opening after a nights nap. As I continued to ride my thoughts continued to float like clouds across the blue sky of my mind. I wished her well on her new journey and I thanked her for her inspiration and energy.

As I thanked her and said goodbye, I noticed a small patch of pink flowers within the white wild flowers along the bike path. It was interesting because just as I said thank you to her memories these flowers came into view. I had ridden for miles that morning and only white flowers adorned the trail.  There was a synchronicity to the moment that was surreal. The coincidence of the flowers was one thing. It was the energy and connection to the entire moment that told me deep down these flowers were not a mistake.

It was not as if she was trying to communicate to me – that was not it. It was a responsive quality that transcends my words and simply was the quality of the moment; a shift in energy and perspective that resonated with love and connectivity. I knew she was off on her new journey and everything was fine as it stood in life. She was in a better place and I was in a good place too.

I find it is important to find positivity and closure for the ones we lose. I also think it is important to be mindful of this Responsive Universe that surrounds us. We are a part of something grand that includes the Mandala of life, death and rebirth – energy changing form.

Warm thoughts…

Energy and love…

Reverence …

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

Yes, I normally speak my mind about politics and ridiculous religious dogma, but I rarely wear my emotions and heart on my sleeve. As most of you know, it is Memorial Day weekend in the USA. In addition to our lost military personnel, American citizens spend next Monday celebrating those family and friends that have left the mortal world. I imagine most countries have a day when they celebrate their deceased kin.

For those of you with a fresh loss tugging on your heart and soul, my energy and thoughts go out to you. Loss is not an easy subject and it is for that reason I spent an entire chapter in my upcoming book, The Responsive Universe, addressing this pain, the emotions and coping skills associated with loss and grief.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

-Joseph Campbell

It was over 12 years ago on this very weekend that my wife gave birth to our first son – unfortunately, he was a full term still born child and we had to bury him. My pain was one thing but even to this day I still can’t comprehend what my wife went through. That was a terrible time in our life and it still pulls on the heart strings of emotions. I am tearing up now as I type – such events unfortunately shape us into the people we are today – whether we like it or not.

Still, not all is lost. It was this upheaval in life that actually took me to rock bottom spiritually and emotionally. It was the loss of my first son and the pain and sorrow that created my first of several gradual awakenings that have shaped the Responsive Universe I live in now. I have my first son to thank for that – it is a sublime and sometimes unexplainable world we live in. We can only make space for such experiences and have faith that things will improve. I do not believe in divine plan but I do believe in positive energy and compassion.

I have learned a lot over the years – many times the hard way. I have learned that in order to love and feel love, sometimes we also have to feel pain and sorrow. Life is a rotating Mandala that includes birth, life and death. My heart just goes out to those that have lost their children at older ages – I can’t think of a worst tragedy.

Below, is a poem that I wrote as part of my grieving and recovery. This is for you John Christopher Bader Junior…

The peaceful echo of waves caress the shore

Clouds float lazily by while a single bird flies high

Spring invites summer with excitement and anticipation

Then…

Time ceases to exist for no apparent reason

As winter’s cold stands silently by

Like a steel rain falling from a dark sky

Washing away our dreams, aspirations

and the happiness in our lives

As we cast our little boy’s ashes into the ocean

We are casting only the anger and hatred that blackens our hearts

His perfect soul will rise to the heavens within

And our love and memory will forever be

interwoven in our hearts and minds

Where there is fear, there is courage

Where there is sorrow, there is happiness

And where there is no hope

There will be another bird flying high in the sky

As clouds float lazily by

And the peaceful fingers of waves caress the shore

Though our days are sad

Each day will replace the last with a little more happiness,

understanding and hope

And soon, very soon; one day in the future

Our little angel will look down on us

And help welcome a new life that will live

in harmony with his memory

The ocean is a special place

Rest in peace, my son

(2001)

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

New Responsive Universe Promo Video

As humans born into a social world of triumphs and tragedies, love and loss, we will face a myriad of challenges in life – nothing is seems is more difficult than the loss of a love one.

Joseph Campbell once said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us”. This statement rings wisdom on many levels. We as humans like to be in control of our destinies. Being that suffering is intrinsic to life; the habit of trying to control our surroundings can in itself cause suffering. Americans especially have this need or urge to be in control. Here in the west, there is a need for immediate gratification and convenience as well the need to manipulate and manage our surrounding environment. You see it with the pressure to be financially successful and even with the United States government and its sometimes misguided foreign entanglements. Of course not all aspects of control are considered a bad thing, but it does cause problems when life rears unpredictable results like loss. We also attach ourselves to such adornments of love, companionship and communion. Losing something or someone dear to us is exacerbated by attachment and loss of control. Love and friendship connects us in ways that create immense grief when this love and friendship is taken away. We can’t be at fault for loving someone or something – it is human nature. Still, there is a need to let go of the attachments that cause us suffering. Grief is one of those attachments. Being that loss is inherent to life, it is also something we can’t control. When we can’t control something as intricate and amazing as the life of a love one; there can be this feeling of helplessness that envelopes us. Much like earlier blogs in regard to the concept of space as it relates to our mind and the universe, we need to make space for loss. We need to not cling to transient affections when all that is left is memories. Cherish the great memories but let go of the guilt, anger and grief. Letting go does not mean we do not care. Letting go simply means we stop trying to control outcomes that are completely unavoidable. It means to stop doing the impossible by trying to control destiny. Instead, we should focus on what we can control which is ourselves. This is done with love: Love for ourselves and how it relates to our True Nature and love for those here in the now and hereafter.

John C. Bader

New Responsive Universe Promo Video

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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