End the Suffering of Grief

Some people believe, and even teach, that “we cannot recover from grief but can only learn to live with it”.

This, in my experience and a few others I know, is utter nonsense. And a gross disservice to anyone struggling to come to terms with, and heal from, the grief that naturally arises from the death of a loved one.

And what is my experience?

Well, both my parents are dead. Both my brothers are dead (I had no sisters). All the many aunties and uncles I grew up with are dead. Several close friends have died. I’ve witnessed death in car and aircraft crashes. I worked as a gravedigger for several years and have, literally, buried hundreds of people.

I’ve had others, most likely, although it’s impossible to know for sure, die at the end of a Samaritan phone line. And Jenny, my beloved wife and soulmate, passed on to the angelic realm on August 12th 2012.


Give no heed to what other people think about your grief

What do other people know about your grief and how you should handle it? Grief is far too intimate, too personal, for anyone to be able to dish out blanket, “one size fits all” prescriptions. I’ll share an example from my own life experience.

Jenny and I danced around each other for 32 years before finally recognising each other in an instantaneous, “Oh, it’s you!” moment.

Although I’d been legally married twice, I only agreed to both ceremonies to conform to various social expectations.

Jenny was the only woman I married (in a ceremony with just the two of us, in the most romantically beautiful of bluebell woods) without expectations, with no agenda other than to love her completely with my whole body, mind, heart and soul.

And I’ve been told that our relationship was a “teenage romance” …

This was a teenage romance that spanned 34 years, including Jenny helping save my sanity and quite possibly my life, nursing her through an excruciatingly painful form of cancer, injecting her with hypodermic syringes, holding her while she shook with the shock of other medicines being introduced into her system, being with her while her body disintegrated into a skin and bones ghost of her former self that was reminiscent of an 95 year old inmate of Auschwitz, taking her to 100% freedom from pain via massage, conscious embracing and even at a distance via phone in the most intimate soul-to-soul communion beyond anything I could have imagined possible.

The extreme level of intense pain I felt upon her physical death was also beyond anything I could have imagined experiencing.

Teenage romance?


You may still miss your loved ones

That’s just natural. Why wouldn’t you if you are human? But to be consumed and incapacitated by grief does no-one any good; and certainly not the one who has died.

Fortunately, it’s possible to include our feelings of wanting to be with our loved ones again in physical form when we realise that love itself never dies.

Love cannot die, as it is timeless and without form

Therefore we can feel the love we feel for our loved ones even when they have dropped their physical bodies.

And this timeless love, to me at least, is the most precious facet of our relationships with the ones we care for, both while they are alive in body and when they have left this world and traveled into that mystery beyond the veil of death.

True love can be known independently from the events of this world; and so the most precious part of them can live with us forever.


Gratitude, healing and Conscious Love

Being grateful for what our loved one’s gave us while they were alive in body is vital to our healing.

Jenny gave me more than I can recount here. Her death itself opened me to a hitherto undreamed of ability to feel deep emotions, perceive the unseen realms and forever changed my perception of who I am.

6 steps to freedom

  1. Place both hands on the centre of your chest, on your Heart centre, and gently breathe into this physical location.
  2. Now, tell yourself the truth about (i.e. acknowledge the reality of) your thoughts (i.e. beliefs and judgements), and your whole emotional/bodily-felt experience.
  3. Accept yourself and your experience in the spirit of gently felt self-compassion.
  4. Release all painful emotions and negative thoughts, simply allowing them to drop away.
  5. Relax into the silent stillness of your Heart.
  6. Give thanks for having known your loved one and for the love that you continue to feel.

And finally, I’ve found when someone we love dies, or leaves us when an intimate relationship ends, one of the most powerful healing questions we can ask ourselves is: Do I love you enough to let you go?

Simply practice the above as best you can. No-one can do more than that. With a sincere intention and willingness to be completely free from suffering, over a remarkably short time you’ll come to notice new life naturally emerging from the ashes of the old.


Too simple to be true? I know it can seem that way at first.

But the fact is the process through which we can leave the suffering of grief in the past is exceptionally simple; although sometimes, when we are in the “grip” of grief, it may not feel that easy.

My experience tells me in no uncertain terms that, when we can see clearly through the fog of painful thoughts and emotions, what comes into view is a new and joyful direction for living the rest of our lives.


I’ve described the process of releasing stuck, painful emotions in greater detail, in my book “Break Out of Your Mind”.

Click here to learn more about the book and the possibility of 100% freedom from suffering that it holds out for everyone

Allow the silence of your Heart to heal YOUR pain


“Anyone, if you are suffering from grief, whether following death or separation from someone you love, you can be free from emotional pain. With Leo’s guidance, after three years of all consuming grief, I recovered in less than three weeks. I never thought the pain would go. It left several years ago never to return.”

