Death.  It is the end or a new beginning. Do we go to heaven or hell, or does our spirit get reincarnated and live on? Whose to say? What seems clear is that surviving children, spouses, and siblings experience an emotional rollercoaster with feelings of ranging from relief and acceptance to stress, abandonment, and anger. Some even hide or mask their feelings and just feel numb.

In cases where the individual had a long sickness, feelings of relief are understandable.  Nobody likes seeing another person suffer. But when a sudden death occurs to a car accident or heart attack some family members come realize that they wish they had had a chance to talk about situations that occurred a long time ago.  Issues like divorce, abuse, drinking, drugs, violence, feelings of lack, guilt, separation are not uncommon. Many times these emotions have been dormant for decades and death brings them up to the surface.

While this is common, it does not have to be. Each of us has accumulated emotional pain, it is part of the human condition.  That said we all have the opportunity to deal with past pain and live a life full of peace and love. We don’t need to wait till a death brings these emotions and memories to the surface. We can deal with them now.

The process entails taking a personal pain inventory and addressing each incident of the past and writing down what you remember and felt. Once done the next step is to forgive everyone one for everything.  This is easier said than done, but it can be done and that is the point.  In addition you need to let the people on the list know that you have forgiven them.  Send them a letter, or see them in person.  If a person on the list is already dead do it anyway. The process is important to live with peace and love and eliminate the chance that these painful experiences could affect how you act or react to situations in your current or future relationships.

Forgiving yourself is also very important.  Holding on to guilt and blame will not serve you will.  Remember, you have to love yourself before others can. Realize that whatever happened is over, and that you have the desire to let it go and free yourself of the past.

For all the people you may have caused to feel pain, anxiety, guilt, anger, and frustration ask them to forgive you.  Admit the behavior, apologize, and ask for forgiveness.  Regardless of what they do, you have taken responsibility for your life and decided you want to live with peace and love.  That is all that really matters.

By the time you have done this all the negative emotional baggage will be gone. In its place will be love and this is the secret to life. When your heart and soul is at peace and you are living with love, you have become truly wealthy.  Enjoy the richness of life.  Be abundant.