Tag Archives: understanding death

“Dead” Isn’t a Four-Letter Word

Our loved ones in spirit already perfectly know our hearts, and thus there is no need to ever mince words.

Recently, my new book Soul Smart has received some criticism from a few readers who take offense at my use of the words “dead” and “death” throughout the book.

The vast majority of readers say they enjoyed the book and in fact, they had great results using its methods to connect. But there are detractors because of the use of the words “dead” and “death”. One woman referred to me saying that I “surely must be a vile person”. Another counted how many times the word “dead” was used in my book, as though penalties were about to be assessed. I empathize with all my heart. Those who are deeply grieving will indeed likely have difficulty using the word “dead” and I deeply respect the word choices of the individuals. I’m all about compassion! I have, by now, worked with a thousand or more grieving people. Often volunteering, I have given freely of my time and resources to the grieving, even when I had little for myself.

Frankly, I would have used the softer “loved ones in spirit” more often were it strictly up to me.

But my spiritual team of guides, angels, and loved ones insisted that I not shy away from the words “dead” and “death.” I asked why. Here goes! The more we can bring ourselves to say “dead” and “death”, the more we bear witness that death is nothing to be fearful or ashamed about. We can continue to live in the presence of our loved ones, not as scary ghosts but as our beloved family members who no longer have their physical bodies.

There actually is death; that is the reality. However, only the physicality of a person dies. Fortunately, as it turns out, the body is the least important part of us after we are returned to Heavenly home!

Words have power because of the emotions that our words carry. And we can choose the emotion with the words we say. The spirit world asserts that the more we fear and refuse to speak of death, the less we can accomplish on Earth. Fear and shame limit the progress of our souls’ growth.

My spiritual team insisted that I do my part, however small, to help erradicate our Earthly shame, fear, and dread over death and dying. If we say the words more, my team asserts, fear will morph into peace that surpasses all understanding. The truth is this: only our physical bodies will ever experience death. We exist forever!

This is not to make light of grief, but to bring The Light to heal our grief.

We can BEGIN to heal our dread and shame around death and dying, and now live fully, fearlessly, and joyfully while we are still here on Earth.

Don’t shoot the messenger!

Susanne Wilson is an evidential medium, spiritual teacher, and author of Soul Smart: What The Dead Teach Us About Spirit Communication. Susanne is known as the Carefree Medium. She is based in Carefree, Arizona near Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Thanatopsis: A View of Death by Chris Foote, Guest Blogger


I’m a funeral director in New Zealand working with families once death has occurred; I began the natural funeral company 16 years ago responding to deep urges in myself and with a desire to be alongside people and death in an organic and natural way. I have developed a non-embalming style of body-care and have held families in their grief in the first few days after death.

Here’s what I have learned.

lantern heartI believe the essence of a person cannot be fully felt until someone dies.

We then go into an altered state and realize their value and worth and the meaning of their life for us.

Several things unfold at these times that are worth paying attention to. I believe these provide meaningful insights into our spiritual lives.

Firstly, sadness and tears are a beautiful expression of love when someone we value has left our lives. This sadness can help us articulate our love in the first few days after death and can in turn be expressed as part of saying farewell. If you can catch the whispers of thoughts and feelings you can them formulate exactly what someone means to you.

While it is not necessary to have an elaborate funeral, I believe it is important to mark the ending of someone’s life with some form of farewell. To say thank you for your life, and all you have meant to us, is an important ritual of love and respect.

I believe one of our tasks is to discover what it is we believe happens at death and to allow this process to teach us. Experiencing a death can give us a glimpse through the door as we visit what it means to die.

sun haloIt has been my discovery that most people believe they will see the people they love again and that the ones they love will be together after death. People say this, even when they do not have a view of what may happen when we die.

It is a common belief in a number of cultures that we should allow three days for the processes of dying and separation to take place. It is a very special time when our everyday awareness alters.

It is a time when we can be visited by unusual experiences, synchronistic and symbolic events. It is important not to brush over these when you notice them and not be afraid to express them as many people have similar experiences.

The more comfortable we can be around death the more we can lighten the sense of morbidity.  It is OK to be uplifted and develop a confident presence around death.

hummingbirdGrief is not the easiest emotion to be comfortable with as there are many components to work through, including change, guilt, and loss. People in grief need our attention on relationship; it would be helpful for us to be comfortable with difficult emotions, and to allow others to be themselves – with both their strengths and weaknesses. Our attention is a gift to those experiencing a loss.

I know we can suffer from what to say and how to say it and how to help. But your presence can be the most helpful gift of all. There is no need to cover the feelings of loss or become solution based. Allow the other person to express their experience and tell their story.

Generally, as children and young adults, we have not been taught about the life-death-life cycle of our lives. That not only people die but relationships die, situations change, nature changes.

Chris Foote

What’s the hurry to get over someone anyway??
Carry them beside you in your waking day and sleeping night.
Use all those memories to access the love, the fun, and the times spent together.

You can reach Chris Foote at The Natural Funeral Company in New Zealand. Ph: (09) 361 6080
chris@thenaturalfuneralcompany.co.nz
www.thenaturalfuneralcompany.co.nz