December 13, 2017
Recording Studio - Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
How could anyone ever adequately prescribe any kind of help to someone who suffers from the loss of a dear one?
Having lost both my parents; a daughter; a son; and too many friends over the years, I know the pain. But I also know the value of mourning and then finding a place of peace, and a perspective that allows one to laugh and know it’s all good, as we’ll be joining them all too soon. Maybe it depends on your life’s preferences: what is your life’s bottom line? I think most people would answer, “HAPPINESS.” So if that’s the ultimate goal in your life, you must come up with a solution to the deep pain you feel when remembering lost loved ones.
The Shinto religion teaches that every human has an eternal soul or spirit. Shinto followers believe that the spirits of their ancestors can protect them.
Buddhism believes in the cycle of life and death and reincarnation. Death according to Buddhism is not the ultimate end, rather it is just the end of the physical body, the spirit continues to exist and is reborn.
Others believe this life is simply a dream, in which case, we needn’t worry or be troubled about anything; we’ll wake up soon.
My personal experience is this: dad died in 2005, mom in 2002. I wasn’t overly sad about either of their passing, as they had had wonderful lives, and I was aware of how unpleasant final days/weeks/months can be. I know it’s a relief to die, to be shed of the gross weight of a physical body. And I think that it’s right to be happy for their moving on to become Light, which is what I know we all become, eventually.
And the wonderful thing is, very often when I go to sleep, THEY ARE THERE! And there is a continuing story of how, through some miracle, they both came back to life, and we’re happy just hanging out.
But if you are someone who was robbed of a lifetime spent together because of the loss of a child or something similar, the potential for the slippery slope of what-if, and if-only, and self-blame, are dangers that can take you in to a black hole of sadness that can be almost impossible to escape. For anyone not in that hole, it’s easy to give advice, to recommend such-and-such religion or this drug or that. I think it is our perception of pain that is key to our getting past certain things. Every time I hear the song, Forest Rain, that I wrote for our four-month-old boy who died of SIDS, I completely break down and have to cry. But in a world of busy-ness, where I’m pulled this way and that with all the things that need to be done, this pain is a reminder of where my heart is. It’s a beautiful thing to be reminded of this place of love and caring. I cherish this pain. I’ll always cherish this pain. It shows I have a heart... that I CARE.
And then I let it go and smile.
And if you lost someone you loved and you know you could have/should have done more, life can be very, very hard for you. Or maybe it was because of your intoxication that someone died. Yes, you are guilty. It’s important to remember that your biggest failure can lead to your greatest success. Maybe working with at-risk youngsters or in some way helping others avoid the mistakes you made can turn your life into something you love, where you are making an important difference, making your life important, valuable, and sparkling with joy.
I was in the throes of a depression when voted out of Heart in 1979. Mike Derosier told me at the time, “Man, you just gotta FIGHT! You can’t let yourself be miserable any more! You gotta fight your way outa this gloom!” He seemed to be the only band member that wanted to help.
So there I am, just lost an amazing girlfriend, just lost an amazing band, suffering from a few different addictions. I FOUGHT! I fought and fought. With the help of bro Mike, built a recording studio in my home; started writing songs nonstop; took vocal lessons two-hours-a-day, five days a week; worked out and jogged. I fought and won. Because my bottom line is HAPPINESS. If I can’t uplift myself, how am I going to do anything good for anyone else?
And besides, it isn’t about me. If I’m sad because my 32-year-old daughter died, how long can I hold on to that? After awhile doesn’t it reek of selfishness? I didn’t get my way, so I’m gonna cry. There are other people around who want me to be happy. If Alicia were here, she’d tell me, “Get over it, dad! BE HAPPY!” Of course she would want that. She’s pure Light. I’m this heavy, gravity-bound, sore-kneed, complaining, rotting old codger, do I need to make myself more miserable by dwelling on something that can’t be changed?
NO! And neither do you.