In August, my dear friend, Jean Millay Ph.D., a pioneer in the study of the survival of consciousness beyond death, graduated from Earth School. She approached this transition from the physical to spirit realms with grace, joy and anticipation.

Our friendship was filled with amazing conversations and I could never absorb all the wisdom she shared with me. We’d sit in a Thai restaurant where she’d ordered her favorite pineapple curry and chicken dish and talk about the vastness of existence.

We’d discussed the lessons she’d learned and how she held no trepidation about crossing over. In our last meeting, we said everything we needed to say to each other. While I didn’t know at that time she’d be moving to Hawaii where her daughter and granddaughter could nurture her, I felt in my heart it was our last in-person conversation.

I knew with conviction that once she’d made the journey to beyond the veil, I’d still hold her love and she would be there in spirit whenever I needed her.

When she passed, I experienced relief that she was now freed from cancer and out of bodily pain. And, I found solace in the belief that she now held definitive answers to the questions she’d studied most of her life.

Days after Jean crossed over, I kept hearing her giggle in my mind. I didn’t give it much thought. Then later that same day, someone posted on Jean’s page that they couldn’t get her laugh out of their head. Aha! I got it. Jean was telling us she was well. That she’d graduated successfully and we weren’t to worry about her.

Photo by Emma Charles,

However, my happiness for her created an issue for me: How could I grieve her loss when she was still with me in spirit? It seemed selfish for me to cry or be sad. She isn’t gone. I knew her true essence would always remain a part of my life.

Then, a friend posted a meme on Facebook berating people for saying “Sorry for your loss” when offering sympathies to someone grieving. The person went on to state, “They have not lost anyone. Those who die are still here.” But what this well-meaning person failed to realize was that we live in the physical realm and when someone we care about passes away, we do experience a profound loss.

When our loved ones die, our relationship with them changes.

We need to mourn the physicality which has gone. To heal, we must allow ourselves to fully feel the void that occurs once our loved ones pass through the veil. To honor:

  • Laughing together,
  • Holding hands, hugging and
  • The feeling of proximity.

As a bodied entity, I need to acknowledge the change in the dynamic of our friendship. Yes, it still exists. And, her presence will visit me when I need her, but it will never be the same. By crying and expressing my grief, I in no way dishonor her spiritual existence.

So, I will cry. I will mourn. For my loss. And, I know that Jean understands.