Margaret Burden

Feel free to get in touch


Leo Searle Hawkins

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3 thoughts on “End the Suffering of Grief

  1. A week in the Life of Ruth and her family

    In the days before Ruth died in her sleep & especially the few days afterwards, Sandy and I began to collaborate on creating a sacred ceremony to mark the passing of our mother, Ruth. We discussed the form and structure and then allowed ourselves to receive and then choose the words and content.
    The ceremony took place at The Star of David Funeral Home, in North Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    When we arrived at the funeral chapel, we were invited to view her body. She was in a simple, plain pine casket that was open to show her from the neck up. Though her spirit was clearly not associated with her body anymore, I covered the casket with a beautiful multi-colored prayer shawl—treating it with love and respect. Something similar to this:

    It warmed up her appearance and allowed us to relate to her and the occasion with tenderness and with beauty. After anyone, who wanted to, came up to the casket, the services began.
    I took off my shoes and went up to the casket, where my mother’s body was laid to rest and with my back to everyone, picked up the “Yiskah” candle and waved it around her body, in big sweeping circular movements. –Silently invoking The Divine and Only One, “The Holy”.
    I returned to the podium and welcomed everyone. I began with a reading by Tagore, which I had found a few days before. (The actual sequence of readings may have been a little different.)
    Let it not be death but completeness
    Let Love melt into memory and pain into songs
    Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest
    Let the last touch of your hands be gentle, like the flower of the night.
    Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment,
    And say your last words in Silence.
    I bow down to you and hold my lamp to light you on your way.

    At some point, I also read this poem, by Keats:
    Darkling, I listen
    For many a time
    I have been half in Love with easeful death
    Called soft names in many a mused rhyme
    To take into the air
    My quiet breath
    Now, more than ever, it seems rich to die
    To cease upon the midnight, with no pain
    While Thou Art pouring this souls abroad, in such ecstasy.

    Then looking down first and the up to everyone, I spoke of the Navaho tradition that sings at every healing. So I sang these words, open throated:

    “Boruch, Atah, Adonoi, Eloheynu Melech Ho’olom, Borai Ruth Shapiro”
    “Boruch, Atah, Adonoi, Eloheynu Melech Ho’olom, Borai Ruth Shapiro”
    “Boruch, Atah, Adonoi, Eloheynu Melech Ho’olom, Borai Ruth Shapiro”

    I then told the story of the prayer shawl. I had purchased it 1 day before my mother died to use in the ceremony, somehow. Then 5 or 6 hours after she passed away, I took it and brought it to our Ashram. I offered it in prayer and meditation to the various holy sites that are part of the Ashram. This was part of the continuing preparation for and participation in her death process. The days before, I put her picture on my meditation and prayer altar. This was the picture I used:

    When I placed her photo on the altar, adjacent to my Murti, my hands rose up and energetically guided her picture and Bhagavan together. (What I didn’t say then, but which I add now, is the feeling of Light that descended into my head, as I did this. And all the tears come forth. These were better tears than the ones that came every day for the three weeks prior to her passing…tears of grief and loss and worry.)
    And then I told the story of the first few hours after Ruth died. Joni called me, as arranged, immediately after, the nurse woke her to tell Joni the news. I went to my altar and spoke to my mother & read to her of many things. First, I recited this passage, written by Adi Da Samraj:

    Be Drawn and Attracted Upwards
    There is a strong Attractive Force felt upwards. Let yourself feel That Force.
    There is also an Upward-Moving Sound and be Moved by That.
    There is also a profound Bliss.
    Let yourself be Attracted Upward by that Feeling of Bliss.
    Eventually, you will see the Attractive Light Above, The Brilliant White Light.
    Hold to the Center, hold to the Upward Attraction.
    Let go of everything.
    Relinquish everything.
    Allow yourself to be Attracted and Drawn—straight, like an arrow—into That White “Brightness”, that Bliss, That Vibratory Force, (or Sound).
    Allow all sense of separateness and otherness to be Dissolved Above, in the Unconditional Force of Being Itself, the Divine Self-Domain.

    I repeated these words often during those two hours after I heard the news. I also spoke the names of her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, speaking of how we all loved her, that we all felt loved by her and that we would all be okay.

    And I told her something of what to expect during this next period of time and having been through a “near-death” experience, I knew these things to be true.

    And all the while, I remembered the time, about a year and a half ago. I was bringing her into the house, back from the hospital and biopsy. She passed out, seemed to be dying in my arms, only to revived by CPR, mouth to mouth. And I remembered how I spent much of those next few days, while dad was giving her energy, trying his best to get his beloved up and strong again. While he took that course, I spent time, by her side, lying down next to her and telling and feeling to her that, “There is nothing to be afraid of.” At one point, mom allowed herself to feel all the way and she spoke of seeing God”. From then on, even while watching her suffer, and suffering with her, I was not worried about her passing.
    People have come up to me and said, “I’m so sorry.” I spoke, “I’m sorry to, but I am so glad she has passed on and ended the suffering.
    These past few years were years when Joni and Sandy and I spoke many times together, trying to do whatever we could think of from far away, to help. Whenever we spoke, in the middle of our three way calls, was the picture of Ruth and Red, mom and dad. Our loving collaboration these past few years was wonderful, even with all the sadness and the feeling of being unable to make things “Right”.
    I finished my part of the ceremony with two readings.

    Excerpt from “The Heart of Understanding”, by Adi Da Samraj:
    The Heart is Real understanding. The Heart is Real Consciousness and Real Life. The Heart is What Merely and Only Is, but Which Is also Appearing in and Behind the conditions of mortal life and its death. Therefore, it is said of old, The One That Is, Is neither born, nor come to death, not Alive merely as the limitations of form (itself), not Itself (or Entirely) Rendered in what appears, and yet, It Is the Living One, than Which there is no lesser other (and no Great or Greater Other), Appearing As all of this Play of changes, but Eternally One, Unchanging, and Free.
    There Is Only Knowledge and Enjoyment of the Heart, moment to moment, through the instant of all conditions of appearance and disappearance. Of This I Am Perfectly Certain. I Am That.

    And finally from Dylan Thomas:
    Our mouths close here,
    And with a shout of joy,
    Immediately open there….

    Liked by 1 person

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