In many of the worlds traditions, we bury the dead or cremate them and bury the ashes. This is a good practice for several reasons. It returns the elements to the earth. But it also allows the unresolved energy still associated with the body to gradually resolve and dissipate.
This unresolved energy is those things that didn’t solidify into karmic seeds but were left incomplete. Perhaps something of the death process and recent experiences. We could describe death as the first relief of life’s burdens.
Some may cremate the remains and place them in a fancy urn for display. I would not consider this a good practice as it is more difficult for the energy to resolve and it’s often being kept in the home. This is not what you want to share of your loved one.
More useful is a shrine composed of photos and mementos of the loved one. Or planting a tree in their name, and so forth. This can help process the grief in a healthy way. Avoid trying to rationalize away the death as “inevitable” or “for the best” to avoid feelings. Allow whatever arises to be felt but don’t invest in it. Favour the love and gratitude when you can.
As well as the many mixed feelings we may have after someone’s death, another set of energies comes from the person who has passed. Typically, they’re given the opportunity of a few days or so in a transitional place. A way to get used to stepping out of their life before moving on. A little time for saying goodbye and letting go. If we’re open, we may sense their presence, especially if we’re thinking about them in some way.
Thus for the living, it’s also a good time to say our good-byes and express love & gratitude, as best we can.
A friend mentioned that you may notice an increased number of “coincidences” in your life – one way they may try to communicate. I certainly did.
I have noticed that those in the transitional zone also often have mixed feelings, perhaps some regrets or confusion too. After they complete the transition and move up to where they’ll be next, there is a second letting go and a still deeper relief from the burdens of a physical life.
If we’re aware of them, we can support them in their process and help with any confusion. But it’s not your job to take on any of the energy they’re letting go of – that is for their experience. Take care of yourself first.
A suicide however, seems to be obliged to stay in the transitional zone longer as it’s not yet their time to move on. They’re not yet able to shed all of their burden. If they’re willing to recognize what they’ve done, they’ll be given some guidance and support for resolving it.
A somewhat similar thing can happen if someone is overly attached to something in their life or unwilling to accept their death. They get stuck in the transitional zone until they’re willing to move on. For example, a friend’s mother died while in a deep coma, waking into the transitional zone. They were confused and inflexible about it. But once guided to the light, they were able to move on.
Death is a profound shift out of one story on the soul’s journey. The more conscious we are in the process, the more completely we can let go and the more ready we are for what follows.