When we cry for a loved one that has died, either we cry for ourselves or we cry for humanity, never for our loved one. Many will not agree with this, but it is true. The tears are more often than not an expression of our own fear of not having our loved one with us any longer to keep us company, and the subconscious realization that all of us will come to this in time; none will be excused. Therefore, grief has everything to do with us, and nothing to do with the one who has died. This is the true understanding of grief, and when we understand in this way, grief will be less burdensome.

These times of grief are when profound questions should come up in our hearts, questions that we shouldn’t run out and get answered by this person or that book too quickly. These are questions that we should gulp down deep inside and allow to simmer for awhile so that we can really feel the suffering that all humanity goes through. To believe that life is happiness flies in the face of many wise people:

John 12:25. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” The Buddha’s first Noble Truth: “Life is Suffering,”

Life is conflict, but life is only in conflict with ourselves. It is ourselves that feel the grief, and it is ourselves that worry and fear. Without the burden of “self,” none of these things could touch us, and we would be free. Without the burden of self, no grief would be experienced, only love, and grief is not love. Grief is resistance to change, wanting things to remain our way, but since change is inevitable and change is what existence is all about, our resistance to change is doomed to failure.

Only a deep understanding of these things can bring us freedom from the burdens of grief. Grief is simply a misunderstanding of ourselves and of our loved ones. Life on earth is seen as a wonderful thing by those of us who are still not free, but those who understand see life as a mere transition, a place of change where the next horizon is nothing less than amazing.

Therefore, we need not cry for the departed. They are fine. We need only look at ourselves and how we perpetuate the emotions and feelings that cause so much pain. There is a way to end all if this, and the way is through understanding at the deepest levels of our hearts.

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is co founder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center (http://www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com). His twenty-eight years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers (http://www.AYearToEnlightenment.com).