One of the hardest experiences we can go through is the loss of a loved one. It’s so difficult to let go, so painful to realize that we have seen their smile for the last time, that we will never be blessed with their presence in our life again. Many of us turn to the Spirit World for solace, hoping against hope that our loved one can speak to us from beyond the grave, from another plane, or from Heaven.

I’ll tell you a true story. My Grandmother died at the age of 90 back in 2001. She was more a mother to me in many ways than my own mother. I had gone down to Mississippi to help care for her. When she passed, it left an enormous hole in my life.

The house I was staying in had locks on both sides of the doors–you needed a key to get in or out. About a week after my Grandmother passed, I wanted to go out for cigarettes but could not find my keys. Anywhere. Tore the house apart looking for them. I remember saying out loud in desperation, “Grandma, where are my keys?” and, not thirty seconds later, I’ll be damned if I didn’t find them halfway under the dryer.

So when this week’s reader asked, “My grandmother passed at the beginning of this year. I have sensed her around all throughout the year. But, the last month I haven’t felt her much. I know she is really busy on the other side, but I just miss her. I just want to know that she is ok,” I decided to treat the question seriously.

The thing is, Tarot is often more concerned with helping us cope with what’s going on in our lives–right here, right now and very much on this plane–rather than enabling us to get lost on other planes of existence, when that may not be doing us much good. We need to be grounded.

I did a simple Past, Present and Future spread for this question, with a fourth card drawn for Advice. Here’s what I came up with.

Here we go.

Card 1, Past: The World

A satisfactory conclusion to a project, an endeavor, a time of life. Graduation! Something ends when it was supposed to end. Moving on up! Finishing one phase of life and beginning another, only at the next level. Leveling up. Completion and fulfillment. Fulfillment of life purpose.

With this card in the spread, Reader, it tells me that your Grandmother fulfilled her purpose here on Earth and moved on to something wonderful. She may have felt that her task was done and so she felt free to let go , and allow herself to go on to the next great adventure in her spiritual existence. This is a card of someone who has finished something and gone on to find great satisfaction in beginning a new path.

Card 2, Present: King of Pentacles

Connected to the Earthly plane. Invested, holding onto “assets”. I have, I own, I want. Earthly manifestation.

I think this card is for you, Reader, and I think it symbolizes how much you want to have what is spiritual made manifest in the physical world. You want proof, something tangible to point to and say, “that happened.” Very normal. Something may already have happened that gives you that feeling, that you have received something physical that you can hold on to as a reassurance that your Grandma has reached out to you from beyond the Afterlife. Be careful not to try to force the intangible to become tangible. It can become a way for you to hold on to what you should be releasing. Don’t get obsessed.

Card 3, Future: 7 of Cups

Too many directions to go in, choose one! Delusion. Ungrounded. Which way do I go? Daydreaming, fantasy.

Okay reader, there’s a warning not to get so caught up in the Spirit world that you lose touch with the temporal world. As above, so below. Remember to stay connected to the people here on this plane that love you, the people and things on this plane of existence that you care about. Don’t let yourself drift off and become ineffective, letting your mind become fallow, and your body unhealthy. Instead, pick a new direction to move toward, and start achieving some concrete earthly goals. It’s what your grandmother would want.

Card 4, Advice: The Empress

The Queen. I am myself within myself. Loving the self, as well as loving others. Taking good care of yourself, your physical body. Creating sanctuary within the home.

Here’s your homework, reader! Pamper yourself as much as you are able. And then remember all the things your Grandmother would do for you to make you feel loved. Give those things to yourself, and to your loved ones. Learn from her example. Love and nurture others, and let go of bitterness. Pass her legacy on.

Wrapping it up:

I feel for you, Reader, and for your loss. But I think your Grandmother is doing fine, and wants you to find your own sense of healing and love and generosity of the spirit–in short, passing on her legacy. Light a candle in her memory and use the lessons she taught you to create healing in your own life.

Brightest Blessings, Reader. Hang in there. It’ll get easier.

Submit your question to Raven now using the form here. Each week, Raven will choose a question and perform a personal Tarot card reading, offering her advice, insight, and wisdom based on what the cards say.