Grief Upon the Loss of a Father


I had an intuition of losing my father, and the next morning I got the news of his death. I was far away from his residence. I am not able to cope with this loss and why did such a message come to me? Secondly, for last 30 years he kept fasting on Tuesday and had too much faith in god Hanumanji. He died on that day. Why? Will I ever meet him in any form? I really miss him a lot.

—Smriti, India


Please receive my deepest condolences on the loss of your father. And yes — you will see him again. In the Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda, there is a wonderful chapter about life after death in the the astral world: The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar where we are told:

“Friends of other lives easily recognize one another in the astral world…. Rejoicing at the immortality of friendship, they realize the indestructibility of love, often doubted at the time of the sad, delusive partings of earthly life.” (Sri Yukteswar).

It is God’s grace that you received the intuition of your father’s passing. Such messages can come from your higher Self, and also from a departed loving parent. Perhaps your father wanted you to have some foreknowledge before you got the news? It is possible. But more than anything, know that the intuition was a gift, for it shows you that we are so much more than just our physical bodies here on this earth plane. Even in the message you received about your father’s death, there is a touch of the mystical — to help you explore and receive the other mystical teachings about death.

Please do not think harshly on his weekly fast to Hanumanji, even if your own spiritual nature takes you in another direction. Your father’s practice shows steadfastness in his intention, and such fasting is very beneficial to the devotee, physically and spiritually. On fasting days the devotee can often feel more sublime moments in prayer and meditation, because the body and spirit are not weighed down by the process of digesting food. Perhaps that is why he died on that day, in recognition of that spiritual effort all through the years.

The quality expressed by Hanumanji is one of deep loyalty and friendship, and his only desire was to go on serving Lord Rama, and in this he is an expression of pure devotion. Your father’s weekly fasts were also a form of devotion.

With that same loyalty, send loving thoughts to your father. You can do this silently, in meditation, or you can also write him a letter and burn it in a sacred fire ceremony. Ask God and Guru to bring your love to your father, and he will be comforted by your effort to contact him. He still exists, but he is gone from this dimension. That is why it hurts. You miss him so much because the easy and familiar ways to contact him are now gone. You need to find new ways, and gradually you will feel a connection with him, and your heart will be comforted.

You can also send him your love before you fall asleep and this may give you a dream of him. Sometimes the dream may just feel like any dream — except that he is there, and you feel relieved to see him. Other times the dreams may feel very deep and special, and you know that a true soul contact has been made. Treasure those dreams. Write them down in a special journal of blessings. Also write down any moments during the day when you think you have felt your father’s love or God’s comforting blessings coming to you during this time of mourning. God tries to comfort us in many ways during times of loss. If you write down the blessings, it is a way of receiving the blessings more deeply, and confirming them in your mind.

I wish you every comfort and healing blessing in your grief, and please know that you can always request Healing Prayers if you need extra help in this way.

Quotes on death from Paramhansa Yogananda:

“…When a dear one dies, instead of grieving unreasonably, realize that he has gone on to a higher plane at the will of God, and that God knows what is best for him. Rejoice that he is free. Pray that your love and goodwill be messengers of encouragement to him on his forward path. This attitude is much more helpful. Of course, we would not be human if we did not miss loved ones; but in feeling lonesome for them we don’t want selfish attachment to be the cause of keeping them earthbound. Extreme sorrow prevents a departed soul from going ahead toward greater peace and freedom…”


“…Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so, but at least once a year — perhaps on some special anniversary. Mentally tell them, “We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another.” If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with your loved ones…”


Understanding Death, By Paramhansa Yogananda