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Excerpted from Healing Grief by James Van Praagh. Copyright 2000 by James Van Praagh. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Unprocessed grief affects our life decisions and colors every situation that we encounter."

James Van PraaghHealing Grief, Part 4

Many a spirit has communicated how pleased it was to see family members present at its funeral. A spirit will usually stay around for such a ceremony. Such a ritual not only helps the living to readjust, but also helps the spirit to recognize that it is no longer part of the physical plane. No matter how we say good-bye, whether it is at a formal memorial or in the privacy of our own hearts, it is important that we do it. Remember that a spirit never dies. We can console ourselves with the knowledge that our loved ones are always around us. We can talk with them, and they will hear us. Remember, too, that life is constantly changing, and nothing is ever lost. What was only turns into something else.

It is also necessary to reach closure when other types of losses occur. We must be able to say good-bye to a variety of situations and circumstances that are no longer part of our daily life. Saying good-bye is never easy but often necessary. There comes a time when we have to close a door on some chapter of our lives and come to a completion in our minds. All grief needs to be felt and realized. We need to accept the loss in order to begin the healing process. If we don't grieve, we remain stagnant and carry the burden of unfinished business with us throughout life. Unprocessed grief affects our life decisions and colors every situation that we encounter. By repressing our true feelings, we push the pain deeper. Therefore, we can never really live life to its fullest potential.

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