I’m writing this on January the 4th, 2015, knowing that my Mom made it to Jan 2, 2015 before passing on.

I knew that it was coming, but it’s hard to imagine and prepare for what the real thing is like.

As it was, in the middle of my day working my full-time job, I was told by family that my Mom had passed. The moment I knew, I felt this open feeling of love for my Mom which was a little surprising, but gracefully honored. This article is a result of my experience. It’s about how I learned to love my Mom for dying, and in doing so, learned to truly love her for living.

For many (dare I say most people), when someone we deeply care about dies, it’s considered normal to be sad, feel loss, grief and be angry at life itself (and/or God, if you will) for taking away someone so close to us. It’s an experience mostly known and accepted to be full of pain and emotional devastation that some say you never completely heal from. But for some, a very select few, death is considered blessed and is celebrated.

So why is it that our culture mainly decides to collectively suffer in the agony of loss, whereas other tribal cultures count their blessings for the person who passed?

I know that some people who read me, saying that you can love someone for dying, will say that I’m crazy or that I didn’t really love my Mom if I don’t feel sad that she’s gone. The thing is, you couldn’t say that we if you knew my Mom and I — we were two of the closest souls you could ever know. I love my Mom and everything she ever did and didn’t do for my life. She’s the very reason I’m able to say with certainty, that I love her for her life and for her immortal transformation.

It wasn’t always this way. I’ve been dealing with the challenge of ‘loss’ for much of my life, mostly from girlfriends (and potential girlfriends…) but the last time I really felt it, I was absolutely devastated. I was so brutally affected by that particular loss, that I responded with a variety of extra-curricular activities to compensate for my pain. While these ‘addictions’ were a clever way to avoid my pain and learn a lot about myself, the truth is that inside myself for about two years, I got to experience what it feels like to not want to live anymore with such a feeling of despair.

That was a little over four years ago. It was a time in my life when I really learned how much the ‘perception of loss’ can destroy or at least massively transform a person’s life. It was also a time in my life when something changed inside me – a supreme authority was being born through my suffering that was saying ‘there is another way and you already know it and now you know it’s worth’.

Looking back on it now, I can see the hidden order to that part of my life. I now know that I intentionally put myself in the perfect storm to experience a devastating loss and that some genius part of myself chose to feel the loss of my ex-girlfriend because I wanted to really experience how ‘bad’ it can really get, to prove to myself that I already had a ‘better’ way (and really feel for people who’ve gone through the same thing).

Since then, through my ‘coaching’ business, I have helped many people deal with the loss of money, health, assets, jobs, cars, friends, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wife’s, Fathers… but not Mothers. Not until the day that my Mother died when just two hours after I learned of her passing, a new client came into my life and asked me to help her heal from the loss of her own Mother. I enthusiastically agreed because for me, helping someone love the loss of someone they love is one of the most inspiring gifts to give.

So how did I manage to help a person love their own Mother for dying, on the same day that my own died? How did I manage to have an open heart for my Mom’s transformation and still feel connected to her heart of love? How did I move passed the generic ‘sorry for your loss’ and replace it with gratitude, love and wisdom? More importantly, how can you love your Mom for dying, or someone you loved and now miss?

It all starts with you being willing to try a new paradigm — something that many people might not agree with at first, but let’s be honest here, you’re not reading this because you want to stay in the ‘status quo’. You’re reading this because you want to love someone for the life and for their death and feel whole again — complete with life, as it is. I’m here to show you a piece of how I did it and ended up saying ‘thank you for your life and death, your love and your wisdom and everything you’ve ever done or not done that helps me be who I am today, do what I do today and have what I have today’. If you’re ready, grab a pen and paper. Let’s go.

How will my Mom’s death serve my life? What will I gain from my Mom’s death? What do I stand to gain spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, in family and physically? (Write down in at least fifty ways how your Mom dying will help serve your life?)

This is that moment when some people will start attacking me and yes, I get it. It goes against the ‘cultural norm’ to even think that death can have benefits, but let’s just get down to it. If you can’t see any benefits to someone dying, you’re then only going to see drawbacks and that’s going to end up being really depressing. In fact, the only reason a person feels anything other than love when someone dies is because their perception gain and loss isn’t equal in their mind.

I’ve always been interested in helping people love their life and the people in it. I have my Mom to thank for that because she put me on that journey from day one. I’ve spent much of my life learning from true masters of love, wisdom and spirit to understand more about transforming life than those I grew up with. That journey has also taught me, with absolute certainty, that death as something that is worthy of love. The way I see it is simple:

If you can love death, you stand a better chance of appreciating life when you’re alive.
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Most people spend a lot of time in their lives living in the fear of it. Why not spend all the time you have appreciating the moment you’re in, making the most of the time you have in the life you know?

Get honest with yourself. What do you truly have to gain from your Mom dying? How will her death help you in your life? What can or will you be inspired to be, do, have when she passes? What do you feel compelled to give to the world now (and maybe to yourself) because she’s no longer in the body?

What I’m really asking in other words is how is she worthy of your love for dying and how is her death an act of love?

This is one of a few questions that I’ll perhaps share in a ‘Part two’ article.

Anytime you can’t see the gain within a loss, you’ll feel loss. It’s sort of life’s clever way of making sure you pay closer attention to the details because when you do and your perception of gain and loss are equal, you have fairness in your mind and love in the heart.

Life is like the lens of a camera – whatever you focus on, you’ll see. If all you focus on is what you lost, you’re not focusing on what you gained. You’re not focusing on what you can do now, in her memory, to honor her life by doing something amazing with your own. You’re also not focusing on recognizing that life truly transforms, truly. By opening your heart to her death, you start to see who or what took on whatever you miss about your Mom and by doing so you can have some really beautiful moments of love and a sense of the hidden order of life: nothing’s ever missing, it’s just in a form you didn’t recognize. If you do start to focus there, you’ll find where she went (and believe me, she’s still here if you go looking).

I’m so grateful that my Mom was my Mom and for how much she gave me with her life. I’m also grateful that she moved on from her body and for what she’s given me in passing. I’m grateful that she’s still with me in many new forms (some of which are really obvious and yet equally loving and profound). I’m grateful for the destiny she helped put me on. A destiny that includes being grateful for knowing that spirit never leaves, it just transforms into new forms. But I’m most grateful for taking that first step to seeing what everyone else usually misses — that no-one is ever missing when you put them inside your heart.

Thank you, Mom, I love you.

Now it’s your turn.

“There’s never a loss without a gain, there is only transformation.” – Dr. John Demartini

Stephan Gardner is a visionary thought leader, personal coach and master of psychological redesign. His clients include bay street executives in Toronto, Canada, business owners, celebrities, musicians, financial executives, wellness practitioners, real estate brokers, authors, entrepreneurs, parents and students. A decade-long career as a producer in national television news, interviewing world leaders in professional achievement, Stephan developed his unique coaching style with training through The Demartini Institute with Dr. John Demartini. Stephan helps people solve emotional challenges, transform uninspired behaviors and open your mind to your greater potential. You can follow him on Twitter or find more info on his website.